知識分子_楊褔東 intellectual ?! Yang Fudong

引子 introduction

当代中国艺术的发展从70年代到90年代都是断裂的,绘画形态的变化根据意识形态的不同逐渐衍生了今日的中国当代艺术。视觉图解判断逐渐被其他方式取代。艺术背后的观念直接影响到艺术在公共空间、博物馆、画廊、艺术家工作室所呈现的形态。2000年后中国当代艺术已经逐渐摆脱西方视角下的中国特征判断,正在逐渐形成个体叙事、社会实践、艺术试验、跨学科等等不同以往的方法论。

缓慢黑白的旧时影像中,一双手在画面上绘制传统的中国山水,伴随着琴声古意,画外音:‘水墨画的意境是⋯⋯’。杨福东《陌生天堂》2002

那些怀旧、交错、缓慢、无声的人物,逐渐成为杨福东作品的标志,一种对老电影的追述。记得杨福东曾经对我说他去看了费穆先生电影回顾的感受,和小津安二郎电影中那些人物比较。可能是杨福东在不断的追述与不断闪回的方式去表达,而表达就只存在于作品的图景意境中。

“我试图模仿这种意境,试图将那些记忆深刻,但是却不真实的东西表达出来⋯⋯”杨福东如是说。

杨福东在1993年的作品《陌生人计划》,杨福东有3个月没有和人说话,沟通是通过文字被纪录在他的手和前臂。1997年到2008年,可以被看作是一个作品的整体创作,从《陌生天堂》到《竹林七贤》期间还有一些短片与装置。风格的一致性,与表达的惯性,构成了杨福东风格。邱志杰先生曾经为杨福东的风格化标准找到过一些罗列的方式,其中侧卧的人、凝视远方的人、坐在石头上的人都成为经常出现在杨福东作品中的形式。在这些相似而带有民间野史的故事中,大多是杨福东自己的记忆碎片与野史中荡气回肠的知识分子情结,在杨福东的作品中,如同游魂。他的场景多选择在南方的园林中,多为黑白的旧影效果。在这些作品中我们很难发现艺术家的批判性、对社会的不满,作品始终贯穿在沉默、寡言的内心、精神世界。

The period between the 1970s and the 1990s was a rather fragmented phase for the development of contemporary Chinese art. Painting went through many changes, in line with the ideological shifts that were occurring during the time, but out of this evolved the Chinese contemporary art we have today. Visual iconography slowly came to be replaced by other forms, and the ideas and concepts that lay in the background had a direct impact on art as seen in public spaces, in museums, in galleries, and in artists’ studios. By the year 2000 Chinese contemporary art had already moved beyond what the West perceived as Chineseness, and was in the process of gradually taking on its own individual narrative, social practices, artistic experimentation and cross-discipline forms, making a break from the past: Slowly, from an old black and white image, a pair of hands is creating a traditional Chinese landscape, accompanied by strains of zither music, with the voice over saying: “the concept behind the ink painting is...” Yang Fudong “An Estranged Paradise”, 2002

It was the figures from the past, these unhurried, silent figures, spliced together in different scenes, that would in time become the focus of Yang Fudong’s work, in references to the movies of days gone by. I recall how Yang Fudong once told me how he felt when he went to see a movie during a Fei Mu retrospective, and how this compared to movies by other people such as Ozu Yasujiro.  This is perhaps what Yang Fudong is getting at with his constant references and his constant flashbacks, ideas that only have an existence within the scenes of his films. As Yang Fudong himself put it: “This is the type of idea I’m trying to get at, trying to express memories that are quite profound, but which are not of things that actually happened.”For his 1993 piece Mosheng Ren Jihua, or “Stranger’s Plan”, Yang Fudong spent three months not saying a word to anyone, communicating solely through words written on his hands or forearms. The work made between 1997 and 2008 can really be seen as one complete oeuvre, from An Estranged Paradise to Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest, including a number of shorts and installations between. The stylistic uniformity in these works, as well as the set ways in which ideas are expressed, have become Yang’s trademark style. Qiu Zhijie has identified these common elements, showing how Yang consistently uses figures reclining on their side, figures gazing out into the distance, and figures sitting on rocks in his work. These are allusions to folk fables and stories, and derive mostly from fragments of Yang’s own memory, or inspired by his intellectual complex, as if ghosts in his work. Most of his scenes are set in scenic areas in the south, and most are in black and white, evocative of old movies. In these works we have to look hard for any trace of the critical nature of artist, or of any hint of disillusionment with society. They are pregnant with silence and reticence, with the ambience of the spirit world.

