“就地造境”书面访谈之章水答卷

终于收到章水的答卷,也是很认真的一位艺术家。至此,“就地造境”艺术展所有书面访谈结束。其他人的访谈内容见这里。最近开始编排展览画册,年底前出来。

提问:罗菲
回答:章水(Jonathan Kearney)

1,在你的人生经历中,有没有在乡村生活的经历?如果有,这段经历给你什么样的一副图画记忆?

JK: I have always lived in cities but in Britain it is easy to visit the countryside. When I was a child, living in Liverpool, if the weather was good there was one place near where I lived, where I could see the mountains of north Wales. Often we would visit them and even if the weather was bad they were always spectacular.

JK: 我长期住在城里,但是在英国要访问郊区是很容易的。我很小的时候住在利物浦,有一个离我住地很近的地方,天气好时从那儿可以看到北威尔士的山脉,我们经常会去爬山,甚至天气不好的时候这些山看起来也依然是那样的壮观。

2,你是否经常离开城市去到野外?一年几次?都去哪里?是出于什么动机?运动、写生、郊游、休息……

JK: I go often, I feel it is important to see the contrast between city and countryside. When I lived in Kunming we would often go to countryside areas and here in Britain it is also easy to get the coast and spend time beside the sea. It reminds me of how glorious creation is and how small and yet strangely significant one person is.

JK: 我经常去郊区,我觉得了解城乡之间的差异是很重要的。我住在昆明的时候会经常去农村,而在英国,去海滨消磨时间同样也很容易。这时刻提醒着我世间的创造是多么的辉煌,人的存在是多么的渺小,以及一个人的奇妙存在有着意味深长的意义。

3,你在最近一次去到大自然中是什么时候,是否有过独处默想的经历?什么体验?

JK: A few weeks ago I went with my family to a nearby river and rowed a small boat. Floating in nature is a wonderful experience.

JK: 几周前我和家人到附近的小河划船,漂流在自然当中是一种绝妙的体验。

4,有些艺术家在创作有关风景的作品中,会说是与自然对话(无论你是室内还是户外),你是否有这种体会?这样的对话是怎样开展的?或者说这场对话是谁先说?又如何回应?

JK: Dialogue often suggests words or verbal language, my own experience is much more a dialogue of silence. Dialogue also has to be 2 ways, it cannot be just one person communicating. I find that after being in the city it takes time to listen to nature and then join in with the dialogue, the real challenge is to carry that quiet dialogue back into the city.

JK: 提起“对话”,就会令人联想到书面语言或者口头语言,而我的个人体验更多的是一种寂静的对话。而且对话必须是双向的,单个人起不到交流的作用。我发现住在城里之后需要花更多的时间去倾听自然,才能融入到对话之中。而真正的挑战是我们如何将“寂静的对话”带回到都市生活当中。

5,你是否认为风景艺术在当代艺术中还有价值?如果有,你觉得是什么?

JK: Yes it is valuable. As more and more people live in cities I think that a connection to the land will be become more important, one way this connection can be made is via art as most people will actually live in tall buildings literally disconnected from the earth. It is also increasingly important to understand the damage we are causing to creation and maybe landscape art can play a role in this. However it should avoid being didactic.

JK: 是的,这是很有价值的。我觉得当越来越多的人住进城市时,一种与土地的联系变得越发重要,当大部分人都住进高楼大厦直接和土地断绝了关系时,通过艺术建立起某种联系可以成为一个解决方法。这也能让我们越来越重视人对自然所造成的破坏,也许风景艺术能在这个中间起到一定作用。不过这必须避免说教的方式。

6,你在自然中的体验对你的艺术创作是否有直接的影响?哪些方面的影响?

JK: Yes, it effects the way I see and also the rhythm of my work. In the city it seems that speed is important but nature has its own rhythm and I find my own work is simply observing that rhythm which is often much slower than modern day city life.

JK: 是的,这影响了我的观看方式和我的工作节奏。在城市里速度是很重要的,但自然中有它自己的节奏。我也发现我的作品是单单留意到那种节奏,就是很明显比现代都市生活更缓慢的那些事物。

7,在艺术史与当代,都有许许多多的艺术家关注于自然风景,也有许多优秀的作品。在你的视野中,与风景有关的艺术作品或艺术家里,你最喜欢的是谁的作品?或哪件作品?(可以是一件一个人,或多件多人)

JK: Of course being from Britain I must say JMW Turner! His ability to paint skies and seas was amazing and this reflects living in a small island country like Britain, the seascape is as important as the landscape. However, I also really enjoy ancient Chinese scholars and their landscape paintings, they challenge so much of western thinking it is very difficult to understand but at a heart level I somehow connect with them.

JK: 因为来自英国,所以我必须要提到透纳(JMW Turner)。他画天空和海景的能力是十分令人惊异的,海景和风景同样的重要,其作品反映着弹丸岛国的生活,如英国。然而,我还是特别喜欢中国古代文人和他们的山水画,他们对西方思维提出了如此大的挑战,以至于难以理解,但在心灵层面我莫名其妙地能理解他们。

8,你希望你那些与自然风景有关的作品能够给观众带去什么体验?为何?

JK: Audiences often see my work in ways I have not thought about and that enhances my own and the corporate experience. I simply observe and present those observations, I hope it gives people a different view of the world.

JK: 观众通常会用各种我未曾料到的方式看我的作品,这能加强我个人和观众互动的经验。我单单留意并展示那些观测的结果,希望通过这种方式给人以看待世界的不同视野。

9,一种文化里的自然观(对自然的看法)决定了这个文化的世界观。当你沉浸在自然中,你认为人在万物中的什么位置?你是否认为有造物主?

JK: This is such a big question and it probably takes a whole lifetime to even begin to understand! The idea of stewardship is strong in the bible. The idea of the cosmos created by a good creator who describes it as good but then gives it to humans to steward, the adapt, to explore and play with. Stewardship carries the implication of improving and handing back to the owner in a better condition than when it was received. This is a daunting thought but with the biblical vision of ‘new creation’, a role of anticipating this future event in our present becomes clearer.

JK: 这是一个如此大的疑问,或许要花费一生才能开始有所领悟!《圣经》里有着很强的关于治理的理念,宇宙是由一位优秀的创造者创造并称为好的,然后它被交由人类管理、改建、探索和游戏。治理的职责暗示着这个世界必须得到改进,并以一种更好的状态交还给其创造者。这是一个令人生畏的想法,但却是圣经里关于“新造的人”的思想,期望这个未来事件的角色在我们当下变得越加清晰。

10,你去到自然中是为了希望有天永远住在那里?还是为了重新得力之后又返回都市生活?或者都不是,那是什么?

JK: The biblical narrative begins in a garden but describes a city as a goal of new creation. However, it is a city that integrates nature, with a remarkable river running through the centre and trees that produce fruit every month, with leaves that bring healing to the nations. Maybe this vision begins to describe my own thinking in answer to this difficult question.

JK: 圣经的叙述起始于一块园地(伊甸园),但以描述一座城邦作为“新造的人”的目标。然而,这座城邦融入了自然,有流过城市中心的具有标志性意义的河流,以及月月结出果子的树,还有能够治愈伤痛的树叶带给各国。在回答这个艰难问题的时候,也许这幅图景正开始描述我自己的想法。

11,在你的理想中,是否有一片风景吸引你十分向往,能否描述这样一幅图画?

JK: Again several biblical visions best describe my own dreams. Isaiah talks about mountains singing, tress clapping their hands and instead of weeds, beautiful trees (Isaiah 55). The writer also describes a wolf living with a lamb and concludes with a stunning vision of ‘the earth full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea’. How can water cover the sea, the sea is water already?! It has to be a vision of overflowing abundance.

JK: 有好些圣经里的图景最能够描绘我的梦想。以赛亚先知讲到大山小山发声歌唱,田野的树木也都拍掌,而不是杂草和美丽的树(以赛亚书55章)。作者也写道豺狼与绵羊同居,并以一幅绝妙的画面结尾:认识上帝的知识要充满遍地,好像水充满洋海一般。海里不是已经满是水了,水又怎能充满海呢?它必定是一幅丰富满溢的画面。

12,你是否认为“成圣人格”在当代仍然有效?为何?

JK: In English the words ‘sanctifying personality’ can be understood in many ways but in relation to previous answers, it appears that renewed creation is an achievement of one individual, the ‘Son of Man’ as Jesus described himself in the bible. It is this achievement that we now have the role of implementing, as stewards of creation, which of course includes all humans.

JK: 英语里“成圣人格”这个词可以有很多理解方式,但联系到先前的回答,它发生在“重新创造”已经完成了的个体身上,就是圣经中“人子”耶稣的自我描述。正是这种成就,我们现在获得履行“成圣人格”的角色,作为造物的管家,当然包括所有世人。

13,你对“就地造境”这个主题是如何理解的?

JK: Gerard Manley Hopkins, the English poet who first used the word ‘inscape’, never gave a precise definition of its meaning but we can say the term represents the individuality, or unique inner nature of any being or thing. He also used inscape as a form of prayer – the way every being and every thing gives praise to God even if they are unaware of it. If the English concept lacks a precise definition, for me as a foreigner with only basic Chinese language skills, the Chinese concept is even more imprecise. However, the pursuit of art is often about exploring the unknown, dealing with questions that might not produce clear answers. For me this is all part of the adventure of art.

