《吾之所在,皆因汝存》展览开幕 I am, because of you Exhibition opening

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2015年12月8日,元空间展览《吾之所在,皆因汝存》展览正式开幕。超过200名来自TNC理事、各公益基金会代表、大使馆代表、艺术界人士、媒体等嘉宾来到开幕式现场。

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策展人李诗女士(右三),TNC亚太区总干事长查尔斯·贝福德(左三)及肯尼亚艺术家迈克尔·艾尔米塔什(左二)致开幕词。日本艺术家金氏徹平(右一)、中国艺术家程然(左一)、宋易格(右二)参加了开幕式。

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元空间创始人,艺术家曾梵志先生在开幕式现场与嘉宾交谈。

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TNC大使莫文蔚小姐认真驻足观看艺术品。

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开幕演讲时嘉宾云集。

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观众在开幕现场观展。

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元空间创始人曾梵志先生、策展人李诗女士、所有到场艺术家与TNC全球高层、中国区理事合影。


当晚7时整,《吾之所在,皆因汝存》演讲及晚宴于北京诺金酒店举行,演讲嘉宾以“濒危野生动物保护、人与自然和谐共生”为主题发表了各自的观点。

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TNC全球董事会主席克莱格·麦科考(Craig McCaw)先生,鹰河投资公司(Eagle River Investments)董事长兼首席执行官致晚宴开幕词。

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由展览策展人李诗女士主持,“拯救大象”组织创始人伊恩·道格拉斯·汉密尔顿爵士、TNC非洲项目总干事戴维·班克斯、UNDP副国别主任- 尼尔斯·库努森、腾讯高级执行副总裁郭凯天分享了各自领域为保护濒危物种和保护大象所做出的努力与成果。

I am, because of you Exhibition Concept 《吾之所在,皆因汝存》展览概念

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I am, because of you

What is most frightful to human beings, more than destitution or solitude, is numbness. Being numb means that one is deprived of the most treasured ability as a person, their life has descended into mechanical repetition, and their spiritual world has begun to degenerate, eventually turning this individual into the member of the walking dead.

How, then, does numbness start? It starts from a loss of respect—sitting idle and profiting without any exertion, which can be further interpreted as incomprehension of and insensitivity to the nature of things, i.e. a form of ignorance. As the complex world blinds the eyes of mankind from seeing its essence, and material affluence bewilders human souls, it is about time we discussed the meaning of life again.

The sentence “we have only one earth” is simple yet serious. Whilst creating fortunes and culture at top speed, human beings have neglected and sacrificed nature – whether by accident or design. In the natural world, there are two conditions on which human beings depend to live, and they are likewise living beings: animals and plant life.

In the Chinese linguistic context, human beings are reckoned to be superior animals, for human beings possess ideas, which we proudly describe as civilisation. Yet in the name of civilisation, the environment has been damaged. It is distressing that we are sacrificing the lives of animals for our blood-stained civilisation. For instance, the use and attraction of ivory for human beings has resulted in the slaughter of elephants. In Africa, an African elephant is being killed every fifteen minutes. However, this is merely one of a million cases of the endangerment of species by man. The exhibition I am, because of you aims at a kind of new enlightenment for the civilising process of human beings; we need to respect not only each other but also all other living beings; we must not only immediately rouse ourselves from numbness but also be rescued from egoistic apathy and ignorance.

I am, because of you is a united appeal from artists internationally: protect animals – stop the massacres. Art is the sublimation of life and the condensation of emotions. Every act of killing by human beings of rare species on the pretext of fortune and civilisation is a path to ignorance and numbness; accordingly, it is a deterioration of spirit and sensibility. We hope to illustrate the significance of a harmonious coexistence of human beings with animals through works of art, letting art pave the way to human civilisation and equality of life.

 

Exhibition concept for The Nature Conservancy’s ivory project 2015

By Curator Shi Li-Sanderson

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吾之所在,皆因汝存

对于人类来说,最可怕的不是贫穷、孤独,而是麻木。麻木意味着丧失作为一个人最宝贵的能力,它意味着生活变成机械式的重复,个体的精神世界开始退化,逐成行尸走肉。

那么,麻木是怎样开始的?麻木始于对尊重的丧失——对一切坐享其成,更深层解释为对事物本质的不理解、看不清——即无知。当复杂的世界令人类无法轻易看清本质,物质的富足又将人类精神迷惑之时,是时候去重新探讨生命的意义了。

“我们只有一个地球”这句话简单却沉重。人类在极速创造财富和文化的同时,忽略了或者说有意无意牺牲了自然。在自然当中,有两项人类赖以生存的条件,而它们也同样拥有生命:动物和植物。

在中文语义里,人被形容为高级动物,在于人类拥有思想,我们骄傲的称其为文明。但是文明之下,牺牲的是对环境的破坏,最令人痛心的是我们在牺牲动物的生命,以成就血腥的文明。比如,人类对于象牙的使用和喜好,对其造成毁灭式的屠宰。在非洲,每15分钟就有一头非洲象被杀害。而这,还只是千千万万珍稀物种中的一个案例。“吾之所在,皆因汝存”这个展览,希望给予人类文明进程一种新的启发,我们不仅需要尊重彼此,还需要尊重其他一切生命。我们不仅需要从迅速从麻木中惊醒,还需要拯救自我的无视和无知。

