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nepal

bhaktapur

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rediscovered these images from bhaktapur which i forgot to share. thanks to liyana for the reminder!


last images from nepal

i can claim lethargy and POISD (post overseas internship stress disorder)* but the truth is i just don’t really feel like writing. i hope you enjoy the images though.

from my trek in langtang

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from my shoot with scott mason, founder of parahawking

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from the streets —

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*not medically documented.

see more of my photography while in nepal here.


last stop

this series was made a while back in february, and i am at liberty to only share it now because it just got published.

MECHANICAL GRAVEYARD: Trolley buses lie in a decrepit state of disrepair at their depot in Min Bhawan. The trolley bus system, when started in 1975, was touted as a key component of public transportation in Kathmandu. They were taken offline in 2001. A peek into its past and present:

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MAOIST MANIFESTATION: Maoist slogans and graffiti can be spotted all around the bus park. The bus park was home to members of the Young Communist League up till recent times.

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SELF-ANNULLING PROPHECY: A bold claim plastered to the side of a trolley bus.

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MAKE YOUR OWN BED: An unmade bed inside a trolley bus suggests continuing utility. This ‘makeshift hostel’ was probably how YCL cadres were accommodated once.

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OLD SCHOOL, NEW SCHOOL: The bus park has been transformed into a terminal where electric tempos are charged and serviced after work.

look here for more posts direct from nepal.


blowtorching a chicken & maobaddies in pokhara

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well, stranger things have happened. i was sitting in sujit’s hot sandwich shop (opposite my hotel in pokhara) minding my hot tuna and cheese sandwich when the lady in the butcher shop beside started working her limp and very dead chickens with a blowtorch.

given the recent shenanigans of the marauding maoists, i suspect that she was trying to make the following points, that (a) she could use a blowtorch and (b) she would use said blowtorch. nice, i like when women take action.

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between sitting in the garden with a badnewspaper or in bed contemplating geometrical variations while nursing a bad stomach, i managed to find time to visit a maoist feeding centre by lakeside and attend one of their rallies. given the kind of people they are, i can understand why they like bandhs (strikes) and rallies so much – they only have to eat, sleep, scream and shout, thrash things and people upside down and most importantly, not shower. nothing like satiating the baser instincts to keep a caveman happy.

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maoist feeding and general r&r zone by lakeside. they couldn’t have chosen a better spot for a picnic. a storm was brewing and lightning exploded the sky when i made this picture. how appropriately ominous.

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under a lobster-red tent, they fed on daal bhaat and “simple foods”, according to one of the them, and them according to him being “simple peoples”.

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they say hunger makes a man mad. this guy was more mad then hungry, i think.

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today marks the end of a bandh that lasted 6 days, much to the chagrin of some maoist cadres who still have the fight in them. the guy in the photo above can put away his cap. frankly, they are facing a dearth of popularity. reports from several parts of nepal told of folks retaliating against maoist force. forcing people against their will to participate in the bandh is not exactly the best way of making friends.

getteth thyself into the ol’ photograms below, ye maoists, for obstinate and obsolete thou have becometh.

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i shot this from the second storey of a half-constructed building. to get there, i had to navigate through seething cadres lining the spiral staircase, agitated by mr. i-have-the-runs-of-mouth below. i have never heard a diatribe so long or irritating in my life. nevermind that i couldn’t understand much of what he was saying. i did catch the names of some locations in kathmandu, so i surmised he was delivering an after-action review to his dear comrades. much like how communist leaders overstated grain harvests and poultry output –¬†same same but different.

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mingling with the crowd, who stared at me and my camera like i was either the bubonic plague or the san franciscan (according to nick cave & the bad seeds) gold rush, i saw crazed youths with young communist league headbands and sticks in their hands. at the other end of the spectrum, there were old men brandishing sticks as well. not walking sticks, mind you, but the kind that goes bam-bam over your head.

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a standard shot of the grand ole standard. only in nepal and with love, xoxo.

p.s. trying to write like kunda-ji is so much fun, reading his stuff even better.

for more crusty (mostly not) posts direct from nepal, click here.


deluge of photos of deluge

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went to the last resort on the 17th and 18th of april for the sundance music festival. the festival was ok. being on the road there and back was far more interesting.

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buses outside the valley are often filled to the brim and beyond. space on the bus is only limited by the number of handholds and one’s imagination.

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loud and brightly-coloured vehicles such as these are the rule, breaking up the monotonous earth tones of the landscape.

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sanjog getting antsy from waiting for the show to start.

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view of the bhote kosi river from a suspension bridge over it.

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kids running across said bridge, much to the annoyance of the rest on it.

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artist catherine biyoka kicks off an abstract art performance to improvised music. this item got the otherwise bored audience to their feet around the performers.

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milan rai, with the nearly completed work, behind.

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this gentleman was watching the performance intently. i was distracted by his bald head.

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nirakar yakthumba, bassist of nepali band 1974 a.d., improvises on the bass.

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milan rai in action.

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just about 40-50km from the last resort on the way back to kathmandu, we hit a landslide on the arniko highway. it had been raining persistently since morning and the landscape was transformed into a mess. traffic was brought to a standstill, and unwilling to sit it out, a few of us decided to leave the bus and cross the landslide on foot. on the other side, we would then seek transport back. following photos from yusuf’s camera.

on the road.

after about 15-20 minutes of walking, we hitchhiked a pickup truck with an open back. it was bad enough that the drizzle was slowly drenching us without needing the driver, who is road maniac first class, cornering as if he was driving a maserati. i can’t say we didn’t have fun though.

just like a mexican illegal immigrant, i was rocking a faux poncho. just need a sombrero to complete the get-up.

i call this look “purepleasurepain”.

more posts direct from nepal here.