JK: 杰拉尔德·曼利·霍普金斯是英文诗人里最早使用Inscape这个单词的人(注:“就地造境”翻译为Inscape On The Spot,Inscape被翻译为接近于“境界”概念的英文单词),他却从未给出一个精确的定义和意义,不过我们能说这个术语代表人格,或者任何存在或事物独一无二的内在自然景象。他也用Inscape作为一种祈祷形式,每一个人和事物崇拜上帝的方式,尽管他们只是无意识地进行。如果这个英文概念缺乏一个精确的定义,对我这个只会基本中文技巧的老外来说,中文概念可能对我来说更加不准确。然而,艺术的追求常常是关于对未知的探索,讨论的问题也可能不会产生清楚的答案。对我而言,这就是艺术的冒险经历。

“就地造境”书面访谈

1,在你的人生经历中,有没有在乡村生活的经历?如果有,这段经历给你什么样的一副图画记忆?

石志民:从小感觉不到城市和乡村距离有多远。唯一的区别是房子的多少,是水泥还是土。

孙国娟:有过一些短暂的经历,结论是:越美丽越感人的风景,就越让人想起:爱情。

兰庆星:有的。红土,绿树,黑白奶牛。

麦志雄:主要是在高中之前,每年放寒暑假。我几乎都去乡下外婆家住上一个月以上。那时,记忆中不管是蓝天白云的大晴天还是更多惊喜的雨天,宽阔的田野上总是有捉不尽的各类昆虫,狡猾的小鱼和笨的要死的青蛙;热闹轻松地劳动场面,没有太多条条框框的可爱农民,总是有讲不完的田间小故事……反正那段日子从来就没有无聊过,因为小时候几乎没去过其他地方旅游过,所以外婆家几乎是我儿时的天堂,对我的性格和一生的影响是深远的。

和丽斌:有。五彩斑斓,快乐。

郭鹏:我生长在小县城里,那里正在进行现代化。

雷燕:1967年在外婆家住了两个月,记忆中外婆家是古朴的云南乡村风景,木质和土坯的房屋,屋檐下住着几家小燕子,成天飞来飞去叽叽咋咋,房前一棵老树,屋后有自家的菜地和一条小河沟,我们在清清的水中洗菜洗衣。夕阳下河沟的水呈金红色,逆光中只看见一层层错落的屋顶和高高低低的电线杆。

章水: 我长期住在城里,但是在英国要访问郊区是很容易的。我很小的时候住在利物浦,有一个离我住地很近的地方,天气好时从那儿可以看到北威尔士的山脉,我们经常会去爬山,甚至天气不好的时候这些山看起来也依然是那样的壮观。

2,你是否经常离开城市去到野外?一年几次?都去哪里?是出于什么动机?运动、写生、郊游、休息……

石志民:我感觉天天都在郊外,大理本来就是走两步上山走两步下海。动机嘛……就是生活。

孙国娟:一年可能一二次吧,出去的动机往往都是对自然美景的一种强烈的渴望,只是每次走着走着心情就会变得很复杂,那不久前的乡村,湿地正在被变成城市,还有很多绿山成为了采石场,伤痕累累,这些变化我们阻挡不了,但真的会感到心疼。

兰庆星:经常。一年至少七八次。滇西方向多一些。写生、会友、登山、自行车、徒步、露营。

麦志雄:因为现在忙,一家人(三口)大概平均每年只能出一次远门。不过只要有机会都会尽可能挤时间去野外玩,没时间出远门也尽量在家附近挖掘自然环境:在附近江边和小孩一起抓螃蟹、小鱼,到附近的农田里去短暂的感受一下田间劳动,坐在过往船只上感受船上的生活……

最近几年和家人去住过几天以上的地方有:河南信阳的南湾湖边,广宁竹林中的一个小村庄,鼎湖山脚下,广州郊区的一个水库边……

以前的动机:离开繁忙的城市休息一下,陪陪家人放松一下,自己也独自清净一下。成为基督徒后动机有所不同:远离繁忙的工作,找个清静的环境,花上很多的时间与神交通,在他面前述说我的忧愁、重担和心愿,也静心聆听祂向我内心深处说的话,享受祂亲近的甘甜,从祂那里重新得力。

和丽斌:经常去,一年三、四次,主要去云南的民族地区,去年去了大理、楚雄、东川等地,出去主要是想在与自然的对话中获得在城市生活中所没有的别样体验。

郭鹏:随时出去,哪里都可以,随遇而安,没有动机,一切随缘。

雷燕:不是很经常,出去也很顺兴,主要还是休息。

章水: 我经常去郊区,我觉得了解城乡之间的差异是很重要的。我住在昆明的时候会经常去农村,而在英国,去海滨消磨时间同样也很容易。这时刻提醒着我这个世界的创造是多么的辉煌,人的存在是多么的渺小,以及一个人的奇妙存在有着意味深长的意义。

3,你在最近一次去到大自然中是什么时候,是否有过独处默想的经历?什么体验?

石志民:是昨晚去山上背水的时候独处,默想老婆去昆明了我有自由了。

孙国娟:我想我可能不知道怎样在自然中达到一种默想的状态,其实我经常努力让自己有人们所说的默想或者是冥想,但我好像总是没有这样的感觉。我的感觉是在自然面前心情会变得很宁静,所有伤心的事痛苦的事都会变得很遥远,当我们远离城市,自然就能引领我们超越世俗。

兰庆星:最近一次是六月份。有过。超现实的体验。

麦志雄:是去年黄山之行,在看完日落之后和早晨日出之前,我都独自在山上默想:面对着眼前如诗如画的风景,我感觉真像做梦一样,在感叹造物主的奇妙作为,对人类的大爱的同时,我有时还是觉得有不真实感,怎么可能我竟毫无准备地站在了黄山顶上!要知道我从小时候开始一直以来最想去的地方就是黄山,这个愿望其实很少人知道,但上帝却很清楚,精心安排了我的黄山之行。我算什么呢?祂竟然如此安排好了一切……

和丽斌:今年五一节。独处默想随时随地都可能会出现,感觉自己去到了荒芜、寂静的地方,像是曾经的过去。

郭鹏:前几天。经常独处发呆,自我净化。

雷燕:四月份去了一趟云南的文山麻栗坡,二十五年前那里是中越战争的前沿,再次回访老山,也是对战争的又一次反思。

章水: 几周前我和家人到附近的小河划船,漂流在自然当中是一种绝妙的体验。

4,有些艺术家在创作有关风景的作品中,会说是与自然对话(无论你是室内还是户外),你是否有这种体会?这样的对话是怎样开展的?或者说这场对话是谁先说?又如何回应?

石志民:我做有关风景的东西不是对话,自然太强大了。我和它说了不算,我要踢球它下雨,我就只有在作品中想像老天也想不到的地方,和老天逗着玩,因为下雨我哪也去不了。

孙国娟:想了半天,我们之间好像没有对过话,我倒是很喜欢听风看雨,看电闪雷鸣,当自然符合了我们某种情绪的时候我们会感动,会得到安慰,当我们通过观察破译了自然中的某些秘密的时候我们会欣喜,自然会使我们变得丰富,与自然的相处实际上是一种内心生活。

兰庆星:有的。无言的对话,只能用心去彼此体会。当然是人在提问,因为人永远都有问题,而自然是没有问题的。没有回应,只有四季更替,生老病死。

麦志雄:有的,但以前的这种对话时比较抽象的,因为如果自然景象只是一种“自然”演变,是无意识的,是“死”的,那么那种对话不是一种真正意义上的对话。可能挺激动的,但对方总是毫无反应。但如果这些风景是被造的,那情况就完全不同,因为不管你在何处、何时看到什么样的风景,那都是造物主有意识安排营造的,因为造物主是有位格的(就像人有人格一样),那么这种对话才真正成立,不只是我们说了算,造物主是可以回应我们的。

和丽斌:我有这种体会,这是精神、心灵与自然的对话,是精神和心灵被自然中的某种力量召唤而去到自然中,在与自然的对话中获得力量。

郭鹏:有这种体会,自言自语,自我净化。

雷燕:没有什么固定的模式。

章水: 提起“对话”,就会令人联想到书面语言或者口头语言,而我的个人体验更多的是一种寂静的对话。而且对话必须是双向的,单个人起不到交流的作用。我发现住在城里之后需要花更多的时间去倾听自然,才能融入到对话之中。而真正的挑战是,我们如何将“寂静的对话”带回到都市生活当中。

5,你是否认为风景艺术在当代艺术中还有价值?如果有,你觉得是什么?

