Feature

The Funeral

Funeral, Traditional, Jamie Chan, Chinese, Leica, Blogger, Dying trades

Last month, I had the opportunity to cover a traditional Chinese Funeral in Singapore.
It was a humbling and eye-opening experience to be able to document the ceremony as I hardly get to witness such elaborate funerals.

From the outfits, crossing the ‘bridge‘ to the burning of the paper house, this is something you do not see everyday and perhaps even a dying tradition given that most are opting for a simpler funeral.
I would like a tequila bar and a nice band at my funeral.

I am really intrigued that there is a meaning to every action and I wish I had more time and could learn more about what was going on and the meaning of the songs they were singing.
Although, I have to admit that I was rather terrified of the prospect of offending anyone – spirits included as I feel that this is a rather sensitive subject and I am blessed to bear witness with my Leica.

My images have not scratched the surface of the rich Taoist funeral ritual but rather gives you a glimpse of what goes on; I hope you enjoy them nonetheless.

Funeral, Traditional, Jamie Chan, Chinese, Leica, Blogger, flowers, Singapore

Well wishes

Funeral, Traditional, Jamie Chan, Chinese, Leica, Blogger, Singapore, folding incense paper

Folding paper ‘money’ that will be burned later.

Chinese Funeral, Singapore, Traditions, Hooded women, Leica, Monochrome, Jamie Chan, Photography, Documentary

The traditional outfit for the women of the immediate family.

Chinese Funeral, Singapore, Traditional, Leica, black and white, movements, spirits, hooded woman

Moving across

Chinese Funeral, Singapore, Traditional, Leica, black and white, praying

Lighting an incense before reading out the names on the boxes

Chinese Funeral, Singapore, Traditional, Leica, offerings

Bringing the offerings to the burn site

Chinese Funeral, Singapore, Traditional, Leica, Jamie Chan, Hitting the ground with sticks

Calling upon the spirit to collect his offering

Chinese Funeral, Singapore, Traditional, Leica, Jamie Chan, Blogger, Burning, fire, offering

The huge fire

Chinese Funeral, Singapore, Traditional, Leica, Jamie Chan, spirits

Watching the flames for the last time

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The funeral tent.

0 replies »

  1. This post is really tastefully done. Generally photography during funeral feels disrespectful but you’ve done it in a way that preserves a memory of saying goodbye. It reminds me of my grandfather’s funeral (we also had a traditional funeral)

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