Divine Encounters (Hardcover)

Sacred Rituals and Ceremonies in Asia

By Hans Kemp

Visionary World Ltd, 9789881493927, 400pp.

Publication Date: August 12, 2019

List Price: 79.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


- Sacred rituals from all over Asia appear for the first time in book form- An intense look at an Asia hiding in plain sight- Magnificent color photography by highly acclaimed photographer- Background information on ceremonies and festivals together with images depicting the ceremonies in detail make the book a valuable source for both lovers and students of Asian culture alikeAt first sight, Asia's rich and enigmatic culture seems to have fallen victim to the headlong pursuit of material wealth and the onslaught of the fast-food lifestyle. But look more closely and cracks in the glossy veneer of progress are appearing. Fissures reveal the remarkable survival of age-old traditions and customs, in spite of, or perhaps more accurately, precisely as a result of the rising tide of globalization and the resulting cultural alienation. For many people throughout Asia, life's crucial decisions such as marriage, moving to a new city or the purchase of property, are too important to be left to the rational mind alone. There are other, more ethereal, forces at work. Spirits and deities are ubiquitous, their beneficent or malevolent nature can express itself at any time. As a hedge against future uncertainties these spirits need to be placated, worshipped and feted. And should misfortune strike, a healer or shaman navigates the spirit realms in search of a cure. Divine Encounters is a photographic odyssey exploring an Asia hiding in plain sight, resilient and vibrant. For just behind the neon signs, the marble and stainless steel facades, the luxury cars and glitzy shopping malls, lies a different world. A world revealing itself through elaborate spirit rituals, blood-curdling ceremonies and exuberant festivals taking place all over the continent. No book touching upon a subject so rich can ever claim to be exhaustive. What I present here is only a cross-section, covering such stalwart centers of spirit interactions as the forests of Papua New Guinea and the grasslands of Mongolia, but also including densely populated Hong Kong, industrialized Japan and the tropical beach paradise of Phuket in Thailand.

About the Author

Award-winning Dutch photographer Hans Kemp is the author of seven photography books including the acclaimed Bikes of Burden, an ode to Vietnam's load-carrying motorbikes, a bestseller with more than 100,000 copies sold in four languages. Other titles include Ardent Eye and Burmese Light. Kemp's images from Asia have appeared in TIME, Discovery Magazine, Reader's Digest, GEO (Germany), Asahigraph (Japan), South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and a host of other international magazines. His photographs of Vietnam, printed on postcards, have reached millions of people around the world.