Recently, a memorial gathering was held in Shanghai to pay tributes to the late physicist and cosmologist Dr. Stephen Hawking, and eminent Chinese poet and painter Dr. Kuanling Fan presented posthumous Oriental Renaissance Medal to the late scientist.
China, 21st March
China joined the rest of the world in mourning the death of late scientist Dr. Stephen Hawking as the Chinese government and many other individuals, organizations and scholarly groups paid their last tribute to the greatest scientist of the 21st century so far. At Shanghai Bund, right next to the old Huangpu River, a memorial gathering for Late Dr. Stephen William Hawking was held. The Chinese scientist and artist Dr. Kuanling Fan (also known as Fan Kuanling, Kenneth K. Fan, and Fan Guang Ling), who is also named as the “Oriental Renaissance Man”, and “Father of Computer in China” was among the masses to pay his tribute to the late scientist.
Dr. Fan, who has been described by the French media as “Le Figaro” and many as “grands artistes le Dr. Kuanling Fan” and is considered as one of the “twelve greatest painters in the modern world” along with the likes of Henri Matisse, Gustav Klimt, Edvard Munch, Eillem de Kooning and the president of the first World Congress of Poets in China presented one of the highest civilian awards in China, the Golden Medal of Oriental Renaissance to Dr. Hawking on March 19 this year.
“Why not give the Oriental Renaissance award to a Westerner? Our great friend Dr. Hawking brightened our minds and was one of the architects behind Oriental Renaissance. And he was with us here in China three times, and he even went up to the Long Wall,” said Dr. Fan at a press conference held just before the award giving ceremony. Along with Dr. Fan, a number of Chinese poets, painters, scientists and intellectuals lauded late Dr. Hawking and recounted his contributions toward the greater good of the common people, especially for the under-privileged mass of the globe.
A three-dimensional photo with a caption “East and West, the Togetherness”, a poetic oil painting “Lady Hope” which features Dr. Kuanling Fan himself, French president Giscard with Dr. Fan, and an Oriental Renaissance Golden Medal was posthumously conferred to the late English physicist and cosmologist.
British scientist Dr. Stephen William Hawking, the inspiration for many talented people worldwide who have limited physical and mental dexterity, became a household name due to his sheer genius and physical disability before passing away at the age of 76 on March 14, 2018. Dr. Hawking was propelled to superstardom after his 1988 book “A Brief History of Time” got published. In the same year, Dr. Fan fulfilled his revolutionary promise of becoming the first one in Chinese history to take the first delegation of Hope and Peace from Taiwan to China after 40 years of separation under death threats.
Many Chinese scientists expressed condolences over the passing of British Stephen Hawking. China expressed deep condolences at the passing of Hawking and extended sincere sympathies to his family and Chinese Foreign Ministry released an official statement: “Hawking made a great contribution to science and humanity.”
“Dr. Hawking had visited China three times and Chinese leaders had met with him. Chinese scientists and scientific community members had had the opportunity communicate with him. Hawking was aware about China’s development and spoke highly of the scientific and technological progress that China has made. Hawking was very fond of Chinese culture, and had even fulfilled his dream to reach the Great Wall,” said a spokesperson for Dr. Kuanling Fan.
At the condolence meeting, a young Chinese poetic oil painter, Tina Fang recited a poem in English dedicated to Late Dr. Hawking: “As a half moon, you led us through the Black Hole. As the mystic guide always in our hearts, you caused an explosion of thinking.”
Dr. Fan, who has been working on improving the relations between the Oriental countries and the West, recently completed his “21st Century Art Revolution Trip” through 13 countries of Europe. He travelled through Russia, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain. Dr. Fan exhibited his paintings, exchanged ideas with prominent poets and artists, and visited through many different parts of the world during the trip.
At the special condolence meeting and posthumous award giving ceremony, he said, “The time for culture and science-oriented Oriental revolution is here for and we should all work together to make it happen. We must start the movement now and move toward a brighter tomorrow, even if the situation does not favour us. And Dr. Hawking, who showed the world how to communicate through a computer, is a great source of inspiration for all of us”.
Dr. Fan, who was invited to lecture at the London University years ago, a historical meeting between him and Dr. Hawking at the Cambridge University, was arranged, but it was postponed due to Dr. Hawking’s health situation. After that, the same meeting was arranged in France, but it was postponed due to the same reason.
Dr. Fan’s father Dr. Fan Yuan-Sheng was a top-brass official during the tenure of President Chiang Kai-Shek and was one of the top officials who prepared communication materials ahead of the ex-president’s meeting with US president Roosevelt. His mother Dr. Li Guo-Yi, who lived up to 109 years, was Madam Chiang’s close friend. When he was a child, Dr. Fan got the chance to learn painting from prominent Chinese painters such as Xu Beihong and Zhang Daqian.
In 1949, Dr. Fan left Shanghai with his parents who accompanied Chiang Kai Shek to Taiwan. After graduating from the National Taiwan University, he became Chiang Kai Shek’s English translator. In 1958, before he went to the US for advanced studies he met the leader of the Chinese New Culture Movement, Dr. Hu Shi. “It is Dr. Hu who asked him to innovatively dedicate his life to Oriental Renaissance for a better new world”, said a source close to Dr. Fan.
Dr. Fan, who is widely regarded as the “Oriental Renaissance man” is also mentioned as “father of computer in China” in Chinese high school textbooks. He is also revered as the founder of “poetic oil painting”. Dr. Fan had good contacts with US president George Bush, French president Giscard, Philippine president Ramos, and Polish president Walesa. Dr. Fan is also recompiling Confucius’ books as of now. Rated as “one of the ten grand painters in China”, Dr. Fan said, “One day I’ll join Dr. Hawking up right there working together happily forever for hope and peace for the people of the whole world”.
Dr. Kuanling Fan is widely regarded as the ‘Oriental Renaissance Man’.