第105-106期 原乡(2015)

第105-106期 原乡(2015)

学术主持:顾振清、张海涛

主题艺术家:谷文达、杨诘苍、余友涵、尚扬、王冬龄、邓国源

新作艺术家:闫博、沈勤、杨丙亮、杨于弘、金国明

105-106

主题词:原乡

ORIGINAL HOME

学术主持:顾振清

ACADEMIC HOST: GU ZHENQING

“原乡”是人类精神家园的源头,也是不同国家、不同民族、不同信仰的人们苦苦追寻的一个催生自身文明传统和文化主体性的精神故乡。“原乡”情结所追溯的,不单单是一个民族、一个国家带有传统表征的文化故乡,更是人类古文明“轴心时代”宗教和哲学理性主义传统肇端时期所开启的一种历久弥新的精神渊源。在当今全球化、现代化、城市化条件下,中国与其他发展中国家一样,身处社会转型期所激发的种种新的飞跃和危机之中。这使得人们常常重温源远流长的先哲思想系统所构成的人类赖以生存的精神基础。“原乡”比拟的是物质浮华的当代社会对以往人类精神天才的一种回望。中国现当代文学家、艺术家的“原乡”经验,是绵延、生成于中国文化传统的一种自觉的精神变革,也是一种具有逻辑演进、自主创新特色的当代美学形态。在多元文化共享的国际社会新平台上,中国现当代艺术家正在生成发展中国家的一种独特而开放性的人类经验,构建了他们作为社会个体对民族文化和全球社会所承担的责任和贡献。“原乡”其实也是深具想象力和创造力的中国当代艺术所一直秉持的精神关怀,承载的是近百年以来中国仁人志士孜孜以求的中华文化复兴的伟大梦想。

“原乡”概念可以用来彰显20世纪初以来中国知识分子针对自身传统源头不断回溯、梳理、重建和弘扬的一种文化自觉。人类的精神“原乡”其实就是两千多年前欧亚大陆宗教与哲学发轫时代孔子、苏格拉底、佛陀等精神天才的思想资源。“原乡”意识不仅是中国知识分子的一种文化乡愁(Nostalgia)和对自身传统文化底蕴的主动挖掘,更是他们的一种超越中西对立、涵盖中西精华的思想视域。在近现代中国西学东渐的大趋势下,中国人的“原乡”意识一直沉潜在弘扬国学、新儒家等的种种文化推进之中绵延不息。21世纪以来,中国综合国力的大幅提升,回归中国传统、复兴中国文化渐成一种社会文化热潮。“原乡”意识也频频浮出水面,渐渐成为中国当代艺术一种特殊的精神表征。