“I am, because of you”, 是一次国际艺术家的联合呼吁:保护动物,停止杀戮。艺术是生命的升华,情感的凝聚。当人类以自己的财富和文明为借口,杀害珍稀物种的过程,就是一次走向无知和麻木的过程。那么,它也是一种精神和情感退化的过程。我们希望通过艺术作品诠释人与动物之间和谐并存的生命意义。通过艺术作品,嫁接人类文明与生命平等的未来之路。

 

TNC大自然保护协会2015年度象牙项目展览概念

策展人 李诗

Exhibition:橙蓝—进程中的电影

2015年9月24日,艺术家程然个展《 橙蓝—进程中的电影》在元空间开幕。

“这次展览是‘进程中的电影’这个9小时计划中到目前为止最大的,也是最不一样的一次展览……这次的展览其实是里面最重要的一部分,它其实是等同于这个电影的。”程然在接受艺术云图的采访时说。

“这个展览其实只有一件作品,就是我们拍摄涉及的所有材料。其实可以换个角度讲,它们就是电影本身,但是它是从一个特别现实的角度,特别物质化的角度去展开的。我们怎样去开展这个电影?我们用什么东西去换来这个电影?其实这些材料和电影是一种等同的交换。”程然说。

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文章Articles-《橙蓝—进程中的电影》展览新闻稿 Orange Blue – In the Process of a Film press release

橙蓝-进程中的电影海报

2015年9月24日于元空间开幕的《橙蓝—进程中的电影》,由艺术家程然9小时电影《奇迹寻踪》的拍摄档案构成。

此次展览是对艺术家电影拍摄过程的一次实验性还原、记录和展示。早在电影拍摄之初,艺术家就尽可能保留了所有日常记录文献、拍摄器材,以及与影片线索相关的众多物件,是梳理、打破、重建和探索的过程。

八段影像,从电影拍摄过程中大量的花絮及随手记录片段镜剪辑而来,从外籍演员在宾馆梦游开始,监控摄像头记录下了他在楼道里走动的整个过程。这些素材和真实的镜头发生在“正规记录”的背面并与之平行,其意义和真实性是电影这一记录方式幕后一段不为人知的,极其重要的组成部分。

这些在别人看来无足轻重的物件,却是一段时间与空间的记忆依据。因为它是“人”这一主观能动行为的主体的分析资料。

策展人李诗表示:“收藏和研究的意义在于可以为不同的时间和空间下的某一特殊情境提供回顾和展望的素材。纪录看似是定格在某一时间下的真实,但却拥有无限抽象的可能性。这个展览是对这种‘可能性’的探讨和追踪。”

《奇迹寻踪》根据三个真实的故事改编而成。故事分别讲述1900年英国探险家乔治·马洛里攀登珠穆朗玛峰;上世纪70年代荷兰艺术家Bas Jan Ader试图用一艘小船横渡大西洋;以及2010年,33个船员搭乘山东“鲁荣渔2682”号渔船去远洋捕鱼期间的狂乱和迷失。

“它们除了拥有同样漫长的令人望而却步的时间长度,另一个相似之处是:它们本身都是伟大的。”程然在接受采访时说。

此9小时电影项目的实现得益于K11 Art Foundation、Erlenmeyer Foundation及麦勒画廊Galerie Urs Meile、北京-卢森的大力支持。

展览得到艺术云图、蓝海电视台、北京瑰丽酒店、鲜Life、JuiceUp的大力支持与赞助。

On September 24th, 2015 the YUAN Space will be opening a new exhibition entitled “Orange Blue – In the Process of a Film”. The exhibition follows Cheng Ran’s process of creating a nine-hour film entitled “In Course of the Miraculous”.

This exhibition is focused on the process of creating the film, not on the nine-hour film. From the very beginning of the process, the artist Cheng Ran began collecting props from and documenting each step of the film production. Ultimately, he discovered that creating a film is a process of sorting, destruction, rebuilding, and exploration.

8 films, depicting the behind the scenes experience of the cast and crew will be displayed on 8 screens. From one actor caught sleepwalking to scenes of traveling in the Chinese countryside, these 8 films truthfully depict the making of the film, but do not overlap with the content of the film itself. The artist wants to show that both the behind the scene shots and the actual film material are both equally important.

These seemingly pointless props are in reality, a record of a moment in time.

To quote the curator of the show, Ms. Shi Li-Sanderson, “The importance of collecting and doing research lies in our ability to explore different eras and to look back on them with a critical, retrospective eye. These kind of records seem to be frozen in a moment, however, contain unbounded potential. This exhibition is focused on investigating this potential.”

