劳作与诗意

劳作与诗意
总监:叶敏
策划:管郁达
开幕时间:2007年12月30日(周日)下午三时三十分
地点:广州市农林下路五号亿达大厦十二楼
展期:2007年12月30日—2008年1月17日
Labor and Poetry
Director: Michelle Yip
Mastermind: Guan Yu Da
Opening: at 3:30 P.M., Sunday, Dec. 30th, 2007,
at Fei Gallery, 12th Floor, Estate Plaza,
No.5, Nong Lin Xia Road, Guangzhou
Exhibition Duration:Dec.30th, 2007- Jan.17th , 2008


苏格拉底说,各种学问最根本的目的,就是要解决人怎样活着的问题。
正是在这个意义上,柏拉图也把艺术性的宗教节庆称之为“喘息的时刻”(anǎpaula),人之所以背离本真的存在而坠入庸庸碌碌的非本真生活状态之中,就在于丧失了“劳作”的日常诗意。因此,新的生存尺度,即诗性的尺度,应成为我们重建日常生活的起点。赫尔德林诗云:“人充满劳绩,但是还诗意的安居在大地之上”。“请赐予我们以双翼,让我们满怀驰骋,返回故园”。中国道家也把“无为而无不为”,“居善地,心善渊”作为一种很高的生存追求。而成都这些不为潮流所动的艺术家的生存状态与诗意的生活方式,恰好是对“诗意栖居”的完美注解,它蕴涵了高超的辩证思维,体现出天人合一的境界,直指生命本体意义上的人生哲理。就是靠这样一种生命状态和日常诗意的生活方式,最近这些年,成都的艺术生态和艺术创作形成了“近悦远来”的巨大向心力,使身体感性和手工快感成为中国当代艺术重要的一股推动力量。参加这次“劳作与诗意”艺术展的十三位艺术家的作品就是一个有力的证明。
Therefore, as Socrates refers to that the most important of all knowledge is “how best to live?”. In this sense, Plato calls the artistic religious festival as “ a moment to breath” (anǎpaula). Why man strays from the true being and indulges himself in the untrue being? That’s because one is deprived of the “ poetic quality” in one’s daily “labor”. Thus, a new criterion of existence, namely the poetic criterion, should be set as a starting point for us to rebuild our daily life. It says in Friedrich Holderlin’s poems: “Full of merit, yet poetically, man dwells on this earth”, “Give us wings, and loyal minds
To cross over and return”. While in China, “ do nothing, everything is done” and “And if men think the ground the best place for building a house upon,
If among thoughts they value those that are profound” ( Tao Te Ching ), which are looked upon by Chinese Taoists as the high aspiration of life. And the exist state and the poetic way of living of those artists who live in Chengdu are the perfect interpretation of “poetically dwell”. Because it contains profound dialectical thoughts, reflects the uninimity of heaven and men, and has a life philosophy that focuses on the ontological meaning of life. In recent years, this exist state and the poetic way of living has formed a great centripetal force in the art ecological community and artistic creation in Chengdu that those who are near are happy and far off are attracted. The body perception and the manual pleasant sensation have become an important driving force for the Chinese contemporary art. The works of “ Labor and Poetry” art exhibition by these 13 artists are exactly the convincing proof.



