THE TREK COLLECTION
The body structure of human beings fascinated me back in the days when I took human anatomy in university. I still remember the bits of fear and thrill the first time I dissected a corpse with a scalpel, which felt rather like opening up my own body. In the following lessons, I gradually managed to master my emotions and began to delve into the research and learning of the subject.
I started to develop a passion in photography as I grew older and decided that it was going to be my lifelong career. Surprisingly, it never crossed my mind that the internal structures of human bodies could be a theme of my works. When I read human anatomy, the chunky prescribed text "Gray's Anatomy" contained numerous illustrations of the human body structure. It might have cause me to think that any photos of human anatomical anatomical specimens that I took would only be used as photo illustrations of medical textbooks, and therefore I had not considered using human anatomical specimens for photo projects.
Towards the end of last year, Chan Dick mentioned to me his collaboration with an anatomy professor on a project to photograph human organs specimens. I could not help but wonder if that was a project for photographing medical illustrations? Chan Dick negated my thought, saying that he enjoyed absolute freedom to proceed with the photography as he wished. He also revealed that this was a bold attempt on his part as he had never come in contact with human specimens. The thrill and fear in him were tantamount to mine in my first anatomy lesson.
The human body structure is complicated and intriguing. It resembles a miniature universe with each of its systems operating orderly until the end of life. The study of the human body is not however limited to medical research. Greek sculptors began the exploration of the human body structure as early as the 5th century B.C., whereas artists of the Italian Renaissance in the 15th century, including Leonardo Da Vinci likewise conducted a relatively in-depth study of the human, body structure to facilitate their creation.
I recall highlighting to Chan Dick how he should observe every single specimen intently and be totally devoured by his emotions and feelings in the course of photography. Endeavour to imagine what those specimens would be like when they were once alive, without paying too much attention to depicting their outline.
Chan Dick has obviously got it made. Not only did he overcome his fear towards the specimens, but he had also established a linkage with them by bringing each and every specimen into existence. His works are so moving that the audience could feel in them the wonders and tenacity of the human body, and be reminded of how precious life is.
There is more to human specimens than this. I wish Chan Dick can take this as a springboard and scale new heights in the near future!
Joseph Fung Hon Kee
Professor of Photography