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【评论】尚扬:在解与构之间

2011-04-27 11:17:35 来源:艺术家提供作者:中国美术馆馆长 范迪安
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  就当代艺术而言,已经从控制的领域走向过程的领域。如果控制的世界是指对于事物确定性的表达,或者在固定的事物属性之间通行的话,那么过程的世界指的则是对于事物不确定性的表达。我们难以试图固定它们,只能去理解它们是如何运动的,以及去推断它们运动的趋势。也可以说,控制的世界是通过意义来描绘的,过程的世界就需要在现实的重组中形成。在这个世界里,艺术家总是将自我的感觉置放于一种流动的过程之中,与其说他们在表达事物的状态,不如说他们在表达自己的情绪,特别是把物质的状态和自己主观性的状态形成一种混合的客体,从而生成某种可视的图像。对这些图像的确切定义,已经难以从图像的固有含意中找到答案,只能在形成这些图像的元素中依稀捕捉到艺术家的某种关切、兴趣和感怀。

  面对尚扬的作品,我们首先能感到一种时空的错位,在那里,山峦和云气的形象是松散的,与其说是描绘了某种自然的景观,不如说是通过移植、并置、拼贴和组合自然的片段形成自然的肌体。一方面他使用着传统的画布和油彩,另一方面他借助数码技术获得的图像来形成画面的组合。可以说,他在自己的艺术过程中,既连接起古代的图像与当代的视像,也连接起传统的技法与当代的“反技法”。正是在这样一种混合的语言表达中,尚扬塑造出了一种从可视的事物之中超越出来的视觉图景。当这些图景变成连续的画面或尺幅巨大的画幅时,它们强烈地表达出一种幻觉中的真实。

  中国古代画家在表达自然时重视的也不是自然的实像,而是自我的心像。以此衡量尚扬的作品,他画出的乃是他观念中的自然。但是,如果从他的语言方式来看,他的作品不是对古代绘画观念的演绎,而是通过运用当代图像语言形成对传统方式的颠覆。因此可以说,尚扬的绘画就处在从观念到语言都对传统概念的双重解构之中。

  作为从1980 年代中国新艺术运动中发展起来的艺术家,尚扬从来就在他的探索中走着一条与传统法则偏离,但又重在自我建构的道路。很长时间以来,他一直用类似于传统绘画“写意”的方式画出一批批的“风景”,但显而易见,这些风景不是对自然的再现,而是把自然看成生命的活体,试图表现出它们与他自我心理活动和生理感应相默契的某种运行特征,甚至通过自然生命的意态表达一种文化关切。他画的是自然生命的呼吸和表情,表达的则是自己的生命感悟和文化认知。近些年来,他更加沉浸在心灵与世界、自然与文化的神秘契合之中,表现出在艺术的过程中注重过程的偶然联通,形成一种造型的写意。

  尚扬的作品是某种重组的现实,他以对于当代图像世界的敏感开启了新的中介物的组合。在传统的绘画技法之外,他运用了大量的数字图像,形成了画面上混合的效果。这种语言可以在情感和象征之间、在部署和概念之间机动变化。他的天才在于能够把握图像符号的类似性,把传统和当代的图像都看成一种生态系统,把它们放在化合与转换的过程中去解释,从而消弭了传统图像形式与当代图像符号之间的差异性,使得物质的状态和主观的状态在这种组合中形成诗意的关联。在这个意义上,他使自己从传统型画家变成了一位当代型画家。

  尚扬的作品充满着一种生命肌体的气息,或者说他意欲表达的就是自然生命“活”的形态。在他早期的作品中,他曾经描绘过许多肌体的切片,像在实验室里进行病理实验的科学家一样分析身体的组织结构和形态。在新近的作品中,他仍然把一种关于肌体的体验带入画面,使画面中的自然形象具有器官性的形态,来作为接触世界的第一媒介,由此表达物质性与文化性之间的关联。这种观念与中国传统绘画中表达自然生命的吐纳生机一脉相承,但是更多体现了当代人的对于自然生命的体验。他作品中的语言特征是十分明确的,他运用无意识般流动的线条、晕化开来的色泽、特别是一种松散的笔触和有节制的色彩,都是为了传达与自然生命气息同构的感觉,从而使作品洋溢着生命的动感。

  有意味的是,尚扬把他最重要的系列作品称之为“董其昌计划”,这多少表明了他艺术的观念性动力来自于中国绘画传统的启发。在中国绘画历史上,董其昌堪称处在时代转换进程中的一位“文化解构主义者”,他以艺术史家的身份重新解读在他之前已经十分成熟的中国绘画体系,把本来在历史中一体化的绘画体系拆解成南北两种流脉,尤其推重表达文人逸兴的画家群体,在理论上把他们归纳为“南方主义”(南宗)。与此同时,他也在实践上表现出涉笔草草、重视墨韵的风格,作品具有烟云流润、神气充足的面貌。实际上,在董其昌的艺术价值观中,反对的是艺术创作中理性占主导地位的“渐悟”(渐次觉悟),提倡的是破除各种法则、顿然觉悟到真理的“顿悟”。这种顿悟能够在心灵与世界悄然际会的瞬间产生神秘的体验,进而获得表达的语言和表现的快畅。这些年来,尚扬的艺术状态就处在这种“顿悟”的体验之中,在他将不同媒介带入画面的时候,在他从容地用流淌的方式书写心中意态的时候,他获得了世界的显现与澄明。毫无疑问,他的这种实验艺术本土化的探索,为当代艺术走出文化观念上西方崇拜和表达方式上的西方模式提供了崭新的经验。