石志民:无所谓当代还是以前还是未来,风景存在着就有人去做,这是符合人这个物种的条件反射。

孙国娟:我想应该是很有价值的,艺术本来就是自由的。

兰庆星:没有想过。不知道。

麦志雄:当然是有其价值。因为创造宇宙万物的这位上帝不仅是一位昔在、今在、永在的神,也是一位不断向人类“说话”的神。而这种“话语”的力量是巨大的,这也就是为什么没有任何人会不喜欢自然环境的原因。祂不断地透过风景来感动、冲击我们的心灵,当然目的只有一个,让我们透过风景来认识祂,而一个风景艺术家的使命,就是把风景背后的这种奥秘向观者“启示”出来。

和丽斌:风景艺术在当代艺术中有独特的地位和文化价值、精神价值,通过风景场景,我们可以窥探到人类的欲望,清醒地反观反省人类自身的问题。

郭鹏:任何艺术在任何时代都有价值,它只是理解和对待这个世界的不同角度。

雷燕:肯定有,当代艺术具有时代气息,凡是带有时代气息的风景艺术都与当代有关。

章水: 是的,这是很有价值的。我觉得当越来越多的人住进城市时,一种与土地的联系变得越发重要,当大部分人都住进高楼大厦直接和土地断绝了关系时,通过艺术建立起某种联系可以成为一个解决方法。这也能让我们越来越重视人对自然所造成的破坏,也许风景艺术能在这个中间起到一定作用。不过这必须避免说教的方式。

6,你在自然中的体验对你的艺术创作是否有直接的影响?哪些方面的影响?

石志民:影响很大。主要是知和悟,各种抚摸、视觉、听觉、触觉等。对作品的影响存在于其中慢慢觅其性,创作时配温、湿、燥、通、顺等,以达主观和谐。

孙国娟:静物中的那些花那些果实算不算?老昆明城市的街道算不算?是这些东西给了我在绘画上的最初的感动,我是从画花儿、画老昆明的街景开始自己的艺术道路的。

兰庆星:肯定有。首先是思想和情感,然后是具体的颜色、构图、形体、空间、节奏等等。

麦志雄:有影响,但常常不是直接的。各种各样的体验能帮组我去读懂造物主的意思,感悟人与自然所应该有的正确关系。

和丽斌:有直接的影响,是身心的深度体验,心的洗礼,并获得强大的精神力量,反过来又影响到自己在都市中的生活状态。

郭鹏:我被尘世打入了自然。常常独处发呆。

雷燕:艺术家与普通人一样都是生活在大自然中,自然的烙印肯定会影响艺术家的创作。

章水: 是的,这影响了我的观看方式和我的工作节奏。在城市里速度是很重要的,但自然中有它自己的节奏。我也发现我的作品是单单留意到那种节奏,就是很明显比现代都市生活更缓慢的那些事物。

7,在艺术史与当代,都有许许多多的艺术家关注于自然风景,也有许多优秀的作品。在你的视野中,与风景有关的艺术作品或艺术家里,你最喜欢的是谁的作品?或哪件作品?

石志民:达利的长腿象。

孙国娟:莫兰迪和塞尚。

兰庆星:没有特别喜欢的。

麦志雄:我很少去记得作品的名字,更不用说作者。总体来说,印象比较深刻的是我们中国古时候的山水画,例如范宽的《溪山行旅图》,我就特别喜欢。

和丽斌:喜欢的艺术家和作品很多,但总体上给我启示最大的是有表现倾向的艺术家和作品,如西方的凡高、蒙克、基弗,中国的黄宾虹等。

郭鹏:古文人山水画。有体温的,不管是零上还是零下。

雷燕:契里柯,玛格里特,德尔沃,卢梭。

章水: 因为来自英国,所以我必须要提到透纳(JMW Turner)。他画天空和海景的能力是十分令人惊异的,海景和风景同样的重要,其作品反映着英国这种弹丸岛国的生活。然而,我还是特别喜欢中国古代文人和他们的山水画,他们对西方思维提出了如此大的挑战,以至于难以理解,但在心灵层面我莫名其妙地能理解他们。

8,你希望你那些与自然风景有关的作品能够给观众带去什么体验?为何?

石志民:我希望我的作品给观众带来的就是叨(神叨叨或是看完笑一声说叨b)那种,因为我觉得不要那么认真,要愉快。

孙国娟:我在做作品的时候只是在表达自己,而观众会有他们自己的理解。

兰庆星:没有希望什么。随心所欲就好。

麦志雄:帮助观者重新思考他所习以为常的风景,尽量去让他们明白每一景象的存在都有其背后的目的。我不太喜欢把我自己所读到的内容强加给别人。

和丽斌:我希望自己的作品带给观众心灵的触动,并有警世的作用。艺术是最能提升和影响心灵的高级精神活动,而绘画最大的价值即体现在它的精神力量上,是艺术家个体精神力量的载体。

郭鹏:对于任何作品我都希望它能给人以启示,万事万物在你面前关键是你如何对待他,怎样与它相处对话,所以我认为比价值更重要的是价值观,比历史更重要的是历史观。

雷燕:对战争的追问,对生命价值的思考。

章水: 观众通常会用各种我未曾料到的方式看我的作品,这能加强我个人和观众互动的经验。我单单留意并展示那些观测的结果,希望通过这种方式给人以看待世界的不同视野。

9,一种文化里的自然观决定了这个文化的世界观。当你沉浸在自然中,你认为人在万物中的什么位置?你是否认为有造物主?

石志民:我觉得人是食物链中的一部分,我没有信过主之类的,就觉得做过了就会被别的啥啥就灭了。

孙国娟:我认为是有造物主的,人类在自然中的位置也很重要,当人类破坏自然的时候造物主也没有办法。

兰庆星:人类属于自然的一部分,而不是全部。没有造物主,万物相生相克,只有永无休止的生命和运动。

麦志雄:在浩瀚的宇宙中,太阳系算什么、地球算什么、我们这小得可怜的人算什么?早在几千年前的大卫已经在他所写的诗中给出了答案:“我观看你指头所造的天,……都服在他的脚下。”(诗8:3-8)就像我,一个月前怎么会想到我会得癌症,但谁又会想到,这个让很多人认为我完了的“坏消息”却让我从耶稣那里得到意想不到的平安与祝福,让我不得不赞美这位掌管我生命的造物主。

和丽斌:人在万物之中,万物在人之中,宇宙是一个永恒的存在,有无造物主,取决于人观看世界的位置和角度。

郭鹏:我没有沉浸在自然之中,我被尘世包裹。我很想对世人说:“你真的以为你可以把地球踩在脚下?”我不相信有造物主,我相信自有本有。“人”在一无所知中开始了人生之旅,我们怀着惶恐憧憬未来,我们常在无知中心安理得,万事万物无始无终。我们的历史有多个版本,未来不可预测,而人生之旅只是一个悟道的过程。

雷燕:人在自然中是渺小的。没想过造物主。

章水: 这是一个如此大的疑问,或许要花费一生才能开始有所领悟!《圣经》里有着很强的关于治理的理念,宇宙是由一位优秀的创造者创造并看为好的,然后它被交由人类管理、改建、探索和游戏。治理的职责暗示着这个世界必须得到改进,并以一种更好的状态交还给其创造者。这是一个令人生畏的想法,但却是《圣经》里关于“新造的人”的思想,期望这个未来事件的角色在我们当下变得越加清晰。

10,你去到自然中是为了希望有天永远住在那里?还是为了重新得力之后又返回都市生活?

石志民:我不希望天天在自然中,那样我很快真的成为食物链中的一部分了。需要的时候下楼走两步就行了。

孙国娟:对自然就是永远想念,从那里得到安慰,但又不可能永远属于那里。

兰庆星:到自然之中获得生命所必须的力量来应对今天和明天。

麦志雄:我当然希望自己一直生活在自然中,但除非上帝特别的安排,否则我们也只能短暂地休整,重新得力后又回到自己的位置上。上帝原本给我们都是全自然的,只是我们不珍惜,现在是自食其果。

和丽斌:去到自然中,并非为了住在那里或获得力量再返回都市,只是不由自主别无选择,是内心深处遥远的召唤。

郭鹏:我希望每一个人都能用自己的方式拯救自己。只要生命得到净化,无所谓去与留,生命本身就是一个过程,我更愿意选择“读万卷书,行万里路”。

雷燕:换一种生活。

章水: 《圣经》的叙述始于一块园地(伊甸园),但以描述一座城邦作为“新造的人”的目标。然而,这座城邦融入了自然,有流过城中心的具有标志性意义的河流,以及月月结出果子的树,还有能够治愈伤痛的树叶带给各国。在回答这个艰难问题的时候,也许这幅图景正开始描述我自己的想法。

11,在你的理想中,是否有一片风景吸引你十分向往,能否描述这样一幅图画?

石志民:就是一生不能不到的地方——很搞笑大理的广告语。不能不到那就落叶归根了。

孙国娟:应该是在湖边吧,在那里有一座与风景很协调的房子,它很朴素但功能健全,那是我心中的向往。

兰庆星:红土,绿树,黑白奶牛,童年的我和伙伴们。

麦志雄:对我来说,那片风景就是天堂,在那里我们将与造物主永恒地同在,再也没有任何恐惧、压力、忧愁、苦难……永远地住在爱里。

和丽斌:我时常看到自己行走在一片广袤无边、荒芜凛冽的风景中,那是我精神的原点。

郭鹏:在高原,美丽的湖泊,一望无际的绿色,阳光与云朵制造的光斑抚摸着大地。

雷燕:那是一个空旷、寂静、陌生的地方。

章水: 有好些《圣经》里的图景最能够描绘我的梦想。以赛亚先知讲到大山小山发声歌唱,田野的树木也都拍掌(以赛亚书55章),而不只是些杂草和美丽的树。作者也写道豺狼与绵羊同居,并以一幅绝妙的画面结尾:认识上帝的知识要充满遍地,好像水充满洋海一般。海里不是已经满是水了,水又怎能充满海呢?它必定是一幅丰盛满溢的画面。

12,你是否认为“成圣人格”在当代仍然有效?为何?

