A portrait of the Temple of Heavenly Happiness

Thian Hock Keng, the “Temple of Heavenly Happiness” is the oldest Hokkien Chinese temple in Singapore. It was built from 1839-42 and dedicated to Ma Zu, the Chinese goddess of the sea. Sailors would seek her advice before embarking on voyages because of the widely held belief that she could predict the weather. On the morning I produced this short film, I could have used Ma Zu to predict the weather conditions for my shoot. I awoke early, planning on utilizing the morning light. So much for planning in tropical Singapore. On the way to the location, the sky opened up and I suddenly found myself in the middle of a torrential downpour. Instead of instructing my taxi driver to turn around and head back to the flat, I decided to take this opportunity to document a most tranquil setting despite the rain. And because there were no tourists getting in my way due to the cloudburst, I ended up capturing a rare and unique moment at Thian Hock Keng. -Rick Macomber

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