A Bit Gruesome

A shot I took at a pasar malam (night market) in Malaysia and it's a bit gruesome...

These night markets are usually fun to walk around on - although after a few you know what to expect - and so was this one, but the scene captured on the photo above I had never seen before on any of the other markets. It struck me for several reasons. One of the reasons being that where I come from and where I shop, the meat is neatly packed and unrecognisable as once being an animal. When buying at this butcher on the pasar malam, you don't get away with the ignorant supermarket bliss, never realising that the meat behind the shiny plastic once had a head. Although I don't think the butcher put it there for that reason. Most likely he wanted to show some degree of freshness to the kill, which might have helped to sell the other parts of the cow, also on display in several trays behind the head.

But I was fascinated with the head for another reason: the eyes were still open, and it actually didn't look dead at all. Rather peaceful I thought. Like it could at any moment let out a satisfied 'moo' - such a nice pasar malam - or lick its lips and nose with its wet tongue (assuming the tongue was still in there). And those two things - the severed head, death and destruction, in combination with this peaceful look - was what fascinated me the most about this scene.

Then I realised I had no idea how a non peaceful look would show on a dead cow's head and I snapped a photo.

Leica M9 with Leica Summilux 50mm f/1.4

Malaysia - 3 October 2014