Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Maika Elan: Thaipusam Festival

Photo © Maika Elan-All Rights Reserved

Photo © Maika Elan-All Rights Reserved

I really can't describe Maika Elan's recent photography style with certitude, and don't know if it really fits neatly in a category...but what I do know is that it's ingeniously creative.

First off, Maika's birth name is Nguyen Thanh Hai, and is a freelance photographer from Hanoi. Her photography was recognized with a number of awards, and she's currently working hard on completing her long term project...The Pink Choice, in which she documents gay life in Vietnam and elsewhere.

Maika attended the Thaipusam festival held at the Batu Caves, near Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and decided that, rather than documenting this festival in a traditional editorial style, she would try to fuse the festival's ancient rituals and tradition with modern images of Western culture. She did so by photographing popular culture magazines, and then double exposed these with her images made during the Thaipusam festival.

The result is an intriguing collection of images which, if you peer at them closely enough, will reveal faint images of Western models superimposed on Maika's photographs of Thaipusam scenes.

You may prefer to view her gallery on Invisible Photographer Asia.

When I heard she was on her way to photograph the festival, I was certain she'd come up with an unorthodox way of documenting it her way...a la Maika. Yes, that's what I ought to call her style...the Maika style.