Beginning in 1989,world renown photographer Lu Nan spent fifteen years completing his trilogy: Part One: The Forgotten People—Living Conditions of China’s Psychiatric Patients; Part Two: On the Road—The Catholic Faith in China; Part Three: Four Seasons—Everyday Life of Tibetan Peasants. In this opus magnum of epic photography works, Nan affirms a richly human way of seeing.
Each photograph in the trilogy stands on its own, yet belonging inalienably to the whole. Each is a crystalline node that amplifies and extends the other; every individual moment is at the same time an empirical part of all other moments. The trilogy focuses on the human condition in three realms. Particles of substances are caught up in a web of light and shade, suggesting a state of moral elevation and ultimately guiding the viewer’s gaze towards a secluded inner spiritual world in all of us.
From 1992 to 1996, Lu Nan photographed On the Road: The Catholic Faith in China, Part Two of the trilogy, across ten provinces and cities in China. During this period, Nan set foot in over 100 churches, but his emphasis was on how love and the Catholic faith are practiced in the everyday life of the believers amidst the great challenges they face with the Communist government. He shows us that an inner union with God is imbued in the everyday life of these believers, and that deep in their hearts is the true Church. Their time on earth is but a tempering trajectory. Through enduring the trials of life they are able to find true strength in divine grace; they can discover and revel in their own inner light as children of the true God.