第84期 为什么要“再水墨”(2013)

第84期 为什么要“再水墨”(2013年)

学术主持:冀少峰

主题:沈勤 南溪 刘庆和 蔡广斌 柴一茗 张诠 谭军 郝世明

新作:罗奇 沈爱其 马东民 李永波 王大伟 郑佳飞

Issue No. 84(2013)

Theme: Why Should We Re-Ink

Academic Host: Ji Shaofeng

A.T: Shen Qin, Nan Xi, Liu Qinghe, Cai Guangbin, Chai Yiming, Zhang Quan, Tan Jun, Hao Shiming

A.N: Luo Qi, Shen Aiqi, Ma Dongmin, Li Yongbo, Wang Dawei, Zheng Jiafei

84

为什么要“再水墨”

Why Should We “Re-ink”

学术主持:冀少峰  ACADEMIC HOST: JI SHAOFENG;

 

2012年12月,我和鲁虹先生于湖北美术馆策划举办了“再水墨——2000-2012中国当代水墨邀请展”,并在艺术界引起了关于水墨艺术的话题与讨论。那么,为什么要“再水墨”呢?带着这个疑问,我们不得不反思中国的现代化进程。在中国现代化进程中,文化一直伴随着并成为这个进程中的一个敏感话题。而作为中国当代艺术一个重要分支的中国当代水墨,由于水墨这么一个天然与生俱来的那种民族的符号、民族的根性、民族的文化礼仪等表征,更深层次原因其实在“再水墨”背后,有着一个再中国化的讨论与背景。

 

毋庸讳言,2000年以来的中国社会正面临“数千百年来未有的变局”。由此我们可以发现,中国社会的发展格局的变化。首先,我们从一个传统型的国家逐渐向现代国家的转型。自清末至今,在接受现代文明的过程中,我们的社会不断遭受着前现代和现代化的种种阵痛。其次,我们的国家逐渐完成从农业国家向新型工业国家的转型,而且这种转变正逐渐走向完成。第三个转型即是城市化进程的加剧,我们日渐脱离了乡土社会而全面迈向了城镇化。而在城镇化过程中所暴露的种种问题,如“三农”问题、生态问题,让我们切身体会到了在城镇化过程中乡土社会的转身之痛。由此,不难发现,社会政治、经济结构的激烈变化不可避免会影响到文化艺术的发展变化。

 

而当我们去谈论关注中国当代文化发展的状貌时,又不能不注意到这么一种倾向,即执政党政治文化的“再中国化”。因为自1990年以来,在中共政治文化里面,民族传统文化的内容作为口号越来越多地出现。那么,“再中国化”又意欲何为呢?其实“再中国化”就是要自觉地利用中国传统文化的正能量。而作为民族文化符号与礼仪的水墨艺术无疑又是“再中国化”在艺术领域的表征。也可以说,水墨艺术往往被赋予一种改造中国社会的伟大使命。但究竟哪种水墨具有这种历史担纲呢?在此,笔者认为,“再水墨”则是以当代视角,对传统意义上的水墨有着一种颠覆与超越。它不仅仅是在媒材样式与观念形态上,更深层次讲,它其实是试图重新建构一个新场域,这个场域就是一个关乎“中国画”的评价标准和教育体系。所以,从这个意义上讲,“再水墨”并不是结果,它实际上是在“再中国化”的讨论中,中国向何处去,中国文化向何处去,中国水墨艺术又向何处去的问题。它的真正意义则是提出了水墨艺术在未来的可能性。但活跃、冲动与丰富,特别是夹杂其间的混搭、多义与多元,新的中国性无疑又构成了“再水墨”2000年以来中国当代水墨艺术的关键词和视觉叙事路径。那么中国当代水墨就不可避免地面临着用怎么样的方式来回应变化的社会的问题。当然,我们也清醒地看到,在社会发展的不同时段,中国当代水墨不断地适应这个变幻不定的社会现实,不断寻找新的话题新的符号,以期迎接社会的挑战。

 

