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Ich und Du

Mar 23, 2024 ~ May 25

Contemplation and Encounter By Gu Zheng Viewing Stanley Fung's photography, it is impossible not to think of a series of statements by Martin Buber, a German philosopher of modern religion, in his classic book Ich und Du, which I studied early. However, when I reread it this time, I felt nothing necessary could be said about Fung's photography. Although Buber's discussion of the “I-Thou” relationship didn’t refer to photography with even one word, it seems to have fully understood the mystery of the “I-Thou” relationship embodied in Fung's portrait photography. Honestly, I am terrified of narrowing Buber's universal and inclusive “I-Thou” discourse by my understanding. Still, paradoxically, it applies so well to Fung's portrait photography practice, thus further proving the universality of Buber's philosophy. Photography, particularly portraiture, is a fundamental way to be acquainted with people. This approach is also a process of knowing, understanding, and comprehending between the photographer and sitter. Portrait photography is also an attempt to transform the object from the pure other into the integrity of “I” and “Thou”, which contain each other simultaneously. This process may fail when the photographer lets go of the ego and tries to accept the other entirely. Still, it is incredibly vital for those who love others by photography. As Buber said, “It is itself ready on every occasion to become Thou for them, and open up the world of Thou—no; it is not ready: it continually approaches and touches them.” (Buber, I and Thou, trans. Ronald Gregor Smith, Hesperides Press, 2008, p.42) With peace and serenity, people in Fung's photos have superficial and external differences. Yet, they are all the sublimation and transcendence of photographer Stanley Fung after getting close to and touching the people in front of him through photography and rebuilding the “I-Thou” relationship. “(So too in...



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Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai presents Aura of poetry on July 12th. Artists invite viewers to enter into a poetic space; seeking the crack in time in our fast paced and intense urban environment and find refuge in... 详情