Last summer we went sketching inside the Sri Krishnan Temple, an hindu temple on Waterloo street in Singapore. We removed our shoes and entered the temple, trying to understand what was going on. Young priests and devotees spoke a very poor English and Chinese so we were all (local sketchers too) a bit in a foreign land. Priests did smile and seemed not to disagree with our sketching activity (photos inside are forbidden) so we spent the whole morning drawing what we discovered was a special ritual: July 24 was Garuda Jayanthi: a celebration of Lord Garuda's birthday.
|Peggy Wong sketched the entrance and the temple as seen from a building opposite in Waterloo street.|
In Waterloo street the Hindu temple and the nearby Chinese temple are two of the oldest buildings of Singapore (late 19° century) surrounded by recent skyscrapers in a commercial and popular district. Garuda with eagle's wings and Hanuman with a monkey face, guard Sri Krishnan temple entrance where you can stop to light joss sticks - a ritual that may have come from Chinese tradition and take place almost the same in Chinese temple aside. As a stronger connection between the two temples, a statue of Guanyin (to whom the Chinese temple is dedicated) is also hosted among other gods inside the Hindu shrine.
|Garuda and Hanuman statues at the temple entrance, by Rita Sabler|
|In Tan Yu Qi drawing, five elements are part of the Puja: water, fire, wood, metal, earth.|
|Simo Capecchi, Garuda Abhisheka|
|Rita Sabler, Garuda Abhisheka|
Before leaving I met a young man who spoke a perfect english and invited him to our next day sketchcrawl: I wished he could help me to add some texts to our drawings. Mr. Siva Gopal Thaiyalan missed our appointment but was so nice to email me weeks later: "Thank you very much for sharing these lovely drawings. The narratives are accurately captured and well documented. I have shared this with the person in charge for the Abhishegam that day and he was absolutely delighted". I was so happy for this opportunity, my first chance of a brief contact with Hindu religion during an extraordinary week in Singapore.
My complete sketchbook in this set.
Rita Sabler's other drawings on her blog.
See ALL PARTICIPANTS DRAWINGS and more photo.
Marc Holmes has been with us too and so was Laurel Holmes who took these photos: