和而不同
Diversity in Harmony
 
邱黯雄 陈劭雄 孙逊 佟飙 吴俊勇
Qiu Anxiong   Chen Shaoxiong 
Sun Xun   Tong Biao   Wu Junyong
 
 
展览时间:2012年05月25 – 2014 年07月25日
开幕:2012年05月25日,15:00 – 19 : 00
(周二至周日 10:30-18:00)
展览地点:广州市天河区天河路365号天俊阁5楼
策展人:罗庆民
策划 / 主办:5楼艺术空间
 
Duration:2012.05.25-2014.07.25 (Tue.-Sun. 10:30am-6pm)
Opening:15:00-19:00, May25th
Venue:5F, No. 365 Tianhe Rd., Tianhe Dist., Guangzhou, Guangdong
Curated / Hosted by:5art space
Curator:Luo Qingmin
 
 
和而不同
 
罗庆民
 
因对中国传统文人画精神的向往,也因对水墨的特殊情怀,更因对全球化语境下艺术创作的再思考,这个展览由陈劭雄、佟飚、邱黯雄、孙逊和吴俊勇五位艺术家的作品构成。恰巧的是,这五位艺术家在其艺术教育背景中都非出自中国画专业,在他们多年的艺术实践中分别使用不同的媒介并执着于不同的方向,他们不停地转换各种方式寻找属于自己个人的独特语言,力图创造出一种新的艺术形式以表达他们在当今社会的感受和思考。他们的工作应验了阿兰·巴迪欧所指出的“每一种艺术都由一个混杂的形式发展而来,而这一混杂的逐步提纯的过程使一种特殊的艺术真理及其消亡殆尽的历史得以成形。”
 
陈劭雄的《墨水东西》、孙逊的《主义之外》、吴俊勇的《摘桃记》都使用了中国宣纸和水墨材料以及传统的方法来创作,然后将这些画作汇编,经由计算机软件和数字技术的处理转换成影像并配以声音,最后成型为单屏或多屏的录像作品。邱黯雄的《民国风景》则使用西方的丙烯颜料和画布画成中国画样式,并边作画边拍摄、剪辑,最后也以影像作品成型。而佟飚的《唯心主义》却直接使用炭笔素描来再现中国古代绘画意境。在他们的作品中我们不难找出这样的共同点:显而易见的中国绘画元素被转换成新媒体和其他艺术形式,使用中国画传统技法的同时也有对中国画技法的抵抗,中国绘画仅仅是他们创作中形式构成的某些元素。无论他们是否在意,这五位艺术家以外部干预的方式改变水墨画,以媒体的转换来赋予传统样式的时代精神。
 
“和而不同”出自《论语·子路》,中国重要的哲学思想,“和”为和谐、恰到好处之意。为这展览取此名,意在对多元化的重提。 在中国文化遭遇世界文化和当代性的地域化定义之语境下,这五位艺术家以不同的媒介、不同的图像却运用相同的文化资源产生了新的艺术语言。相信中国传统水墨与新媒体之间还有许多可待发展和研究的地方,路漫漫兮。艺术世界,和而不同者,君子也。
 
 
Harmony but not Sameness
 
Luo Qingmin
 
The aspects that a scholarly painting must posses are: morality, erudition, technical skill and original thought, only when all four are present, is perfection achieved.” ①The definition given here by Chen Shiceng’s is precise and accurate.
  
Chinese and overseas art academics see the aesthetic value of traditional scholarly art; as Chinese artists, we were influenced by this art-form. Nowadays, when there are many media resources available to the art world, water-ink and wash paintings still hold an irreplaceable position in Chinese Art, but modern art events are unsure of how to treat them.
 
Water-ink artists have tried to be progressive and experimental, yet they are limited to pursuing “The Six Techniques“; they also experiment with borrowed images or forms from Western art history without fully understanding their relevancy in terms of time and location. Thus contemporary water-ink paintings are becoming so foreign that traditional art values seem to be a thing of the past.       
 
