A small follow up to y last post about this celebration
Above is mister Lee Kum Yuen, he is the current master and son of the master who brought this Kung Fu / Lion Dance style in Singapore. There is a very interesting video here https://youtu.be/kZq6iGxfWUo.
I shot a couple of rolls with the Leica M4 and either the Summaron 35mm F2.8 (the one with Goggles) or a Summicron 50mm v5.
Above is the typical Lion Dance troupe transport, a lorry used the rest of the week for hardware work.
Below the troupes gathering before climbing up the slope to the part of the temple where the celebration takes place. (Did I mention if the other post the temple is massive?)
The slope is tough, the sun is hot, and yes they drum up-hill
Below starts the celebration directed by a monk,
below the final parade and one minute drumming of all the troops together.
The color shots are Kodak Portra 400, the black and white are Ultrafine Extreme 400, hand-rolled.
Oh yes if you want to see more, come back soon, I also did a certain number of digital shots as well.
The Lion dance troupes from the Zhoujia style go each year to Bright Hill temple for Qingming celebration to honor their founder. The Zhoujia is a special form of Lion Dance, which is very energetic, founded in Singapore, there are very interesting videos on the history of this martial art, coming from the south China King-Fu. Mister Li, in his 80’s is he current master and the son (or grand son) of the founder
The Qingming or Ching Ming festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day in English (sometimes also called Chinese Memorial Day or Ancestors’ Day).
The troupes gather at the bottom of the slope getting up to one of the temple courtyards (for those who do not know Bright Hill temple, it is a massive compound), they run up one by one up the steep slope (and very sunny last week).
The lion dancers perform around the yard at the sound of drums and pray as different shrines before ending before a table laid with offerings. They then move aside and align waiting for the other troupes to parade as well. A total of 6 groups were present this day.
Afterwards there will be some common praying to the ancestor, Kung-Fu demonstration , a full minute of full strength drumming and a final tour.
Not very easy to shoot action with the Hassie.
For Buddhists Vesak Day marks the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. This is my very first time at Bright hill temple ; it is a huge compound in the center of Singapore.
Bright Hill temple also known as Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, is famous for the “3 Steps 1 Bow ceremony” on the eve of Vesak Day.
Above are monks who are opening the procession. The ceremony starts at 5pm and takes 2 and half hours to complete ending with the monks back in the main hall blessing the devotees with water.
Monks are followed by lay people who will queue all evening and a big part of the night. One people I know said he will go at 3am.
Below people queuing at the start of the procession
The main halls are also the occasion to pray and give offerings; mostly candles.
During the day itself, ritual is generally the bathing of the Buddha.
Most shots done with Leica M262 and Summicron 28mm, close ups with Elmarit 90mmF2.8.
Some film shots (with black border) done with Leica M6 on Fuji Xtra 800ISO with same lenses.
How to get there: Bright Hill is quite central (like in the middle of the island) but may take some time to reach. You can get a bus there (check gothere.sg) which will take close to one hour from CDB or take a cab (more of less 15 SGD).
Devotees and temple staff are quite photo friendly, so as long as you are decently dressed and don’t go in the middle of ceremony you feel welcome to shoot. There is actually a small crowd of photographers.
10 to 22nd of March was the Singapore Design Week, and during the week-ends were some Design trails, taking visitors through Design landmarks in the city-state.
We join the trail on the last Sunday,and had a first stop around our house at the Lloyds Inn, a recently renovated boutique hotel around the corner from where we live. The inside of the hotel is out-of-bounds but the garden and outside architecture is worth a look.
In a small portion of the garden is a kind or art installation, good opportunity for a close up with the Hassie.
The trail is quite well organized and a minibus was bringing visitors from one place to the next. This being sunday a couple of places were closed unfortunately. We head next to the Working Capitol on Keong Saik Road, near Chinatown. This is a very nice classic building converted into a shared working space for individual entrepreneurs and start-ups.
A bit more close up action on a showcased jewelry stand
Out final stop was up Pearl Hill, on what’ snow called number 195, but was called “the upper barracks” from the time it was housing the Sikh officers of the colonial police (I imagine the non officers were in the lower barracks). This is also a beautiful colonial era building, but which nowadays is more or less left to its own dereliction. Very close to the city center it would make a beautiful area for art display or as the Working Capitol for housing start-ups.
We met a very nice young couple doing calligraphy to the greatest joy of my son.
Al pictures taken with the trusty Hasselblad 500Cm and the 80mmF2.8. Some pictures (interior) with Kodak Tri-x 400, others with Ilford PAN 50.
The Working Capitol
Design Singapore Council