Thaipusam is an enigmatic festival – mysterious and frenzied. From the few images I had seen, Thaipusam looked like a pilgrimage of a bygone era. I am an avid reader of magazines, and wondered how photographs of the traditional culture and people of Thaipusam would look when exposed in contrast to media images of modern popular culture. I decided to experiment.
Before I went on my first visit to Batu Caves in Malaysia where the festival takes place, I developed a few rolls with images from the magazines I read. I then re-exposed the same rolls in Thaipusam with a curious, nervous expectation of the final outcome.
It’s often been said that we photograph to see what something looks like photographed. This was my exploration of that notion.