“Transcendence is a project about the spiritual spheres of people outside of the binary gender labels. Nat Kadaw are spirit mediums in Myanmar. Stemming from pre-Buddhist times, they continue to be popular with the Buddhist population. Although traditionally a role carried on from mother to daughter, it is now a respectable role in society for the gay and trans community as well.
In South Sulawesi, Indonesia, the Bissu are known as the “fifth gender” within Buginese society. Instead of identifying as cisgender men, women, trans-men or trans-women, they see themselves as gender-transcendent. For hundreds of years, they have occupied the traditional role of shaman or priest. Although stemming from pre-Islamic times, the Bissu still play an important part in rituals and ceremonies such as healing the sick, securing crop harvests and blessing pilgrimages to Mecca.” – Marc Ressang
“Marc’s sensitive and evocative work is comprised of two distinct halves – colorful, candid portraits of the Bissu and Nat Kadaw in formal wear, in the clamor of the ceremonies he describes in his series statement; and more subtle, somber portraits of those same people alone in the natural landscape. It is these contrasts in setting, energy, color palette and his deft control of light and shadow that help present a complex, multi-faceted picture of two communities that acts to challenge our Western preconceptions of gender, and invites reflection on perspectives, rituals and beliefs that may differ to our own.” – Life Framer