评江衡画作,由江衡的作品引发的思考

 美术     |      2020-01-06

江衡是中国卡通一代重要艺术家代表之一,他不在思考画面的所谓深度,在绘画语言上直接消解了油画语言的纯粹性和学院特征,故意以画广告、画卡通的视觉叙述切入社会生活。江衡主要是以青年人生活的梦想和期待来切入时尚风潮。

  江衡的艺术,让我想起了当代艺术和美学领域中一个引起激烈争论的话题:美的回归(return of beauty)与美的滥用(abuse of beauty)。

  人物画、肖像画历来是视觉艺术景观中最为引人瞩目的部分,人类通过身体认识世界,作为视觉对象和视觉表象的身体是人类关照自身进而关照世界的途径和方式,因此一部艺术史甚至可以浓缩为人物形象史,或者说是身体的历史。

假如说,在大众传媒,在流行风潮,在都市时尚没有走进人们的家庭之时,人们的知识、信仰大多是和深度文化,是和英雄人物的坚苦卓绝之类的壮举相联系。而当大众传媒把消闲商业化,把趣味企业化,把人们的感觉享乐以最为科学和艺术的手法挖掘成为商业资源之时,人们的梦想便发生了实质性的变化:即他们崇拜的偶像便是流行时尚的弄潮儿,个人生活及至理想生活开始卡通化。

  在经过了长达一个世纪的沉寂之后,美再次成为当代美学和艺术的重要话题。1993年,著名批评家希基(Dave Hickey)宣布,在接下来的十年中,美将成为一个主导话题。[1]与希基的预言巧合的是,科马(Vitaly Komar)和梅拉米德(Alexander Melamid)在1994-1997年间实施的一个名为人民的选择(Peoples Choice)的系列绘画项目。他们雇佣专业民调机构来调查人们对艺术的偏好,根据民意测验的数据绘出不同国家的人民最喜欢的绘画和最不喜欢的绘画,范围涉及亚洲、非洲、欧洲和美洲众多国家。科马和梅拉米德不仅绘出了不同国家的人民认为最美的艺术作品,而且还发现不同国家的人民在美的图像的评判上体现出了高度的一致性。一些美学家进一步认为,人类在美的评判上所体现出来的一致性,最终可以从人类的遗传基因或者集体无意识中找到根据,因为今天人们最喜欢的绘画是描绘东非那种散落树林的大草原的风景画,而这里正是早期人类进化发生的地方。

  Figure paintings and portraitures have always been the most attractive elements in the visual arts, people learn about the world through the body. Body as a visual object and visual representation is an approach in which people reflect upon themselves and the world at large, therefore the history of art can often be condensed to the history of portraits, or history of the body.

这正是江衡作品所关注的焦点。

  我不敢说中国艺术家江衡的创作受到了希基的预言的影响,就像我不敢说人民的选择项目是在希基的预言的指导下实施的那样,但是,我可以说,包括江衡、科马和梅拉米德在内的众多当代艺术家的创作,的确是希基的预言的实现。难道真的如波普尔(Karl Popper)所说的那样,预言导致了预言的实现吗?

  其中女性形象更是时代视觉的焦点,作为具有鲜明象征意义的符号,在单纯的生理意义之外,女性被不断赋予各种社会的、文化的涵义,因此不管是中国还是西方,一部女性视觉形象史既是艺术形象变迁史,也是美学意识的流变史,当然还是社会形象嬗变史,映照出社会及文化的沧海桑田。

――马钦忠(1997)

  希基为什么会做出如此惊人的预言?难道20世纪的艺术不是以丑著称吗?众所周知,纽曼(Bartnett Newman)曾经直截了当地说:现代艺术的冲动,就是要摧毁美。[2] 杜布菲(Jean Dubuffet)也曾坦率地说:对我来说,美从来没有进入画面。[3]现代艺术与美如此势不两立,希基凭什么说会出现美的回归?希基之所以做出美的回归的预言,不是因为他无视艺术不美的现实,而是刚好建立在艺术不美的现实的基础上。正因为长期以来艺术都不美了,现在该到了艺术呼唤美的回归的时候了。因为艺术界也有风水轮流转的规律,在美的长期统治之后会转向丑,在丑的长期统治之后会转向美。丑在艺术界的统治时间已经够长的了,因此该到了回归美的时候了。

  Amongst which, the female figure becomes the visual focus of any given time. With distinctive symbolic meaning, besides its physiological meaning, females have been assigned to various social and cultural significances. Whether in the West or in China, a visual history of female portraits is not only an developmental history of art, but also the transformation of aesthetic ideology. Of course, it is also the history of social evolution, reflecting the diversity of a given society and culture.

Jiang Heng is one of the important representative artists of Chinas Cartoon Generation, he is no longer concerned with the so-called depth of the image; in his artistic language, he has dispelled with the homogenous language of oil painting and the characteristics of academic painting. He has purposefully intervened in social life with his visual representations in advertisement and cartoon style. Jiang Heng primarily makes intersections into popular trends through the dreams and expectations of young people.

  希基的预言遭到了丹托(Arthur Danto)的激烈反对。丹托认为,今天的艺术界不仅无须美的回归,而且要警惕美的滥用。在丹托看来,世界上绝大多数艺术是不美的,美的生产也不是艺术的目的。[4]将审美之美(aesthetic beauty)与一种更宽泛意义上的艺术的卓越性(artistic excellence)区别开来极其重要,艺术的卓越性与审美之美根本无关。[5]艺术在根本上被视为是美的,这不是且从来就不是艺术的定数。[6]在丹托看来,20世纪艺术哲学的重要贡献,就是将美与艺术区别开来。

  而在视觉艺术领域,作为视觉符号和语言的艺术图式具有至关重要的意义,它既传达了视觉效果和审美心理,同时也阐释了其文化意义、传播了相关文化语境,可以说,确立图式和个性化、风格化具有同构作用。对每一个艺术家而言,艺术图式的自我确立可谓其最高追求。女性形象图式的探索是人物画的重要命题,众多艺术家们为此而皓首穷经。绵延千年的中国仕女画佳作迭出,为人类文化贡献了无数精华和传奇,《洛神赋图》、《捣练图》、《簪花仕女图》等至今让当代人动容折腰。从汉朝帛画开始,仕女图式随着时代、文化的变迁而变化:魏晋神仙贤妇的高古飘逸,唐代贵族的丰腴闲适,宋元平民的细腻丰富,直到明清时代,文化的衰弱表征为女性形象的柔弱、忧郁和纤瘦。因此到了19世纪末20世纪初,所谓传统仕女画的内涵相对固定,宣扬女性倚风娇无力的阴柔、赢弱、幽郁之美,追求柔和、恬静、含蓄的品格,所以削肩、丹凤眼、柳叶眉、瓜子脸、樱桃小口的美人成为传统仕女形象的标准图式。

Hypothetically speaking, before mass media, popular trends, and urban fashion entered the home, peoples knowledge and beliefs were related to profound culture and the heroic undertakings of historical figures. However, when mass media commercialized entertainment, made interests into entrepreneurial opportunities, and turned peoples enjoyment into business resources with its scientific and artistic approach, peoples dreams underwent a fundamental change. The idols they looked up to were now the pioneers of popular trends. Private lives or even the ideal life began to be cartoon-ized.

  丹托的反驳是不可信的,因为至少在某些历史阶段,艺术是美的,或者被人认为是美的。只要我们将埃及、希腊和罗马艺术比较一下,就能清楚地发现,希腊艺术是美的。包括黑格尔(G.W.F. Hegel)在内的众多美学家,也认为艺术是美的。从总体上来看,美的艺术似乎更胜过丑的艺术。怎么能够因为艺术在20世纪的局部现象而无视美与艺术的密切关系呢?更何况20世纪的艺术已经够丑的了,根本就不担心会出现美的滥用现象。

  In the field of visual arts, the motif as visual symbols and language plays a pivotal role. It does not only achieve certain visual effects and satisfy aesthetic psychology, at the same time it explains the cultural significance and relevant cultural context entailed. In other words, to establish a motif and individual and stylistic elements are mutually effective. For each artist, to establish an artistic motif is considered his ultimate pursuit. The exploration of the female figure has been an important theme in portraiture. Many artists study the subject throughout their lives. The thousands of years of Chinese paintings on courtesan ladies have contributed a plethora of essence and legends to Chinese art. The Nymph of Luo River, Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk, Cout Ladies Wearing Flower Headdresses, are works still mesmerize the contemporaries. Since paintings on silk of the Han dynasty, paintings on courtesans have transformed with time and cultural transformation from being fluid and elegant wise women of the Wei and Jin dynasty, to the plumb nobles of the Tang dynasty, to the delicate and rich commoners of the Song and Yuan dynasty, to representation of cultural downfall with women portrayed as weak, melancholy and fragile. Therefore, at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, the meaning of so-called traditional paintings on court ladies is relatively fixed, it exemplifies the feminine qualities of fragile beauty as gentle and exquisite, feeble, melancholic, soft, tranquil, and introverted. Therefore, the traditional courtesans are often portrayed with sloping shoulders, small eyes, thin eyebrows, slim faces, and tiny mouths.

This is what Jiang Hengs works focus on.

  20世纪的艺术为什么会出现抵制美的现象?从艺术史上来看,有可能就是因为此前的艺术太美了。从社会学上来看,人们需要通过丑的艺术来正视真实的人性,以便让人性发展得更为完善。舒斯特曼的这段话,很好地揭示了20世纪艺术之所以拒斥美的社会背景:

  在20世纪的历史进程和视觉文本中,女性形象成了具有重大象征和突破意义的视觉符号,它与个性解放、思想解放、女性解放等主题紧密相联,女性对自由和独立的呼唤呐喊成为时代最响亮最迫切的声音之一,女性图式随之发生重大转变。建国后的革命美术中,根正苗红、吃苦耐劳的铁姑娘是新时代美好女性的代言人,在文革后的伤痕美术、乡土现实主义、新古典主义等美术潮流中,女性大多被寄予了个性化、人性化的理想品格,何家英、王沂东、靳尚谊、杨飞云、陈逸飞等人的画里,女性形象美好而温润。

――Ma qinzhong(1997)

  到了20世纪,尤其是在经历了两次可怕的世界大战之后,艺术家开始对美和审美经验的作用和价值产生怀疑,因为能够给人提供美和令人愉快的审美经验的艺术,对于终止战争的丑恶毫无作为。最有文化的和在审美上最发达的欧洲国家,在战争中也是最邪恶的和最具破坏性的。那些在战争中毫无怜悯和同情心的人,正是在审美经验中被感动得潸然泪下的人。美和审美经验与文明社会的恐怖之间的合谋,使得艺术家们开始拒斥审美经验中的愉快情感。我将这种现象称之为美学的麻木化。[7]

  Throughout the historical development and visual archives of the 20th century, the female figure becomes the most symbolic and penetrating visual emblem. It is closely tied to the liberation of individualism, emancipation of conservative mentalities, and the emancipation of women. The womens scream for freedom and independence thus became the loudest sound of this era. Subsequently, the motif of women underwent significant transformation. The revolutionary art after the founding of the Peoples republic, the righteous, hardworking iron-women were representatives of the new era, in the scar art, folk realist art and new classical art after the Cultural Revolution, most women were portrayed with individualism, personal ideals and qualities. Among the paintings by He Jiaying, Wang Yidong, Jin Shangyi, Yang Feiyun, Chen Yifei and others, the female image is portrayed idyllically and moist.

虽然江衡的艺术创作在不同阶段里呈现了完全不同的面貌,但有一点却是相同的,那就是他始终以流行文化与消费文化的方式切入艺术创作,并由此表达了相关的观念。用他自己的话说,他是希望突显出流行文化与消费文化所带来的巨大诱惑以及种种异化现象。

  20世纪艺术中的美学的麻木化现象,不仅体现在丑上,而且体现在非人性(inhuman)上。早在1913年,阿波利奈尔(G. Apolinaire)就曾经说过:首要的是,艺术家是一群想要成为非人性的人。他们在孜孜不倦地追求非人性的踪迹。1925年,格塞特(O. Gasset)做出这样的诊断:现代艺术的典型特征就是艺术的非人性化。梅洛庞蒂(M. Merleau-Ponty)在1948年评论塞尚的绘画时指出,它揭示了人类栖居其上的非人性的自然基础。阿多诺(T. Adorno)在他死后出版的《美学理论》中用其惯用的辩证风格断言,艺术只有诉诸非人性的追求才是忠于人性的。[8]

  90年代以来消费文化浩浩荡荡带来了新的价值新的理念,物体系成为新文化的温床、母体、制约者和规训者,作为消费文化观察者、叙述者、表现者的女性形象必然发生重大转折和变更。敏感的视觉艺术家们如何描绘我们时代的女性形象?或者说当代仕女图式应该如何绘制?为时代女性画像,创建具备当代性的仕女图式,是艺术面临的重大挑战,也是艺术家的重要机遇。

