You would have to be made of stone and blind not to fall in love with the interior of the Martin Gropius Bau. From the outside there is no way of guessing how spectacular the interior of the building is, and once you set foot in it, the enormity and beauty of it all leaves you speechless. At least that is how I felt.
You can read all about the colourful history of this fascinating building on their website, but next time you find yourself exploring Berlin, this is something that I would consider a mortal sin if you miss it!
The building, in my opinion, is the very definition of German identity – structured, grounded, geometric and engineering perfection, outwardly dull and stern, but inside draped with artistry, strength, elegance, poetry and philosophy all interwoven into a single powerful soul with a subdued romance and flair. There are no humorous, opulent, or ornate over-decorated elements that turn you off. On the contrary, the sheer lack of trivial details is what defines the space, a perfect pax de deux of light and shadow.
The aim was to visit the exhibit of Nigerian photojournalist Akinbode Akinbiyi, whose travels between Lagos and Berlin have provided the world with a unique perspective. His captures are simple, no frills, not even provocative, but emotional, raw, and to some extent, even shy. It was a rare treat to view the work of an African photographer, even more so one whose soul is split between his native Nigeria and adopted home of Berlin. Somehow, Akinbinyi’s affection for the sea and yearning for the homeland was something I found easy to identify with.
I walked away with so much more than photographic impressions. I left with a dream in my head and an inspiration. This is where I want to exhibit my work someday, if and when I ever get sufficient recognition to merit a spot in these grand halls. But hey, every dream has to start somewhere on the ground, plant the seed and watch it grow.