FOO CHEE CHANG
One would be hard-pressed to find a clean, white-washed wall lining the streets of Kathmandu. If one appeared, it would soon be painted over with political slogans or plastered with posters. Something similar happened to the immaculate south perimeter wall of the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu from 4-8 April. Except this time it was at the behest of the owners of said wall, and a reputable artist was at the helm of the project to paint a mural spreading the message of peace and harmony.
Assisted by children from the Kailash Hostel, Buddhist Child Home, Mansarovar School and Young Hearts Bonding School, Andorran artist and educator Jordi Casamajor applies his design on the wall, while the children animate the stylised outlines with cheery hues of red, yellow and blue. The colours, as well as the images of figures joining hands, work together to complement the intent of the message.
It is a tall order to add to the grandeur of the Hyatt Regency, with its palatial architecture and luxurious ambience. But that is not the point. Kiran Adhikari, public relations executive of the hotel, explains that this is part of the hotel's corporate social responsibility programme. "We want to give back to the community, and we feel that if a platform can be created for underprivileged children to have fun and spread a positive message at the same time, why not?"
The mural project was organised in collaboration with the Himalayan Youth Foundation (HYF), Kathmandu, and the Mountaineers Himalayan Foundation of the tiny European principality of Andorra. "One of the advantages of this project is its visibility to the public," says Steve Webster, a HYF board member and coordinator of the mural project. "We want our message to reach as many as possible and for the work of the artist and the children to be recognised."
This wish is not too far-fetched, for even the soot and the dust from passing vehicles will do little to obscure the enthusiasm and positivity on display.