最早使江衡出名的是90年代中期创作的《美女鱼系列》。在这一系列作品中,他常常是以带有妩媚表情与标准化风格的都市美女作为艺术品的主角,并试图将时尚化、虚拟化的生活方式加以波普化的艺术处理。结果不仅在很大程度上暗示了当代青年人特立独行与崇尚自我的生活状态,也充分暗示了西方文化、流行文化与消费文化对他们的巨大影响。这一点人们完全可以从画中美女的发式、衣着、肢体语言与化装样式中看出来。而围绕美女的小红鱼则以幽默、调侃的方式把年年有余的传统观念转变成了一种时尚因素。

  20世纪的艺术之所以拒斥美,原因在于要揭示非人性,之所以揭示非人性,原因在于要让人变得更人性。如同荀子的性恶论那样,目的不是弘扬人性中的恶,而是要正视进而彻底改变人性中的恶。也许丹托担心,如果让艺术去追求美,就有可能不能实现它的批判或者教化功能,因为人们为被作品中的美和由美引起的愉快情感所吸引,从而会削弱作品的批判力量。

  Since the 1990s, consumer culture has brought forth new values and new ideals. The materialistic system became the breading ground, nourishing body, restriction and regulator for the new culture. The female figure as the observer, narrator, player of the consumer culture, certainly would undergo drastic changes. How would the sensible visual artist portray the female figure of our time? In other words, how would one paint the image of the contemporary courtesan? To paint the portrait of the contemporary women in the style of courtesan women, yet without losing a sense of time, became the biggest challenge for artists, at the same time, it was also an important opportunity.

――鲁虹(2002)

  然而,江衡的艺术却告诉我们,对于非人性的揭示,不一定非得求助于丑;通过美,同样也可以揭示非人性。江衡的作品多以美女为题材,然而所有美女都被转变成了非人性的卡通。人性的复杂、深度、恒久等特征,在江衡的卡通美女中已荡然无存,剩下的是浅表、瞬时、易碎等非人性特征。江衡作品中的美女不是现实生活中的美女,而是美的精灵或幽灵。

  在众多风格迥异的创作中,艺术家江衡绘制了一份出人意表的视觉答卷。从90年代开始,江衡就孜孜不倦埋首于当代美女的创作,《美女鱼》系列、《满天星》系列、《散落的物品》系列、《消费时代的景观》系列,一直到2008年的《花蝴蝶》、《蝴蝶飞飞》系列,美人,是画面永恒的主角。可以说,他是当代美人图的忠实的探索者、创作者。

Albeit the different appearances shown throughtout Jiang Hengs artistic career from different periods, one thing has been constant is his entry to artistic creativity through popular culture and consumer culture, in with which to convey relevant concepts. Using his own words, he likes to highlight the irresistible lure and various kinds of phenomenon from popular and consumer culture.

  如果说美也可以揭示非人性,进而让人变得更人性,那么丹托的顾虑就大可不必。因为问题的关键不完全在于作品的图象是美的还是丑的,还在于艺术家的态度是正的还是反的。如果我们将科马和梅拉米德的态度理解为正的或者严肃的,那么我们就可以将人民的选择当作艺术追求的真实目标,从而全面肯定他们所绘制的最喜欢的绘画所表现的美。如果我们将他们的态度理解为负的或者调侃的,那么我们就会获得完全相反的解读,认为他们完全是在嘲弄人民的选择,进而在揶揄那些作品所表现的美。

  Among different styles, the artist Jiang Heng presents a visual answer much to our surprises. Since the 1990s, Jiang Heng has been painting the femme fatale of the present, Femme Fatale-Fish, Starry Night, Scattered Objects, Landscape of the Consumption Era, until the Butterfly, Fluttering Butterfly series of 2008, beautiful women has been the main character throughout. We can say, Hes an avid explorer and creator of contemporary paintings of beauty.

The early work Beauty-Fish created in the mid - 90s, was Jiang Hengs earliest signature piece. In this series of paintings, he granted the beautiful city girls the protagonists in this series, with flirtatious facial expressions and standardized styles, in attempt to convey the fashionable and fictional lifestyle from a pop art approach. As a result, not only has it underscored the self-centered and self-reverent lifestyle of the young generation, but also thoroughly underlined the great impact of western culture, popular culture and consumer culture on this generation. The works are coded with the beautiful girls hairstyle, attire, body language and make-up. Moreover, the red fish circling around the girl conveys the traditional idea of niannianyouyu (eternal prosperity) transformed into a fashionable element with humor and satire.

  要充分理解江衡的作品,我们也需要弄清楚他的态度。在我看来,如果我们将作者的意图理解为负的或者调侃的,我们就可以获得更加丰富和深刻的内容。当然,这里可以不是艺术家的实际意图,而是读者所假设的意图。这种假设的意图是读者通过作品所推断出来的,而不是通过询问作者而获得的。[9]如果我们采取这种解读方式的话,那么我们可以说江衡的艺术在表面上支持的是美的回归,实际上可能支持的是美的滥用。

  但是,江衡的美人却完全打破了我们的视觉惯式和心理预期:浮华艳丽的背景上,大眼睛小嘴巴的标准美女们鲜艳欲滴,丰满的身躯和水草般丰茂的头发呈现出逼人的青春和美艳。与美人相伴的是鱼、花朵、蝴蝶这些传统仕女图中经常出现的意象,所以单单从题材上看,跟传统仕女图并无分别。在创作于2003年的《消费时代的景观》之10中,甚至出现了非常传统的水墨意境。

――Luhong(2002)

  摘之《艺术家图像志江衡》

  However, Jiang Hengs beautiful women have completely subverted our visual habits and psychological expectations: under the glamorous background, the standardized large eyes and small lips in women are bright, their voluptuous bodies and the seaweed-like hair are vivid beauties of youth. Accompanying the beauties are fish, flower, butterfly, images that often appear in traditional courtesan paintings. Therefore, thematically speaking, they are not much different from its traditional counterparts. In Landscape of Consumption Era X from 2003, one could even notice the realm attained in traditional ink painting.

