This is a follow up of my last port about the Monkey God temple birthday in Tiong Bahru. These pictures were taken with a roll of Provia 400F given to me by KC Eng. It is expired since 2008, but I did not check at the time and shot it at 400 with Leica M6 and Summicron 50.
Ths shots were processed at Analog Lab and scanned at home ; they turned out quite okay. Maybe the overcast weather did not allow for a more reach color palette.
Birthdays have the habit of coming back every year, so for the third time I think I find myself at the TIONG BAHRU QI TIAN GONG temple in the area of Singapore called Tiong Bahru for the birthday of the temple. One of my friends reminded me of the event and I was super happy it was at a time where I could attend.
This is a Taoist temple, a popular faith in Singapore among the Chinese population. I still don’t know much about the Taoist faith and practice, so i won’t try to explain it here. The spirits and gods have a great place in the faith and they are honored through offerings like Chinese Opera, joss paper bonfires, ..
The celebration involved lions dances, a dragon dance troop, musicians, as above and below. Singaporeans say that Taoist are noisy. I think I have some old shots of the gentleman below.
The person that looks to be the man in charge posing with the lions and some banners.
Meanwhile across the street, the porters of the gods sedan chairs are taking some rest.
I shot 2 rolls of Tri-x (one above, one below this paragraph), one roll or Provia 400H (in between) and hundreds of digital pictures using the magic combo, Leica M6 for film and the M262 for digital; for lenses I brought the 50 cron, mostly on the M6, the 35cron mostly the M262 then. I also brought along the 90mm Elmarit for a few digital portraits.
At that moment the gods starts to be carried in 3 sedan chairs to the place where the bonfire will be lit.
Below some of the carriers of the three sedan chairs.
I don’t know if they are really heavy but the guys are relaying each others regularly.
This write up is about the film shots and should be called “You are all my favorites”. It found very difficult to select between the shots. I have included the shots of the two Tri-x rolls, I will do another small article about the Provia roll which has its own story.
We now arrived at the field where the bonfire will be lit, a small crowed is gathered. Led the the Taoist priests.
One of the gods chair with the idol in the middle.
I felt very lucky last week when a friend of my wife told us a bout a fire dragon performance organized by a temple in Balestier area in Singapore. In 9 years here I have never seen such a thing and was very thrilled to see one.
The Fu De Gong temple is located in Kim keat lane, very easy to access by bus. I have been told by the friendly member of the temple that this is a taoist temple. I did not see the actual temple as we arrived at night fall and the premises were covered by the tent hosting the celebration.
There was maybe a couple of hundred people attending, on one side of the tent was a stage with a Cantonese opera (or wayang) on the other side a large shrine and in the middle an area for the performances.
When we arrived a very good quality lion dance was in process and we enjoyed for a good half hour until the riot begin. From the end of the road the Dragon was approaching; with music and flames; until it finally enters the tent (but that’s another story)…
Singapore Yu Huang Gong celebrate the Feast Day of the Heavenly Jade Emperor (Yu Huang Shang Di).
Sunday the 17th of February 2013 was the 9th day of the year of the snake. The 9th Day of Chinese New Year Festival is the Birthday of King of Heaven aka the Jade Emperor the main deity of Taoism.
This day we went for a walk in Telok Ayer Street, to see if there was any activity in Thian Hock Keng temple. The temple itself was pretty quiet, but it gets us the opportunity to take better notice of the neighboring Yu Huang Gong Temple of Heavenly Jade Emperor.
This temple is actually attached to the Thian Hock Keng temple to the right when you face the entrance. The building has been under renovation for a long time now, and I have not seen any signs that it could be visited. Outside however, activities are regularly undertaken, like of that day.
As explained by the Presentations of Monuments Board Website this building also known as “Keng Teck Huay, was founded in 1831 by Hokkien Peranakan merchants from Malacca . … The rear building still serves as an ancestral hall and the Pagoda is used for the worship of the Jade Emperor, the main deity of Taoism”
So that Sunday a celebration was held outside of the temple, a tent was set-up in the side that goes to the small park to Amoy Street.
We arrived at the point where after prayers the devotees were purchasing (it seems) offerings and bringing them to the place to burn them. Burning the offering send them to the afterlife where ancestors will receive them.
All pictures taken with the Zorki C, with the Industar 50mmF3.5, the rangefinder is still broken so I used the guess-o-meter. You can still spot the flare of the Industar and some potential light leaks.Film was Kodak TriX 400 iso and light measured with Sekonic 380; processing by the lab scanned with Epson v500.
A note for Taoist friends: I just wanted to give here rough indications of what is seen on the pictures and I’m not well versed in your faith. Please fell free to correct or complete the above.