- Caroline Kurze
Artist Freddy Sam and Megan, his love, best friend and art activist travel through the world for ‘The Colour Project’. mb! by Mercedes-Benz is following them. The two are looking for inspiring places and investigate the importance of colors to these environments to the people and communities that use them.
The first thing you need to do when stepping foot into the heart of Kathmandu Valley is to abandon any preconceived ideas of personal space hygiene. The next practical move is to adapt your senses to an uneasy blend of wild smells and relentless hooting that is likely to pierce bewildered hearts. Slowly, as your mind begins acclimatising to your new surroundings, you will ease into riding the sensory tidal wave of chaos and serenity. Kathmandu Valley: a glorious mixture of timeless architecture and modern day demands. A mass of power lines that seem to lead to a single source hang like sunken bridges across the sky. It’s the city of strays and the land of the humble. And of course, the city buses. Baptised with names like “Hero of the Road” and “King of the Speed Limit” and adorned with bright colours, painted deities and intricate details, they truly are the type of means of transportation Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters would be proud of. On the other hand, no sign of any kind of traffic light or road sign, most of the roads don’t have lanes and the car horn is the only governing law of the road. But we’re still alive to tell the tale! The street life is rich and vibrant, early evenings are carnivals of balancing bamboo and the lighting of hundreds of candles to the god Shiva. Women wash their hair in the courtyards. Fire-burning stoves set on the streets offer anything from popcorn to whole chicken, deep-fried bread and chilly sweets. Read more about this intense trip here.
All images © Ricky Lee Gordon and Megan King