To me, the most perfect exhibit among the many wonders of Photo Kathmandu is the one that allows visitors to sit inside a camera; something that I had never done before. This is the camera obscura, created in a first floor room of the Yala Guest House, behind where the Char Narayan temple stood until earlier this year.
Time and space | The Kathmandu Post
by Pranaya SJB Rana
Opposite where the Char Narayan Mandir once stood, before it was felled by the April earthquake, inside a room in the Yala Guest House, is a camera obscura. More installation than exhibition, the Patan Camera Obscura, by Laura Diamond Dixit, Miku Dixit and René Fan, is a surreal experience. You enter a pitch black room, where the only light comes from a small hole cut into wood that covers the entire window. You wait for a couple of minutes and watch as your eyes grow accustomed to the gloom. Once they do, the room comes alive, with the scene outside of the window, reproduced upside down on the walls. People walk on the ceiling and it is as if their shadows are their real selves and they mere reflections.
The Camera Obscura built by Miku Dixit, Laura Diamond Dixit, and Rene Fan show us the origins of the optics, the earliest of cameras, the past. But the curated view they present, is of the fallen Char Narayan temple in the Patan Durbar Square, that speaks of a more recent past - the April and May earthquakes; the present - the current state of Durbar Square; and the future - the plans to rebuild Char Narayan temple.