成都日常生活中的诗意与劳作
管郁达
每次来到成都小住访友,走的时候“挥一挥衣袖”,都会带着一种依依不舍、欲罢不能的伤感与别情。这,大概因为成都实在是一个养人又享乐的、适宜居住的地方吧:东西好吃,人也好耍,美女又多。所谓“养胃、养心、养眼”就是了。人生无常,人生苦短,一个人,不管他是市井百姓、达官贵人,还是艺术家、诗人,只要生活居住在成都就能有此福报,此生何求呢?
日常生活中随处可见的悠闲安逸与浪漫诗意,造就了成都这样一个超然隔世、锦锈繁华、美女如云、夜夜笙歌的安乐窝。生活在成都,即便是每天的衣食住行,都比别处多了几分与世隔绝的情调遐想和精致。这样诗意、闲散的生活很久以前就是这样了。旧时成都有一顺口溜云:“不要慌,不要忙,哪个忙人得下场?一个忙人是韩信,一个忙人楚霸王。霸王忙来乌江丧,韩信忙来丧未央……”。成都人鼓励悠闲、挖苦忙人,“无所事事”的生活态度和城市性格,表现得淋漓尽致。成都街头随处可见的茶铺既是会友、交易、推销、卖艺、闲聊的公共空间,也是无所事事、街头“打望”行人的场所,更经常成为社会生活和地方政治的中心。成都的时间,是浸泡在茶碗里的光阴,是可以雕刻和追忆的“逝水年华”。
日本摄影家荒木经纬曾将城市比作人的身体。这真是一个有关艺术家创作与其生活环境关系的绝妙比喻。以何多苓、何工、师进滇为代表的这十三位艺术家,尽管并不都是成都人,但他们的艺术作品与成都这个城市的日常生活都有着千丝万缕的联系。毕竟,架上艺术主要还是一种强调手工感觉与身体经验的劳作。所以,艺术家的生理感受、身体经验与观看方式等等,都与成都这个地方的文化地理、气候构成一种同质的关系。
比如很多艺术家都以灰色、黑色、白色作为他们绘画的基调。何多苓、何工、何千里的绘画,师进滇的雕塑都是。这种选择其实与艺术家的身体经验有关,“灰色”、晦暗与暧昧也是成都这个城市的基本性格与调子。再就是“潮湿”的视觉经验,也是许多成都艺术家的作品所共有的一个特点,像李伯忠、杨方伟的画都涉及了水这个题材,刘敏以前也画了许多水中的女人体,最近在不锈钢板上所做的实验仍然保持了她一贯的“潮湿”、流动的用笔风格。
忧郁、伤逝与颓废是生活在成都的艺术家们无法摆脱的一种身体感觉、生理感受与观看方式。曾妮、郭燕、王雨欣、曾朴的作品都有这种虚空静寂、“盛宴必散”的伤感。只不过曾妮、郭燕和王雨欣的叙事角度是“自叙”式的私人记录,而曾朴的陈述方式更多一些“蒙太奇”式的剪辑而已。
肖克刚和邱光平看起来似乎有些“例外”。但只要仔细观察就会发现,其实肖克刚画面上的那种“表现性”笔触后面躲藏着一种中国文人式的“抒情”性,而邱光平貌似“超现实主义”的情景中隐隐约约透露出一种技术游戏的“把玩”心态,这两点也还是成都这个地方的一种文化趣味和地方知识传统。
而何多苓无疑是最能代表成都城市性格的一位艺术家。他从上个世纪八十年代以来,一直有意偏离中国所谓当代艺术的主流,其作品中那种脆弱、忧郁与优美的情愫,已经与他生活居住的这座城市融为一体了。正是因为重建了身体经验与日常生活的联系,成都的艺术家们将绘画这种手工劳动转变成一种诗意的创造性“劳作”。
德国学者约瑟夫•皮柏(Josef Pieper)将艺术创造视为一种欢悦的“节庆”。但他认为,艺术创造作为一种欢悦的“节庆”,乃是因为它本身在日常生活中需要我们慧眼和慧心的发现,所以只有基于平常工作所塑造的日常生活为基础,才有可能展开和使事物生长,建造(aedificare)“艺术”这种东西,这种意义上的建造之物就是“诗意”的劳作,就是海德格尔所说的:“人在大地上诗意地栖居”。
为何要“诗意地栖居”呢?因为一般人的居住由于毫无“诗意”的劳作而备受折磨,由于追名逐利而不得安宁,由于娱乐和消遣活动而迷惑昏聩。而如果说在今天的栖居中,人们也还为诗意留下了空间,省下了一些时间的话,那么,顶多也就是从事某种文艺性的活动。艺术或者被当作玩物丧志的矫情和不着边际的空想而遭到否弃,被当作遁世的梦幻而遭到否定;或者,人们就把艺术看作一种工具理性的手段。艺术的功效是按照当下的现实性尺度而被估价的和叫卖的。
所以,苏格拉底说,各种学问最根本的目的,就是要解决人怎样活着的问题。
正是在这个意义上,柏拉图也把艺术性的宗教节庆称之为“喘息的时刻”(anǎpaula),人之所以背离本真的存在而坠入庸庸碌碌的非本真生活状态之中,就在于丧失了“劳作”的日常诗意。因此,新的生存尺度,即诗性的尺度,应成为我们重建日常生活的起点。赫尔德林诗云:“人充满劳绩,但是还诗意的安居在大地之上”。“请赐予我们以双翼,让我们满怀驰骋,返回故园”。中国道家也把“无为而无不为”,“居善地,心善渊”作为一种很高的生存追求。而成都这些不为潮流所动的艺术家的生存状态与诗意的生活方式,恰好是对“诗意栖居”的完美注解,它蕴涵了高超的辩证思维,体现出天人合一的境界,直指生命本体意义上的人生哲理。就是靠这样一种生命状态和日常诗意的生活方式,最近这些年,成都的艺术生态和艺术创作形成了“近悦远来”的巨大向心力,使身体感性和手工快感成为中国当代艺术重要的一股推动力量。参加这次“劳作与诗意”艺术展的十三位艺术家的作品就是一个有力的证明。