The film, “In Course of the Miraculous” is adapted from 3 real life stories. The first part follows the story of the early 1900s British explorer George Marlow’s attempt to climb Mt. Everest. The second part follows the story of the 1970’s Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader’s attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean by boat. Lastly, the film depicts 33 sailors who, in 2010, traveled from Shandong province on the fishing boat named Lu Rong 2682 to the distant seas to catch fish. During this journey the crew went mad and the ship got lost at sea.

Cheng Ran said of the film in an interview, “These stories are all very suspenseful, they are not necessarily easy to watch.”

The 9 hour film is sponsored by the K11 Art Foundations, the Erlenmeyer Foundation, Beijing Lu Sen, and the Galerie Urs Meile.

Special thanks to YUNTOO, BON, Rosewood Beijing, XianLife, JuiceUp for sponsor the exhibition.

展览 Exhibition – 元美术馆筹建档案展 YUAN Museum Preparatory Committee Archive Exhibition

 2015年5月16日元美术馆筹建档案展在元空间正式对外开放

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梵高

此次展览不仅对2014全年档案进行重新梳理,并且在开放之后,接待了来自世界各地的藏家、艺术家、合作机构、媒体等社会组织。

这是一次向社会公开筹建策略和美术馆专业工作流程,同时督促各合作方严格按照施工进度工作的展览。

展览前言

“我喜欢古典园林,我还喜欢自己去设计园林,喜欢亲手跟工匠一起去做,因为园林是设计不出来的,每个角度千变万化,中国古典园林也是跟这画一样,一块石头摆在那儿之后,你才知道应该配一块什么样的石头,有一棵什么样的树摆在那儿,景又从哪个角度去看,你从另外一个角度去看又是另一个景,早晨看光线是从东边过来的,树的阴影在哪里,整个一天下来都在变化,还有四季的变化,没有树叶的时候,树枝和石头的搭配是什么样的,真的是变化特别多,所以我喜欢古典园林,喜欢在有庭院的工作室里观察四季。”

“有时候我看到一条黑的树枝上积着雪,黑白分明的感觉特别动人和有美感,不是说我一定要当时去画,可能两年、三年、五年以后这些东西不知不觉就在手中体现出来了,但是我不会记录下来,说接下来我一定怎么计划,我没有计划,我就是融入到身体里、血液里,让它自由地释放出来。”

——曾梵志

元美术馆是一个艺术家对于中国艺术精神的持续探求,展现其内心的澎湃之情与殷切希望。今天,美术馆已经成为当代城市精神的至高点。其对于当代社会文化的纪录、研究和展示;人与人之间精神的交流与创造力的启发;新科技的体验与各学科跨界实践,都提供着多维平台和无限机会。于是,了解一个特定社会当中所应呈现的“美术馆”形式和特色,成为一个令人兴奋且严肃的研究课题。元美术馆筹建委员会在这样一种心态下成立了。她面临着从基础设施、管理流程、运营模式、内容制作、公共管理、社会调查、理论研究等等多重责任;她承载着综合建造技术的复杂性和所处年代、社会的独特性;她要重建的理论体系和美学价值观,需要几代人的努力去实践、去探索。

曾梵志先生作为正在这实践过程中的一员,通过他对生活中一个细节的描述,向我们呈现出东方美学细腻、浪漫与浑然天成的情感表达。我们也许还无法用准确的语言解释我们是谁,在做着什么,或者为什么要做?但是,如果有一天这些事“是融入到身体里、血液里,让它自由地释放出来。”的话,那就是真的实现了。

——李诗

I like Chinese classical gardens, and I also enjoy designing them and working along with the artisans to make them. One cannot actually “design” a garden so to speak; there are changes at every angle, and the making of a classical Chinese Garden is very similar to the making of a painting. You place a rock at one place, and then you will know the other kinds of rock and tree that can go along with it. It is about choosing the angle to view the scene, and if you look at it from another perspective you will get a different impression of the scene. Morning light rises from the east, the place where the shadow casts changes throughout the day and throughout the four seasons. When the leaves have fallen from the branches, one must also consider the arrangement of the branches and the rocks; the changes are infinite, and that is why I like classical gardens and enjoy having a courtyard with a studio where I can observe the changes that take place over the four seasons.

Sometimes when I see snow accumulated on a black branch, the aesthetic quality of the black and white contrast moves me tremendously. But that does not mean that I need to paint it at the time. May be in two or three or five years will it eventually and unconsciously surface from my hands. I do not record it down, or formulate some kind of plan for it. I do not plan. I just let it enter my body and into my blood and allow it to surface naturally.

——Zeng Fanzhi

 

YUAN Museum is the embodiment of an artist’s persistent exploration of China’s art spirit, a presentation of his inner passion as well as ardent wishes. Today, museums have attained a commanding height of contemporary urban spirits. A museum’s documenting, investigating and exhibiting contemporary social culture; soulful communications amongst human beings and inspirations on creativity; experiences of new technologies and interdisciplinary practices… all are offering a multidimensional stage where opportunities are countless. As a result, to comprehend the museological forms and features that ought to exist in a given society is an exciting yet serious subject of discourse. The YUAN Museum Preparatory Committee was established with such an attitude, and it carries multiple responsibilities in the infrastructure, managerial procedure, operational pattern, content production, public administration, social researches, theoretical studies and so forth. It bears the complexity of constructional technology as well as the specificity of our temporal and social context; the theoretical system and aesthetic values it intends to rebuild require efforts of several generations to practise and explore.