石志民:是规律的就会保留下来。

孙国娟:我不太认为当代人能够做到,我们已经没有那样的环境和心境了。

兰庆星:我没有“成圣”情结,也没有和圣人朝夕相处过。所以不知道是否有效。

麦志雄:对我而言,人是按照上帝的形象所造的,但只有上帝自己或与祂有关的事物才能成为圣。人类自从有了罪性以来早就没有“圣”可言了。然而上帝却要求人圣洁,因为造我们的上帝说:“你们要圣洁,因为我是圣洁的”。因此“成圣人格”是造物主对人的一种要求,人类自己“觉得”有没有效不重要。问题是人类再也没有办法自我成圣,除非对道成肉身的上帝——耶稣基督认信,才使“成圣”成为可能。我们只能“因信称义”(或称“因信成圣”),而不是靠自己的行为成圣。

和丽斌:当然,但这需要人战胜自身在世俗中的自私、贪婪等欲念,获得洞悉世间一切的悟性与智慧。

郭鹏:所谓成圣人格在任何一个时代都有效,因为没有一个时代是完满的。成圣人格只是人获得净化的方法之一,不同的人可以选择不同的方法。

雷燕:有。时代需要、国家需要、社会需要、个人需要。

章水: 英语里“成圣人格”这个词可以有很多理解方式,但联系到先前的回答,它发生在“重新创造”已经完成了的个体身上,就是《圣经》中“人子”耶稣的自我描述。正是这种成就,我们现在获得履行“成圣人格”的角色,作为造物主的管家,当然包括所有世人。

13,你对“就地造境”这个主题是如何理解的?

石志民:就像我不能踢球就把雨下到别的地方。

孙国娟:依赖当时的环境创造一种意境。

兰庆星:尊重自己,尊重本土。

麦志雄:有什么样的生命就有什么样的境界。所以,我们要看重我们的生命超过看重我们的作品,我们永远不可能创造出我们生命没有的境界。

和丽斌:通过艺术的方式就地营造一个超越于现实情境的,可供心灵栖居的精神景观,表达了人对自身身体和精神自我提升的愿望与努力。

郭鹏:艺术本身就是一个净化的过程,犹如真正的祈祷。在复杂的现实社会中人很难遇到完美的境界,社会导致人的不纯粹性,而人又是社会的始作俑者。而艺术恰恰提供了一种精神的完整性,只要你是真诚的,你就能在其中寻觅知音找到安慰。受到净化的人是幸福的,是得到救赎的。

雷燕:此处的境是心境,是境地后面的境,有一种此地无声胜有声之境,它超越了“就地造境”。

章水: 杰拉尔德·曼利·霍普金斯(Gerard Manley Hopkins)是英文诗人里最早使用Inscape这个单词的人(注:“就地造境”翻译为Inscape On The Spot,此次展览中Inscape被翻译为接近于“境界”概念的英文单词),他却从未给出一个精确的定义和意义,不过我们能说这个术语代表人格,或者任何存在或事物独一无二的内在自然景象。他也用Inscape作为一种祈祷形式,每一个人和事物崇拜上帝的方式,尽管他们只是无意识地进行。如果这个英文概念缺乏一个精确的定义,对我这个只会基本中文技巧的老外来说,中文概念可能对我来说更加不准确。然而,艺术的追求常常是关于对未知的探索,讨论的问题也可能不会产生清楚的答案。对我而言,这就是艺术的冒险经历。

Creating Inscape On The Spot

Creating Inscape On The Spot
– On Art Exhibition “Inscape On The Spot”

Written by Luo Fei (TCG Nordica Gallery Director & Curator)

1. About Jingjie(1)

Traditional Chinese culture consists of three strands: Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. These three strands share the same concerns about the existence and freedom of this life. They are concerned with the value and significance of the individual and their physiological needs, promising that any individual can be elevated through cultivation. The ‘jingjie‘ of life is the essential question, with other questions around it.

In modern Chinese language, the meaning of ‘jingjie‘ can be broken down into two parts. Firstly it has a physical dimension, i.e. the boundary between countries. Secondly it has a metaphysical dimension, it refers to a ‘realm of life’, it is the level or degree reached through meditation on morality, culture, psychology and beauty. By pondering on the cosmos, society and life, it suggests a departure from earthly values and a capturing of the wholeness of an internal exhilaration, described by Confucius as the act of ’sanctifying personality’. Unfortunately there is no equivalent in the English vocabulary for ‘jingjie’ which is the core concept of this exhibition. Therefore the author will use ‘inscape‘ to refer to the spiritual and artistical nature of the world and also to connect to the theme of landscape which is another vital element of this exhibition. ‘Inscape’(2) is an old English word which refers to the unique inner nature of a person or an object, especially when seen in a work of art.

In traditional Chinese poetry and painting, the theory of inscape took an important position as a definition of spirituality and exerted significant influence upon the thinking of Chinese language. As Wang Guowei, the famous ci poetry critic in the late Qing Dynasty, argued in his Renjian Cihua(also called The World of Poetry), ‘The most important thing in ci poetry is inscape. A high level of art is reached when there is an inscape… Some are focused on creating inscape, others writing inscape. This is the difference between idealism and realism.’

In the practice of writing inscape and the quest for creating inscape, literati use contemplation, meditation and spending time in gardens and amidst beautiful scenery. The attempt to ‘create inscape’ shows that they are unsatisfied with either the superficial depiction of natural landscape or the language game involved in its representation. Instead they aspire to bridge the outer world and their inner world of ideals. They aspire to transcend their feelings of loss, or joy, with the natural scenery before them, and to transform what they see into a symbolic schema to express the world of perfection as seen in their own mind. This process of transforming the scenes of nature into something that represents perfection is an attempt to reach the convergence of self and nature, a poetic contemplation of nature coloured with a hue of oriental mysticism. In fact, this vision of contemplation is not unique to the East, as ancient Greek Platonic philosophy also describes similar concepts and practices, which later evolved into an understanding of a personal divine being. However, in traditional Chinese culture, the contemplative view of nature does not lead to seeing the divine as an object of rational thinking. Instead, it defines subjectively that internal peace and pleasure is the possibility for a ‘completion inscape’ and is based in the viewer’s mind. Traditional Chinese culture objectively treats everything in nature as a source of universal revelation. A good illustration of such a contemplative view of nature is the traditional landscape paintings that are familiar to us all. Small figures together with overwhelming mountains and water, represent a convergence of humanity and nature, illustrating an inscape of serenity and unfettered freedom and an aspiration for perfect harmony between humans and nature. This reflects the quest of ancient literati in relation to the status of life and psychology, in poetry and painting, a schema and philosophy that had scarcely undergone any significant change during the long history of relatively self-sufficient Chinese culture.

This approach has led to what is called, ‘addressing every change with no change’. Although this attempts a definition of personality and also a definition of universal revelation and even though it outlines the concept of ‘completion inscape’, it does not address the source of nature or the divine. This inability to address these foundational issues, sheds light on the events of history. During recent periods of transition and hardship and the movement of Chinese society and culture towards modernity, there has been a lack of inquiry into truth, the absence of a transcendental dimension. The commitment to ‘jingjie, sanctifying personality’ has become an alien concept in a world where materialism and satisfying personal desires are the priority. Therefore ‘addressing every change with no change’ appears unable to deal with the modern world where the inscape of life gradually gives way to a pragmatic pursuit of success.

The heaven and earth that is left in the wake of the industrial revolution is not the heaven and earth described in genesis, where ‘God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good’(3). What is more, the intrinsic mission of art has evolved from exploring the concept of completion in the classic age to simply raising the consciousness of the problem in the modern age, with no attempt at offering a solution. As a result, today’s cultural and natural environment and the sentiment felt by artists when they consider nature are tremendously different from the ancient tradition. Now, it is much more effective to simply illustrate the problems themselves, to do no more than represent contemporary culture and current sentiment and couple this with personal experience. This approach is much easier than grappling with and attempting to create the inscape of completion.

Therefore, we are now in a world of competing contrasts; completion versus contemporary problems, idealistic sentiment versus present anxiety, the inscape of life versus fleshy desire. All these strains remind us of the stark gap between the ideal and reality, between tradition and modernity. However, there are artists whose work is still concerned with the natural landscape and who are exploring deeper thinking. Maybe they will lead the call for a new type of ’supreme completion inscape’ in these current ‘lost circumstances’.

2. The Context and Transition of Agrestic Art

As described above, nature has been the traditional object and theme for artists to express their ‘circumstances of mind’. In the early 1980s, the Southwest Agrestic Art began to emerge and much critical and academic study developed alongside. Both ‘Agrestic Art’ and ‘Life Flow’(4) and other later art movements, placed great importance on the influence of the geographic environment upon the spirit, style and schema of artists, believing that the nature of Southwest China and other social factors contributed to the emergence and thriving of ‘Agrestic Art’. However, with further urbanization and the advent of the age of globalization and the internet, ‘Agrestic Art’ and ‘Life Flow’ gradually withered and gave the way to the more representative style of ‘Chinese experience’. Despite losing widespread recognition and market opportunities, ‘Agrestic Art’ and ‘Life Flow’ nevertheless remain an enduring influence on many Yunnan artists, not least because of their close connection with local culture and the natural landscape.

