Rain is inextricably linked to our lives. Rain ruins holidays and relationships, destroys plans and washes away possessions. A warm summer rain pleases the senses, fresh April showers may clean the mind and flood us with feelings. Rain at times even seems to secretly govern the emotional life of our societies. The Rain Museum is the world’s first institution to celebrate this overlooked and euphoric phenomenon.
Rain plays a part in all our cultural life and delivers a powerful narrative device that is used in film, literature, art and music. The impossibility to escape rain is a metaphor for human vulnerability, and when we end up being totally drenched by a real downpour, we are reminded of how we have to accept the fact that fate soaks us relentlessly.
In literature, film or music heavy rain often corresponds to a heavy outbreak of feeling in the hearts of the protagonists. They might not even be aware of it, but in front of the backdrop of rain they fall in love, fall out of love, hate each other, or scream to the soundtrack of rain beating down on the tin roof. A sudden outbreak of rain can also stand for the return of reason – cooling the maddening influence of extremely hot weather.
Rain can change a mood strongly and quickly. A face that is wet with rain can look like a face covered in tears – rain adds poetic density and depth to situations. One could even say that rain is a general metaphor for emotion itself, emotion that sets in, overwhelms you and maybe stops as uncontrollably as rain.
Interestingly, the country that is generally viewed as the Empire of Rain simultaneously stands for a culture of emotional repression. It seems ironic that the image of Great Britain as the country of rain and umbrella stands in dialectical opposition to the fact that nowhere else feelings are so meticulously hidden as in this wet country. Although the United Kingdom’s image as being the rainiest country of Europe is not meteorologically correct (some areas of the Southeast have fewer annual rainfall than Jerusalem or Beirut) it was, however, inevitable that the world’s first Rain Museum should be located in London, the Capital of Britain.