David and Esther FUNG
The bamboo walking stick
David was a bamboo enthusiast and grew many species in our Glen Road garden. David’s walking stick was made by him from the species Phyllostachys aurea, a native to China where it is known as “phoenix bamboo”. Its ornamental appearance and bone hard quality make it very suitable for walking sticks and umbrella handles. David very patiently smoothed the nodes from which the leaves grew and capped both top and end. The cane mellowed and took on a shine. It then became his constant companion when out walking.
The other item which David treasured was the scroll, an example of the calligraphy of his grandfather FUNG Sing Heng [馮星衡].
The scroll was written in Pui Ching, Guangzhou. Pui Ching Middle School was founded in Guangzhou in 1889 by Chinese Baptists. Grandfather had a stationery shop at the school and taught calligraphy there.
FUNG Sing Heng wrote this scroll in 1950, the year in which he died. Born in 1870, he would have lived through the tumultuous years from the end of the Ch’ing dynasty, through the years of revolution, the Sino-Japanese War and the establishment of the People’s Republic in the 20th century. He chose these three poems from an anthology entitled, Collection Among the Flowers from the Five Dynasties period as the subject of this piece of calligraphy.
The reflective tone of the poems suggests an awareness of his mortality. The poems are about separation and the sharing of many happy life experiences. they contain many beautiful images, such as the dancing butterflies, the jade pavilion, the light rain and fragrant dust. The poems evoke past times of happiness and companionship now lost.
David writes: - “He (Grandfather) devoted his life to education and calligraphy. “
Examples of his work are held by his grandchildren and their families. “I consider his calligraphy much better than most that I have seen, one can sense the years of practise, the solidity of form and strength.” “I hope that his work will be treasured as important family heirlooms to be kept, and perhaps one day to be collected together.”
(Thank you to Dr. Ellen Soulliere for her work on the poem.)
David and Esther FUNG
The last time I met David FUNG [馮智偉] was at the launch of his book Turning Stone into Jade [雕石成璧] in Auckland, and we made a time to photograph him and his wife Esther [馮吳瑞珍] after a month in their Wellington home. He never made it though.
Despite her loss of David, Esther kept our scheduled plan to be photographed. I included David’s walking cane in her portrait and in the photograph of the calligraphy of David’s grandfather FUNG Sing Heng [馮星衡] along with a photograph of the couple that I took at his book launch. With his cane, he walked us through his family history. He also guided the audience to walk through the history of the New Zealand Chinese Association in his book Turning Stone into Jade [雕石成璧].
King Tong HO
冯智伟对竹子着迷, 在 Glen Road 花园种了很多品种的竹子。智伟的手杖就是他用罗汉竹制作的, 罗汉竹来自中国, 在中国称为“凤凰竹”。罗汉竹外表美观质地坚硬, 非常适合制作手杖和伞柄。他非常耐心地磨滑各个竹节, 并在头尾加上盖子。手杖圆润, 又有光泽, 是他外出步行时的亲密伴侣。
注: 感谢 Dr. Ellen Soulliere 对这首诗所作的工作。
我与冯智伟最后一次会面, 是他的新书 "雕石成璧" 在奥克兰的发布会上。我们约定一个月之后在威灵顿他的家中, 拍摄他及妻子冯吴瑞珍的肖像, 只可惜他过世了。
虽然失去冯智伟, 冯吴瑞珍仍依原订计划让我拍摄。我请冯吴瑞珍拿着冯智伟的手杖拍肖像, 也把手杖、他祖父冯星衡的书法、与及新书发布会时我替他们拍的照片, 放在一起合照。凭着手杖, 他带引我们走进他的家庭史, 也透过他的书 "雕石成璧", 他引领发布会的听众, 走进纽西兰华人社群的历史。
馮智偉對竹子著迷，在 Glen Road 花園種了很多品種的竹子。智偉的手杖就是他用羅漢竹制作的，羅漢竹來自中國，在中國稱為“鳳凰竹”。羅漢竹外表美觀質地堅硬，非常適合制作手杖和傘柄。他非常耐心地磨滑各個竹節，並在頭尾加上蓋子。手杖圓潤, 又有光澤，是他外出步行時的親密伴侶。
註: 感謝 Dr. Ellen Soulliere 對這首詩所作的工作。