Triangolism in KathmanduItalian street artist Ricardo Ten Colombo collaborated with Sattya Media Arts Collective in a day-long street art session around the Capital earlier this month.
Italian street artist Ricardo Ten Colombo, who has hosted his own street art festival Street Alps, collaborated with Sattya Media Arts Collective, a Kathmandu-based resource network or open community for artists, in a day-long street art session around the Capital earlier this month, during which he painted a total of five murals in the Basantapur and Thamel area.
His distinctive artistic style, triangolism, manifests in the equilateral triangles he paints on earthquake-damaged buildings. Elaborating on the philosophy behind his idiosyncratic choice of artistic expression, Ricardo shares, “The equilateral triangle is a symbol of stability and strength, a wish to the future reconstruction of these neighbourhoods.” If unfamiliar with Ricardo’s philosophy or new to his art, one might easily overlook the significance to his quintessentially subtle art, and miss its depth entirely. Nevertheless, onlookers completely unaware of his art or philosophy will still find his work aesthetically pleasing. Initially keen on collaborating with Sattya on its year-long project Kolor Kathmandu that transformed the streets of Kathmandu into an open gallery where artists would paint on the overlooked canvases of our grey walls, bringing life and colour to our beloved city, Ricardo was drawn to the resilience of our people in the wake of the earthquake and its aftermath, and was resolved to make his contribution to our reconstruction efforts as any artist such as himself would—through art.
Providing insight on his choice of area in town, Ricardo shares, “I decided to paint in this area, the centre of Kathmandu which was brought to its knees by the 2015 earthquake. Here, where the inhabitants have lost their relatives, friends, homes and belongings, where preliminary reconstructions are now taking place.” And thus, Ricardo and Thugucheaa, a local street artist from Sattya, worked on this project together which transcends language and cultural barriers, and whose richness lies in its simplicity. Sazeena Nemkul, Managing Director of Sattya Media Arts Collective shares, “Ricardo’s idea behind his art is not only deep, but also visually healing. In a way, after the earthquake, these places he has chosen to work in had lost their charm. Painting those simple triangles and colouring them brought a little bit of their essence back, and brought meaning to these places, which will eventually encourage artists to express themselves through art, find meaning in it, and to heal with art.” Ricardo says, “As I looked around, stunned and unable to understand what might have really been the shakes, a man approached me, smiling, and pointing to some heaps of bricks, he cried, ‘Welcome to my home.’ Ricardo intends to return to Kathmandu with a workshop among other possible collaborations with Sattya.