《无•所谓》秦冲个展

《无•所谓》秦冲个展
策展:杨小彦
展期:3.13-4.7,2010
开幕:3月13日 星期六下午3点
地址:广州市农林下路5号亿达大厦G层 扉艺廊
联系:020-37688781/37688830
邮箱:feigallery@163.com
网址:www.feigallery.com

Whatever- Solo Exhibition by Qin Chong
Curator: Yang Xiaoyan
Duration: 3.13-4.7, 2010
Opening: 3 p.m., Sat.,13th, Mar.,2010
Address: Fei Gallery, G Floor, Estate Plaza, No.5, Nonglin Xia Road, GZ
Contact: 020-3768 8781/3768 8830
Email: feigallery@163.com
Website: www.feigallery.com



时间之永恒表达
——秦冲作品小论
杨小彦

纵观秦冲近年来的系列作品,我发现,一方面他把作品的风格规限在有限的形式上,比如,在材质上他只使用纸料,金属,水珠与布等等类型,与其相对应,在色彩上他也极为简约,简约到基本上只使用黑与白,少有,我甚至怀疑是没有更多的色彩,这一做法,显然给人以形式主义之感,或者把其列入概念艺术之中而加以认识。另一方面,秦冲的用意显然不在于张扬所使用的材质与色彩,并通过这一张扬而获得情感表达的途径,他不以极简这样一种形式主义的方式而自许,但也不停留在概念艺术的框架内,只在有限的材质中,通过装置,包括手绘纸本作品,试图把一种心理的尖锐感予以突出并强化,再通过这一强化的形式去消解已经物质化了的作品本身,从而达到感受时间之存在的目的。这样一来,秦冲的作品就产生了一个有趣的现象,其外观与内含之间,产生了微妙的冲突。在我看来,正是在这一冲突中,秦冲突出了时间的神圣意义。从某种角度看,我甚至认为,时间恰好是秦冲的内在主题,只是,他之时间并非不可见,而是通过对作品物化形式之颠覆,以及在颠覆中延伸的社会性解读,来使时间变成可以感受的视觉化的空间概念。秦冲的作品,就是对神圣之时间观念的视觉与空间的一种双重表达。本来,从现代艺术发展的逻辑看,秦冲似乎在消解格林伯格所曾经强调的现代主义之平面观来制造一场不动声色的时间暴动,不过,这只是表面现象,秦冲不是从事理论研究,对他来说,平面恰好构成了种观看上的假象,在这一假象中,时间暴动不再具有抽象的意义,相反,时间成了一种发展的逻辑,从而在不断的自我否定中指向永恒。
《黑白联合国》是一种现场性的装置,构成因素包括了伪装的“开幕式”,以及开幕式中艺术家本人与其他参与者的出场。就国际政治而言,联合国一直是世界秩序的象征,也是规范二战以后不同国家利益的权威组织。但是,大半个世纪以来的联合国实践却与其宗旨并不对应,这个坐落在美国纽约的国际组织,根本就是大国造势的话语舞台,同时也成为大国之间争吵不休毫无结论也无法规范强国利益的辩论场所。艺术家似乎对现实中的联合国这一喧嚣特征颇有感受,他通过黑白的过滤来净化这一莫衷一是的政治论坛,并通过这一过滤让艺术渗透进去,从而改变原来的现实。在这虚拟的开幕式中,联合国成为被嘲弄的所指,而艺术却成为不断滑动的能指链,最后让艺术家本人,以及那些现场的参与者成为唯一真实的存在。结果是,参与其中的人们越是装扮得假正经,其讽喻的力量就越能够成为人们津津乐道的 内容,从而在旁观者的注视下,完成作品的最后细节。
《生日》的构成刚好和《黑白联合国》相反,一摞纸厚堆起来而形成的体积,本身就具有美感,艺术家小心而周到地在这一体积之上,通过烧烤的方式,烫出了另一种体积,或去掉一角而形成的三角形,或在体积中间凹进去一个半形圆, 不仅在质感上互成对照,而且在体积上也互为支撑,从而达到一种完美的形式外观。但是,《生日》这个题目却提醒我们,不同造型与质感所形成的,却是一种消逝与涌动的复杂感受,这一感受嵌在形式中,却让时间在观看与体认中飘浮起来,从而让观赏具有一种争脱的力量,而让无形的时间空间化。
《极限》则是一组以时间为题的作品,表面看作品是在考验一种无穷尽的忍受,一种冷漠无比的枯燥,一种不能存留的短暂的物理空间,一种样式化的不断重复的工作,时间之概念恰在这一系列与作品形成密切相关的制作当中浮现出来,并以一种与作品的冷漠完全相反的隐藏起来的疯狂,尖锐地插进观看者的双 眸,并延伸到其内心,时间恰好在这观赏的过程中得以落实,而成为一种实存。
有意思的是,经历了从装置到现场的秦冲,其本意居然是纸本的线性韵律的表达。在《无.所谓》系列中,秦冲一直在纸本上反复地使用墨线,并通过简洁明了的手法,通过线的堆积与交错,来实现格林伯格意义上的平面构想,只是,这一回秦冲不再留恋西方 经典的现代主义传统, 而是掉转头,到生于斯长于斯的中国本土寻找足以震撼灵魂的因素。其实,只要阅读他的《黑方块系列》,其中所具有的多样性,对纸本平面上的线性因素的探索,对纸张堆叠所形成的痕迹的迷恋,对穿透纸的表面而形成的非描绘性的微小空间的制作,我们可以清楚地看到一个出生东方的艺术家的历史情怀,这一情怀,我怀疑是和他在欧洲长时间学习艺术的经历是有关系的,正像上世纪初广东人林风眠在法国突然意识到东方传统的特殊性一样,秦冲也在西方的艺术情境中找到了与西方根本不同源的文化观,正是这一文化观,在嵌进现代主义艺术语境中,产生了强大的冲击力,并让秦冲看到了迥异于西方的可能。《无.所谓》这一组作品,不论从形式上还是观念上,显然都可以和《黑方块系列》,以及从上世纪九十年代初就开始并一直延续至今的,通过线之律动的实验来对天像进行视觉追寻的尝试联系起来并成为一个整体,甚至,《无.所谓》还是一个观念上的总结,集合了艺术家以往的经验,在反观念之逻辑表达的时间表达中,重新回到平面,回到描绘,只是,这一次的回归只是表面现象,内里仍然不脱颠覆的本性,只是,所颠覆的不再是表达的 平面,风格的意义也不再停留在外观独特那么简单的一个层次上,在这里,秦冲突然之间变成了一个视觉的哲学家,在用一种无法通过语言概括的视觉观看,来对人生,对情感,乃到对艺术本质本身,作出他的回答。为了这个回答,秦冲准备了并且实践了很多年,当他也真正处在“无所谓”,既是“无”,同时又是“所谓”的这样一种双重的复杂境界中时,艺术不再是艺术自身,而是与生命一体,并从中获得独立,这时,秦冲变成了这一独立存在的守护者,他与他的作品共生,在“无”与“所谓”之间徘徊,同时成就对方,艺术家成就他的作品,他的作品也成就了艺术家本人。而在这双重的成就中,颠覆变成了喧嚣,而时间则在这一喧嚣中突兀而出,成为永恒的象征。

