#031 - Monica Ramos
#031 - Monica Ramos
Destination: Jaipur, India
Date: 20 - 27 February, 2017
About the print:
Dimensions: ± 15 x 21 cm
Materials: Original watercolour painting on paper
Edition: Series of 35 unique paintings
A little word by Monica Ramos
"Growing up in Manila, a city not known for architectural feats, I always feel drawn to places with impressive and distinctive buildings. I wanted to see Jaipur, the Pink City, in the hopes of living out some romanticized travel fantasy. At times it was tough being a solo female traveller in India. You get a lot of stares and people take advantage when they know you're not from around there.
I loved getting lost in the forts at the outskirts of the city and wandering around the markets in the old part of town. I was especially taken by the patterns that I saw everywhere, florals block printed onto bed sheets, mosaics made out of mirrors, muqarnas carved into ceilings, lattice screens made of sandstone, arched windows, handprinted blue ties. I admired both the order and the chaos. I also went to a block printing workshop in Bagru, a small town known for its textile printing, to try to learn a new skill that I could incorporate into this project for The Jaunt. It was inspiring to see all the different motifs of the Bagru textiles.
When I got back to New York, I bought a book about Islamic art and architecture, in an attempt to teach myself the basics of geometric art. The resulting paintings strayed from the rigid and precise tradition, but are a mix of a systematic approach to painting in a grid and my impressions of the city."
Sunday, February 19, 2017
And so it begins! Currently in Manila, connecting in Kuala Lumpur, and landing in Delhi tonight!
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
One day in Delhi! We packed in Masjid, Chandi Chowk, the Red Fort, Qutab Minar and the Presidential Buildings.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
A bookstore in Kahn Market in Delhi that makes me want to live much longer!
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Driving through the old city, which in my opinion is actually more orange than pink. There’s so much to see every second, I feel like I’ve become more calm to cope.
A tiny window from Hawa Mahal, the palace of winds, built so the Royal women could observe the happenings on the street and remain hidden from view. On one hand, I wish all women freedom, but on the other, the male gaze is no joke over here and wish men would stop staring so hard.
Crossing the street in Jaipur is way harder than New York and Manila!
Friday, February 24, 2017
Day three in Jaipur, a little tired of being surrounded by swarms of tourists, I went with a new friend to some cool boutiques: Rasa, Jaipur Modern and Anokhi. All three are contemporary designer’s takes on Indian crafts and clothing. I bought a couple kultas and a dress from Gulab Chand which is right in front of Raj Mandir, a very old (and famous) movie theater.
Afterwards, I walked around Johari Bazaar and Bapu Bazaar, peeking into stores full of jewelry, crafts, wood carvings, spices, tea, saris, blankets, sandals, books, school supplies, plastic containers, street food stalls I am advised to avoid if I’d like to continue being out and about, temples, shrines, xerox stores and probably a thousand other things idk.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Day four, I went for a workshop in Bagru, a smaller city west of Jaipur and known for their block printing and natural dyes. The whole process involves first washing the thin cotton scarves in a mordant or mixture of cow dung and urine to allow the dyes to adhere to the fabric, drying, printing, more drying, washing in a mixture of sandalwood powder, boiling to fix colors, more washing and more drying. I may have skipped a few steps! The process is so complicated and labor intensive that I have even more admiration for the people who make this look easy. My hand is also super sore as I type.
Sunday, February 26, 2017
The ceilings and windows of Amer Fort
Monday, February 27, 2017
Day Five in Jaipur: Jantar Mantar, Markets near Govind Dev Ji temple, Rajasthani Royal Thall, tired to get my star chart done at Janmpatika but the man entered the wrong birth month (so sad) and a night at Albert Hall