This portfolio is to capture the atmosphere with the expressions of Hindu devotees during the Kumbh Mela, the largest religious event on earth that hosts over ten million pilgrims. As translated literally to mean the gathering of spiritual bathers, the Kumbh Mela takes place in turns on four sacred rivers which the Hindus believe can wash away their sins and release them from the cycle of rebirth. In the event, while thousands of Hindu saints, or Sadhus, were certainly the main attraction of the public, I also focused on capturing the expressions of common devotees. Vast crowds of Hindus taking holy dips along the riverbank, Sadhus giving blessing to pilgrims and disciples surrounding their spiritual mentors -- the whole scene was chaotic, overwhelming and reverent.
Originally being educated as an engineer, Yan Li received his Ph.D. degree from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX in 2012. In his journeys around the world, Dr. Li focuses on interacting with locals, gaining deep insight into the society, and capturing the fascinating yet vanishing cultures. He shares his photography portfolios to highlight the challenges which our culture diversity is facing during the rapid urbanization and globalization. He is the winner and finalist of various prestigious awards, including the International Photography Awards (IPA), the Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3), the Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) and the National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year.