Spooky scenes from Qingming

Pictures by: 
Gavin Foo

At 5am, the sun was still below the horizon. But some families were already at the Choa Chu Kang cemetery. They were there for the Qingming, or Tomb Sweeping Festival. This annual event brings together the families to remember and honour their ancestors.

There were no lamp posts or spotlights. The entire cemetery was only lighted by the dim moonlight, handheld torches and the occasional car headlights.

I visited the cemetery last weekend and decided to capture a series of photographs that could best depict a sense of eeriness that one could associate with that place.

I saw families offering prayers in relatively small areas with just handheld torches to light the area around them.

So instead of photographing the usual tomb sweeping pictures, I tried to capture something different - from an artistic point of view.

To better portray that sort of calmness, yet with a dash of spookiness, I tried to shoot photographs that our eyes could not naturally see (with no pun intended, of course), by setting my camera to slow shutter speeds, to intentionally blur out movements made by families offering prayers to their loved ones.

The result? Photos that I thought could best illustrate the mood, yet accurately show what was going on.