Whisper to Heaven: About the Project

Whisper to Heaven - Poster

Every New Year, people around the world look forward to the future, make resolutions and wish for good luck, health and prosperity in the year ahead. In the Chinese world, this universal human custom has a religious subtext, as people - rich and poor, young and old alike - rush to the temples on Chinese New Year's eve and in the first days of the Spring Festival to pray to the Gods and ask for protection during the next twelve months. Decorated with red lanterns and filled with the ubiquitous smell of incense, the temples are a very solemn place during this time, as for many people it is their most important visit during the year.

This project, created during the New Years of the Dragon and the Snake, portrays this most auspicious, most intimate and most graceful moment of temple goers, as they grab a joss stick, light it in the fire, hold it up, close their eyes and experience a very personal moment despite the smoke and the crowds around them. Featuring bold close-ups and a strong interplay of the incense's supernatural blues and warm reds as a symbol of luck, it creates an otherworldly, almost dream-like atmosphere on the one hand, while strongly focusing on the human element - the hopes, the wishes and thoughts of people's inner lives that come to the forefront here - on the other hand. By highlighting these universal emotions evident in people's faces, the project draws attention to how we all share similiar hopes and wishes accross borders, languages and cultures. For all people alike, the New Year is a time of hope for a better future - for themselves, their loved ones, society and all of humankind.