The Lure of the Bright Lights

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This is a short story about a dreamer, or rather it's the beginning of a story about a dreamer. It comes from backstage at the Chinese Opera, a place where...

Dancing Through Fire

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This past week, I had reason to think about equivalents, particularly what that means to photography, but also what it means to music, to poetry, to painting and drawing. Minor...

Before the Show

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The sound of the nomadic Tuareg people of Mali is still echoing through the city as I write this. Theirs is a music that comes from time, that comes from...

Nine from the magical 8th

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The eighth day at the Nine Emperor Gods festival is a comfortable one. The established patterns linger amidst the anticipation of the finale on the ninth. The day’s rituals are…

Mediums in Action

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Protecting the sacred space of the festival is the priority of the rituals held on Days 3, 6 and 9. These rituals are designed to honour the 5 Taoist Generals…

Renewal (version 2018)

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I always wonder how we got here, once again, so quickly. This is the beginning; the cycle of renewal; new energies layered on top of the years gone by. On the…

OF THIS PLACE

An Exhibition about the “Datuk”

George Town Festival 2017

Big, bold and beautiful – the six images along Lebuh Chulia, in front of the Cantonese Association, introduce a Malaysian story that is close to my heart. I’m an historical geographer and the worship of the “Datuk” deity is about as historically geographical as a story can get. It’s about place and spaces and rocks and trees and rivers. It’s about the movement of people and their adaptation to a new environment. It’s about learning about others and respecting place and the values and beliefs that exist there. It’s about co-existing and being neighbours and being grateful for what home has given you.

The images in OF THIS PLACE have been positioned on Lebuh Chulia to draw attention to the current “Chinese” nature of Datuk worship. They are also adjacent to two Muslim mausoleums, that reflect the association of the Datuk with older, established practices of worshipping the holy man.

More information about the images in the links below.

The Datuk – Adaptation to Place

July 25, 2017

The Jugra Connection

July 25, 2017

The Spirit in the Trees

July 25, 2017

Provider and Protector of Prosperity

July 25, 2017

The Datuk – “Orang Bunian”

July 25, 2017

The Datuk – What’s in a Name?

July 25, 2017

How “The Datuk” Found A Home In Malaysia

July 25, 2017

What Goes In To A Datuk House?

July 25, 2017

How To Worship The Datuk

July 25, 2017