Tourist of My own Town: Kwan Yin Temple

New things. Humans are inherently obsessed with the discovery of something new, novel: exotic flavour that tickles the taste bud, grandiose scenery that feasts the visual sensors. It is of little wonder that travelling is the national past time of countries all over the world.

I am not saying that's a bad thing; I personally love the thrill of travelling and photographing the diversity of the World. Nonetheless, I fear that the wanderlust blinds me to something more immediate and intimate: my own hometown. Hence begins my long term project: Tourist of My own Town.

Klang, My hometown, the cliche Land of Bah Kut Teh, is the Royal Seat of Selangor Sultans and used to be a busy port along the Straits of Malacca. The large amount of Chinese Merchant population subsequently leads to construction of places of Taoism worship, and one of which is the Kwan Yin Temple of Klang Town. 

 

It is situated opposite Hin Hua Secondary School and below the elevation where the City Adminstration Centre (Majlis Perbandaran Kelang) is located. The temple hosts the deity of Kwan Yin of Taoism and has a history of well past a century.

I appreciates and admires the architecture and motifs of the Temple. They are complex, colourful, yet wonderfully complements one another harmoniously to produce an atmosphere of peace and prosperity. 

The heritage Kwan Yin Temple continues to attract believers from all walks of life and various parts of Malaysia (and even some Singaporeans!) made their pilgrimage to the temple to offer their prayer and incense to the many Taoist deity.

Documentary photography is all about telling the story of a place and I simply love the challenge that it poses. Not only the wide view of the location must be presented, the details within must also be preserved and be captured as artistically as possible. One of my absolute favourite shot is the wafting smoke of incense below. The direction of the smoke, the wind speed and the lighting of the scene are all crucial for this photo and I tried for 20 minutes just to get the shot.

Wafting Smoke of Incense

Here's another photo of a person burning joss paper where I waited and tried multiple times to get the flame and hand gestures right (this time presented in monochrome due to high contrast of the scene). 

Beauty is in our everyday life, even in one's own hometown that are deemed mundane by others, or even our doubting selves. We are just not slowing down our pace and turning our eyes towards the little wonders of our lives. 

So here's one tribute to the Heritage of Klang Town, the Kwan Yin Temple. Till next time ;)