In Yunnan where nature is rich and cultural traditions are diverse, many artists choose the expression of natural landscape as their principal form of art. Among them, there has been a unique phenomenon lasting for nearly half a century, which is characterized by the voluntary and persistent daily sketching of the landscape. This is illustrated by the enthusiasm for being integrated into and depicting nature by artists of the ‘Impressionist School’(5) and ‘Shen Society’(6) in the 1960s and 70s , also the ‘Life Flow’ movement in the 1980s and those artists today, old and young, who still go to the countryside to sketch from nature. Such a phenomenon stems from and reinforces two traditions. First is the academic tradition of landscape sketching which is about formal aesthetic feeling and technical practice consistent with a modernistic art tradition and epistemology. Second is the traditional contemplative view of landscape sketching which seeks to capture the sentiment and feeling of the individual, the ‘expression of feeling through the sketching of scenery’. The ‘Impressionist School’s’ and ‘Shen Society’s’ concern about the natural environment and countryside of Yunnan was essentially the expression and extolling of the minority cultures, through depicting scenes of countryside life with close attention given to the colouration. The ‘Life Flow’ school was committed to eulogising the free will and uniqueness of life when the ideology of collectivism was fading away. Today’s artists, when faced with the countryside landscape, have to consider problems such as the urbanization of the countryside and the modern pursuit of satisfying desires (fleshism). Consequently they turn to a different theme, one that considers the contemporary population’s mental circumstances. The Yunnan schools of art in the 1960s and 70s shaped their own art dialects, creating artistic forms and styles with provincial features, formed to some extent by their geographic environment. This led to widespread attention and a historical significance. However, as interesting as all this might be, is it enough to justify giving attention to a provincial cultural and art phenomena? At a time of accelerating urbanization, frequent migration to the cities and increased dialogue between diverse cultures, will the universality and transcendence of these themes, which we are referring to, become even more important?

In response I would like would like to introduce the concept ‘Creating Inscape on The Spot’. This concept’s themes and symbolism originate from and yet transcend a provincial nature. It is activated by individual thinking but is projected towards the universal mentality of the human race. It is a call for change, to turn the external-internal inscape, whether complete or incomplete, into ‘Supreme Completion Inscape’.

At the foundational level, ‘Creating Inscape on The Spot’ is the technical ability to capture a scene from nature, at the highest level, it is a contemplative experience, a practice of artistic creation, an expression of the internal thoughts of an individual and the universal condition of humankind, all in the form of a landscape.

For this exhibition we choose the art works of 6 Yunnan artists, Lan Qingxing, He Libin, Guo Peng, Shi Zhimin, Sun Guojuan and Lei Yan, as well as a Guodong artist Mai Zhixiong, and Jonathan Kearney, a British artist with many years of life experience in China. They have been chosen as their work interprets this theme from various angles.

3. The Artists

The paintings of Lan Qingxing retain the feeling of agrestic paintings and internalise it into a ‘Transcendental Nostalgia’. In his oil painting ‘Landscape without People’, a wondering dog, a bizarre and thick withered tree, a distant chimney, together constitute a picture of sadness hinting at the strain between an agricultural setting and modern industrial development. In the long-frame sketch ‘Scheme’, there is a fragmented ‘home’ among weeds, bonfire, bed, dinner table, desk, coach, fridge, all scattering in the weeds. A man casually wonders about, without doing any serious business, simply killing time, with his posture reflecting the frustration of getting lost near his own house, all by himself, yet the shabby building nearby is irrelevant to ‘home’. The figures and animals in Lan Qingxing’s paintings show a sign of concentration, as though they are constantly thinking of the way back home no matter whether they are climbing, running, carrying things, laboring or having a rest. Yet the red-earth land, small roads and grass under the starry night sky provides suggest opportunity but also seems to cause more frustration. Ever since Adam stole the forbidden fruit, the voice asking ‘where are you?’(7) is lingering in the innermost mind. We may be absolutely certain of our geographic location, we may already be in our hometown, and yet we cannot get rid of a strange nostalgia, which originates not from a certain coordinate on the map, but from a calling in the depths of our spirit, a longing for an ultimate homeland – a ‘Supreme Completion Inscape’ as dwellers on earth.

The expression of ‘Transcendental Nostalgia’ is also salient in the oil paintings of He Libin. The series ‘Wasteland’ endows the wilderness and the void, as well as the little lonely figures in the picture, with the black and white expressionist style. Different from the contrast found in traditional Chinese landscapes, here the contrast between large scenery and small figures is not the serene ‘Completion Inscape’, but an inscape of sadness that highlights anxiety and void, in order to induce a cry for ‘Completion Inscape’. Here the smallness of the figure does not originate from the natural view of humility, but from the helpless view of life. The painter chooses wasteland and wilderness to highlight the dual loss of both body and soul of modern people. Physical and mental fatigue becomes evident against the void of wasteland and wilderness, while the aspiration to get rid of the void is exactly the vision needed by Kua Fu(8) when he was chasing after the sun.

Similiarly, Shi Zhimin from Dali also draws from the local nature in his homeland. The town of Dali, coupled with Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake, are richly endowed by nature and is itself a town of wonder. When I first went to Dali this sense of wonder is exactly what I also felt. The natural characteristics are internalised by the artist giving a unique feeling to the series ‘Glacier’. A view of a glacier is characterized by seclusion, joy of life and super-realism. If nature has lost its ability to encourage inscape as a result of human’s crude plunder, the fragment of a still mysterious glacier may well hit at the existence of another poetic schema.

The majority of Guo Peng’s photography draws on the views found in gardens around Kunming. The scenery in Green Lake park, the lake’s surface, rock-work and bamboo forests. As described above, the concept of ‘Creating Inscape on The Spot’ at the base level is a practical approach, manifested by the technical ability to capture a garden view. It is an attempt to obtain an artificial miniature of the elegant ‘completion inscape’ by mimicking the natural landscape with flower pots, pools and rock-work. Garden design is used to provide a place of mental recreation and spiritual rest for the literati and officialdom, from official career to inner world, from reality to ideal, from clamor to serenity. On the other hand, the close and extravagant nature of gardens made it possible for the declining literati to escape from the reality and live a corrupted way of life in the backyard of leisure. Today, in a society where over-entertainment is rampant in urban life, and the protection and succession of elite culture is absent, gardens have turned into the People Parks for the entertainment of the general public. Here the manufactured landscape remains as it was, but the inscape no longer exists. Guo Peng attempts to present a colorful myth of the garden through the manipulation of colour, to fabricate an alienated backyard of literati, in an attempt to realise what Martin Heidegger called ‘the perch of poetry’.

Sun Guojuan’s ‘Sweetness Is Gone’ series is an interpretation of ‘Creating Inscape on The Spot’ by the use of brain teasers – mirroring on the spot. The artist, while holding a butterfly ornament in her hand, is lying tenderly in front of a mirror on the road side. The mirror is reflecting peach flowers in the park, with spring very much in the air. On the back of the artist is a pair of angle wings made of sugar, adding a playfulness and romance found in a child’s household game. Ornament, mirror and sugar wings reveal the stage property of Romantic Inscape. Sugar has been used as a metaphorical language in Sun Guojuan’s art works for years, symbolizing on the one hand women as the object of tasting in a male dominant society, and on the other, women’s attempt to retain their youth for ever by turning their bodes into sugar. Fictitious and fragile, the image of spring in the mirror and sweet fleshy body speak of the bankruptcy of women’s desire to retain youth forever. While the sweet feeling of the body is the only dignity and comfort alive, the sweet feeling of heart has been devoured by consumerism, the loss and fragmentation of humans cannot be saved by simple stage props. In No. 5 and No. 6 of ‘Sweetness Is Gone’, the dagger in the artist’s hand clearly indicates the anxiety and fear after the fragmentation of body and heart when ’sweetness is gone’.

Lei Yan’s photography continues the methodology of her ‘Freezing’ series. Elements raging from photographs of comrades in the army, to revolutionary articles, to images of the trenches are all put in ice cubes and photographed again, generating an archaeological memory of the image, while a woman’s career in the army is recalled in such a sad yet private way. In her work about her military career, Lei Yan reduces soldiers to men and women, the machinery of state to a school of childish faces, monument of hero to one tombstone after another, sacrifice to price, collectivism to mutual help and revolutionary romance to sentiments in the sealed history. The significance and nobility manifested by life itself are much more significant than any transient state in the long river of history, since life has soul and soul is immortal.

