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Man-Monkey (2013-2017)

When I visited my ancestral temple located near my hometown for a personal visit in 2013, I was cautioned by people nearby to beware of mountain monkeys living around the temple at the top of the mountain. The gang of monkeys block people's way and snatched their belongings, food, and water. I was surprised to see those monkey’s agility. I observed an exciting sight of fun, and a love-hate relationship between man and monkey.

I was stimulated by the whole situation and started photographing these moments. There will always be a fight between man and animal for food, water, space and power. In this temple, the line between man and monkey seems thinner than ever. Since ancient times, we have believed monkeys to be divine characters, as illustrated in mythological stories all over South Asia. Despite worshipping them, people don't want to willingly lose their belongings to the monkeys. I personally see this body of work as a ‘survival of the fittest’, similar to how I, as a photographer, am trying to survive and fit in a competitive modern world.