是全部,也不是 All or nothing

中国符号是被谈论最多的意识形态问题,从90年代栗宪庭先生提出的与世界接轨,到2008年的奥运会举办。中国符号也从毛泽东头像、天安门、熊猫等逐渐过渡到中国社会转型期出现的混乱景象、农民工、煤矿、商品化现象等等。中国符号逐渐成为一个不是很确定的对象,而中国经济中的艺术经济发展却为中国符号又增添了新现象,张晓刚、刘小东等等百万美元作品逐渐在影响着全球的艺术经济现象。

杨福东的作品可以作为一个中国符号化的类型来看,如他作品对整个杭州、上海地区艺术家的影响,我们可以通过他的好友路春生《化学史》系列、邱黯雄《山海经》中可见一般。从杨福东开始,一个更大的群体开始选择黑白影像、缓慢的动作、凝视与对望的方式来表述。中国符号在杨福东的作品中,既是作品的全部,也是被作品消解的观念。针对其中的场景和人物,经常存在着两种或者两种以上的普遍看法,一种是其中所有的东西都是带有“小文人”色彩的中国情调,另外的一种是作品中强烈的“知识分子”气质与对中国发展的担忧和焦虑构成了一种隐忍的视角。但是其中明显的疑点恰恰来自于这些被普遍传播的“解读”。尤其是“小文人”“知识分子”,杨福东在很多访谈中都提示了他所认为的知识分子概念是“受过教育的人”。尤其在《陌生天堂》中出现的即将结婚的青年、游泳的青年和片尾出现的铁道边怒吼的青年,都不是真正意义上的知识分子,所以“小文人”“知识分子”可以是来自对他作品名称的臆想。竹林、园林、假山、湖水、山、松树这些场景是在城市之外,从来没有变化的自然景观,在黑白的影像中如同老电影的场景,是否艺术家在故意调换时间的观念?!视觉叙事的方法在这些不明确、不确定的氛围被拉伸在一个时间缺失的社会之中。在这里杨福东的中国符号,并非现在被诟病的“中国符号”问题,更多的是他作品的本体,中国符号本身也成为了一种障碍,一个个体的知识体系与情结构成的似是而非的视觉经验。

There has been much discourse surrounding the ideological issue of Chinese symbolism, from the problem of “connecting with the world” brought up by the critic Li Xianting in the 1990s, to the Olympics of 2008. Chinese symbolism, and its various permutations through the period of great social transformation in the country, has become a disparate array of images, from Chairman Mao’s portrait through Tian’anmen Square and pictures of pandas, to images of peasant workers, coal and commercialisation. As time has gone by, Chinese symbolism has become a slippery concept to nail down, and the development of the art economy within the wider Chinese economy has only added to this. Million dollar works by artists such as Zhang Xiaogang and Liu Xiaodong have also gradually come to have an influence on the global art economy. Yang Fudong’s work can be seen as a type of Chinese symbolism in itself, in the way that it has come to influence artists throughout the Hangzhou and Shanghai regions. We can see his influence in The History of Chemistry series by Yang’s good friend Lu Chunsheng, and in Qiu Anxiong’s The Classic of Mountains and Seas. Yang was a starting point from which emerged a whole group of artists choosing to work in monochrome, employing slow movements, their protagonists gazing into the distance. In Yang’s work Chinese symbolism is at once everything about the work, and at the same time eradicated by it. One can often interpret the scenes and individuals in them in two, or sometimes more, common ways. The first of these is to see everything within them as having a Chinese-ness with shades of the “scribbler”, the small time writer, the other is the strong sense of the “intellectual” in his work, and the concern and apprehension felt for the way that China is developing. However, these commonly espoused “readings” of the work are subject to some question, not least the idea of the “scribbler” and the “intellectual.” Yang Fudong, in many interviews, has said that his idea of the intellectual is “an educated person.” In An Estranged Paradise in particular we have the youth getting married and the youth swimming, and right at the end of the film a youth ranting and raving by the side of a railway track. None of these images are what we normally associate with intellectuals, and so perhaps the ideas of “scribbler” and “intellectual” are more to do with how we respond to the titles of his work. Bamboo forests, parks, rockeries, lakes, mountains, pine trees: none of the scenes are set in cities, they are scenes within nature undisturbed. Could it be that the artist is intentionally playing with the idea of time by using black and white imagery reminiscent of old films?! Against the backdrop of these indeterminate, unspecified surroundings the visual narrative flows in a society quite outside of time. The Chinese symbolism of Yang Fudong here is not the Chinese symbolism that has been roundly criticised elsewhere. For his work, Chinese symbolism is nothing but an impediment, a separate system of knowledge and complex that gives rise to a misleading, paradoxical visual experience.