回首清末民国初年,中国国门大开,西学方炽,中学趋弱。当时中国知识分子往往以中西对立的思维模式看待问题,把中国的前现代性与欧美的现代性的差异看作是中西文明的本质差异。《西学东渐记》作者容闳的名言“以西方之学术,灌输于中国,使中国日趋于文明富强之境”,就是说当时中国既不够富强也不够文明,所以他要“借西方文明之学术以改良东方之文化”。中国知识分子在西学东渐风气中全面学习欧美的现代性体制和学术规范。有的人尊崇欧洲文化传统甚至期望全盘西化。与此同时,他们又在不断质疑和扬弃自身所传承的中国传统文化。当时的识时务者都明辨一种价值判断,即中国传统文明虽然伟大灿烂,但在现代性文明的挑战面前显然趋于积贫积弱之势。在近现代中国启蒙与救亡的两大思潮之中,只有少数人逆潮流而动,不断回到中国传统文明的“原乡”去汲取营养。如章太炎、辜鸿铭、梁启超这样一些人提倡整理国故、经世致用,把盘活中国传统文化精华作为振兴中国的一种价值诉求。蔡元培、贺麟也曾主张抽象地继承孔子的精神遗产。胡适也说“治国学必须要打破闭关独立的态度”。这些少数派知识分子睁开眼睛看世界之后,清醒认知中国传统文化也是人类文明“原乡”的核心部分之一,具有不可替代的价值。随着1949年中国社会主义革命的成功,马克思列宁主义主导的意识形态覆盖整个中国社会,一些具有一定“国粹”思想的知识分子经历了数十年的文化失语和孤独守望。历经破四旧运动、“文化大革命”的十年浩劫,直至1978年改革开放之后,传统文化才重新回归中国社会。2008年北京奥运会后,随着一种大国崛起的自信心在中国文化艺术界的兴起,“国学热”逐渐升温。弘扬中国传统文化的儒道佛之学一时又成潮流。基于对现代性的反思,一些中国知识分子追根溯源至自身文明传统的初始形成形态,正本清源,开宗明义。他们以全球化时代的开放思想视域来重估老庄、孔孟、墨子等中国先哲思想的价值,把先哲思想依托为观照自身鲜活生命、观照存在之道的精神“原乡”资源。有的人还试图效法欧洲文艺复兴时代弘扬希腊罗马文化传统之故技,返本开新,在复兴中华道统基础上追求当代性的自主创新,提升中国文化主体性追求对当代知识生产的影响力。显然,这些中国知识分子不断激活“原乡”精神,期望藉此来面对中国社会下一个新的跳跃性发展以及潜在的危机。“原乡”意识的觉醒,让他们获得了一种更为宏观深邃的历史格局和更为开放的文化多元主义视野。

当今中国知识分子回溯文化“原乡”的思潮,并非仅仅追求一种自身传统文化的伟大复兴,更是一种挖掘传统之根的精神考古行为。他们试图效法陈寅恪所言“与立说之古人,处于同一境界”来还原中国先哲所面对的精神问题。他们不希望一味地借鉴、移植和挪用他人的现代文化,而是企盼在不断咀嚼、消化中国本源性文化的条件下对现代性作出价值修正和更新。他们将汲取中国本源性文化的努力逐步泛化到吸收、融合人类其他的本源性文化,从而与人类精神“原乡”紧紧相拥。当今,不容忽视的是一些中国艺术家追溯传统“原乡”、表现“原乡”意识的文化自觉行为。他们看重原创文化,也执着于艺术创新。由此,他们从“原乡”意识出发的当代艺术实践,构成了中国文化主体性追求的不断强化和不断深入。

一些中国艺术家长时间沉潜在浮躁、喧嚣的现实文化景观之下,孜孜不倦地汲取中国传统源头的“原乡”养分并在艺术创作中加以创造性转换。他们也试图提出自己的解决方案和路线图以应对全球社会现实生活中的种种精神危机,与人分享一种带有普适性的人类共有的“原乡”资源。就当代艺术圈而言,这种“原乡”意识造成中国艺术家对人类各种传统文化和经典精神的重温和追溯,使得他们在关注欧美现当代艺术现场的同时,能够切实体验到中国传统思维习性的主导性影响,并在中国传统文脉的传承实践中获得一种不可替代、无与伦比的文化优势。

当代文化的多元性、多样性不但丰富了地球村,而且也可以形成针对普世精神的有效介入和补充。1990年代以来,当今世界潮起潮落。许多来自欧美之外的各个传统文明国家精神“原乡”的文化元素,借全球化和现代性风潮吹遍世界,为深受网络化洗礼的国际社会所共享。许多发展中国家率先流行的文化符号、语汇和观念,也开始在双向文化输出中越来越深入地影响发达国家,干预并平衡着欧美国家的文化支配力和话语权。在这样的国际语境下,尚扬、余友涵、李华生、杨诘苍、徐冰、谷文达、苏笑柏、王川、梁铨等一批中国艺术家的创作实践,以各自不同的方式反映出一种高度的文化自觉。他们或者把自身传承的人类“原乡”精神直接彰显为一种全球共享的价值;或者通过当代语言的再创造,把中国独特的“原乡”精神转换成一种跟国际接轨的价值。中国艺术家在当代艺术视域上的这种自我建构努力,不但有可能构成一种国际性的文化贡献,而且也有可能改写或重建既有的全球文化秩序。

“原乡”精神其实也应该是当代主义的一种价值。当代艺术在中国慢慢形成了中国艺术家自我经验的积累,也形成了对自身传统的一种创造性传承和转换。在全球化的中国本土社会语境下,艺术家这种努力要比单单对欧美传统与欧美现代性作创造性转换具有更大的意义。因为中国艺术家对中国和亚洲传统中的“原乡”精神的理解有着无与伦比的优势和长处。他们在作品中转换的人类“原乡”的核心价值,往往能生成一种更合理的、更具长远发展效用的精神贡献。“原乡”意识给人所带来的回归此岸、回归形而下、回归存在的精神趋向,也让更多艺术家深入反思当下既有的艺术体制、规则和标准,探索制度规范对人类本源性存在的适应性和匹配性。在此,当代主义正在成为中国艺术家的一种具有全球格局的思维现场,当下的体制、规则和标准不一定是本质的,但一定是可塑的。中国当代艺术的本土化现象中,最让人瞩目的变化并不是欧美当代艺术体制在中国美术馆运动中的落地、生根和发展以及在此过程中频频出现的文化失血和精神异化,而是中国文化主体性在当代艺术中的悄然生长。在人类“原乡”精神不断被追溯、被激活、被弘扬的思想背景下,中国文化主体性得以不断展开、生长,并正在成为当代艺术的各种中国现场的日常状态和基本趋势。这种中国文化主体性的生长态势,在未来30年里必将对当代艺术体制、规则和标准的重估和重建发生深远影响。

“Original home” is the source of human spiritual home and spiritual hometown which has been sought by people of different countries, different nationalities and different beliefs and which has created their own civilization traditions and culture subjectivity. The”Original home” bond traces not just the cultural hometown with traditional representation for a nationality or a country, but also a kind of enduring spiritual origin started with the “Axial Age” religion and philosophic rationalism tradition of human’ s ancient civilization. Nowadays, with the development of globalization, modernization and urbanization, China, just like other developing countries, is experiencing various new leaps and crisis in the period of social transition. This makes people often review the spiritual basis, which is composed of the thought system of ancient Chinese philosophers, they live on. “Original home” represents a look back from the contemporary society of flashy matters to genius of human spirit in the past. The “Original home” experience of Chinese modern and contemporary writers and artists is a self-conscious spiritual reform, a logical evolution, as well as a contemporary aesthetic form with independent innovation characteristics that stretches and is generated in Chinese cultural tradition. On the new international platform shared by multi cultures, Chinese modern and contemporary artists are generating a unique and open human experience of developing countries, and constructing their responsibility and contribution to national culture and global society as social individuals. In fact, “Original home” is also the spiritual concern that has always been upheld by Chinese contemporary art, which is of deep imagination and creativity. It bears the great dream of the Chinese cultural Renaissance, which has been pursued by Chinese men and women with lofty ideals for nearly a century.

The concept of “original home” can be used to demonstrate the cultural consciousness to constantly trace, comb, reconstruct, and promote their traditional source of Chinese intellectuals since the beginning of the 20th century. Actually, the “original home” of human spirit is the thought resources of spiritual talents such as Confucius, Socrates, and the Buddha during the starting era of religion or philosophy in Eurasia two thousand years ago. The “original home” consciousness of Chinese intellectuals is not only a cultural Nostalgia and an active digging of our traditional culture, but also a horizon of thoughts which is beyond the opposition of Chinese and Western and covers essences of both sides. Under the trend of the eastward transmission of western sciences in modern China, the “original home” consciousness of Chinese people has been stretching continuously in the cultural activities to carrying forward the studies of Chinese ancient civilization, new Confucianism, etc. With the substantial growth of China’ s comprehensive national strength since the 21st century, it has gradually become a social culture boom to return to Chinese tradition and revive the Chinese culture. The “original home” consciousness also frequently appears and has gradually become a kind of special mental representation of Chinese contemporary art.

