• Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Review: Photography Exhibition at the Himalayan Cafe

ByArthur Brossard

Jan 31, 2024
A picture of the Himalayan Cafe, with bright yellow coloured walls, patterned table cloth. There are also two of the photographs of the people she has taken pictures of.

On 20 South Clerk Street, Himalayan Centre owner Reka Gawa, born in India and brought up in Denmark, makes her regional inspirations shine in Edinburgh’s grey and rainy winter.

Among bookshelves overflowing with books, multicoloured Buddhist prayer flags, and a few tables covered with fancy-patterned tablecloths, ten of the pictures taken by Reka herself during her last trip to India are displayed.

This little exhibition is an intimate invitation to step into her world through portraits depicting Indian men and women.

Blending into the background, frames – accompanied with a note or a quote from their characters – seem to engage in a conversation with the guest who thus feels close to these people yet so far away.

Reka highlights: “The exhibition has helped to broaden the visibility of my other culture” Her parents were both born in Tibet but later moved to India. She therefore grew up in Bharat  and kept fuelling her aesthetics through her dual heritage. “Often my customers want to know about the two cultures I grew up with.” While the photos are not for sale at the moment, Reka, on request, would gladly accept to sell some of her pictures to people who were interested. Besides, one day, when she returns to India, she plans to personally hand over their portraits to each of the photographed individuals. As she recounts, “I take pictures of people I feel connected to and often I see something special in them”

The permanent exhibition promises to introduce a couple of brand-new print runs in the following weeks, including pictures of her Edinburgh’s regular customers, for whom she is thankful. 

Photograph via Arthur Brossard, permission given by Artist and owner, Reka Gawa