When you take away the formalities, weddings are just like any other family gathering. A backyard barbeque, a karaoke night, a birthday party. I love moments like this one in the picture, when the stage lights are off and no one is giving a speech. The young ones always take advantage of this time to test out the dance floor. They are surrounded by family who are half watching, half conversing among themselves. Mothers, fathers, and uncles who spoil them since the day they were born. My favourite part of the picture is the handsomely dressed Uncle and the way he forms a triangle with the two dancing girls. I love his swaggy composure: the popped collar, the exposed watch, the way his body is turned and his hand on top of his elegantly crossed knees. Classic.
I think a picture is able to communicate something when all the elements of the picture come together and point at how it should be read. It's the position of the man and altar, the way his head slightly bows and his back turned to us, the shadows and contours of his shoulders, and the single incense that is held so straight but delicately between his fingers. Growing up, we learn to respect our elders, especially those who are no longer with us.
It is at these special family gatherings, celebrating the union of people and families, that this reminder of respect is brought into focus.
Father. Grandfather. The Patriarch of the family is revered and loved. Someone whose presence commands a room and can melt any heart with his soft but reassuring voice. His kids flock toward him, like in this picture, seeking attention and love. Their hands all want to touch a piece of him, to reach him, as if eager to tell him how much they loved him. Almost like a competition. But maybe it’s because his time could be limited, they wonder how many more chances they’ll have to tell him how much he meant to them.
But it’s funny how when we tell someone “I love you,” it’s really meant more as a question. “I love you, do you love me?”
SHOW & TELL