Back in the late Qing Dynasty and early republic of China, China opened up, with western learning becoming popular and Chinese traditional studies weakening. The Chinese intellectuals back then tended to view problems in the mode of opposition between Chinese and western. They took the difference between former Chinese modernity with and the modernity of Europe and the United States as the essence of the difference between Chinese and western civilization. Rong Hong, author of “On the Eastward Transmission of Western Sciences”, wrote in his famous quote that “instill the western science into China and make China more civilized and prosperous gradually”, which means that China lacked civilization and prosperity at that time, so he wanted to “borrow the science of western civilization to improve Oriental culture”. Chinese intellectuals got a comprehensive learning of the modernity system and academic norms of Europe and America with the eastward transmission of western sciences. Some people worshiped European cultural tradition and even expected wholesale westernization. At the same time, they were constantly questioning and abandoning their inheritance of Chinese traditional culture. People who understood the times back then all agreed the value judgment that though Chinese traditional civilization was great and bright, but it was weakening when challenge by modern civilization. In modern China’ s two big ideological trends of enlightenment and salvation, only a few people reversed the trend and constantly returned to the “original home” of Chinese traditional civilization for nutrients. For example, people such as Zhang Binglin, Gu Hongming and Liang Qichao advocated national cultural heritage and humanistic pragmatism, they took the revitalization of Chinese traditional culture as a value pursuit of the revitalization of China. Cai Yuanpei and He Lin also advocated abstract inheritance of Confucius’ spiritual heritage. Hu Shi also said that “study of Chinese learning has to break the closed independent attitude”. After these minority intellectuals opened their eyes to see the world, they soberly knew that Chinese traditional culture was one of the core parts of the “original home” of human civilization, which had irreplaceable value. With the success of China’ s socialist revolution in 1949, the ideology of dominated by Marxism-Leninism covered the whole Chinese society, and some intellectuals advocating “the quintessence of Chinese culture” experienced decades of cultural aphasia and lonely watch. After the 10-year catastrophe of breaking the “four olds” and the Cultural Revolution, the traditional culture didn’ t return to Chinese society until the reform and opening up policy adopted in 1978. After the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, “studies of Chinese ancient civilization” gradually gained heat with a kind of confidence of the rise of great powers generated in the Chinese culture and art circles. The Confucianism, Taoism and Buddha that carry forward Chinese traditional culture have become fashion. Based on the reflection of modernity, some Chinese intellectuals traced back to the initial formation of their own cultural traditions, so as to radically reform and make clear the purpose from the very beginning. They revaluate the thoughts of China’ s ancient philosophers such as Zhuangzi, Confucius, Mengzi, Mozi, etc. from a globalization view of point, and take their thought as resources of spiritual “original home” to observe their living life and reflect on the way of existence. Some people are also trying to emulate the way people carried forward Greek and Roman cultural traditions during European Renaissance, so as to return basis to open a new road. They want to pursue the contemporary independent innovation on the basis of the revival of the Chinese traditions, so as to enhance the influence of the subjective pursuit on contemporary knowledge production. Clearly, these Chinese intellectuals constantly activate the “original home” spirit, expecting to face the next rapid development and potential crisis in Chinese society with it. The awakening of “original home” consciousness allows them a more macro profound historical pattern and a more open horizon of multiculturalism.