As a member of the on-going process of practice, Mr. Zeng Fanzhi presents to us fine, romantic and natural expressing of emotions in the Oriental aesthetics, through his depiction on details in life. Perhaps we cannot accurately verbalise who we are, what we do or why we do; nonetheless, if one day all those issues “integrate into our bodies and blood to be liberated”, they get realised.

——Shi Li-Sanderson

文章 Articles-《与大师同行—所见及所思》展览前言

2015年4月12日

与大师同行签名册-01

与大师同行

在艺术的历史不断向前发展的同时,社会、技术、思想等一直伴随其一同前行。大多数人们观察世界的角度和态度,都不会被严谨记录。但是,绘画艺术家却是幸运的,因为他们有另外一种语言——即绘画,是一种极为抽象却有效的沟通方式。如果他们的技术娴熟,观点独特,同时又非常幸运,他们就有可能成为那段历史的代表人物和记录者。尤其,艺术家的敏感性和洞察力成为推动这个社会进步的一支独特力量。他们也许不会直接推动经济或工业的进步,却不断刷新着创造力和想像力。这便是今天英国学者Ken Robinson所倡导的人文教育的重要性,他认为从小培养丰富的创造力和不拘一格的思考能力,是一切其他能力的基础。

于是,当我们回头观察和思考绘画艺术家们的“纸上习作”到底是什么的时候,也许可以换一个角度。它们是思想的图纸,代表着美学和科学共建的过程。它们是思想第一次变为现实可见的“物”的呈现。它们重要,就在于那是一切思想被图像化记录的第一步。除了构图,笔触、材料、透视等与技术娴熟息息相关的条件之外,主题更新和情感的表现力则是其进步的象征。

回到我们现在所处的环境,地理和人文坐标皆位于中国,同时期中西方文化的独立发展和相互影响、交融是我们关注的重点,其艺术价值和社会意义皆积厚流光。中国古典文化对于诗、词、画有着明确界定。认为诗是抽象画,画是具象的诗。如此说来,它们都具有阅读性、逻辑性和风格。尤其是中西方古典绘画的创作风格(来自于艺术家)和观赏角度(来自于观众),值得仔细学习和推敲。尤其是今天,当西方绘画技法、艺术史以及艺术理论,对全球艺术家都形成深刻影响的时候,我们希望能够提供一种新的视角和美学观,尝试去解读和交流不同的价值体系。比如西方的几何构图和黄金比例,以及东方的留白和写意,到底它们有着严谨的划分,还是相互渗透?这些风格的背后到底是因为宗教的影响,还是自然环境的造就?更甚者,它们对于当代艺术的启发性和局限性是什么?当全球文化如此交融、混杂、跨界,过量的信息每时每刻都充斥着我们的大脑,我们如何去认识自己,解读自己的文化成为每个独立个体的艰巨课题。

因此,《与大师同行》这个展览是一次提着灯笼的行走,大师习作的背后是他们人生态度的写照,每一副作品都是他们漫长人生道路上的一个短暂片段,也是他们丰富人生经历中一秒的映射。重要的是让观众看到时间和空间被急剧浓缩后所形成的一道文化风景。每个观众都是自由的,可以带着自己的问题去寻找内心的答案。

李诗

2015年4月

Dancing with Virtuoso

As the history of art marches on, societies, technologies and ideologies are always keeping pace. The perspectives and attitudes of the vast majority of observing the world are not documented with good precision. However, artists are lucky, for they have another language—drawing, an extremely abstract yet efficient way of communication. If they are skilled and original, given luck, meanwhile, they can probably become representative of a piece of history as well as its recorder. In particular, the sensibility and perspicacity of the artists form a distinctive power that pushes our society forward. They might not give impetus to economy or industry in a direct manner, but they unceasingly freshen human creativity and imagination. This is the significance of humanistic education advocated by Ken Robinson, a British scholar who deems it the foundation of all other abilities to cultivate inspirational ingenuity and unconstrained elaborative faculty from childhood.

We may therefore change the viewpoint as we look back and reflect on what artistic drawing exercises on paper are. They are blueprints of ideas, representing the process of jointly constructing aesthetics and science. They are the debuts of ideas transformed into practically visible “objects”. They are of importance, as they are the primary step of ideas being transcribed graphically. In addition to terms closely bound up with skills, such as composition, brushwork and material, the renovation of themes and expression of emotions are symbolic of the progress they make.

