In Pensées, the French genius mathematician, scientist, philosopher and theologist from 17 century, Blaise Pascal wrote:
Let man then contemplate the whole of nature in her full and grand majesty…… Man is disproportionate. In fact what is man in nature? A Nothing in comparison with the Infinite, an All in comparison with the Nothing, a mean between nothing and everything. Since he is infinitely removed from comprehending the extremes, the end of things and their beginning are hopelessly hidden from him in an impenetrable secret, he is equally incapable of seeing the Nothing from which he was made, and the Infinite in which he is swallowed up…… Man is only a reed, the weakest of nature, but he is a thinking reed.
Following the dialectical and ethical concerns of man and the nature of Pascal has been the common theme in various works of photographic artist Stanley Fung. “Dust Icons” borrows figures as well as their dramatic life stories from the bible to show the humanity that wavers between the nature and super nature, experience and transcendence, god and demon. His series “Members for One Another” focuses on the interactions of two alien pairs of hands ( male verses female, black verses white ) that changes from being strange to getting intimate, so as to think over everyone’s inevitable moral responsibility of the others, that is a lifelong mission of love. With an open view, the “Mere Straw” series introduces the viewers into a vast piece of grass that moves after the wind to suggest us ponder over the comparison of a man to the whole powerful nature. While “The Word in All Things” attempts to discuss the relationship between matter and mind, body and soul by photographing a series of still objects that representing Puritan aesthetics.
No matter it is a portrait, or a close-up of the body, of landscape or still life, in monochrome or colour, Stanley Fung’s work always glitters with an aura of classic, simple, restrained and thought provoking. It also reveals his kindness and sincerity that are not blind scattering but heart-warming, and shows his honest, devoted and humble gesture.