“再水墨”超越了把水墨作为中国文化精粹和代表的理想,超越了对水墨的种种约定俗成的规范,破除了笼罩在水墨艺术头上的种种清规戒律,破除了水墨的基本规则,打通了水墨艺术进入当代的途径。于是,“再水墨”这种新的水墨形态无疑被放到了一个日益开放与多元而又充满着活力的当代文化背景中。它不仅导致水墨艺术家对水墨艺术的一种再理解,他们自觉或不自觉地把自我的视觉思考与表达融入到当代文化问题的思考过程中。在此,一个不争的事实是,再水墨已悄然地把架上水墨的概念解构了。它不仅仅是作为一种文化方式,它以一种开放性、包容性、国际性、颠覆性,从根本上改变了水墨艺术的“慢半拍”的窘境。它已然成为这个时代的一种文化表征,并开始蔓延到各种艺术方式中。于是,传统的某些元素成功地转换为当代情怀的表达。再水墨无疑在当代文化语境中找到了有效的表达方式,并愈来愈以一种差异性的民族身份参与到了越来越广泛的国际文化交流中。再水墨带来的突出变化,则体现在如下四个方面:

 

一、与水墨有关的装置与影像

装置艺术的当代特质也使其成为后现代艺术的一个主要表现。而其特点就是一是要有空间和体积。传统意义上的水墨强调卷轴、把玩、留存久远,但装置艺术则可以在做完之后马上消除,并不追求永恒和不朽。而空间和时间界线的消弭,水墨的语言特性在当代社会批判精神中的消失与重构,都引发人们对水墨与装置间的结合所产生的再水墨形态进行讨论。而网络化的生存现实和科学技术与多媒体手段的介入,虚拟化的精神体验在改变人们的生活方式。于是一种无笔无墨的再水墨表达,如设计水墨、光影水墨、影像水墨的出现,使水墨表达开始从架上走到架下,从纸介质走向综合媒材,从二维转向了三维,从静态走向了动态。这不仅改变了水墨艺术的展示方式,在阅读方式和审美习惯上也是一个颠覆性的变革。

 

二、非水墨艺术家的水墨情怀与表达

再水墨重要的并不是水墨,不是材料,而是观念的呈现。一些成熟艺术家在新的叙事情境下,在强调自我原创性基础上,愈来愈注重立足传统文化的基础,同时彰显当代文化特征。由于他们没有水墨的包袱,反而在探索水墨新的可能性上做的更加开放与自由。

 

三、水墨新意象

仍有部分艺术家一如既往地坚持架上水墨探索,仍然坚持用架上水墨作为应对艺术与社会变革的思想武器。尽管他们用于表达的仍然是传统的媒材,但它和传统水墨有着截然的区别,即它是当代的社会生活在当代艺术家头脑中反映的产物。它关注的是当代人的生存状况与生存境遇:它有着当代艺术一贯的问题意识,彰显着一种追问精神,体现出了一种深刻的人文关怀,直入当代艺术的堂奥。

 

四、微时代的水墨新方式——微叙事、微体验、微表达

在大众文化兴起、图像时代来临之际,全球资本一体化不可避免地给人们灵魂深处带来了巨大变化。而70、80后们既能敏于时代变迁,又能从自我的生存体验出发,他们以一种浪漫、幻想,抑或是梦游与妄想,置身于一个虚空的网络化的生存现实,他们营造的是属于自我的话语空间。特别是在微博、微信悄然改变我们的生活方式的同时,艺术也在悄然发生变化,图像的逼真动人,手机阅读的快捷便利,当数字开始挤压文字,界面不断欺负纸面,读图日渐代替读字,我们可以看到一种以个体方式展开对社会的一种微抵抗。他们用自我内在的激情,真实记录着我们生存的社会现实,又通过自我的一种对当代社会和艺术人生的微叙事来消解宏大叙事,用微体验去消解社会主义经验,用微表达终结了一代人的集体主义经验和集体主义记忆。微时代的水墨,仍然折射出的是艺术内在形态和新一代艺术家心态的深刻转变。这不仅仅是视觉图像的转向,更是微时代的一代青年对激变的社会现实所作出的激情思考和视觉想象。整个社会的宏观结构发生激烈变化的同时,激变的社会必然迫使他们作出自我思考和判断。那么用怎样的方式来回应社会的变化问题呢?因为微时代所带来全球信息的公开与透明,以及从中出现诸多不曾遇到想到的问题,仅仅依靠现成的知识储备、思想储备难以回答。因此,新一代艺术家敏锐地抓住了微时代的文化脉搏,又非常机敏地针对微时代的文化问题,作出了回答。可以毫不夸张地讲,微时代的水墨正是再水墨走向未来的憧憬与期盼。

