Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Cultural History as Key to Color

The historical landscape of any place in the world serves as an essential key to colors – to meaningful colors in a culture. This was the focus of the color workshop for 2nd year Visual Communications students at BNU in Lahore, Pakistan.

First, we went on a field trip to the Lahore Fort and the Badshahi Mosque (whose estimated date of initial construction is the 11th century – long before the Gothic cathedrals of the Western world). The assignment required that each student take approximately ten sets of photographs. Each set required a panoramic shot of any building on the 48 acres of the Fort and Mosque and 4-5 close up shots of the same structure. (A possible total of 50 or more images.) A concentrated focus on the colors and textures was the primary issue. 

Next, the results of this survey were to be presented in a well-designed collage, triptych, or any organized composition.

Of note is the fact that most of the students had visited the Fort and Mosque several times during elementary school and high school field trips. In spite or this, the experience of observing the colors of these significant historical buildings from near and far was an invaluable experience.

Individual perceptions varied. Some students tuned in to the muted salmon orange hues of the masonry; others to the cobalt blues of the tiles.

Photographs of the field trip to the Lahore Fort and Mosque and two of the final compositions can be seen at this LINK

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