Back to the environment where we are placed, China is the geographic and cultural location. The independent development of and the interrelationship between contemporaneous Western and Chinese cultures is the focal point of our attention, of which the artistic value and social significance demonstrate a merit for the posterity to bask in. Chinese classical culture has explicit definitions of poetry (shi and ci) and painting. A poem is esteemed as an abstract painting while a painting the embodiment of a poem. They, then, both possess readability, logicality and styles. The styles of creation (which rest with the artists) and the angles of appreciation (which rest with the viewers) of Chinese and Western classical drawing, in particular, are worthy of being studied and deliberated upon. Especially today when the Western artistic techniques, art history and art theory are having a profound influence over artists across the world, we aspire to proffer a new perspective and aesthetic viewpoint and try to decipher and converse with varied value systems. Between the Occidental geometrical composition and golden ratio, for example, and the Oriental negative space and freehand brushwork, is there an unequivocal divide? Or do they interpenetrate? Is it a religious influence or a natural attainment beneath those styles? Furthermore, how do they enlighten and restrict contemporary art? Now that the global culture has got so blended, hybrid and cross-disciplinary, our brains are overloaded with superfluous information at all times; how we shall acknowledge ourselves and comprehend our own culture has become an arduous problem for every individual.

Accordingly, the exhibition Dancing with Virtuoso is a walk illuminated by the shimmer of exemplars. The master drawing exercises mirror their attitudes towards life; every work marks a temporal fragment of their lengthy life paths as well as portrays one second of their bountiful life experiences. It is to let the audience see the cultural scene made by sharply condensed time and space that matters. Every viewer is free to carry their own questions in quest of their inspirational answers.

 

Shi Li-Sanderson

Executive Chairperson, YUAN Museum Preparatory Committee

April 2015

讲座 Art Talk- 通往私人美术馆之路第二次讲座 Journey to a Private Art Museum II

未命名-95 未命名-110
2015年4月13日
《通往私人美术馆之路》第二次艺术讲座由元空间与佳士得合作举办,名为《习作(手稿)对古典油画的最终重要意义和其存在的前瞻性》。
佳士得古典艺术及十九世纪绘画部主席何古易先生主讲,分享了对从文艺复兴以来纸上作品的研究。元美术馆筹建委员会主席李诗女士主持,元空间创始人、艺术家曾梵志先生阐述了对手稿话题的看法和研究。
This talk is part of YUAN Museum Preparatory Committee educational program Journey to a Practicing Art Museum.
For this Art Talk, we are honoured to announce that Mr. Nicholas H.J. Hall, International Co-Director of Christie’s Old Master and Nineteenth-Century Paintings Department, shared his knowledge of works on paper from masters of the Renaissance to today. Following this, the artist Mr. Zeng Fanzhi shared his thoughts and ideas on this topic. Mrs. Shi Li-Sanderson, Executive Chairperson of YUAN Museum Preparatory Committee, moderated the talk.

文章 Articles -《海相》展览前言

2015年3月19日

海报-01

海相  

“海相”这个展览是对于时间的解读。艺术家曼努埃尔·瓦伦西亚通过绘画表现时间的纬度和张力,同时诉说人类本真的一种诉求,即自身的归属感。艺术家在变幻莫测的海面上寻求一种征服欲和永恒性。

海相:将大海的多面性来对应人间众生。对人的意识而言,就是“想” 即人的意识对事物的某种反映,也是人的意识对某种程度的相状摹写。

在过去7年的工作中,瓦伦西亚将他的视角拉长,又放缓。他透过窗外马略卡岛深入大海的一隅,看到内心无限的自由和创造力。这次展览中的一件作品由34幅同样视角的画面组成,它们构图统一,似乎遵循着某种定律,但是近距离观察时却发现它们可能存在着绝对的差异。它们材料复杂、多样,甚至展现完全不同的绘画风格和由情绪演绎的艺术家内在本身存在的文化对立。34副作品似乎在展现34中不同风格的艺术表现形式,出自34个不同的艺术家。从极简主义到抽象表现主义,从拼贴到涂鸦,从印象派风景到水墨写意,瓦伦西亚尝试着所有可能性,但对于他来说唯一不变的是他独特的气质,这种气质是他的标志,于是他将海平面变成了一面镜子,映射人的内心。他将7年的持续工作汇聚成这一秒的呈现,当观众面对他的作品时,他们看到的是对时间和空间的高度统一。

在瓦伦西亚的作品中,我们所看到的不仅仅是恬静的海平面,而是思绪万千的自我内心的揭示。海的朝夕变换,也好似人的喜怒哀乐。人类每呼吸一秒就将生命延续一点点,这每一秒钟所发生的事情都有可能改变全局,它微妙、脆弱,又伟大和值得期待。这也许就是时间这个抽象的概念使我们痴迷的原因,我们无法控制它却要完完全全依附于它。瓦伦西亚将时间统一在这一秒的观察中,使它静止,并让自己和观众都陷入思考。静止的力量即转为对内观察和审视的契机。这个过程不同于科学实验数百次只为获得一次意外的惊喜,对于艺术家来说,他没有目的,只为通过思想的创造力将这一平静和永久的瞬间描绘出永远不一样的风景。每一幅画面都是静止的,但也是流动的。也许更多的人只能看到海平面的恬静,但瓦伦西亚却获得了来自内心无限的归属感。

