Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mexico City - Blue House

My travel motivation often comes from film. I had been dreaming about Mexico City since I watched the film Frida (2002). The images in the film are just unforgettable: the vibrant colors of Mexican architecture, the spectacular pyramids of Teotihuacan, and of course the imaginative paintings by Frida...I became more eager to see Mexico after seeing Sergei Eisenstein's fabulous documentary Que Viva Mexico! (1932) in which he captured the Mexican charm at its purest.

The 'blue house' where Frida grew up has become today's Frida Kahlo Museum. It's located in Coyoacán, a cultural neighborhood in the south of the city. Eisenstein was actually a friend of Frida and her husband Rivera, and visited them in this house before.

Before stepping into the exhibition rooms, I was already overwhelmed by the beauty of the courtyard: the bright blue stucco walls against textured grey stones, surrounded by evergreen tropical plants and primitive sculptures. A video of Frida dressed in traditional costume dancing around the courtyard was being played at one corner. The more I walked around, the more alive Frida appeared to be.

The interior houses her paintings, artifacts, photos and letters. The large and bright studio on the second floor offers perfect views into the courtyard. The dried oil colors were still lying on the table...

Wherever you go, the space is full of art, life, beauty and modesty. It was the first time I was so moved by vernacular architecture instead of a starchitect's works.

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