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 in 2012. His solid knowledge of technologies, engineering and industry makes him understand what is transforming people’s lifestyles in the Information Age. He has the passion of traveling worldwide to admire the diversities on earth which are unfortunately facing challenges during the rapid urbanization and globalization. His photographic work focuses on capturing the fleeting moments of human experience, revealing personal stories of peoples, and documenting the fascinating yet vanishing cultures. 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.