  SHANG YANG:

  BETWEEN DECONSTRUCTION & CONSTRUCTION

  Director of National Art Museum of China

  Fan Di'an

  Contemporary art is shifting from the realm of control to the realm of process. If the world of control means an expression of the accuracy of an object, or transit between the aptotic attributes of objects, then the world of process is an expression of the indeterminacy of the object. It is difficult for us to manage to fix them but try to understand how they move and to deduce the trend of their movement. In other words, the world of control is described through its meaning, while the world of process is formed in the recombination of the reality. In this world, the artists always put their own feeling into a flowing process. They are expressing their own emotions rather than describing the state of matters, especially when combining the state of matter and the subjectivity into a mixed object so as to produce a certain visible image. It is rather difficult to give a precise definition of these images from the inherent meaning of the images but vaguely capture certain concern, interest and sensibility from the elements that form the images.

  When facing Shang Yang's artistic works, our first impression is the dislocation of time and space. Hills and clouds are unconsolidated. It is shaping the body of the nature by transplanting, juxtaposing, splicing and composing the segments of the nature rather than describing natural landscape. On the one hand, he uses traditional canvas and oil painting; on the other hand, he creates the combination of pictures in virtue of digital images. In the process of the artistic creation, he is, as it were, not only joining the ancient pictures with contemporary optical images, but also linking traditional technique to contemporary anti-technique. It is just by such a mixed expression that Shang Yang creates a visual prospect overstepped from visible objects. When these prospects turn into sequential pictures or giant paintings, they intensively show a kind of trueness in the illusion.

  When depicting the nature, the ancient Chinese painters also emphasized their own inner world instead of the true natural view. Accordingly, the images drawn by Shang Yang are the nature in his ideal. However, seen from his expression language, his works are not illation of the ancient conception of painting, instead, they subvert the traditional method by means of contemporary graphic language. In view of this, Shang Yang's paintings, either conceptually or graphically, lie in dual sides of deconstruction and construction of the traditional concept.

  As an artist rising from Chinese new art movement in the 1980s, Shang Yang is always exploring a road deviating from the norm while stressing self-construction. For a long time, he keeps painting a batch of "landscapes" with something like free sketch traditional Chinese painting. Obviously, these landscapes are never representations of the nature. Instead, the artist regards the nature as a living body of the life, and tries to present a certain functional feature which reflects the rapport between these landscapes and his mental activity as well as psychological reaction, or even to express the cultural concern by means of the modality of natural lives. What he paints is breath and expression of the lives, which expresses his inspiration of life and cultural cognition. In recent years, he has been immersed in the rapport between the soul and the world, the nature and culture all the more, paying attention to the accidental connectivity in the process of artistic creation and thus creating formative impressionism.

  Shang Yang's works are certain recomposed reality. He unseals the combination of new mediators with his sensitivity to the contemporary image world. Besides the traditional painting technique, he utilizes a large number of digital images to create blend image. This kind of language will change flexibly between emotion and symbol, disposition and concept. He has the talent to seize the homophyly of iconic signs, viewing both the traditional and contemporary images as a kind of eco-system and interpret it in the process of chemical combination and transformation, and thus put an end to the difference between traditional graphic forms and contemporary iconic signs, which forms poetic connection between physical state and subjective state in this combination. In this regard, he has become from a traditional painter into a contemporary one.

  Shang Yang's works are full of spirit of life. In other words, what he wishes to express is the live configuration of natural lives. He used to portray a number of slices of body in his early works, analyzing organizational structure and conformation of body, just like a scientist conducting pathology experiment in the lab. In his recent works, a blend of body is embodied into his drawings, in which the natural image looks like organic formed. This is used as the first mediator to approach the world, and further expresses the relevance between the corporality and cultural property. This concept not only inherits the Chinese traditional painting in terms of expression of vitality of life, but also reflects the contemporaries' experiences in the natural life. The language feature in his works is specific. He uses unintentionally ambulatory lines, dissolved tinct, especially loose brushwork and moderate colour to deliver a sense isomorphic with the breath of life, which makes the work brimming with the motion of life.

  Meaningfully, Shang Yang refers the most important series of works as the "Dong Qichang Project", which more or less indicates that his conceptual motive is derived from the inspiration of Chinese traditional painting. In the history of Chinese painting, Dong Qichang may claim to a "cultural deconstructionist" in the changes of ages. As an art historian, he reinterpreted the Chinese painting system that was already quite mature, dividing the originally integrated painting system into two genres, the south and the north. He especially appreciated the group of painters who showed the refine interest of the literary figures, including them into "the Southernism" (the Southern Sect) in theory. Meanwhile, his works reflected his art style of using few strokes and stressing the charm of black ink, presenting vivid pictures with graceful clouds, enveloped fog and flow of water, full of both spirit and vigor. Actually, Dong Qichang's artistic values opposed gradual consciousness featured by sense-dominated art creation while advocated insight, or immediate consciousness of the truth by breaking away from all sorts of norms. This kind of insight can produce mysterious experience at the moment when the soul and the world quietly syncretize, and will further obtain the great pleasure from expression. During these years, Shang Yang is experiencing such kind of "insight". When creating works of art by dint of various mediators, and when expressing fluently the will from inside him, he presents and defines the world. There is no doubt that his exploration of localizing experimental art provides fresh experiences for the contemporary art to cast off conceptual worship of the West and expression models of the West.

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