Under the Influence: A Traveling Library of Books that Inspire Artists
Artist: Ming Fay
b.1943, Shanghai, China
Lives and works in New York, NY
Book Title: A Book of Beliefs
Author: John Allan, John Butterworth, and Myrtle Langley
Suddenly, it seems, our age of science and technology has become an age of new religions. There is worldwide interest in every sort of cult, folk religion and superstition, as well as new study of old religions. Is this a re-discovery of old magic and ancient values, a new spirituality? Are the cults and religions true–true to life as it is, true to life as it ought to be? Or are they dangerous delusions, a flight from reason into fantasy and unreality? It is urgent that we understand what the claims of the new beliefs really are. This book aims to help. It gives an over-view of a wide range of beliefs, some mainstream, some freaky. The aim of the pictures is to get across something of their appeal and emotional impact. The text describes the key features of the faith or phenomenon, asking questions where necessary. It is hoped that the book will serve, not just as a ‘consumer’s guide’, but a valuable source of advice, help and objective description.
Ming Fay: “This book showcases all kinds of cultural beliefs around the world. It’s particularly interesting to me to understand what people believe in – and why? It has informed my artwork in creating my own version of utopia through my art – a world that I believe in. My work has focused on the concept of a garden as a symbol of abundance, paradise, and the location for the ultimate desirable state of being.”