The Poetry and Labor in Chengdu’s Daily Life
By Guan Yu Da
The temporary stay and visit in Chengdu each time always brings me a kind of sentiment which makes me reluctant to part when I leave this city and “ gently flick my sleeves”. Probably it’s because Chengdu is a good place to live a life of pleasure: good food, friendly people and pretty women. It’s so called “pleasant to the stomach, the heart and the eyes”. Proverbially this is such an ever-changing life, hard and short. But no matter who they are, philistines, magnates, artists or poets, as long as they live in Chengdu, they would have these blessings, what does this have to grow to ask?

The leisurely and carefree life and the poetic and romantic sentiments which could be experienced and perceived everywhere in Chengdu make this city a place of ease and comfort. Even the everyday life in Chengdu is more exquisite than other places, people there seem to seclude from this world. For a long time this poetic and leisurely life has been what it is. There is an old saying in Chengdu: “Neither panic, nor hurry, A busy man would come to his end in pity. One example is Han Xin (the great commander of Han Kingdom), another is Chu Ba Wang ( king of western Chu ). The former died in Wei Yang, the later killed himself at Wu Jiang......”. Chengdu people encourage a leisurely life and ridicule those who are busy. The life attitude of “being at a loose end” and its particular urban personality have been displayed to the most. The tea shops in the streets are not only the public space for meeting friends, making deals, promoting the sales, street performance and idle talk, but also the places for those that have nothing to do but drink tea and watch the pedestrians, the tea shops even become the local “political” center and the gathering places for the social activities. It seems that the time spent in Chengdu is soaked in the tea, which can be carved like sculpture and recollected like flowing water.

The Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki has ever compared the city to a human body. This is really an excellent metaphor for the relation between the art creation and the surroundings. The art works by 13 artists led by He Duo Ling, He Gong and Shi Jin Dian have close connection with the daily life in the city like Chengdu, though not all of them are from there. After all, the art on frame is a kind of labor that mainly emphasizes on the manual perception and body experience. Therefore, the artists’ physical sensations, body experiences, and ways of observation have the homogenous relations with the culture, the geographical features and the climate of the place where they live.

For instance, many artists use grey, black and white colors as the keynotes of their works, such as the paintings by He Duo Ling, He Gong and He Qian Li and the sculpture by Shi Jin Dian. In fact, this choice has something to do with artists’ body experiences, “grey” implies darkness, gloominess and ambiguousness, which are also the basic characteristics of the city like Chengdu. “Moist”, as a visual experience, is one of the characteristics which we can find from many works by the artists from Chengdu, such as Li Bo Zhong, Yang Fang Wei, the subject matter of whose works refers to water, Liu Min used to paint lots of woman bodies in the water. Her recent experiment on the stainless steel plate still remains her “moist” and fluid painting style.

