Radiant Traces: A Photographic Consideration of Sadhus

Photography is a referent medium. While a photograph is a physical object with its own ontology, the image depicted references a moment that has already ended. The mobility of a photograph relies on the divide between presence and absence, the material and the ephemeral. This photographic essay considers the tensions and parallels of such divides in photographing and photographs of sadhus, holy men who wander throughout East Asia. Sadhus relinquish worldly possessions in the name of spiritual pursuits, surviving on whatever the divine provides. The following images illustrate both their radiant spiritual presence, and the trace of a material boundedness.