During his travels to Nepal and India, photographer Alexis Pazoumian became interested in the Sadhus–the holy men who choose to live separated from society in order to focus on a life of spiritual meditation and contemplation. In the project, entitled Sadhu Hundred, each subject exudes a peaceful, reflective character that sits in perfect harmony with their colorful garb, long hair and beards, and painted faces.
Of the 4-5 million who exist, Pazoumian photographed a select few with two stylistic approaches. First, he features each Sadhu as a small speck within a large, surrounding environment. While observing these portraits, viewers may feel like voyeurs, catching a glimpse of a Sadhu in private solitude. Second, Pazoumian got very up-close and personal, creating a tightly cropped portrait of each man’s face and inviting viewers to become acquainted with each subject.
The two contrasting styles create an engaging relationship between viewer and subject and the fascinating cultural exploration sparks a curiosity about the men who chose to live this life of holy solitude. The artist does not provide much information other than a few visual clues and viewers are left to create their own narratives about the lives of each holy man.