与当代艺术无关 nothing about “contemporary art”

从知识青年《陌生天堂》到知识分子《竹林七贤》系列,杨福东的表达一直是在当代艺术的问题之外的。我们经常会看到评论家将杨福东的影像与日本电影导演小津安二郎的电影做比较,或者经常是用文人知识分子的表达来概括他的作品,很少有人会将杨福东放置在一个以中国为背景的文化之中来讨论,

在Parkett 76期中说的:“在那些静止不动的画面中,观众应该追问——这些主角是否还活着?杨福东的故事如同简要而晦涩的诘问!存在的抽象电影观念,用他的话来说是来自个体内心的无可名状的冲突感受。”
In the frozen situations encountered in Yang Fudong's images, the viewer must always ask, "Will the protagonist survive?" Fudong's narratives read like brief, melancholic confessions, an "abstract cinema" that, in his own words, functions as "a non-describable collision in one's heart."  -Parkett No. 76: Yang Fudong, Lucy McKenzie, Julie Mehretu

杨福东仿佛为我们提供了一个不确定的视觉空间,同样在当代艺术今天如此对应的当代艺术的方法论中,杨福东却通过视觉经验、技术、形式等元素消解了急躁社会所能提供的直接、粗暴、简单的艺术模式。在他的作品中没有明确的对应关系、也不存在那些针对中国当代社会的批判,即使在他的作品《第一个知识分子》the first intellectual中,那个拿着砖头的白领形象,也很难让我们与今日的中国社会相关联,他的创作线索往往来自于艺术家个体的内心、知识的误读、远离现世的精神。《竹林七贤》所能提供的是杨福东《陌生天堂》《后房》等作品的一个连贯的综合视觉经验,在观看这些作品时,也许艺术家在传递心理暗示,也许艺术就是时间的消磨,也许观众应该睡觉,也许没有任何回应就是最好的回应。分析杨福东的作品,很难为杨福东归类到任何一个中国当代艺术的运动或者群体经验之中,在中国当代艺术逐渐主流化、商业化的今天,在中国正处在崛起的阶段,杨福东恰恰提供了被知识分子不断提及却事实缺位的个体经验与独立于群体之外的方式,一个独特的个人系统。

Yang’s narratives have always been outside contemporary art, from the educated youth in An Estranged Paradise to the intellectuals in Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest series. We often see his work compared to that of the Japanese director Ozu Yasujiro, or his work generalised as being about the literati and intellectuals, but very people will actually discuss Yang in a Chinese cultural context.

In Parkett No. 76 we read: In the frozen situations encountered in Yang Fudong's images, the viewer must always ask, "Will the protagonist survive?" Fudong's narratives read like brief, melancholic confessions, an "abstract cinema" that, in his own words, functions as "a non-describable collision in one's heart."  -Parkett No. 76: Yang Fudong, Lucy McKenzie, Julie MehretuIt is as if Yang is giving us an undetermined visual space, and employs elements such as visual experience, techniques and forms to mitigate against the direct, brash, simple art forms thrown up by a rash, impatient society. Absent from his work are clear cut relationships, or critiques of contemporary Chinese society: it’s even too far a stretch for us to associate the brick-wielding white collar worker in his film The First Intellectual with present day Chinese society. His creative inspiration has always come from within the artist himself, from misunderstandings, far removed from the mundanity of everyday life. Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest gives us a composite visual experience linked to his other films, An Estranged Paradise and The Back Room. When one watches these films one gets the impression that the artist is perhaps trying to suggest that art is just something that erodes time, that the audience should perhaps go to sleep, and that perhaps the best reaction is to have no reaction at all. It is very difficult to classify the work of Yang Fudong as being part of any particular Chinese contemporary art movement, or within any particular group. Today, as we are seeing Chinese contemporary art becoming increasingly mainstream and commercialised, and at a point in time when China is becoming more and more powerful in the global context, Yang Fudong supplies us with something that intellectuals continuously allude to, but just as often lack, an individual experience and an approach different from that of the herd, a completely unique individual system.  

后记 Postscript

他自己是相对躲闪的在谈论这些与直接社会有关的问题,经常是采访者希望引导艺术家阐释其作品意义,方便写作和传达的结果。杨福东曾经有意无意的说他的作品阐释是被策展人或者记者引导的结果,但是他并不争辩这些有意识的引导。如何静观现在的中国当代艺术现状,如同我在Palazzo Strozzi 策划的《多重考古学》里的观念,过去、未来和一个真空的现在,对杨福东下定义显然还为时过早。

Yang himself tends to avoid talking about how his work relates to social issues, and more often than not it is the interviewer wanting to eke an interpretation of the work from the artist in order to make it easier to write it up. Yang has said in the past that the meaning of his work lies in the interpretation given it by the curator or the writer, and it is not for him to contend how they want to read it. If we look at the current state of Chinese contemporary art we find, as I tried to show in the Multi-Archaeology exhibition I curated for the Palazzo Strozzi, a past, a future and a present in a vacuum. It is still far too early for us to reach a definitive judgement about the work of Yang Fudong.

李振華 Li Zhenhua
2008年7月1日 凌晨3點

http://www.glstrand.dk/English/udstillinger_kommende.htm#yang
Comments(0) | Trackbacks(0) | Reads(3464)