这个展览所讲述的是一个与时间竞赛的故事。繁复的世界和紧张的外交官日程,没有剥夺瓦伦西亚内心的自由。他将绘画转化为内观的过程。这些绘画作品是其内心的写照。视觉的体验也许短暂,但是记忆和思考的纬度更广也更长久。今天,我们需要这样一种精神,因为热爱绘画,将绘画作为一种生命力延续的象征,瓦伦西亚成为了一个通向未来的使者,艺术的生命力是他手中的火把,使创造力不断前行。

 

李诗

2015年3月 北京

 

The Skin of the Sea

“The Skin of the Sea” is an exhibition that deciphers time. Artist Manuel Valencia expresses the latitude of time and its strength by means of painting, which meanwhile narrates an appeal of human nature, id est the immanent belongingness. On top of the volatile ocean horizon, the artist is in quest of a sort of conquer and eternity.

The skin of the sea: to respond to all living creatures in the secular world with the versatility of the sea. With regard to human consciousness, it refers to “thinking”, namely the reflection of human consciousness on things, as well as the facsimile of a certain extent.

In the work over the last seven years, Valencia has stretched his perspective and then retarded. Through the corner of Mallorca embedded in the ocean outside his window, he has seen the boundless freedom and creativity in his heart. One series of work in the exhibition is comprised of thirty-four pictures from the same angle, and the unified composition seems to be following some kind of regular pattern; taking a closer look, some absolute discrepancy therein may be visible. Made of complicated and diverse materials, they demonstrate widely different artistic styles and an emotive cultural contrast inherent in the artist alike. The thirty-four pieces seems to present thirty-four varied artistic expressions by thirty-four varied artists. From Minimalism to Abstract Expressionism, collage to graffiti, Impressionist landscape to freehand ink wash, Valencia experiments on all the possibilities, but the one and only changeless is his distinctive aura that is symbolic of him; therefore he transforms the ocean horizon into a mirror whereon human hearts are shown. He has condensed his continual work of the last seven years into the presentation of this moment. When confronted with his works, the viewers see a supreme unity of time and space.

What we see in Valencia’s works is not merely a serene ocean horizon but also a revelation of a myriad of thoughts. The morning and evening tides of the sea resemble the emotions of human beings. Every breath that one takes extends the life a little, and what happens within the time of each breath may change the situation at large, which is delicate, frail, yet grand and worthy of expectation. Perhaps this is why the abstract concept of time enthralls us—we cannot take control of it but must adhere completely to it. Valencia unifies time within the observation of this second, freeze-framing it, and submerges the viewers as well as himself in meditation. The stilled power is hence transformed into an opportunity to inspect inward and ponder on the internal. Such process differs from the scientific experiments that repeat hundreds of times to achieve serendipity once; as an artist, he is dedicated to depicting the ever-changing seascape out of the peaceful and perpetual instant, with spiritual creativity yet without an aim. Every scene is static, and meanwhile flowing. Maybe it is the tranquility of the ocean horizon that the majorities see, but Valencia has attained the infinite belongingness from the depths of his heart.

This exhibition narrates a story of competing with time. The intricate world and the demanding diplomatic schedule have not deprived Valencia of his inner liberty. He transforms the act of painting into a process of introspection. These paintings are a portrayal of his heart. Visual experiences can be ephemeral, but the latitude of memory and cogitation appears wider and longer. Today, we need such kind of spirit; by virtue of the passion for painting, making the act of painting an emblem of vitality, Valencia has become an ambassador to the future, holding a torch lit by the fire of art that shines glory in the never-ending path of creativity.

 

By Shi Li-Sanderson

Beijing, March 2015

文章 Articles:艾拉多斯——界渡交撮 Islados: Liminal Crossings

 

22

艾拉多斯——界渡交撮

初次寓目西班牙艺术家曼努埃尔·瓦伦西亚的综合材料单色海景《艾拉多斯》,便觉闯入诗情画意筑起的圣殿;此乃汲取浪漫主义、抽象表现主义与极简主义惠泽之作。放眼汪洋,瓦伦西亚以双层构图托出的海平线没入梦幻泡影,恍若尘埃落定与望尘莫及交锋的渺远边际。《艾拉多斯》引人联想到马克·罗斯科、赛·托姆布雷和格哈德·里希特作品中直抒胸臆的诡谲水平线,置观者于浩瀚的视域中切身体悟无垠,并将超逸绝尘内化为自身的延展。瓦伦西亚坦陈《艾拉多斯》“是一场有始有终没有彼岸的梦。艺术家的孤寂,空旷如沧海,无人问津且遗世独立……无尽大观悉收眼底。”

观,目光游走明暗之间,此举自古便令善思者与艺术家心往神驰,是超越时代与文化的情感呼应。观者,由身及心也,是主观性从原始意识通向自知自明的渡口,稍纵即逝。透过明暗错落,心魂深处的觉识界线依稀可见。因赋有哲学、科学、文学及心理学等多重意蕴,这条界线也必将归顺于妙手偶得的艺术诠释。

