UNIQUE: Photographer-turned-monk Ajahn Cagino captures the ascetic lives of the Buddhist monks
IPOH: RARE photos of forest monks wandering through the jungles of Thailand were shown in a public exhibition here recently.
Some 90 still images captured by photographer-turned-monk Ajahn Cagino offers a glimpse into the ascetic lives of Buddhist monks following the Thai Theravada tradition.
The two-day event, organised by the Malaysian Buddhist Association, was also aimed at raising funds for Cagino's Dhammagiri Foundation, for an orphanage in Mae Hong Son in northern Thailand.
Before being ordained, Cagino had been an award-winning photographer who graduated from the Malaysian Institute of Art in Kuala Lumpur.
He was born Lau Yong Fang in Seremban and decided to embrace monkhood at the age of 27.
His photographs were taken over a span of 14 years, in which time, Cagino roamed as a forest monk across some 4,000 kilometres.
In a written preface for the exhibition, he said he had picked up the camera again "not for fun, but to capture the spirit of these wandering forest monks to convey the pure teaching of the Buddha through images.
"May these photos serve as a source of inspiration for meditation and a spiritual guide to the teachings of the Buddha," he said.
Cagino's photographs are scheduled to be featured in a final exhibition in Johor before he returns to his forest life in Thailand.
Malaysian Buddhist Association Youth division chairman Low Guo Nan said Cagino is also expected to return here at the end of the month for a dhamma-sharing session with Ipoh folk at the Bercham Sukhavana Centre.
For more details, visit Cagino's fan page known as the Photographic Journey of the Dhammafarers by Ajahn Cagino on Facebook.com