Searching for inspiration. Travel books: Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea

03.15.2014

A trip around the world

"Our World is coloured with a lot of friends that we do not know but that we recognize every day in the tracks of millions of small signs left on the face of people to disclose perfect shapes of light and colour".

This initiative, that has been carried on during the years, has the function to show the art of make up in different shapes and possible meanings. Make-up is an art old like man generation and it is still used, not only in everyday make-up, but also as 'transformation' of the person.
Since 2001, in 'Travel books' the research is proposed with different photos, similar to small reportages, that fix on the paper scenes and events.

Instruments to rediscover femininity

Hypothesis on the make-up:
  1. in the unhappy era of androids, of the technological reverence of every number, acronym, anonymous name and virtual machine which replace, as in the ancient religion the simulacra, the tiring daily face-to-face with the difficulties and with the enigma of natural existence, to set out again upon a journey, like a nomad searching for that beauty which hides in every place, in every landscape of the world, in every woman’s face and hidden glance, waiting for a curious mind to spring.

    1. Acting as the first women once upon a time on earth and acting nowadays as all those women who discover again, from Teheran to Tokyo, from Parma to Vancouver, from Oslo to Kinshasa, the magic of the ceremonial, the game of making up and smarting up, to take care of and turn the light on one’s own femininity (giving it that dignity which every form and stylization lends, conciliating rigour and passion).
    2. Or searching again the contact of the mind with one’s own body, one’s own face, finding out the homo abilis which lies in all of us (the manipulator of materials): handling human instruments like women handle make-up brushes: as if they were an extra-ordinary addition, an extension of ourselves. Understanding
      thus at first touch, the refined preciousness of their materials, the intelligence of their craftmanships. Therefore, doing as the cooks of Parma who cook on a slow fire the pork’s back in order to give it a rosy shade, or doing as, in the funny inversion of the antipodes (with that strange coincidence as for the opposites), the master of Sushi who cuts and arranges raw fish, to make sublime artistic monuments, on little scale. 
  2. Rediscovering, therefore, the pleasure, the time to note that a perfect make-up can turn the pavement on which we walk in the metropolis into a leonardesque mirage of land and waters, where the liners, the shadows, the shades, the glosses are but the pure reflection of that moveable feast of nature which always style pursues. (Giovanni Gardella)
Monte Hagen e il Monte Hagen Show
 
Maybe it is for the 38 species of paradise birds or for the biggest butterflies in the world or for the hundreds of birds of any colour that Papuan people find the inspiration that brings them to paint and to make up in the most manycoloured and showy way. However it is here in Papua that we remain simply dazzled in discovering in how many ways one can change, how many personalities one can add to its Ego, only by covering the face and body with colours. The inhabitants of Papua are masters in this. To defend or to encourage, to recognize, to love or to fight the colour becomes the basic sign.
 
The Mt. Hagen Cultural Show, which takes place every year since 1961, is the opportunity to meet all together the main tribes of highlands that, dressed up in their Sunday best, go downhill to be admired. The meeting is at Mt. Hagen sports ground, where the natives, camped since the previous night, early in the morning set to work with had-mirrors, braids, with brushes, leaves, with the most disparate shrubs, unknown flowers, pieces of chalk, lipsticks, several plumes, with necklaces, rings, lances, with arrows, sticks, woven straws, mats, pareus hats that look like monuments on their head: everything may become an accessory and an ornament of the body. 
 
The glimpse is impressive, it is impossible to choose what to look at and what to elude, a whole world, unknown and wonderful, is disclosed. Beside making up from head to toe the tribes exalt themselves with drums and winds and there's much to do to keep calm and energies for the final parade, but the excitement is too high and sudden the music and the dances break open, here and there in groups, in a continuous comparison among the teams that are controlled and commanded like a squad of insubordinate soldiers.

As the time of entrance to the ground approaches, the paroxysm raises and it explodes when the arena is opened and also the tourists and audience have the chance to open themselves in a freeing shout.
 
(Attilio Concari)
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