The Veil of India

When we came to the girl's house, the families sat down opposite each other. After a few formal sentences the men gathered around the dining table to examine whether the horoscopes of the nephew and the girl would be good together, according to Hindu tradition. The women sat down together on the couches and discussed their matters. The ambiance was informal and amicable. I was sitting next to the girl and after a while I had gathered the courage to ask pityingly whether she had any thoughts on being given in marriage. She replied: "It's fine. I haven't found a man yet, and I would like to get married soon. I think my parents will be able to find a good man for me. I will respect him and make the best of our lives together."

Similar to my experience of astonishment attending this arranged marriage, I have been astonished many times by the Indian people's way of life, during my half-year stay in India at age twenty-two when I was studying architecture in Ahmedabad. Fascinated and in awe, I wanted to understand their motives, so I started to investigate Hinduism.

Without wanting to glorify this religion and without shutting my eyes for it's less uplifting customs, I believe there are many interesting ideas in Hinduism that might be of value in our postmodern Western society to give our lives profundity and guidance. Yoga and meditation are well known examples of those, however by way of this collection of paintings I want to highlight some other fascinating ideas.

Interpreting Indian concepts and explicating them in my own vocabulary of concepts is a tour de magie because my thought pattern has been, more or less consciously, shaped by Western philosophy and Christian tradition during my upbringing in The Netherlands; like a fish that wants to understand how to fly.

I have created this collection of paintings aspiring to lift a proverbial tip of The Veil of India and catch an occasional glimpse of the Indian spirit, of the wisdom still existing alive and well after more than three thousand years.