2010年2月28日 温哥华
Time as symbol of eternity

I found out that throughout a series of Qin Chong’s works in recent years on the one hand he confines his style by employing limited forms, such as using only paper, metal, beads or fabric as media; correspondingly the colors he choses are so minimal, basically just black and white, that I even suspect that in most, if not all of his works, colors don’t appear, which definitely conveys a sense of formalism, or can be categorized as conceptual art. On the other hand, Qin Chong's intention is obviously not to publicize textures and colors, or by doing so, express his emotions. He does not identify himself with minimalism, nor is he satisfied with staying within the framework of conceptual art, which, by using limited medias and through devices including hand-painted paper works, attempts to emphasize and give prominence to a sense of psychological acuity, and then, through enhancing this form, deconstruct the work that has been materialized, so as to achieve the purpose of feeling the existence of time. As a result, Qin Chong's work give rise to an intriguing phenomenon, for example a subtle conflict between appearance and content. In my opinion, it is exactly such conflict that enables Qin to highlight the sacred sense of time. From one perspective, I even think that time happens to be the underlying theme of his works. However, time in his works is not invisible, but has been turned into a tangible visual concept of space, by subverting the materialized form of the works and extending the social interpretation in such subversion. Qin's work is a dual expression, in terms of vision and space, of the sacred concept of time. Originally, from the perspective of logic of the modern art development, Qin seems to be deconstructing the planar concept in modern doctrine, once emphasized by Greenberg, to create a quiet riot of time. But this is only an illusion. Qin is not engaged in theoretical research and to him, the plane just constitutes a kind of visual illusion. In such illusion, the riot of time no longer holds an abstract meaning. On the contrary, time has become logic of development, which points to eternality through a series of constant self-denials.