Melancholy, dispiritment and a feeling of lost have become the physical sensations, body experiences, and ways of observation of the artists who live in Chengdu, which they feel unable to break away from. The works by Zeng Ni, Guo Yan, Wang Yu Xin and Zeng Pu share the same sentiment of “ emptiness” and a feeling of lost that every great thing will come to an end. The only difference is that the way that Zeng Ni, Guo Yan and Wang Yu Xian tell their stories is “ self-narrative”, but Zeng Pu adds more film editing technique such as montage.

The works by Xiao Ke Gang and Qiu Guang Ping seem to be exceptional. But if you observe carefully, you would sense that there is a Chinese literati emotion hidden beneath the expressionistic style of Xiao Ke Gang’s paintings; While in Qiu Guang Ping’s works, a thought of technique game-playing could be indistinctly perceived in the seemingly surrealism scenes. The above two artists somewhat demonstrate a kind of cultural taste and local knowledge tradition in Chengdu.

With no doubt, He Duo Ling is an artist who represents most the urban character of Chengdu. Since the 80’s of the last century, he has intentionally deviated from the mainstream of so-called contemporary art. The fragile, melancholic but elegant feelings permeated in his works have somehow mingled with this city where he lives. It’s because the relation between the body experience and the daily life has been rebuilt, therefore the artists in Chengdu can turn the painting from a physical labor into a poetic and creative “work”.

The German scholar Josef Pieper regards the artistic creation as a joyful “festival”. But he thinks this “joyful festival” requires our eyes and hearts for art in our daily life. Thus only based on the daily life which is constructed by the day-to-day work could we proceed and make things grow, till the “art” is edified. In this sense, what is constructed is so-called “poetic labor”, namely as Martin Heidegger quoted: “ Poetically man dwells……”.

Why should we “dwell poetically”? Most of us suffer from the unpoetic labor: we become restless because we chase after fame and gain, and we get bewildered because we kill the time in order to amuse ourselves. However, if somebody says that we still keep some space and time for the poetry nowadays, that means it’s for some cultural activities at most. These days art is rather abandoned as an affectation which would sap one’s spirit by seeking pleasures, or denied as an illusion which would help one escape from the reality, or simply regarded as a tool which serves for the purpose of reason. At present, the value of art is appraised according to the realistic criterions.

Therefore, as Socrates refers to that the most important of all knowledge is “how best to live?”. In this sense, Plato calls the artistic religious festival as “ a moment to breath” (anǎpaula). Why man strays from the true being and indulges himself in the untrue being? That’s because one is deprived of the “ poetic quality” in one’s daily “labor”. Thus, a new criterion of existence, namely the poetic criterion, should be set as a starting point for us to rebuild our daily life. It says in Friedrich Holderlin’s poems: “Full of merit, yet poetically, man dwells on this earth”, “Give us wings, and loyal minds
To cross over and return”. While in China, “ do nothing, everything is done” and “And if men think the ground the best place for building a house upon,
If among thoughts they value those that are profound” ( Tao Te Ching ), which are looked upon by Chinese Taoists as the high aspiration of life. And the exist state and the poetic way of living of those artists who live in Chengdu are the perfect interpretation of “poetically dwell”. Because it contains profound dialectical thoughts, reflects the uninimity of heaven and men, and has a life philosophy that focuses on the ontological meaning of life. In recent years, this exist state and the poetic way of living has formed a great centripetal force in the art ecological community and artistic creation in Chengdu that those who are near are happy and far off are attracted. The body perception and the manual pleasant sensation have become an important driving force for the Chinese contemporary art. The works of “ Labor and Poetry” art exhibition by these 13 artists are exactly the convincing proof.



Cui Hu Lake, Kun Ming,
December 12th, 2007

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