×
Photographs by Alexander Lim for Rice.

Last week’s Miss International Queen 2016 smelt like years of cigarette smoke peeling off the walls, flashes of perfume and the sweat of anticipation.

“10 more minutes!” they called from the stage. We ran to the back to see sequins and hope sparkle under a single flourescent tube.

The ladies wait to be called on stage, each one hoping to be crowned.
Every contestant walks with the weight of heavy hope, as they visualise themselves on stage, projecting who they really are, to an eager crowd.
A friend steals a moment with one of the night's most celebrated contestants.
Contestants get ready to enter the hall, as supporters look on, ready to help.
Couldn't help but feel that some wished the night would loop for an eternity.
We all want to look perfect in our bodies. I think.
A moment of calm as the contestants wait.
Many contestants had elaborate costumes, and with the confines of Mana Mana's walkway, some had to avoid elaborate costumes, trains, wings and even a python.
Help came from all sides, for almost every contestant.
Excitement is a hard monster to contain.
RICE Close
© RICE 2016