与其称《艾拉多斯》是单纯的画面提取,毋宁说它是由复杂视像所激起,是艺术家形影相吊的浪漫写照。若以瓦伦西亚惯用的跨文化手法与媒介品评《艾拉多斯》,会咀嚼出一些新鲜独创、引人入胜的意味。

瓦伦西亚生于马德里,成长于西班牙北部的巴斯克沿海地带。醉心艺术的他年轻时便走访了一批以对光线敏锐、创作保持偶然性与自发性而闻名的西裔或荷裔艺术家的工作室。瓦伦西亚曾负笈荷兰海牙,求学四载,打牢了绘画、构图及当代理论等基础;作为具象艺术家,他专攻超现实主义,且在布面与木板上苦练丙烯、水彩以及文艺复兴时期的荷兰及佛兰德坦培拉技法,如此又度过十四个寒暑。现已踏遍世界、阅历颇丰的瓦伦西亚亦曾全职投身商界,他坦言自己“易受外界触动”且愿探索他口中的“人生积淀”。十五年前,一次大开眼界的京都之旅令瓦伦西亚在中国唐宋美学中流连忘返。观赏与创作中另辟蹊径展露亚洲之美,照瓦伦西亚所言,“为人从艺,皆改变我良多。”

瓦伦西亚将《艾拉多斯》谓为“弦上的景观……观念与情感在巨幕上的角力”。浏览画面,可见线条狂放,直指身心张力。或以砑光轧线,或以既成纱织,或以搓捻纤纸,一连串起伏的线条随瓦伦西亚的笔墨跃然纸上,在眼前婆娑起舞,浑然天成。这些粗犷的线条凌厉、不羁、笔力雄健,如草书般洋洋洒洒,彰显出近乎悟道的自在与纵情挥毫的快意。

蜷曲的线条在温润的宣纸上飞舞出异于艺术传统的写意表现。如登台的演员拿捏分毫,瓦伦西亚勾勒出内心抑扬顿挫的悸动,时而嘈嘈如急雨,时而切切如私语,将小字、诗句、风暴、气流、炸裂、喷发等片段纵横交叠,将波点集成乱笔,再成结扣,终成湍流。于此可见的并非直抵无限神思的路径,而是艺术家深思熟虑的凿、撕、刮等手笔以及有意而为的解构与重塑。在纵欲与抽象之间,瓦伦西亚将线条、形状与材料塑造成立体突兀,如肉体的延伸支配着空间。在不少作品中,左侧海滨凸出,嵌入海面,截断海平线。这些纸型左岸反复运用其肌肉般的扭曲,在此番犀利的表现中更显耽于声色。这是肉欲,是本能,是蒙昧,阻碍我们谛观无量。

瓦伦西亚独创的岸、山、线条形态渗出发自肺腑的力量,名正言顺地主宰着其所到之处。他以文学元素给作品赋予含义。在一件重要作品中,他影射了死亡、空白、绝望等虚无主义主题,并手书摘自艾略特战后诗《空心人》的哀婉章句。半透明、脆弱等主题对渡与灭不作预设,却也在瓦伦西亚的作品中有着预兆未来的作用。在另一件迷人的装置中,他把绳线悉数提起至脱离布面,将其悬挂宛若扯裂的网帘;该作品不受视角所限,而本质上这一形式和材料却不堪一击。

瓦伦西亚绳线交撮的海景在纸面上展开一场感官的较量,尤其是在与时空隐逸有着深厚文化历史渊源的宣纸上,绵延出色欲伪装的嬗变海平线,质疑着我们在感知的临界已被同化的观看习惯。浏览画面,观者会被引入一个旋即漂浮、切断的认同过程,没有惟一答案却为始终如一而上下求索,无休无止。《艾拉多斯》吁请我们接纳渡越疆界已融为一体的认识。由此观之,瓦伦西亚本人作为艺术家和现任西班牙驻华大使的双重身份也例证了在自身与世界交撮之际真实、忘我的美学体验。

 

谨为艺术家曼努埃尔·瓦伦西亚作此文

《海之诗:曼努埃尔·瓦伦西亚近作》

二〇一五年三月于北京元空间开展

毛奕齡二〇一五年二月书于纽约

(中文译者:彭哲文)

 

Islados: Liminal Crossings

 

At first glance, Islados, a series of monochromatic, mixed-media seascapes by the contemporary Spanish artist Manuel Valencia, seems to stage a poetics of the inner sanctum, drawing from the artistic legacy of Romanticism, Abstract Expressionism, and Minimalism. In open marine vistas, Valencia’s two-tiered compositions usher forth an ocean horizon, submersed in an illusory dream, as a distant periphery that evokes a poignant confluence of the complete and the unattainable. Reminiscent of the spectral horizons seen in the spiritually inspired works of Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly and Gerard Richter, Valencia’s Islados envelops our eyes in an immense visual field, evoking a sensory experience of infinity, and internalizing the sublime as if an extension of the self. In an artist statement, Valencia describes Islados as “A dream with a start and an end, but no shoreline. The artist’s loneliness, empty and wide like the sea, an isolated being, secluded but independent…an endless landscape but only in the limit of our eyesight.”