世人所熟悉的江衡的艺术,便是他那几乎千篇一律的符号化的媚眼美女,她们傻笑着,做着各种符合世俗要求的媚态和表情,传递着一种或可称之为天真与美丽的性别信息。从某种意义来看,我觉得江衡的媚眼美女像是一句重复出现的反语,述说着与表面信息完全相反、甚至是相互抵触和冲突的内容。

  2008年10月26日于北京大学蔚秀园

  但是,天壤之别的差异恰恰出现在美人的身上:江衡的美人们美则美矣,却是无法消受的美女,不仅不具备温香软玉的温暖质感,取而代之的倒是一股冰冷的、不可接近的机械的味道、物的味道。即使斜眼媚笑,美人们滚圆的玻璃珠子般的眼睛里射出的还是冷冰冰的光,她们的笑容节制而冰冷,仿佛不食人间烟火,与画面鲜艳的糖果色调形成极大的反差,一个冰冷一个火热。美人们虽然青春无敌,但不可触摸不能交谈,没有鲜活的生命气息,正如《蝴蝶飞飞》中的花蝴蝶,虽然鲜艳却缺乏活力缺少生命,只能成为标本。

杨小彦(2007)

  The Restoration of Beauty or its Abuse? Thoughts provoked by Jiang Hengs works

  Yet, the obvious distinction resides in these beauties: Jiang Hengs femme fatales, although beautiful, are yet non-consumable, not only do they lack the warm quality of tame fragrance and preciousness, instead are replaced with the sense of unapproachable mechanical and material flavor. Even their flirtatious smirk, and what transmits from their round glassy eyes are still frigid stares, their smiles are reserved and cold, as if they are unworldly, which contrasts with the bright candy colors of these images. One is frigid, the other warm. Even though these beautiful women are youthful, but they are unreachable and cant communicate with, lacking any liveliness, just as the butterflies in Fluttering Butterfly, although bright in color, but lacks life, which can only be made into samples.

Today, Jiang Hengs art people are familiar with is his repetitive symbolized beautiful women gazing with flirtatious eyes, they smile innocently, posing in various flirtatious poses and expressions that satisfies the secular standard. They display this kind of so-called nave and beautiful gendered information. To a certain extent, I think Jiang Hengs women with flirtatious looks is a repetitive statement of sarcasm, it conveys information contrasting with its superficial appearance, or even of opposing and conflicting content.

  Peng Feng

  是的,江衡的美女正是我们时代的标本,物质时代的身体标本。当代文化对身体的强调达到前所未有的重视程度,身体与阶级、身体与权力、身体的意义和策略一直是关注焦点,但身体的肉体化和社会化的功能被统一于消费社会的物化和欲望化,因此观赏性、肉体性、细节性等视觉性特征得到前所未有的强化。

―――Yang xiaoyan(2007)

  Jiang Hengs art reminds me the provocative topic in contemporary art and aesthetics: the return of beauty and the abuse of beauty.

  Precisely, Jiang Hengs femme fatales are samples of our time, the body sample of a material era. The focus on the body in contemporary culture has reached an unprecedented height, body and class, body and power, the meaning of the body and strategy have always been the points of focus, but the physicality of the body and its social implications have been generalized as the materialized consumption society and our desire for it. For this reason, the decorative, physical, and details of visual characteristics are enforced.

实际上,江衡是90年代中期以中国广州为中心展开的卡通一代美术运动中最具代表性的艺术家。在中国美术史上甚至世界美术史上,将卡通或漫画、动漫等作为绘画体裁,甚至掀起以此为主体的美术运动还是首次。这次美术运动在中国南方广东省以广州为中心波澜不惊地开展时,正赶上以北京为中心的玩世现实主义 (Cynical Realism) 和波普艺术(Political Pop)完满落幕的时候。这两场运动提倡的理念有着明显的不同。与前者反对官方主流的强烈要求相比,卡通一代则是一次寻找是什么给人们带来了影响、反省自身的成长历程,质询内部世界本质的航行。

  After a silent century, beauty once again became an important topic in contemporary art and aesthetics. In 1993, the acclaimed critic Dave Hickey proclaimed that, in the next decade, aesthetics will become the guiding topic. [10] As a coincidence to Hickeys prophecy, Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid executed a painting series names Peoples Choice between 1994-1997. They have hired professionals to survey the public on their preference in art, and to map out peoples most enjoyable art and least enjoyable art with the statistics collected from different countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. From which, Komar and Melamid not only discovered what people thought as the most beautiful artwork in different countries, but also the outstanding similarity in their interpretation of the beautiful imagery. Some aestheticians further theorized that the similarity in humans interpretation of beauty could essentially find evidence in their DNA and their collective subconscious, because the image people enjoyed the most is the portrayal of the sparse wooded areas on the grassland of eastern Africa, a place where early homo sapiens evolved.

  身体是眼睛(目光、视觉)关注的对象,眼睛的意义当然非同小可。江衡美女最触目惊心的正是她们的眼睛,它们被大写特写,大、圆、亮,几乎是所有画面的中心所在。创作于2007年的《新偶像时代――我漂亮所以我快乐》,其构图创意类似于流传在网络上的美女自拍像,这一类照片因为用手机或相机自拍,对焦不准而常常造成画面的变形,江衡画面中的美女大头、尖脸,正是一副典型的网络大眼娃娃图。在《散落的物品》系列中,眼睛比例被进一步放大,有些甚至出现面对非人类的不适感。回顾传统仕女画中眼睛两个黑点、嘴唇一个红点、眉毛一条线的模糊面目不难发现,仕女图的图式已经发生天翻地覆的变化。

----李振铭(韩国2007)

  I do not want to make the claim that Chinese artist Jiang Hengs creativity is influenced by Hickeys prediction, just as I would not make the claim that the project Peoples Choice was implemented under the same prediction. However, I would agree, including Jiang Heng, Komar, Melamid and many other contemporary artists creativity are indeed implementations of Hickeys prophecy. Isnt it like what Karl Popper has claimed, prediction cause it to come true?

  Body is where the eyes (gaze, visualize) focus, which certainly grant them unusual meanings. The ultimate attraction of these beautiful women are their eyes, they have been over emphasized, they are large, round and bright, occupying the centre attention of every image. The New Idol Time I am beautiful therefore I am Happy from 2007, compositionally resemble to the self-portrait photographs posted on the internet. Since these photos are usually taken with ones cellphone or camera, they can often be out of focus making the image rather distorted. The beautiful women in Jiang Hengs paintings usually have a large head, slim face, a typical cartoon picture found on the internet. In Scattered Objects, the proportion of the eyes are further magnified, some rather non-human characteristics can be uncomfortable. Looking at courtesan ladies in traditional paintings where their eyes are drawn with two black dots, lips as one red dot, and eyebrows as a line, and the undefined contour could tell us the composition for courtesan painting have undergone significant changes.

