The series Melankólia (‘Melancholy’) Satijn Panyigay made in Hungary. Her father is a Hungarian, but he doesn’t feel like one. He was born in the Netherlands just after his parents fled there during the Hungarian uprising in 1956 and grew up there. On the other hand, Panyigay never felt entirely Dutch.She went back to Hungary several times to explore her roots. When she was there, she fell in love with the country, its drabness and gloom and discovered that it must be the origin of her often melancholic heart.
The atmosphere, which is so palpable in the places she visited in Hungary, refers back to her familiar melancholy.In dark colours Panyigay photographed sober spaces and places that refer to the feelings of loneliness and sadness. With capturing silence in seemingly unpersonal in- and exteriors she shows a contaminated emptiness. She searches for images that show tranquility together with a depth. A certain heavy vision on the ordinairy, but without wanting to fight that.
A new development in her work is admitting sunlight, creating subtle hope and wonder that shine through.A Hungarian proverb says: ‘The Hungarian has fun when he cries’. That familiarity with heaviness is an ongoing theme in Panyigay’s work.