Pascale Monté-Papée showcases a series of diverse historic, cultural and religious portraits from India and Burma, in an all-new exhibition titled ‘Soul of Asia’.
A world traveler and esteemed artist, Pascale Monté-Papée is an avid photographer who’s seen and captured a great deal of the world. Having lived in China, Senegal and Saudi Arabia, the Singapore-based shutterbug graces the lion city republic’s shores once again with an all-new exhibition, entitled ‘Soul of Asia’.
Seeking to uncover the mysteries of each intimate, unconscious and emotional encounter, Pascale Monté-Papée showcases a series of diverse historic, cultural and religious portraits from India and Burma. Through depicting “authentic and lively places”, Pascale’s subjects are a matter of fate.
What is the meaning of « Soul of Asia » the title of your next exhibition?
“Soul of Asia” is an imaginary name for me. The largest continent on earth, which includes countries such as China, India, Japan, Burma, and the countries of the Middle East. These countries are extremely different in their history, culture, religion and their diversity. By daring to speak of the soul of Asia and starting with India and Burma, I plan to give them a very special place. As a photographer, beyond what is palpable in a photo, what I seek to reveal in a portrait, in a look, is this part of the invisible, of the mystery which come from the intimate, from the unconscious, the emotions, and the chemistry of an encounter.
Even, if I have a preference for black and white, for “Soul of Asia” with regards to India and Burma, I wonder how it would have been possible to testify of these profusions of colours and lights …. Without colour ! In India, they are bright and luminous: saris, turbans, house walls, spices, tuk-tuks and even the horns of sacred cows. Without counting all the symbolism of colours. For example, a woman in Rajasthan who wears a yellow sari is the symbol of the renewal and the birth of an heir. Yellow is also the colour of divine light. In a different style, Burma is a country of a thousand colours with its five hundred thousand monks dressed in their garnet or saffron robe, the nuns dressed in gold and pink, the transparent and blue waters of Inle Lake, the rice fields, the ethnic groups each with their colourful traditional costume, the betel red smiles and the famous beauty secrets of Thanaka.
How do you choose your characters?
I do not have a pre-established program, I am just looking for authentic and lively places, where we meet the inhabitants: atmospheres of markets or stations, places for walks in the countryside with the activity of the villagers. I work a lot with intuition, crush, in the snapshot. I like to be surprised by the beauty of a look, the emotion of a smile, an expression, a moment of complicity.