A Living, Growing Photography Exhibition On Malaysia

chinese culture

Memories of Qingming - Part 1

Create: 04/02/2017 - 12:25
Memories of Qingming Fire And Rain

This is one of my favourite photographic memories from the graveyards on Tomb Sweeping Day. 15 days after the Spring Equinox, the Chinese sweep or visit the tombs of their departed loved ones annually.

The weather may be wet and gloomy on that day in 2008, but the Qing Ming Jie (清明节) (or Ching Ming Festival) tradition of burning paper offerings was captured in this image of cold against warmth.

To capture the silhouettes of relatives (strangers) surrounding the tomb and bonfire, I climbed down low on the hilly terrain.

Olympus E-510, 1SO 400, f4.5, 1/320 sec.

There Is No Smoke Without Fire

Create: 02/20/2017 - 14:39
There Is No Smoke Without Fire

This candle stand is the start of the smoke chain in the temple. The devotees light their joss sticks and incense papers here, spreading smoke as they move from the altar to the urn outside.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f2, 1/3200 sec.

#streetphotography #temple #flame #candles #smoke #chinatown #chinesenewyear #cny #sonyalpha #a7r #zeiss

One Moment In Time.

Create: 02/20/2017 - 14:34
One Moment In Time.

Through the doorway: the skywell, sun rays, smoke, spiral joss sticks and ancient Chinese architecture appear like art. It can happen only in that one moment in time when the light, smoke and objects combined perfectly.

Photography Tip: Use a tele lens not just for reach. Here; I used the compression effect of the Sony FE 70-200mm lens to reduce the perceived distance between objects. I wanted the roof to appear nearer to the spiral coils than it actually was.

Flag Vault

Create: 02/19/2017 - 12:40
Flag Vault

Flag Vault.

The Chingay part of the annual Johor Bahru parade is seldom photographed before sunset. By the time the temple procession and floats move into the city, it is usually way past nightfall. To catch the giant flag bearers in daylight, I went to the starting point in a village. That turned out to be near impossible as every surrounding road was closed for the massive event.

Multi Faith And JB

Create: 02/19/2017 - 12:31
Multi Faith And JB

Three years ago I caught the sending off or launch procession for the Chingay Festival from the temple in town to the prayer site off town. The JB Taoist procession passed near the very old Catholic church.

I positioned myself and waited for the juxtaposition of icons from the two different faiths. The annual event took place this morning. There was another religious harmony factor involved which I found out when I visited the church a few days later.

The Hokkiens Are Having A Blast

Create: 02/05/2017 - 13:40
The Hokkiens Are Having A Blast - Pai Ti Kong

It is called the Hokkien New Year in Melaka where the Hokkiens arrived some 500 or 600 years ago. The Pai Ti Kong tradition lives on. It will be a blast midnight tonight. Keep your pets indoor.

Tonight, the Hokkiens will set off enough firecrackers and fireworks to make the world think North Korea launched some nuclear weapons. It's the 'coming out from hiding in sugar cane plantation" syndrome.
Don't let your cats and dogs out tonight as they may be bewildered and wander off until lost.

That Face You Make

Create: 02/04/2017 - 16:49
That Face You Make

While rummaging through the old photoa of Lap Chun from last year, I found some unpublished ones.

One of the monkeys who grabbed a balancing egg from me discovered raw egg is hard to swallow. The face one may make at the mamak when the "sentengah masak" (half-boiled) eggs are too raw.
The old world monkeys or macaques are mischievous and aggressive. Be careful around them as some may run off with your camera bag. This one eventually crouch forward and licked the spilled egg yolk clean.

Sony A7R, ISO 2500, f9, 1/250

#lapchun #lichun #monkeys #egg

Understanding The Chinese Psyche

Create: 01/28/2017 - 15:38
Huat Ah!

It is a Hokkien (Fujian dialect) term you will hear a lot during Chinese New Year. It goes with the Chinese obsession with prosperity and luck in the form of riches via a windfall. Chinese folks like to gamble, be it at home card games, on mahjong tables or at casinos. So "huat" is like a clarion call and a good luck greeting.

Dongzhi 2016

Create: 12/21/2016 - 08:49
Dongzhi 2016

The soup or syrup turned cloudy when I stirred it. Greenish contamination from the natural pandan (screwpine) colouring, I wanted to add Ribena cordial to it. In the end, I went with my mom's suggestion of adding Nescafe and evaporated milk.

Happy Winter Solstice 2016 today. Also known as the Dōngzhì Festival or Tang Chuek or Kor Tung in Chinese culture.

Panasonic Lumix GM-1, ISO 200, f6.3, 1/160 sec.

#foodphototography #dongzhi #tangyuan #chinesefestival #chineseculture #wintersolstice #lumix

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