Mai Zhixiong’s ‘Sanctuary?’ series retains his simple style of object, scenery and colour and refined abstraction. However the artist has undergone a shift from his previous work and has rejected any possibility of symbolic construction. The scene in the picture in brightened, Beacon Mountain appears but the title is questioning sanctuary, showing the artist’s rethinking of symbolism. A sanctuary is considered a holy place in Judaism and Christianity, the innermost chamber of the Jewish temple was called the ‘Holy of Holies’, regarded as the dwelling place of the LORD God. Only the high priest could enter the ‘Holy of Holies’ once each year on the ‘Day of Atonement’. However, such a place built by human hands appears too small in front of the all-mighty God, hampering the relationship between humans and God. The curtain that blocked the ‘Holy of Holies’ from human access was ripped apart when Jesus died on the cross. Christianity holds that it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats to take away human sin, however, as is noted in the book of Hebrews in the New Testament, ‘we have confidence to enter into the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus’. The quest for the sanctuary, however, is not for the beacon, nor for the holy mountain beyond, but as Jesus told the woman of Samaria, ‘a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem… God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth’.(9)

Whereas the 7 Chinese artists discussed above raise questions in their art as a cry for a ‘Completion Inscape’ or even ‘Supreme Completion Inscape’, the video work of British artist Jonathan Kearney, by focusing on the process of colours following across time, creates an image of ‘Completion Inscape’ in micro scale across a timeframe. If the other artists in this exhibition mainly draw their images from the location in which they are living, Jonathan treats the micro objects in his art as a kind of ‘local experience’. It is worth mentioning that Jonathan has also exhibited his art works via off-site live broadcast over the internet, a remarkable departure from the dependence on, and significance of, location when ‘Creating Inscape on The Spot’. The advent of a digital, internet era makes concepts such as ‘on the spot’ and ‘location’ seem insignificant, maybe even redundant. The important thing is the presentation of ‘inscape’ itself.

4. Conclusion

To a great extent the art discussed in this essay provide justification for considering the landscape around us and comfort for our minds and inner self. They also challenge us with profound insights into culture and life.

Provincial, cultural and natural resources should not become the prerequisite for an art movement or artist to receive historical recognition. The reason why a geographic characteristic or ethnic culture is widely recognized is because it carries a fundamental reflection of self and maybe something universal for all humans. The concept of ‘Creating Inscape on The Spot’ and this exhibition are simply designed to introduce such a possibility. Just as the Southwest school of ‘Life Flow’ inevitably turned into the ‘Chinese experience’ movement, ‘Chinese experience’ will itself return to life.

Notes:

(1) Jingjie: the degree or limit of boundary, country, or the accomplishment of people or artworks in spirit, culture or morality.

(2) Inscape: noun, poetic/literary, the unique inner nature of a person or object as shown in a work of art, esp. a poem. ORIGIN mid 19th cent. (originally in the poetic theory of Gerard Manley Hopkins). Know more about this word on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inscape

(3) According to Genesis, 1:31, On the the sixth day of Genesis, ‘And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good’.

(4) ‘Life Flow’ is a school of painting evolved from agrestic painting by some Southwest artists, originating from the expressionist style of life flow paintings by artists such as Ye Yongqing, Zhang Xiaogang, Zhou Chunya, Mao Xuhui and Pan Dehai. The artists choose the expression of their own life experience, internal journey and sentiment as the purpose of their artwork. This approach has gradually become a cultural tradition for contemporary Southwest art.

(5) Kunming Impressionist School: a school of artists, active in the streets and suburbs of Kunming and keen on the daily sketching of landscape in 1960s and 70s, formed a unique style of Yunnan oil painting characterized by gorgeous colours and strong expressive force. Its representatives include Pei Wenkun, Pei Wenlu, Jiang Gaoyi, Sha Lin and Su Xinhong.

(6) Shen Society: an art society formed in 1970s by artists such as Ding Shaoguang, Jiang Tiefeng, Liu Shaohui and Yao Zhonghua who were born in the 1940s. In 1980, Shen Society as a group held a exhibition
in Yunnan Museum, with their primitive decoration style starkly different from the revolutionary realistic style popular across the country. Later, Ding Shaoguang and Jiang Tiefeng emigrated to the U.S. and formed the ‘School of Contemporary Yunnan Heavy Colored Painting’, which has wide influence internationally.

(7) According to Genesis, 2:15 – 3:10, Adam and Eve, lured by the serpent, ate the forbidden fruit and hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden, ‘And the LORD God called
unto Adam, and said unto him, Where are you?’

(8) ‘Hai Wai Bei Jing’ in Shan Hai Jing recorded a tale that a man named Kua Fu exerted his utmost strength to chase after the sun but eventually died of thirsty and became a grove of peach trees. Based on this tale, He Libing drew an oil painting titled ‘Chasing the Sun’.

(9) Quoted from John, 4:21-24.

“就地造境”艺术展

当我昨天才把近七千字的“就地造境”的展览评述写完时,才真正完成了对展览理念基础的搭建,或者说才真正知道了自己到底想要讲什么——原来是这么一回事,难怪每次当我要把展览的想法与人分享,总是模棱两可,特别是跟西方人分享更是困难,最后只是把这个展览简单地说成是关于landscape,到现在我才知道,哪只是风景那么简单!

展览的题目“就地造境”是比较有趣的自造词汇,很多艺术家都能从中意会。然而这个题目的翻译却断断续续反反复复讨论了可以说一年多的时间,直到最近我才定下这个“Inscape On The Spot”作为各种翻译方案里最接近原意的一句,或许将来会有更好的翻译吧。其实仅仅是一个词的翻译倒是不难,难的是展览核心概念及其连带概念在评述文章里不同语境下的使用,为了让展览理念、相关概念、文化背景、文化理解能在英文里得到较好的阐述,确实折腾了不少精力。文章已发去翻译,等稿子回来后再看看效果。

这里先提前放上展览预告,欢迎关注。

就地造境

“就地造境” 当代艺术展 公告

展览简介:
“就地造境”当代艺术展以一种人文主义立场对本土近年来与风景、心境有关的艺术作品进行梳理,从中国传统文化里的“境界观”出发,以六位云南艺术家、一位广东艺术家以及一位英国艺术家的相关艺术品为个案,深入探讨当代人的心灵境况与生存现实,从而期盼一个愉悦心境与和谐家园的到来。这个展览的人文内涵涉及对传统文化的反思,对精神价值的看重,对本土人文历史的回顾等。展出艺术品包含油画、摄影、录像、装置等总共约十六件艺术品。

理念阐述:
“境界”作为一种文化含义,是关于人通过对宇宙、社会、人生的思考,进行道德、文化、心理、审美等方面的自我修养,以达到一定的实践水平或程度,获得发自内心的愉悦生命,儒家将之视作一种“成圣人格”。在古代,许多画家词人通过到自然风景中去体会万物的奥妙,获得一种安静淡泊的心境,以及对人生的思考,这样的方式也传承到了今天艺术家的风景创作。

在这片自然资源丰富,人文土壤多样而温和的云南,有许多艺术家都充满着描绘自然风景的热情,创作出了大批优秀影响深远的艺术作品,形成云南近半个世纪以来独特的艺术现象。我将那些画面源于地域风景,与艺术家个人心境相结合,表达对人类普遍心灵境况这样一种主题性关怀,称为“就地造境”观。“就地造境”观在日常生活中最常见的就是园林景观“就地造景”的理念,但作为一种艺术创作,它以艺术家个人融入自然、与自然对话,并将艺术家内在心境与人类普遍境况进行景观化的表达。这里我们选择云南六位艺术家:兰庆星、和丽斌、郭鹏、石志民、孙国娟、雷燕,以及一位广东艺术家麦志雄,一位具有多年中国生活经验的英国艺术家章水(Jonathan Kearney)的相关作品为个案,从不同角度展开对该主题的探讨。

展览中所谈及到的艺术很大程度上为我们周遭风景与心灵景观的状况提供了佐证与慰藉,同时我们也获得关于文化与生命更深远的提示。

关键词:境界、心境、自然观、风景艺术,乡土艺术、就地造境

展览信息:
主办:TCG诺地卡画廊
支持单位:云南艺术学院美术学院
策展人:罗菲
学术总监:和丽斌
艺术家:郭鹏,和丽斌,雷燕,兰庆星,麦志雄,石志民,孙国娟,章水(Jonathan Kearney)
艺术类型:油画、摄影、录像
开幕时间:2009年4月3日星期五,晚上8点开幕
展期:4月3日–5月29日
展览地点:TCG诺地卡画廊,昆明市西坝路101号,创库内。
相关文章:《就地造境》,《风景三十年》
*展览免费*
媒体支持:《民族时报》,《向上》,《大观周刊》,都市时报,生活新报,昆明日报,春城晚报,云南信息报,《艺术当代》等
网络支持:艺术个案,艺术国际,art218,99艺术网,雅昌艺术网,谷草网等
展览安排:本次展览将在四月初开幕,并以四月五月作为“就地造境”主题月,展开相关艺术家个人访谈、主题论坛、高校讲座等学术活动,旨在回顾本土风景艺术、探讨关注本土人文环境、关顾个人心境与生存现实等话题。

———————–English——————–

“Inscape On The Spot” art exhibition

From a humanistic perspective, the contemporary art exhibition “Inscape On The Spot” sorts the native artworks related to landscape and mentality, and with the artworks of 8 artists, 6 from Yunnan, one from Guangdong and one from Britain, as cases, analyzes the circumstances of mentality and reality of life of contemporary people, thereby reveals the concealment of pleasant mentality and harmonious homeland in vanity. The humanistic meaning of this exhibition involves the reflection of traditional culture, the accentuation of spiritual value, and the reminiscence of native humanistic history. The artworks on show include oil paintings, photography, video and installation, about 16 items in total.