As is widely known, Jiang Heng is a leading player of the Guangzhou-based Cartoon Generation that dominated the Chinese art world in the late 1990s. It was a rare phenomenon not just in China but the entire world that cartoon or animation emerged as a major artistic movement in painting. The movement began in Guangzhou, a city of southern China, by the time when the Cynical Realism and Political Pop in Beijing were nearing the end of their success. These two art movements were running for different goals. The first was, for instance, a powerful message for the outer worlds, social and political worlds, whereas the second, Cartoon Generation, was a journey in which artists were seeking after a question of identity concerning the questions, what affected us and how we grow.

  Why did Hickey make such daring prediction? Hasnt the art of the 20th century known for its ugliness? As many know, Bartnett Newman has bluntly claimed, The impulse in contemporary art is to destroy beauty. [11] So did Jean Dubuffet, For me, beauty has never enter the images. [12] If contemporary art contradicts with beauty, then why would Hickey predict the restoration of beauty? The reason for Hickeys prediction is not grounded on his negligence on the lack of beauty in art, in the contrary, his realization of it. Precisely because, art has not been beautiful for a long time, it is time to call on its return. The art world, like any other, follows a cyclical pattern. It turns to gruesomeness after the long sovereignty of beauty, and would steer to beauty after long dominance of ugliness. And since it has been ruling the art world for a long time, it is time for the return of beauty.

  批评家杨小彦把江衡的美人们称为物欲偶像,画家自己也创作了名为《偶像时代》和《新偶像时代》的系列作品,可见时尚美女确实成了时代的偶像,但这种说法本身却意味深长、发人深思:是谁的偶像,是画家的,男性的还是时代的?还有,是偶像被物欲化了,还是物欲被偶像化了,或者是物欲与偶像的同质与同构?

―― Lee Jin-myung(Korea,2007)

  Hickeys prediction was fiercely attacked by Arthur Danto. Danto believed, not only the art world today does not need the restoration of beauty, but must be vigilant with the abuse of beauty. In Dantos view, Most of the art in the world is not beautiful, and the fabrication of beauty is also not the goal for art. [13] It is important to distinguish aesthetic beauty from the general artistic excellence they are two concepts without any fundamental relevance. [14] Art is essentially considered beautiful, it isnt and has never been the destiny of art. [15] In Dantos view, the most significant contribution of art theory from the 20th century is the distinction of beauty and art.

  The critic Yang Xiaoyan calls Jiang Hengs femme fatale as Idols of Desire, and the artist has also created series of works entitled Idol Time, New Idol Time, in other words, these fashionable women have indeed became the idol of our time. However, such explanation conjures many meanings that prompt one to reflect: whose idols are they, the artists, the mens or that of the time? Has the idol been materialized, or the material desire is idolized, or do the material desire and idolization mutually feed into each other?

江衡所创作的《美女》系列作品,或者说江衡对我们时代文化的敏感及提升是以为时尚美女造像为切入点的。时尚正在成为我们这个时代的标志和面孔,而美女恰如是这一标志性面孔的表情。他通过具有广告的单纯、亮丽的色彩,又借用了中国传统年画和旧上海的月份牌画的平涂技法,将在商业文化影响下流行的时尚美女矫揉造作的姿态和暧昧矫饰心理状态直观地呈现出来,试图把当代中国正在兴起的消费社会中的时尚化、虚拟化生活加以典型化波普化地处理,用夸张的笔调具象地勾勒出这个时代物质与精神崇拜的生动且荒诞的情境,而戏谑的语言方式背后隐含的是他对当下生活的深刻关注以及严肃认真的反思。但他没有回到启蒙传统的老路上去展开批判,而是使用后现代主义的反讽手法进行戏谑和戏拟。有意模拟时尚流行文化的表征方式在于作者对当代中国过度膨胀的消费和时尚文化所进行的批判、质疑立场,尤其特别的是挪用了传统年画、国画中的吉祥图案作为画面的背景,强行拼贴出后现代与前现代文明的两种不同符号图式,于是作品进入到另一个层面--从当下现实的层面进入到一个历史的层面,这样,一个后现代的消费社会转向了一个前现代的乡土中国,从而凸现出当代中国巨大的文明落差,正是这种文明的巨大落差构成了江衡反思中国时尚消费文化的一个参照系。作品要表现的主题思想也集中于反思后现代主义式的消费时尚文化在这个时代的困境和荒诞性上。

  Dantos refute is not credible, because, there were certain historical period in which art was beautiful, or thought as beautiful. If we compare Egyptian art, Greek art and Roman art, we realize, Greek art is beautiful. Including many aestheticians like Hegel, who believed art is beautiful. And overall, beautiful art overrides the ugly art. How could one ignore the intimate relationship of beauty and art because of its otherwise impartial phenomenon? Moreover, the art from the 20th century is already ugly enough, and it is unnecessary to worry about the abuse of beauty.

  所谓偶像即当代人欲望的对象化,是个人欲望的转移和替代性满足。江衡的偶像美人该如何归类?她们的艺术形象和社会形象如何定位?传统视觉文本中的女性形象大多分为天使与妖女两类,前者是自强、温柔、奉献的化身,后者则是所谓致命的女性,美丽无比而又冷酷无情,是欲望诱惑的化身,唯美主义者笔下的莎乐美就是这样一个典型。那么,江衡的美女归属何处?她们是理想人格的化身,还是恶之花?显然,她们无法简单归类,她们是我们时代独有的消费美女、消费偶像,是时代的衍生物。女孩们时髦、性感、漂亮,但空洞、冷漠、忧郁、甚至焦虑,这是一代人自我处境的映射,她们是消费文化狂欢时代自我焦虑的时代症候、精神症候的映射和载体。

---冯博一(2003)

  Why art of the 20th century boycotted beauty? From the art historical perspective, perhaps become the art proceeding it was too beautiful. From a sociological perspective, people needed the gruesome art to recognize the truth in human nature in order to ameliorate human nature. The following paragraph by Richard Shusterman reveals the social context in which art of the 20th century rejects aesthetics:

  The so-called idol is the object in which people today desire, it transposes and replaces ones desire. What would Jiang Hengs femme fatale categorize to? How would their artistic form and social image be defined? Among the female figures in traditional visual archive, it is usually categorized as angels and witches, the former is self-sufficient, gentle and a giver, where the latter is often the one who would take your life, although extremely beautiful, yet are frigid and senseless, embodying desire and attraction, Salome under the aesthetist is a typical example. So how should Jiang Hengs beautiful women be categorized? Are they embodiments of ideal individual qualities or the flower of evil? Obviously, they cannot be categorized simply, they are intrinsic femme fatale of our consumption era, idols of consumption, the byproduct of this era. The girls are fashionable, sexy, beautiful, but empty, indifferent, melancholic, or even anxious these are reflections of our own situation of our generation, they are the ailments of ones anxiety, psychosis, or carriers of a time of hyped consumer culture.

