Ad Infinitum is a selection of over 1,000 pictures which Kris Vervaeke took from the portraits found on tombstones in Hong Kong. Vervaeke's focus is on our relationship with human faces. After hundreds of pictures, two contradictory patterns emerge. On the one hand, we find endless individuality and variety — no two faces are ever the same and their individual patterns of decay are fascinating. At the same time, we find repetition, anonymity and abstraction. The book underscores the latter by containing no names, no dates, no external referents. When flipped through quickly, the images run together seamlessly.
As Vervaeke writes, "The portrait series in the book exposes both the strength of the individual face and the perishable nature of the individual human body...The clear images make us want to connect, understand, and know the strangers and their stories. The fading images reference mortality of human life, and the limitations of our impact...As the faces fade further, anonymity returns and once again we become part of nature...Ad infinitum."
The book is both airily conceptual and rooted in our mortality, repetitive and full of countless beautiful details. Its 264 pages are a testament to Vervaeke's commitment to his idea, ad infinitum. Not for everyone but an interesting project for those who feel a pull.
Kris Vervaeke, Ad Infinitum
264 pages, 132 color photographs
Edition of 500