Related essays:
Creating Inscape On The Spot“, written by Luo Fei
“Thirty Years of Landscaping “, written by He Libin

Curator: Luo Fei
Academic director: He Libin
Artists: Guo Peng, He Libin, Lei Yan, Lan Qingxing, Mai Zhixiong(Guangdong), Shi Zhimin, Sun Guojuan,Jonathan Kearney(UK)
Host by: TCG Nordica
Opening: 8:00 pm, 2009/April/3 (Friday)
Exhibition Duration: 2009/April/3-May/29
TCG Nordica opening time: Sunday:close, Monday:17:00-22:00, Tuesday-Saturday,10:00-22:00
Add: TCG Nordica. Xi Ba Lu no.101, Loft, Kunming
Tel: 0871-4114691,4114692
*Free Entrance*
联系邮箱/contact: luofei#tcgnordica.com(发送时将#改为@)
网址/website: http://www.tcgnordica.com

章水访谈:神学穿过艺术

时间:2006年9月19日下午2点-4点
地点:昆明TCG诺地卡文化中心

章水(Jonathan Kearney www.jonathankearney.com):英国艺术家,从事实验绘画、新媒体艺术以及艺术展览策划等工作。目前为英国伦敦艺术大学研究生导师,前任昆明TCG诺地卡画廊策展人。以下简称章。

采访者:罗菲(以下简称罗)
录音翻译整理:刘敏,罗菲

罗:我在你的资料中看到你过去在英国做过很多的事情。你在英国伦敦大学教艺术,听说你也教授神学方面的课程,我觉得很有意思,很感兴趣,能不能大致介绍一下你工作方面的情况。

章:在大学里我只是教艺术,在英国和这里一样的,并不是很多人对艺术和神学都感兴趣,在欧洲和美国也一样,也许好一点,但是仍然只是很少一部分人懂这个。那么我主要是在伦敦大学工作,每个星期只是教艺术,我们没有专门的神学艺术专业。但同时我在另外一个地方教神学,并不是每个星期,在那里我把艺术也教给那些神学学生,但是在伦敦大学艺术专业里面并没有神学专业,并且据我所知,在英国任何一所艺术大学里面都没有神学方面的专业。

在英文里我是这样表达神学和艺术的关系:神学穿过艺术(Theology throughs the art.),如同太阳光穿过月亮一样。在神学里面我教授什么呢,就是让人们学会用艺术来明白神学的道理。当我说到艺术的时候,它指的是一个非常宽广的领域,不仅仅是绘画,舞蹈,音乐,戏剧等等,它还包括很多很多,在英国,我想没有任何一个地方在教艺术的同时也在教神学。我跟很多人说“神学穿过艺术”,可是没有人明白这个道理,这很奇怪。

罗:所以你尝试让神学和艺术联系起来。

章:是的。我尝试了很多不同的方式。一种就是艺术家在工作室里工作,做作品的时候,思考神学,反问自己:我为什么要做作品?而这个思考首先是从《圣经》开始。

罗:学生也有学圣经的课程吗?

章:有的时候有的地方是这样,他们已经非常了解圣经,他们是基督徒,可是他们并不了解艺术,他们只是了解圣经,这个时候我就教艺术。

罗:他们不是艺术类学生?

章:不是,他们是神学院的学生,他们的课程就是关于如何带领教会,所以他们非常了解圣经。我会向他们教授艺术,英国的大多数基督徒不太清楚圣经贯穿艺术,艺术也反映圣经的道理,艺术是圣经里很重要的部分,许多基督徒并不会以这种方式来读圣经。我不是很了解美国的情况,美国有很多不同类型的大学,有政府的也有基督徒的,也许他们中有一类是教神学也是教艺术的,但是我们英国没有。

罗:欧洲如何?

章:在欧洲,有很多的地方既教神学也教圣经,这种地方叫圣经学院,但是他们中没有任何一个教艺术,没有把圣经和艺术结合起来。

罗:这很困难!

章:是的。非常困难。我了解到有一门新的课程,他们把圣经和艺术有一点点的结合,但是我并不太清楚他们的具体课程,但是希望以后有更多的了解。我回答了你的问题吗?

罗:当然!我只是想更多的了解欧美有关神学和艺术的现状,这些讯息对于关注神学和艺术的中国人来说很重要。

章:我想在欧洲和英国大多数的大学,在艺术学院他们教艺术,他们对精神层面(spirit)感兴趣,但不是圣经上指的属灵层面(spirit)。而在欧洲很多年以前,很多艺术来自于圣经题材,用基督的理念来理解欧洲的艺术是非常非常重要的,那个时候他们为教堂创作绘画,可是是最近一百年来,基督的理念就不那么重要了,多元化的理念变得更重要:
不同的宗教信仰,不同的观念,甚至无神论等等。

罗:宗教不再是艺术唯一的理由。

章:对!那么大学里发生了什么呢?在艺术学院,他们只是了解圣经一点点,只是一个大概,我听说他们不得不有一些关于圣经的讲座,但只是介绍一些非常非常简单的基本常识,这只是为了更多的了解欧洲的艺术而已,可是他们只是模仿,并不理解。所以今天的艺术学院只是教一点点的圣经。在过去,人人都很了解圣经。我在伦敦读硕士课程的时候写的论文里,涉及到神学和艺术的关系,我的老师们明白我的艺术,这对我的艺术很好,但是他们不了解神学,我们不能交流更多,所以他们并不能真正帮到我。因此我要行万里路,读万卷书,和不同的人交流,英国有一些好书,但不是太多。这就是我自己在神学方面不断提高的方式。

罗:如果你参与一个神学艺术课程的教学,你会用什么方式让艺术和神学结合起来?我们知道艺术的训练方式可以有很多非常实验的方法来教学,这种方法和神学教学能结合吗?

章:我想这相当困难。首先,中国和欧洲的艺术教学方法有很大的区别,艺术有许多的方法可以教授,我的方法是同时教授神学和艺术,在教圣经的时候我融入艺术的方式,教艺术的时候我融入圣经,比如先阅读圣经,有关于圣经的课程,然后去工作室画画,或者,去其他地方,去剧院学习跳舞什么的,我们更愿意二者同时进行,他们都是相关的,互相影响。你正在做音乐,你在思考神学,你在思考圣经,或者有一个关于舞蹈的灵感,这些都是互相影响的。我认识一个非常非常有名的神学老师,同时他也是非常非常好的一个钢琴家,他说我们的上帝是圣父圣子圣灵的三位一体,是有三个位格,同时却又是一位上帝,这如何去理解呢?如果你画画,红色蓝色黄色不加思考混在一起,非常非常难看,他说在弹奏钢琴的时候,先弹一个音符,再加一个音符,再加两个音符,那就是非常美丽的合音。所以尽管一些不同的因素混合在一起有意想不到的效果。他从一边教神学也一边教钢琴的过程中对上帝的三位一体的合一领悟到更多。我想这非常有意思。这就是从神学上影响了艺术,从艺术上也影响了神学。我想这也是一种结合方法吧。

罗:那么你认为连接神学和艺术最重要的问题是什么?

章:最重要的我认为要有一个基础,这个基础就是从圣经开始。圣经的一开始就启示,上帝创造了世界,造了一切,造男人造女人,而上帝是按照他的样式造人的。因此,我们也拥有上帝的样式,我们也能进行创造,就像上帝可以创造一样。在创世纪里,上帝要人喜悦他所创造的这个世界,为之祈祷,为之喜悦,创造它,改造它,让它更美好。举个例子,你知道小提琴,上帝没有创造小提琴,是人创造的,上帝只是创造了木头和一切所需要的东西,然而人据此创造了美妙的音乐,如果我们真的是上帝所创造的,那么我们也能用上帝似的创造力来创造这个世界,上帝并没有用同样的方式创造动物和树木,这是在人类身上很特别的东西:我们可以创造,像上帝那样,这是最大的不同。我们和上帝有别,上帝说,要有光,于是便有了光,我们却不能这样做,但是上帝赐给我们一切的想法,我们把这些想法结合起来就能创造出令人惊叹的事物来。假如我们明白了这个,创造力就在圣经的一开始,这意味着我们就是具有创造力的人,这创造力也是我们原本就应该有的。

而且,去创造事物也是上帝赐给人的一项任务,就好像是命令,我们应该去做什么?当上帝创造了世界,他想让世界知道他是上帝,怎么办?比如说,一个国家的国王是如何让他的民众知道他的形象的,假设他在西安,但他想让昆明的人知道他是国王,他怎么办呢?他就在昆明做一个他的雕塑,所有的人都知道,啊,他就是国王!当上帝创造世界的时候,他也想让这个世界的一切都知道他是上帝,而我们也就是他的雕像,只是我们是人,我们会走动,有生命。这就是上帝在圣经创世纪一章二十六节里说:我们要按照我们的形象和样式造人。所以,我们是他的雕像,但不是傻傻的站着不动的那种,我们有他的形象和样式,具备创造力,具备灵,具备思想,具备独立的品格,我们是上帝的使者,我们就向世界彰显,上帝是我们的主。我想这就是最重要的东西。当我们理解了这个,我们就知道,作为艺术家是很好的,但并不比医生老师等其他职业更重要,医生很重要,它能够拯救生命让人健康,但也并不是最重要的,作为艺术家也是一样的,因为他们是平等的。我们艺术家不会帮人看病什么的,我们是用其他的方式帮助人们。