Jiang Hengs Femme Fatale series, or what we might call Jiang Hengs sensitivity to and elevation of the cultural sphere, takes the Femme Fatale as its point of entry. Fashion is becoming the symbol and the face of this era, and Femme Fatale is just like the expression of this symbolic face. He uses the simplicity and glamorous color of advertisements, and also appropriates the flat smearing techniques of traditional Chinese nianhua and the old Shanghai Calendar posters. He directly showcases the affected posture of the fashionable women and their illicit psychological state under the influence of commercial culture. He attempts to stereotype the fashion and fictional life of the consumer society that is swinging into action in China, or presented in the style of pop art. Jiang applies an exaggerated painting style to concretely outline the vivid and absurd sphere of the material and spiritual obsession of this era. However, behind the satirical language, we uncover his serious concern for and meticulous contemplation of our present lives. However, he does not return to the traditional path of criticism, but applies a postmodern satirical approach in order to ridicule and mimic. His intentional mimicking of current popular culture reveals his critique and the uncertain stance of over-inflated consumption and trendy culture in China today. His appropriation of auspicious motifs from traditional nianhua and Chinese paintings as the background for his works forces together illustrative symbols of the post-modern and pre-modern, allowing his works to be elevated to another level from the present realistic level to a historical level. Therefore, a post-modern consuming society shifts to a pre-modern folk Chinese style. As a result, the huge disparity in Chinese culture today is captured, and it is precisely this disparity that offers Jiang Heng a system of reference in his contemplation of the consumption of popular trends in Chinese culture. The central idea he attempts is to focus on the reflection of post-modern consumption of popular culture, and the confusion and absurdity of this time.

  In the 20th century, especially having experience two horrid world wars, artists began to become skeptical of the function and values of beauty and aesthetic experience, because the art that provided beauty and pleasant aesthetic experience was ineffective for stopping the war. The most cultured and aesthetically developed European nations are also the most evil and destructive. Those without any compassion and sympathy in the war, are those moved to tears from aesthetic experiences. The conspiracy of beauty and aesthetic experience with civilized society, making the artists start to reject the enjoyable feelings found in aesthetic experiences I am calling such phenomenon as, aesthetic insensitisation. [16]

  有意思的是,作为卡通一代最早的参与者之一,江衡的美人仿佛来自童话中的不老仙境:从90年代开始,他的美女们几乎一成不变,一样的大眼睛小嘴巴粉红色的肌肤细腻柔滑,魅力依旧、青春依旧。自古红颜如名将,不许人间见白头的古语在江衡的画里得到最好的体现。

――Feng Boyi(2003)

  The phenomenon of aesthetic insensitization of art in the 20th century was not only reflected through ugliness, but also on inhumanness. As early as 1913, G. Apolinare has once said, Primarily, artists are a group of people who want to become inhumane. They are persistently pursuing traces of inhumanity. In 1925, O. Gasset has made such diagnosis: the typical characteristic of contemporary art is to make art inhumane. M. Merleau-Ponty had pointed out in 1948 in a criticism on Cezannes painting that it has revealed, the inhumane natural foundation where humans dwell. Theodore Adorno use his dialectical style in Aesthetic Theory, published before his death, Only when art resorts to the pursuit of inhumanity would it obey human nature. [17]

  What is interesting is, as a early participant of the cartoon generation, Jiang Hengs beautiful women seem to have originated from the eternal realm of fables: since the 1990s, his beautiful women have had little change, their eyes are big, lips are rosy and small, skin soft and glossy, attractive and youthful. The saying of the beautiful woman is like a noble general, who should not allow others to witness her age are best represented in Jiang Hengs paintings.

江衡的美女和鱼构成了一个词:美丽社会。在某种意义上,我把江衡的这批绘画看作是一个文本,一个虚构的文本。

  The reason why art of the 20th century rejected beauty resides in its revelation of inhumanity, and the reason accounts for that is in hoping to make men more humane. Just as Xunzis theory of the sinful nature in human, its goal was not to exemplify the perniciousness in human nature, but to ameliorate it. Perhaps Dantos worry of allowing art to pursue beauty, it might not be effective in its critical or didactic functions, because people would be attracted by the beauty and the pleasant emotions evoked, by which its critical strength would be diminished.

  因此,我们可以说,江衡的绘画是当代成人童话的视觉版本:唯美的图像、美艳的女郎、永远的青春,满足了人类的幻想欲望,诗意的生活、纯真的年华在视觉奇观中重温和再现,它们仿如能治愈顽疾的丸药,温暖着深陷生活泥淖的成年人。

江衡的视觉具有一种神秘的灵异色彩,即画面好像一种亚洲资本主义走向极致后的乌托邦的显灵──纯粹的自由和纯粹的快乐,资本主义乌托邦所渴望的目标在亚洲新生代身上显灵了──就像电子写作和电子邮件所体现出的那种电子的灵性。

  Yet, Jiang Hengs art tells us, one does not necessarily have to resort to ugliness in revealing inhumanity; through beauty, it is also possible. Jiang Hengs art portrays mostly femme fatale, yet all of them are transformed into inhumane comic figures. The characteristics such as complexity, depth, and eternity of human nature can no longer be found in Jiang Hengs comic figures of femme fatale, what is left are the inhumane characteristics of superficiality, ephemeralty and fragility. The femme fatales in Jiang Hengs art is not those of everyday life, but the spirits or ghosts of beauty.

  Therefore, we can say that Jiang Hengs paintings are a visual representations of adult fables: aesthetically pleasing images, beautiful women, eternal beauty that satisfy peoples desire to image, the poetic life, and revisit the simple years through visual phenomenon. They seem to be able to cure chronic disease and provides warmth to those adults in dire conditions of life.

江衡的绘画就像在表达一种关于美丽社会的新月份牌经验:即试图通过一种美丽的入世景象示范一种赏心悦目的同时又简单明了的存在方式,重要的你不是想得太多,而是你不想就融入了那种快乐。

  If beauty could also reveal inhumanity in order to make people more humane, then Dantos worries were unnecessary. The key to the issue is not to question whether the image was beautiful or not, but whether the artists attitude is positive or not. If we consider Komar and Melamids attitude as positive and serious, then we should consider Peoples Project being the true goal of artistic pursuit, by which to recognize the beauty portrayed in the most enjoyed paintings. If we consider their attitude as negative or satirical, then our interpretation would be entirely different, and consider they are ridiculing Peoples Choice, that further derides the beauty portrayed in those works.