The ideological trend to trace the cultural “original home” of modern Chinese intellectuals is not only the pursuit of the great revival of traditional culture, but also a spiritual archaeological behavior to dig the root of the traditional. They are trying to emulate Chen Yinque’ s quote of “put oneself in the position of the ancient people who put forward a theory”, so as to restore the spiritual problems faced by China’ s ancient philosophers. They don’ t want to blindly draw lessons from, transplant or divert other modern culture, but hope to make value modification and update for modernity after chewing and digesting the original culture of China. Their efforts to absorb nutrition from China’ s original culture are expanded to absorbing and integrating other original cultures, so as to embrace the “original home” of human spirit. Nowadays, the cultural self-conscious behavior of tracing “original home” and presenting “original home” by some Chinese artists should not be ignored. They value the original culture, and are also obsessed with artistic innovation. As a result, their contemporary art practices based on “original home” consciousnesses constitute the increasingly strengthening and deepening of China’ s cultural subjectivity pursuit.

Some Chinese artists have submerged under the impetuous and noisy reality cultural landscape, diligently learning from “original home” of Chinese traditional sources and making creative transformation in the artistic creation. They also try to put forward their own solutions and roadmap to face various spiritual crises in the real life of global society, and share the universal “original home” resources of all mankind. In terms of contemporary art circle, such “original home” consciousness causes Chinese artists to revisit and trace all kinds of traditional culture and classical human spirit. It makes them able to experience the dominant influence of Chinese traditional thinking habits, while focus on European and American modern and contemporary art scene at the same time, and gives them an irreplaceable and unparalleled cultural advantage in the practice of the inheritance of Chinese traditional context.

The diversity and variety of contemporary culture not only enrich the global village, but also form effective intervention and supplement for universal spirit. Since the 1990 s, the world has experienced rises and falls. Many cultural elements from various spirit “original homes” of traditional civilization countries beyond Europe and America are shared in international community, which is deeply baptized by network, with the trend of globalization and modernity. The culture symbols, words and ideas that first popular in many developing countries also began to exert a greater influence in developed countries through bilateral cultural export, intervening and balancing the culture and discourse power of European and American countries. In such international context, the creative practices of a batch of Chinese artists such as Shang Yang, Yu Youhan, Li Huasheng, Yang Jiecang, Xu Bing, Gu Wenda, Su Xiaobai, Wang Chuan and Liang Quan have reflected a high level of cultural consciousness in different ways. They directly demonstrate their inheritance of the human spirit “original home” as a shared global value, or transform Chinese unique “original home” spirit into an international one through the re-invention with contemporary language. Such self construction efforts by Chinese artists in contemporary art horizon may not only constitute an international cultural contribution, but also rewrite or reconstruct the existing order of global culture.

The “original home” spirit actually should also be a kind of value of modernism. Contemporary art in China has gradually formed the self experience of Chinese artist, and also formed their own creative inheritance and transformation of traditions. In the context of globalization of Chinese society, such efforts by artist are of greater significance than creative transformation of European and American traditional modernity, for Chinese artists has incomparable advantages and strengths in terms of the understanding of traditional “original home” in China and Asia. The core value of human “original home” transformed in their works can always generate a more reasonable spiritual contribution, which is suitable for long-term development. The spirit trend of returning to this shore, to concrete science and to existence brought by “original home” consciousness also help more artists to carry out deep reflection over the existing artistic system, rules and standards, and explore the adaptability and compatibility of system specification for human’ s original existence. Here, modernism is becoming a kind of thinking with global pattern of Chinese artists. The current systems, rules and standards are not necessarily essential, but they are definitely plastic. The most remarkable change in Chinese contemporary art’ s localization is not the landing, rooting and development of European and American contemporary art systems in China’ s gallery movement and the frequent cultural hemorrhage and spiritual alienation in this process, but the quietly growth of Chinese cultural subjectivity in contemporary art. In the ideological background of “original home” spirit constantly being traced, activated and promoted, Chinese cultural subjectivity is expanded and growing unceasingly, and is becoming a daily status and basic trend of various Chinese scenes in contemporary art. Such growth trend of the Chinese cultural subjectivity is bound to have a profound impact on the revaluation and reconstruction of contemporary art system, rules and standards in the next 30 years.

Gu Zhenqing

 

 

 

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