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This book of photographs is the edited total of my time photographing from within Hassidic dynasties and Kabbalistic courts of Jerusalem and its environs.
My photographic interest in these subjects began with my curiosity in relation to the resurgence of belief in ‘Practical Kabbalah’. As a journalist, I wanted to explore the renewed faith in this esoteric belief system amongst mainstream Israeli (Jewish) society. Ultimately, the dynamic of that project generated numerous leads into photographing the Hassidic way of life, which in turn evolved into a separate project altogether.
Whilst I never intended to develop a definitive reportage on either subject, the innate visual stimulation of both these subjects kept drawing me back until I had accumulated a sizeable body of work. I exhibited the early part of this work at Yeshiva University Museum, which I entitled ‘The Healing Power of Kabbalah’ (1999). I continued to photograph - primarily amongst Hassidim - until 2003, when I left journalism.
I never expected to do anything with these images and I filed them away until a chance encounter some years later with my printer, Danny Chau. After visiting his new studio in Hong Kong, I thought that it might be time to review my archive and digitally scan the negatives. Once we completed that process, Danny and I noticed that the body of work as a whole possessed an ageless quality. In order to enhance this effect, I asked Danny to add colour digitally to the images (which I originally shot in black and white) as a tribute to the hand painting of early 19th century photographs. At around this time, I was approached by the Israel museum to participate in their exhibition; ‘A World Apart Next Door’.
Following that exhibition and the very positive response to my images I began the process of publishing this book.
24.5 cm X 24.5 cm
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