Monday, May 28, 2012

SAJA Award Finalist

I just found out a feature I worked on last year with National Post reporter Stewart Bell about human smugglers in Bangkok has been nominated as a finalist for Outstanding Enterprise Reporting by the the South Asian Journalists Association:
The 4 part series investigated a smuggling network in Bangkok that is responsible for bringing Sri Lankan  refugees to Canada. More can be seen on the Post's site:


Here's a portrait I liked from a shoot last week in Bangkok with acclaimed Thai fashion designer Polpat Asavaprapha, the man behind the label Asava. It was a really tight space and luckily there were these amazing sheets of patterned cardboard lying around which we constructed into a photo booth. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Culinary Revolution On Koh Samui

Sometimes work is just heavenly... especially getting to work on an assignment like this after choking on pollution for a week in India's coal mines. I was sent to Koh Samui by Fah Thai to do a feature on the amazing food scene there. It was a blissful week of lounging at the W Retreat and peeling myself away from the beach at night to enjoy 5 course meals from michelin star chefs at some of the island's finest restaurants. Unfortunately some of my favourite shots didn't make the spread. Some outtake below...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Portfolio On Redux Site

Really excited to have been selected as one of the new featured contributors with Redux Pictures. Portfolio, bio and a couple series can be viewed up here:

Angampora in Sri Lanka

Here's a feature that was just published that I wrote and shot for Readers Digest. For centuries, Sri Lankans fought off the advances of Indian rule using an ancient form of human combat called Angampora. Shrouded in mystery, Angampora – meaning ‘bare hand fighting’ – is a self-defence system that incorporates medicine and places an emphasis on humility in which students are forbidden to spar or share their knowledge.  But following the fall of the island to the British, the martial art was nearly all but wiped out and its practice was strictly prohibited. Angampora schools were burnt down and those caught practicing were shot in the knees. As a result of the prohibition, the martial art soon became obscure as ancient scrolls were hidden and teaching was limited to secret lessons handed down from father to son. Today, however, thanks to Master Karunpala,who is widely regarded as Sri Lanka’s Bruce Lee, this most fabled martial art is making its way back onto the streets.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dr. Porntip for Readers Digest

It was a real privilege to get the opportunity to shoot Dr. Porntip who is Thailand's chief forensic investigator and a bit of a celebrity here for her punk rock getup and outspoken support of human rights. Inspired by Dexter, we sacrificed my white bed sheet to achieve this blood splatter effect. The blood was made from soy sauce and food dye and applied using a syringe. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Takraw in Bangkok

This was a feature I shot a few weeks back for the Singapore Airways inflight magazine on takraw. The sport of sepak takraw combines the precision of volleyball, the disciplined movements of kung fu, and the dazzling aerial kicks of football. Though it looks and scores like volleyball, players are only permitted to use their feet, head, knee and chest to strike the rattan ball and this is what gives the sport its flair. With 3 players on each team, the sport is highly competitive and fast paced with the rattan ball reaching speeds of up to 100km/hr.

And a few other shots I liked that didnt make the spread...

Friday, May 11, 2012

Udaipur Palace in Newsweek International

A photo I took of the Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur's Lake Pichola was just featured in Newsweek International.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Stealing Beauty in Applied Arts Photo Annual

Pleased to announce one of my environmental portraits from the Burmese Stealing Beauty series has been awarded in the editorial category of the Applied Arts Photo Annual.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stealing Beauty in Myanmar's Chin State

This portrait series is part of a larger personal project - Stealing Beauty - exploring the dying tradition of facial tattooing among females in Asia. I wrote this feature for Fah Thai focusing on the history of the tradition told through Daw Blaint, the last woman of the Chinbo tribe who adorns a tattoo. They didn't include her in the spread but she's pictured below (2nd portrait).

The sparsely populated Chin State is home several subgroups all calling themselves Zo-mi meaning 'mountain people.' Separated from the rest of Myanmar by mountains and being a travel restricted State for foreigners, the Chin have little contact with the modern world. Historically the Chin were adored for their beauty and King's would come to villages to steal men's wives. As a measure against their women being stolen, village elders started tattooing teenage girls to make them 'ugly'. The tradition stuck and over generations eventually lost it's original meaning of ugliness and came to represent courage, beauty and strength. However, as these traditional groups began moving outside their villages, the struggle between tradition and modernity has placed tribal Chin culture under increasing threat of being absorbed by the dominant Burmese. Unique language, customs and dress have been abandoned. Under this pressure to assimilate, the practice of facial tattooing has also been discontinued. Currently there remain only a handful of women adorning facial tattoos. Below are some other environmental portraits.