"United Nations Black and White" is an installation that consists of a camouflage opening ceremony and the presence of the artist himself among other participants in the ceremony. The United Nations have always been a symbol of world order in international politics and the authority to regulate the interests of different countries since World War II. However, for more than half a century, practices of United Nations have not corresponded with their purpose. The international organization located in New York is simply a stage for the rally of great powers to voice their interests as well as quarrel endlessly among themselves trying to balance their respective interests in futile. The artist seems to have felt the noisy characteristics of the United Nations in reality and tried to purify the political forum to reach kind of consensus by reducing the colors to merely black and white. In this virtual opening ceremony, the United Nations becomes target of mockery, and art becomes a constant sliding signifier chain; in the end, only the artist himself and other participants present in the scene are really existing. As a result, the more “cutie” the participants are dressed, the more ironic the whole event seems, and the more people would talk about it. The final details thus fall in place and the whole piece of work is completed with the spectators’s involvement.

The composition of "Birthday" is just the opposite to "United Nations Black and White". A thick pile of paper was piled up and formed a volume that is beautiful in itself. The artist carefully and thoughtfully burnt the volume into another volume, or removed a corner to make a triangle form, or caved a half-circle shape in the middle of the volume. The volumes not only contradict each other in texture, but also support each other in similar size, so as to achieve a perfect form of appearance. However, the title "Birthday" serves to remind us of the disappearance and surge of complicated feelings brought about by various shapes and textures. Such feelings become the form of floating time while watching the art works and with the viewer’s identification with them, thus endows the spectator’s strength to break away and turns the intangible time into space.

"Up to the limit" is an art work about time. On the surface, this art work tests people’s tolerance of extreme tedium of endless routine labor and unbearably apathic physical space where one can hardly stay long. But the concept of time emerges during the process of close references with the formation of the work; moreover, a hidden craziness opposite to the apathy of the work sharply stabs into the viewers’ eyes and further thrusts into their hearts; and it is exactly during the process of watching, that time settles down and achieves its existence.

Interestingly, with all his works of installation and field art, Qin Chong’s original intent is actually to express linear rhythm on paper. In the series "Whatever" Qin uses ink lines repeatedly in an attempt to achieve Greenberg’s concept of plane through layers and criss-cross of lines in a simple and concise way. However, this time Qin is no longer attached to the classical modernist tradition of the West, but turns to his motherland China for inspirations, that really touch his soul. In fact, the historical sentiments of an east born artist is manifest in his "Black Square" series, as is shown by the diversity, the exploration of linear elements, the fascination with traces of paper folding and piling, the creation of non-descriptive tiny space resulted from penetration of the paper surface. I believe his nostalgia with Chinese culture is related to his long period of art study tour in Europe. Like Lin Feng-mian, a Cantonese artist at the beginning of last century, who suddenly realized the uniqueness of oriental cultural tradition during his stay in France. Qin also, in the Western context, discovered a source of culture that is fundamentally different from its Western counterpart. This cultural concept, when embedded in the context of modernist art, forged a powerful impact and made Qin see the possibility of a departure from the West. The series "Whatever" both in terms of form and concept is consistent with his “Black Square" series, as well as the experiments of dynamic lines in an attempt to visually pursue the celestial phenomena from the early 1990’s until today. "Whatever" is also a conceptual summary of a collection of the artist's past experiences. In the expression of time in an anti-concept logic, he returns to plane and depiction, but this time the return is only superficial and the nature inside is still subversion, which is no longer expressed by plane and the significance of style no longer remains at a primary level of peculiar appearance. Therefore Qin suddenly turns into a visual philosopher, watching through a vision that can’t be encapsulated by language and giving his own answers to life, emotions and even the essence of art per se. For these answers, Qin has made a loy of preparation and practiced for many years. When he finally reaches a complicated state of being "indifferent", which means both "in" and "different", art is no longer art per se, but rather part of life that gains its independence from life; at this time, Qin becomes the guardian of this independent existence. He lives with his works and commutes between "in" and “different”. He and his works fulfill each other. In such dual fulfillments, subversion becomes noise while time stands out against the background of noise and becomes the symbol of eternity.

Yang Xiaoyan
28th,Feb., 2010, Vancouver

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