With endless admiration to the spirit of traditional art and water-ink, and as a revising of artistic creation under the current global context, this upcoming exhibition will show the works of 5 artists, Chen Shaoxiong, Tong Biao, Qiu Anxiong, Sun Xun, Wu Junyong. It is a strange coincidence that all 5 artists did not start their art education by studying traditional painting: over the years of their art careers they all focused on their own creativity, they experimented back and forth searching for their own unique expression, searching for a new artistic way to communicate their feelings and thoughts about living in our present society. This process reflects upon a quotation by Alain Badiou: “All art-form comes from something that was originally without order, by gradually making sense of this meddle, a truth of art comes into being until it passes into history.“ ② 
 
Chen Shaoxiong’s Ink Things, Sun Xun’s Beyond-ism, Wu Junyong’s Peach all use rice-paper and water-ink and classical techniques, and were then rendered into images using computer software and placed together with sound effects, which finally become single-frame or multiple-frame video art. Qiu Anxiong’s Sceneries of the Republic of china uses Western techniques with acrylic and canvas to paint a Chinese painting while taking photos along the creation process, which were then edited into its final image. Tong Biao’s Idealism uses charcoal sketches to revive the atmospherically-suggestive concept of true classical painting. We can quickly catch the similarity shared between these artists where elements in Chinese paintings are transformed into new media and new forms of art, adapting as well as resisting classical painting techniques, Chinese painting is merely a fundamental element in their art. Whether or not they realize, these 5 artists are re-shaping water-ink painting from outside its parameters, giving a present day meaning to this art through media transformation: one can say it is a new way of creating art.         
 
Classical scholars choose to lead an aloof and introverted life, poetry, calligraphy and painting expresses their distaste for current times. A classical-scholarly way of thought and anti-social way of life is different to the ways of present day. Today’s artists more actively participate in social activity, as intellectuals, these artists expresses their points of view while deeply appreciating the scholarly spirit. Edward Waefie Said says “Intellects are people who represent art for a living, it could be done through talking, writing, education or going on TV. The importance of this profession is that the masses accepts its existence, it must also be willing to give and take risks, be brave and vulnerable.” ③ As intellects, rice-paper, water-ink, acrylic, charcoal, image, video and other materials are all mere tools, the aim is to express their views and thoughts about the present society, economics, politics, policies and the system of art.
 
In an interview with Wu Junyong, he said “As an participant and recorder of the turbulence and rapid changes of China, I hope one can experience the ridicule of our times also in my artwork! To express the ridicule of the reality, I prefer to use a symbolic and sinister narration, to create a portrait of the society woven between the imagined and the reality.” In Peach, a familiar fable-like imagination is used in his ridicule of the reality, the iconic “Mr. Top-hat” keeps appearing in this work, one can detect strong social criticism in his use of symbolic and icons images.    
 
The “setting of context” in classical Chinese painting is evident in Chen Shaoxiong’s art-piece Ink Things, the sound of hitting a wooden bell accompanied drum percussion in a Buddhist Temple, the changing rhythm brings out more and more objects in the painting only to vanish again, he draws relevance to the temporary existence of objects to the consumeristic society and the passing of time, he says :“In the ancient Chinese idiom “Circumstance change with the passage of time”, “time” is corresponded with “circumstance” (i.e. the world of material), this idiom represents our understanding ,sentiments and realizations upon the world. To me, it is like the “material world” and “vacancy” in Buddhism, the understand of their relationship changes by the time and environment one lives at.
  
Qiu Anxiong writes about his artwork Sceneries of the Republic of china: “It is a poetic imagination and visualization of the Nationalistic Era, within the same setting where water streams from green hills and figures fishing by the pond, there also exist the anxiety over fate of the land and the stories taking place in the meeting halls in the forest”, a history-changing revolution veils its inhumane volatility. As the four seasons cycles by, lives fluctuates up and down, youth turns into remnants of black & white fragments.” With these short sentences, he talks about both his 14’33” animation as well as his political and cultural stand.
 
The names of these artworks Beyond-ismPeople’s Republic of Zoo and Idealism expresses its contents, without much need to explain and narrate the artworks of Sun Xun and Tong Biao, the audience is left to slowly excavate and then, perhaps, to reach a resonance with the artist.
    
 “Harmony but not Sameness”comes from the classic volumes of <Lunyu-Zilu>, it is an important definition in Chinese philosophy, “Harmony means co-existing ideally and in peace”. To give this exhibition such a name is an attempt to raise again the topic of diversification. Under the reality of Chinese culture being placed within a global cultural context and contemporary as well as regional views, these 5 artists uses the same cultural resources to create different media and images through which new expressions are created. I believe there are more topics to develop and study within the connection of water-ink & wash painting and new media. In this world of art, a gentleman is able to co-exist with others’ differences.
 
May 2012 in Beijing
 
Note: <History of Chinese Painting> Written by: Chen Shiceng Edited by: Xu Shucheng
Renmin University Publishing Agency Sep-2007 Version. Page187
② Note: <Fifteen Theses on Contemporary Art> Written by:Alain Badiou  
③ Note: <Representations of the Intellects> Written by Edward Waefie Said.
Sanlian Book-store April-2002 Version. Page17