罗:让神学和艺术结合起来这的确很困难,可是它们之间确实有着神秘的联系:艺术、创造力、神性、信念、精神性、希望等等词汇,他们联系在一起。

我想说说当代艺术中的精神性问题。去年我们工作室邀请了一些欧洲的艺术家前来参与我们的艺术活动,发现有一些欧洲的年轻艺术家的作品对于中国艺术家来说有些隔阂,中国艺术家认为他们仅仅是和身体还有游戏精神有关系,而中国艺术家更注重精神层面以及文化层面的思考。当然,那种对身体和游戏精神的探讨也开始影响到了今天的中国艺术家。

章:在过去,中国传统文化中的精神性是非常非常重要的,今天的中国艺术家也沿袭了这个传统。

罗:是的。只是有的艺术家只是运用传统文化的图式,和精神没有关系,就像是传统文化的一张脸,是表面的。

章:几个月以前我到云南大学去参加一个有名的艺术家的讲座,小蓉为我做翻译,我记不得那个人的名字了,那是一个非常大的课堂,很多很多的学生,艺术家发现那里的学生做的艺术像西方的,就对学生们说到:你们不能忘记我们的传统文化,你们毫无精神性可言,但是你们必须要有精神性,你们必须首先思考理念,然后再去画,因为那是中国传统文化的理念!他非常生气,哈哈,说你们都去崇尚西方艺术了,你们必须牢记中国传统文化的理念,他非常生气!

罗:对于中国艺术家而言,我们会问:我们为什么需要圣经,我们有我们自己的传统文化?我们常常把圣经以及神学思考混淆在西方文化的范畴里,一同拒斥在门外了。

章:我刚才说过,中国传统文化非常非常重要,我愿意去学习它,我已经学了一些。为什么重要呢?因为它是人创造的,是最早的人创造的,而最早的人直接受上帝的启示,如同先知,中国的传统文化对于我们理解上帝的话语非常有帮助。

耶稣一直在说”天国”,”天国在这里”,”天国近了”,这和中国传统文化对于世界和人生的思考是不一样的,在英国文化里也不一样,所以圣经不是西方文化,是从你们亚洲来的,但是我们的这些文化系统里都有一部分和”天国”有关,我们去接触这些文化可以更多更深入的理解上帝的话语。

罗:在我成为一名基督徒之前,我认为,艺术是我的唯一希望。我非常崇尚中国传统文化,在我开始接触基督教的时候,我常常带着圣经和论语,老子一起,进行比较。圣经里边说的话,我能在那些中国书里找到几乎一样的话语,许许多多类似的地方。但是后来我发现是不一样的,中国传统文化是人创造的,而圣经是上帝的话语本身。

章:上帝是光,照亮我们的路和我们的艺术,让我们看到希望,艺术充满了光和希望,但是它的源头是上帝,是神学。当然也有偏激的情况,有的基督徒认为圣经是最重要的,其他的文化都不重要,也不接触,这样也没问题,但是为什么不更开放一点呢。

罗:在中国,神学被引入艺术,往往是作为阐释性的理论,是对艺术的阅读和理解,并非作为对艺术的评介,并没有从圣经里找到评介艺术的方法,比如什么样的艺术是好的,什么是不好的,怎么样可以更好?我想这个问题对于艺术家和观众来说都是非常重要的东西,特别是当代艺术,这样一个价值多元化的状况下。因此,有没有一种神学方法来对艺术进行某种评介?

章:这是一个评介机制,这是非常有意思的问题。在西方,很难有一个标准来评介艺术系统,我想很难说什么是好的什么是不好的。但是我从腓立比书里看到这样的话,我想可以用来对艺术进行某种评介:”弟兄们,我还有未尽的话,凡是真实的、可敬的、公义的、清洁的、可爱的、有美名的,若有什么德行、若有什么称赞、这些事你们都要思念”。这些话是上帝要我们去思念的。

第一个词是”真实的”(truth),我们可以从艺术,音乐,舞蹈来看,无论它们表现的是积极的还是消极的,它们都是真实的,就像后面那张有关女人体的画,那不是一张很美丽的画,但是它所表达的是真实的恐惧,这种真实非常重要,是内在的,所以你可以用这样一个标准来判断,艺术源于真实的生活,即使是不美好的事情,这是首当其冲的一个标准。

第二个词是”可敬的”(honour/dignity),也是有尊严的,这对人很重要,如果不给人类尊严,那会是很糟糕的情况,对人类尊严的思考也是艺术中的一个判断之一。

下一个是”公义的”(right),正义,这是一个道德上的尺度,比如说毕加索的《格尔尼卡》,讲述了一个小镇上发生的非常严酷的暴行,许多手无寸铁的老百姓被屠杀,艺术家把这种活生生的惨境告诉给人,事实上是对正义的一种呼唤,所以,这也是一种评判作品的标准。

再下一个是”清洁的”(purity),也是纯洁的纯粹的意思,有的人只喜欢看干净的美丽的艺术,他们不喜欢那种真实的纯粹的东西,比如这两个电影,一个电影是《罗密欧与朱丽叶》,这是一个悲剧,尽管有现实的阻绕,但是他们的爱情很纯洁,很神圣,可是罗密欧和朱丽叶都死了,很悲伤却很美丽的电影,人们喜欢看这个。另一个是《本能》,两个已婚的人始终都想在一起,可是他们都有自己的家庭,他们只是为了性,可是他们的爱欲也是纯粹的,本能的。所以,我
的意思是,对作品纯粹性的认识不是道德上的是非评判,而是还原到人性本身的纯粹状态。

接下来是”可爱的”(beauty/lovely),美丽的,有的事情是美丽的漂亮的,有的事物从形象上看却不是美丽的,甚至不好看,但是却是真实的画面,比如后面那张画中的女人,并不美丽,却给予了诚实和尊严。

有美名的”(good repute),不仅仅是指很出名,对于很多基督徒来说,他们往往关心一个艺术家是否是一个基督徒,如果不是基督徒他们就不认为他是好的艺术家,做的作品将不会好,在生活中也不会是很好,可是这只是其中一个评判标准,然而事实上也并非这样,比如毕加索,我们都知道他的艺术非常非常好,可是他对待女人却并不好,然而你不能说他的艺术不好。

美德”(excellence),就是卓越的意思,这是完美的境界,非常非常难。我认为,对于一个艺术家的评价的最好方式是看他近十年来的艺术实践,而不是单单看一件作品,因为你可以做一件好作品,却很难保持做十年好的作品。比如,你做了五年艺术,我做了十二年,但都只是艺术史中的一个浪花,这些要在五十年一百年之后再回过头来看,还经得起时间和历史的考验的作品才是好的作品。

最后是”称赞”(praise),这是由作品的影响和效果组成的,就是作品本身对人的影响。比如你的作品,有非常强烈的效果,尽管其中有些中文我并不明白,可是我能明确的明白其中的意思和效果,这就是好的作品。在中国,医治艾滋病的药物是很贵的,但是在英国,看病是免费的,或者很便宜,另外,作品中的英文话语强烈的表达了无助的人心里深处的需要。你的作品非常的好,把药物和文字放在一起。

所以,当我们评判作品和艺术家的时候,这些都只是其中的一些办法,可以综合的考虑。

罗:在实验艺术界,人们非常的强调效果的一面,由此作为学术判断的重要标准。

章:是的,效果很重要。可是你看电视节目,广告也很有效果,很快,很漂亮的画面,眼前一闪,鼓励你买东西,可是却不是真实的,它讲的东西和实际的东西是有差别的,甚至是一个谎言。所以效果论只是其中一种判断方法。

罗:最后一个问题是,你如何看待艺术家和先知身份的关系。

章:这个问题非常非常重要,我很高兴你能问这个问题。先知首先作为名词,圣经旧约告诉我们,先知能够预测未来所发生的,先知是上帝的使者,让民众跟随上帝的旨意。同时,先知也是一个动词,一种对未来预知判断的能力,这是人类普遍所拥有的。

先知总是看到未来,思考未来,我们应该怎么走,我们要去哪里?当下中国的现状是什么样的,中国现在改变非常非常的迅速,近十年二十年来发生了什么?未来会是什么样的,我们该怎么做?如果我们做了改变,这将是利大于弊还是弊大于利?

教会里常常有这样的情况,一类人总是在预知未来,是很激进的,另一种是安于现状,觉得现实很舒服很满足,事实上我们两种都需要。

在英国,我见到很多的艺术家,电影制片人,音乐人,艺术家,舞蹈家,他们都像先知一样的创作,他们能明确感受到未来的变化。在中国传统的艺术里,一样的有这 种先知的精神。从圣经上我们知道,所有的基督徒都有从上帝而来的恩赐,而先知也是一种恩赐,我们要去哪里?为什么走这边?我们应该怎么走?

从某种角度来讲,艺术家是不是基督徒并不重要,但是艺术家应该像先知一样具备先知的能力去改变现实,这是非常非常重要的。特别是在今天的中国,艺术家的作品要能够影响全中国的发展,改变中国的状况。

所以,艺术家不仅仅是关心我们自己的艺术,也可以从圣经中更多的理解先知的能力,艺术家本身在做艺术的时候否在结合圣经的这个启示去思考人类的未来呢?关于这个问题我已经思考了很久了。