  倘若从色彩角度进一步分析更为有趣,糖果色是江衡使用频率最高的色系:粉红、粉蓝、柠檬黄、橙黄,再加上画家喜欢采用的平面平涂没有明暗的技法,营造了具有强烈装饰意味的童话色彩。漂亮的蝴蝶结、苹果、玫瑰、高跟鞋经常出现在画里,它们既具有浓烈的性别意味,也是童话中经常采用的意象。因此,可以说,江衡有意或无意营造了一副洛丽塔式的成人视觉童话。当然,是消费主义的童话,唯美而且欲望。

――朱其(2001)

  In order to fully understand Jiang Hengs work, we also need to figure out his attitude. In my view, if we consider his intent as negative or deriding, we would gain richer and deeper content. Of course, it might not be the artists actual intent, but the audiences imagined intent. This imagined intent is deducted through the audience interpretation, rather than obtained through questioning the artist. [18] If we adopt such method of interpretation, then we can claim that Jiang Hengs art supports the restoration of beauty on the surface, but is in fact exemplary of the abuse of beauty.

  It is even more interesting to analyze from the angle of colors applied. Candy colors are what Jiang Heng utilize the most: pink, baby blue, lemon, orange, plus the artists favorite flat colors without applying any techniques of dimensionality, to render the fable-like decorative effect. The beautiful butterfly bows, apple, roses, stilettos are often found on these images, they not only display strong gender implications, but motifs often used in fables. Therefore, Jiang Heng has created a fable for adults in Lolita style. Of course, the fable of consumption is both aesthetically pleasing and to be desired.

Jiang Hengs visual works have a sort of mysterious character, his images appear like an extreme capitalism transformed into utopia pure freedom and bliss, the goal capitalist utopia longs for is realized in the new generation in Asia like the flexibility of electronics in using a computer and emails.

  摘之《艺术家图像志江衡》

  虽然画家认为自己早已给他的美女打上了中国符号诸如金鱼、月份牌之类的意象,但江衡的美女总体还是国际化的美女,尤其是早期作品,芭比娃娃和日本动漫美少女的影子时常若隐若现。

Jiang Heng has portrayed a profound experience graphically without any historical reference: a kind of happiness and beauty in absence or emptiness. Those plump, happy, liberal, and unconventional new Asian girls make you feel uncertain about which city or street they are from. They are educated with the popular media of global capitalism; they use products from the popular culture industry, and move in the same cyberspace.

  2008年10月26日于北京大学蔚秀园

  Even though the artist thought he has stamped Chinese symbolism to his femme fatale with goldfish, new-year calendars and etc, although Jiang Hengs beautiful women are international, especially in his earlier series, the likelihood of Barbie dolls and Japanese anime girls often appear in his composition.

Jiang Hengs paintings are like expressions of the new calendar experience of the beautiful society, he attempts to use a kind of beautiful image of social involvement to demonstrate a pleasurable yet simple way of existence, what is more important is not that you have over analyzed it, but that you have already been assimilated into that kind of happiness without being aware of it.

  [1] Dave Hichey, Enter the Dragon: On the Vernacular of Beauty, in Dave Hichey, The Invisible Dragon: Four Essays on Beauty (Los Angeles: Art Issues Press, 1993), p. 11.

  但近年来的作品却开始呈现东方意味,尤其是《蝴蝶飞飞》系列,在秉持一贯的唯美主义风格同时,画面空灵、宁静,带有明显东方式的静谧意味。画里的美人们不仅头发从以往的红色变回了黑色,而且从机械美人变成了生机美人,她们会微笑,甚至带有娇嗔调皮的味道。一幅幅美人蝴蝶图神秘而悠远,于安静中呈现浓艳,艳丽和寂静得到统一,呈现出东方意味。至此,我们可以说,江衡的美人是东方仕女图式的当代表述,在仕女画的长廊里,江衡的转换独树一帜,不可替代。当然,作为一个独具个性、创造力旺盛的艺术家,江衡视觉图式的嬗变及其美学价值值得高度期待和进一步关注。

――Zhu Qi(2001)

  [2] Bartnett Newman, The Sublime is Now[1948], in Bartnett Newman, Bartnett Newman: Selected Writings and Interviews (New York: Knopf, 1990), p. 172

  However, works from recent years began to showcase oriental flavors, especially in the Fluttering Butterfly series, while maintaining his aesthetic style, his imageries are void, tranquil with apparent oriental sense of calmness. The beautiful women in these painting have transformed from having red hair to dark hair, from the robotic beauty to being organic, they smile or even slightly naughty. Images of the beautiful women and butterflies are enigmatic and distant, the richness sips out from tranquility, where glamour and tranquility unites a true oriental flavor. For which we can claim that Jiang Hengs femme fatales are the modern expression of oriental courtesan motif, in the history of the painting on court ladies, Jiang Hengs transformation is unique and irreplaceable. Of course, as a stylistic and creative artist, Jiang Hengs evolution in visual motif and the elevation of aesthetic values awaits our future attention.

江衡的作品充斥着消费时代和享乐主义的矫饰气息,那些极度华丽和感官性图像呈现的是主体亏空后的状态。

  [3] Jean Dubuffet, Anticultural Positions, in Richard Roth and Susan King Roth (eds.), Beauty is Nowhere: Ethical Issues in Art and Design (Amsterdam: G+B Arts International, 1998), p.12.

  摘之《艺术家图像志江衡》

――黄专(2001)

  [4] Arthur Danto, The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art (Peru, Ill.: Open Court, 2003), p. 88.

江衡是老卡通一代了,说他老,不是年龄老,而是资格老。

  [5] Arthur Danto, The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art, p. 107.

上世纪90年代中期创作的《美女.鱼系列》。使他好评如潮,一举成名。其《满天星系列》,美女形象消失,物质商品形象铺陈画面。新创作的《散落的物品系列》,讨人喜欢的都市大美女回归画面中心,《满天星系列》中的枪、花朵、药丸只是带一点偶意的衬托在美女周围。评论家都着重他的新月份牌经验,避短扬长地消解油画语言的纯粹性和学院性,直接用擅长的广告手法绘制。艺术手法的观念表达与反思流行文化与消费的观念,在画面非常有效的达到一种思想的和谐和艺术的统一。这正是当代许多青年艺术家难以达到的,也是江衡独特的艺术价值之所在。

  [6] Arthur Danto, The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art, p. 36.

