Kairos, a Greek concept, means the right moment, the perfect time, the critical “now”. Photography is a play of time and light. The amount of time allowing light to get into the camera determines the quality of the photograph. If photography is considered as art, then the clicking of the shutter by the conscientious photographer for a particular phenomenon through his photographic seeing is what Cartier-Bresson called “the decisive moment”, i.e., kairos. Chan-fai Cheung presents the results of his applying phenomenology in photography in Kairos: Phenomenology and Photography, a collection of essays and over 200 creative photographic works—his products of kairos.
Chan-fai Cheung received his Dr.phil degree from Freiburg University, Germany. His major research interests include phenomenology (especially Husserl and Heidegger philosophy); philosophy of love, death, and happiness; and Utopian thought. He is now serving at The Chinese University of HongKong, where he obtained his BA and MPhil degrees, as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Philosophy, as well as Director of the following department and units: University General Education, Research Centre for General Education, and Leadership Development Programme. He is the author/editor of, among others, Chinese Qing, Western Love (in Chinese), Memory and Oblivion: Meditations on Mortality (co-author; in Chinese and English), Identity and Alterity: Phenomenology and Cultural Traditions (co-editor), Space, Time, and Culture (co-editor); and numerous academic articles.
“The poetry of these images captured me from my very first viewing—whether vibrant or serene, tactile or cerebral, innocent or devilishly self-reflexive, each image contributes to a poem in the making, an ‘epic’ of experience with a single subjectivity at its ‘center.’ But this is a metaphor for phenomenology: Chan-fai’s poem allows each of us to be that subject, to reflect upon the constitution of the world as it appears.” (Steven Crowell)
“‘Photo’ derives from Greek phos and photos, meaning ‘light.’ Chan-fai is an enlightener. Nietzsche said: ‘Licht wird alles, was er fasst.—Everything he touches becomes light.’ Colours become colourful. Figures become figurative. A snapshot becomes a kairos.” (Elmar Holenstein)
„Es ist ein wundervolles Buch: ein Sehen in Photos, was mir besonders gefällt, das ist der Rückgang auf die Ebene vorobjektiven Gestaltens, auf die Ebene der Dingbildung. Dazu Motive wie Tür und Fenster, die von Philosophen allzugern als bloße Metaphern behandelt werden. Schließlich der wechselnde kulturelle Kontext, interkulturelle Verflechtungen. Überraschend auch die Flugphotos, Entdeckung von Erdstrukturen. Das alles ist ein “Doing phenomenology”, wie Herbert Spiegelberg es nannte“ (Bernhard Waldenfels)
ISBN: 978-988-18777-1-0 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-976-1997-54-4 (ebook)