The act of seeing, upon the threshold between darkness and light, is an emotive response that has historically enthralled thinkers and artists over time and across cultures. It is that momentary crossover of realms when subjectivity is transferred from a primal consciousness towards a heightened self-awareness, from body to mind. Through an experience of light differentials, a boundary on the cusp of inner consciousness emerges. Fraught with enriched meanings and interpretations in philosophy, science, literature, and psychology, as such, it is inevitable that such a boundary would also yield itself to the most inspired artistic interpretations.

Yet Islados is galvanized by a more complex vision than being simply distilled, lyrically romantic self-portraits of the lone artist. When evaluated in the cross-cultural palette of methodology and media in which Valencia actively engages, something new, original, and intriguingly significant about Islados emerges.

Born in Madrid, Valencia was raised along the shores of Spain’s northern Basque country. Passionate about art, in youth, he had visited studios of Spanish and Dutch artists known especially for their sensitivity to light and for openness to chance and spontaneity in the creative process. Valencia’s four years of training in Stichting de Vrije Academie voor Beeldende Kunst, Hague, Netherlands grounded him in drawing, composition and contemporary theory. He trained as a figurative artist for nearly fourteen years, leaning on Surrealism, also familiarizing himself on canvas and wood, with acrylic, watercolor, and tempera glazing technique of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance. A seasoned world traveler given his former occupation as a full-time businessman, Valencia admits being “porous to external influences” and open to explore what he calls “the sediments from life experiences.” A trip to Kyoto fifteen years ago was an eye-opening experience that regaled his sensuality to the Chinese aesthetics of the Tang and the Song dynasties. The revelation of Asian aesthetics as an alternative way of seeing and creating, according to Valencia, “had changed me as a man, as an artist.”

Valencia calls Islados, “Landscape of strings…a fight between concept and emotion against a dramatic background.” From frame to frame, lines gesticulating such psychosomatic tensions are rampant. In the form of mangled threads, found yarn, and twisted fibrous paper strings, a spectrum of undulating lines protrude from Valencia’s ink-brushed surface, engaging our eye in a raw optical dance. Adventurous, edgy and exuberant, Valencia’s rugged lines seemingly resonate with the abandon of cursive calligraphic script. They exalt a similar freedom in the process of becoming and a brimming energy as if brushwork in execution.

Fastened onto the supple leniency of Chinese rice paper, his gnarling lines of threads wage a gestural performance against established artistic conventions. Like characters on a theatrical stage, his lines rhythmically pulsate, at times in a murmuring whisper, at times in a thunderous torrent, taking the shapes of small letters, poetic stanzas, storms, atmospheric winds, explosions, and eruptions, crisscrossing and converging into wavelengths of dots, scribbles, knots, and turbulence. Visible here is not a mere invitation into a mindful infinity, but rather, the artist’s deliberate hand at gouging, scrapping and scratching, and his conscious effort at deconstruction and reconstruction. Between carnality and abstraction, Valencia fashions lines, forms, and materials that protrude three- dimensionally, like bodily extensions dominating the space. In more than a few works, a leftward shore juts forth repeatedly, butting into the ocean to intercept the horizon. More animalistic than passive, in their edgy embodiments, these left banks molded from paper-Mache repeatedly exert their muscular contortions. They are carnal, visceral, barbaric things that interfere to thwart our gaze towards the infinite.

Valencia’s inventive shape of the shore, the mountains, and the lines, exude a visceral strength, authoritatively possessing the space in which they are placed. Valencia uses literary elements to imbue his art with meaning. In one notable piece, he alludes to the nihilist themes of death, void, and despair, handwriting stanzas directly from T.S. Eliot’s elegiac post-war poem, “The Hollow Man.” The themes of translucency and fragility, in its open-endedness to crossings and destruction, also come to play a portentous role in Valencia’s art. In a haunting installation, Valencia lifts the entire spectrum of his fibrous threads, off the canvas, suspending them as if a faint curtain of torn webs, making the piece, accessible from all views, but ultimately vulnerable and eroding in form and material.

On a paper surface such as the Chinese rice paper, especially one that is intimately loaded with cultural and historical references to spatiotemporal seclusions, Valencia’s stringed seascapes wage a sensory battle, to stretch open a volatile horizon of sensual guises and quintessentially calling into question our acculturated habits of seeing at the threshold of perception. From frame to frame, the viewer is lured into an open-ended identification process that is at once afloat, disconnected, always negotiating for coherence, but never ending. Islados solicits us to enter into an open acceptance of conflated recognitions across borderlines and boundaries. It is from this view that Valencia’s own dual identity as an artist and as the incumbent Ambassador of Spain to China becomes a stirring embodiment of an authentic, all-consuming aesthetic experience at the crossing of the self and the world.

 

An essay for the artist Manuel Valencia

For Sea Poems: Recent Works by Manuel Valencia

An exhibition at Yuan Space, Beijing CHINA, March 2015

 

By Yiling Mao

New York, February 2015