 

2013年6月21日18:30于东湖三官殿

In December 2012, Mr. Lu Hong and I planned and organized “Re-ink Painting: 2000-2012 Chinese Contemporary Ink Painting Invitation Exhibition” in Hubei Museum of Art, which has triggered topics and discussions about ink art. Why, then, should the theme be “re-ink”? This question has led us to reflect on China’s modernization process. Culture has been accompanying the process of modernization in China and has become a sensitive topic during the process. As an important branch of contemporary Chinese art, contemporary Chinese ink art enjoys born ethnic symbols, ethnic roots, ethnic culture and etiquette as well as other representations, etc. However, there are deeper reasons behind “re-ink”: discussions on and background of rechinesization.

 

It goes without saying that since 2000, Chinese society has been facing “an ever-changing pattern that is unseen in the past hundreds of years”. From this we can have a glimpse of the changes in the development pattern of Chinese society. First, we are transforming gradually from a traditional country to a modern country. Ever since the late Qing Dynasty, during the process of accepting modern civilization, our society has been suffering from all kinds of throes bought by pre-modernization and modernization. Secondly, our country is gradually transforming from an agricultural country to a neo-industrialized country, and this transformation tends to become complete day by day. The third transformation is the intensification of urbanization process, during which we are divorcing from countries and moving towards extensive urbanization. In the urbanization process, various problems are exposed, such as the “agriculture, rural areas and farmers” problem and ecological problems, which plagues us with bitter pains that countries experience during the process of urbanization. As a result, it is not difficult to observe that drastic changes in social, political, economic structures will inevitably affect the development and changes of art and culture.

 

And when we talk about or pay attention to the development of contemporary Chinese cultural view, such a tendency would undoubtedly catch our eyes: the “rechinesization” in the political culture of Chinese ruling party. Since 1990, traditional culture contents appear more and more often as a slogan in Chinese Communist political culture. Then what is the purpose of “rechinesization”? In fact, “rechinesization” is to take advantage of positive energy of traditional Chinese culture consciously. As a symbol of national culture and etiquette, ink art is undoubtedly a representation of “rechinesization” in the art realm. It can also be said that ink art is often endowed with the great mission of transforming Chinese society. But what kind of ink art could shoulder this historic responsibility? Hereto, the writer argues that “re-ink”, with a contemporary perspective, triggers subversion and transcendence against the traditional sense of ink painting. Re-ink is not limited to differences in medium and ideology compared with traditional ink art, on a deeper level, it is actually trying to re-construct a new field–a field of evaluation criteria and education system for “Chinese painting”. So, in this sense, “re-ink” is not the result, it is actually an issue occurred during the discussion of “rechinesization”, an issue that explores the destination of China, Chinese culture, and Chinese ink painting. Its true meaning is to present the possibilities of ink art in the future. Moreover, since 2000, contemporary Chinese ink art and “re-ink” have obtained features as activeness, impulsiveness, richness, trimmed by mixed collaboration, polysemy, multi-elements and brand new characteristics of China. They constitute keywords and visual narrative paths of contemporary ink painting. So contemporary Chinese ink art would inevitably be confronted with the question of how to respond to the ever-changing society. Of course, we also clearly see that in different periods of social development, contemporary Chinese ink art continuously keeps adapting itself to volatile, constantly changing social reality; meanwhile, it also keeps looking for new topics and new symbols to meet the challenges of society.

 

“Re-ink” goes beyond the idea of taking ink as the cultural essence and representation of Chinese culture. It exceeds all conventions and norms of ink art, gets rid of principles and rules posed onto ink art, destroys basic rules of ink art, and opens the door for ink art into contemporary times. So “re-ink” as a new form of ink art is placed inevitably into a contemporary cultural context with increasing openness, rich vitality and diversity. Not only does it lead to a second understanding of ink artists towards ink art, but it has enlightened ink artists in that they consciously or unconsciously blend their own visual thinking and self-expression into reflecting contemporary cultural issues. An indisputable fact is that re-ink art has quietly deconstructed the concept of on-shelf ink art. Re-ink is not confined to a cultural form, it has saved on-shelf ink art from the “a little belated” dilemma with its open, inclusive, international, subversive characteristics. It has become a cultural representation of this era and was spread to various artistic forms. Thus, some traditional elements are successfully converted to contemporary expression of feelings. Re-ink has found effective ways of expression in the contemporary cultural context, and has participated in wider international cultural exchanges with a diversified ethnic identity. The distinctive changes bought by re-ink are reflected in the following four areas:

 

1. Ink art-related installations and images

The contemporary qualities of installation art make it a major postmodern art performance. One of its characteristics is space and volume. Traditional ink painting emphasizes reel, appreciation, long-time preservation. On the contrary, installation art can be eliminated immediately after formation and does not seek for eternality and immortality. The evacuation of boundaries of space and time, the disappearance and reconstruction of language features of ink art in the critical spirit of contemporary society have aroused discussion about the forms of re-ink produced by the combination of ink art and installation. Factors such as the Internetlized survival reality, the intervention of  advanced technologies and multimedia tools, virtualized spiritual experience are changing the way people live. Thus expressions of re-ink without brush nor ink, such as design ink art, light & shadow ink art, image ink art emerge, pushing expressions of ink art shifting from upon the shelves to under the shelves, from paper medium to mixed medium, from two dimensional to three dimensional, from static to dynamic. This not only changed the way ink art is presented, but also revolutionized ways of reading and aesthetic habits.

 

2. Feelings and expression of non-ink artists

The essence of re-ink is not ink or material, but the concepts presented. Under new narrative context, some mature artists have placed more emphasis on traditional foundation with a focus on individual originality while highlighting contemporary cultural characteristics. As they are not burdened by ink, they enjoy more openness and freedom in exploring new possibilities of ink art.

 

3. New images of ink art

There are still some artists sticking to exploring on-shelf ink art. They still persist in using the on-shelf ink art as a weapon against artistic and social revolutions. Although they are still using the traditional medium, their art is completely different from traditional ink art. Their art is produced by contemporary artists’ reflection on contemporary social life. It is concerned with the living conditions and living circumstances of contemporary people: It has a consistent awareness of questions boasted by contemporary art and highlights the spirit of questioning, which reflects profound humanistic care that goes straight into the depths of contemporary art.

 

4. New ways of ink art in micro-era – micro-narration, micro experience, micro expression

In the era when popular culture arises and the image era steps forwards, the global integration of capital has inevitably brought great changes to human souls. And people born in post 70s or 80s are both sensitive to the changes of the times and the survival experience of themselves. They are romantic, fantastic, or even with traits like sleepwalking or delusion. They are surviving in a void of Internetlized reality. They have created a discourse space reserved for themselves. It is especially noticeable that while the micro-blog and micro message are quietly changing the way we live, arts are also changing quietly. We can see almost real images, fast and convenient mobile reading; we can see numbers begin to squeeze texts, interfaces constantly bully paper, reading pictures take the place of reading texts, which can be summed as a kind of individual micro-resistance against society. With passion inside their inner selves, they keep a true record of the social reality we live in. They have melted macro narration by micro narration of social and artistic life, socialist experience by micro experience, and ended a generation’s collective experience and collective memories by micro expression. Ink art of micro-era still reflects the intrinsic art form and profound shift in the mentality of a new generation of artists. This is not only a shift in visual images, but also passionate thinking and visual imagination of the youth in micro era harbor towards the volatile society. Confronted with drastic changes of macro-structure of society as a whole, the society would inevitably compel them to make self-reflection and judgment. So how should we respond to social changes? Micro era has brought about disclosure and transparency of the world’s information, and invoked many problems we never met or thought of, which are hard to answer if we rely solely on existing stock of knowledge and ideas. Therefore, in order to solve the problems, the new generation of artists are keen enough to seize the cultural pulse of the micro era and astute enough in answering cultural issues of micro era. It is no exaggeration to say that ink art in the micro era contains re-ink’s hope and vision towards the future.

 

18:30, June 21st, 2013 at Sanguandian, East Lake

 

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