―――-谭天(2007)

  [7] 彭锋:《实用主义美学的新视野访舒斯特曼教授》,《哲学动态》2008年第1期。

摘之上海艺术博览会青年艺术家推介展(亚洲)

  [8] 关于20世纪艺术追求非人性的引文,转引自Wolfgang Welsch, How can We Get beyond Anthropocentrism? Gao Jianping and Wang Keping eds., Aesthetics and Culture: East and West (Hefei: Anhui Jiaoyu Press, 2006), p. 472。

Jiang Heng is the old member of Cartoon Generation, and Old here does not mean his age but his qualification.

  [9] 关于实际的意图与假设的意图之间的区别,见J. Levinson, Intention and Interpretation: A Last Look, in James O. Young ed., Aesthetics: Critical Concepts in Philosophy (London: Routledge, 2005), Vol.2。

His art work The Beauty.Fish created in mid 90s last century brought him a lot of Praise and made him flash into fame. In the art pieceOpen Herding, the beautiful girls disappeared, replaced by images of substantial goods; in the newly created work Scattering Articles ,the charming cosmopolitan beauties come back to the picture, surrounded by pistols, flowers and pills previously presented in Open Herding with some indications, Critics lay stress on hisNew Calendar Image Experience, skillfully avoiding the absoluteness and academism of oil painting language and drawing in an advertisement way which he is good at..Through this, the concept expression of art manner and the reflection on popular and consumer culture effectively achieve the perfect harmony of thoughts and unification of art in the pictures. However, this is so difficult for many contemporary emerging artists to achieve, and is definitely what Jiang Hengs unique art value lies in..

  [10] Dave Hichey, Enter the Dragon: On the Vernacular of Beauty, in Dave Hichey, The Invisible Dragon: Four Essays on Beauty (Los Angeles: Art Issues Press, 1993), p. 11.

------ Tan Tian(2007)

  [11] Bartnett Newman, The Sublime is Now[1948], in Bartnett Newman, Bartnett Newman: Selected Writings and Interviews (New York: Knopf, 1990), p. 172

Shanghai Art fair Emerging Artists Exhibition(Asia)

  [12] Jean Dubuffet, Anticultural Positions, in Richard Roth and Susan King Roth (eds.), Beauty is Nowhere: Ethical Issues in Art and Design (Amsterdam: G+B Arts International, 1998), p.12.

看江衡的作品,很容易让人记起狄更斯《双城记》中的那些话:这是最好的时代,这是最糟的时代;这是理性的时代,这是疑迷的时代;这是信仰的时代,这是迷茫的时代;这是希望之春,这是失望之冬;人们面前拥有一切,人们面前一无所有;人们由此升入天堂,人们由此坠入地狱。

  [13] Arthur Danto, The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art (Peru, Ill.: Open Court, 2003), p. 88.

20世纪60与70年代,思想家对西方生活状态表示出了严重的关切,并提出过经典的批评,现在轮到了中国,在奔向现代工业化时,在城市化狂热进程中,艺术家发出的视觉声音,是对中国这种进程的回应与回音。

  [14] Arthur Danto, The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art, p. 107.

可以预期的是,过了2008,仍然是消费主义的时代,仍然是感官主义的时代,但是美女们在未来,是否还如江衡现在表述的那样,温情而媚眼,可能是一个值得警惕的提问。

  [15] Arthur Danto, The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art, p. 107.

――――曹增节(2008)摘之《像社会学家那样发出视觉的声音》

  [16] 彭锋:《实用主义美学的新视野访舒斯特曼教授》,《哲学动态》2008年第1期。

It is easy to be reminded of the opening words in Charles Dickens Tales of Two Cities when looking at Jiang Hengs paintings, IT WAS the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.

  [17] 关于20世纪艺术追求非人性的引文,转引自Wolfgang Welsch, How can We Get beyond Anthropocentrism? Gao Jianping and Wang Keping eds., Aesthetics and Culture: East and West (Hefei: Anhui Jiaoyu Press, 2006), p. 472。

In the 60s and 70s, thinkers showed great interesting in Western life, and have raised classic criticisms. And now its Chinas turn, as it surges towards modern industrialization, in the process of fervent urbanization, the visual sounds emit by the artist are response and echoes to such progress in China.

  [18] 关于实际的意图与假设的意图之间的区别,见J. Levinson, Intention and Interpretation: A Last Look, in James O. Young ed., Aesthetics: Critical Concepts in Philosophy (London: Routledge, 2005), Vol.2。

It is predictable that, post-2008, it will still be a time of consumerism and sense driven, would the femme fatales still be what Jiang Heng has portrayed, timid and flirtatious, perhaps that would be a question to keep in mind.

Visual sounds emitted like a sociologist

------Cao Zengjie

江衡的美女正是我们时代的标本,物质时代的身体标本。当代文化对身体的强调达到前所未有的重视程度,身体与阶级、身体与权力、身体的意义和策略一直是关注焦点,但身体的肉体化和社会化的功能被统一于消费社会的物化和欲望化,因此观赏性、肉体性、细节性等视觉性特征得到前所未有的强化。

――――焦雨虹(2008)摘之《东方仕女图式的当代转换――评江衡画作》

Precisely, Jiang Hengs femme fatales are samples of our time, the body sample of a material era. The focus on the body in contemporary culture has reached an unprecedented height, body and class, body and power, the meaning of the body and strategy have always been the points of focus, but the physicality of the body and its social implications have been generalized as the materialized consumption society and our desire for it. For this reason, the decorative, physical, and details of visual characteristics are enforced.

----------Jiao Yuhong

Modern Transformation of the Oriental Painting on Courtesans On Jiang Hengs Paintings

江衡的艺术批判更多地对准着当今的消费文化。从一种更宽广角度看,这两种方式对于中国社会转型的艺术表达,都可以进行多方面的理论读解,具有甚多的阐释空间。从美术史上讲,对当前中国消费文化的艺术呈现、艺术思考、艺术批判,是一个正在开始的方向,当这一方向在江衡作品中以美女符号呈现出来时,美术表达与文化内容的关系,得到了在美术上和在文化上的双重推进。

――――张法(2008中国人民大学)

摘之《作为中国消费时代象征的美女和由美女象征的中国消费时代江衡的美女形象系列读解》

Jiang Hengs work focuses on todays consumption culture. From a broader perspective, both these approaches provide multiple theoretical interpretations on Chinas social transition, all of which offer rooms for interpretation. Art historically, it is the beginning of artistic representation, reflection, and criticism on the current consumer culture in China. Jiang Hengs symbols of femme fatale push forward artistic cultural representation in terms of artistic expression and cultural content.

Zhang Fa (Peoples University of China)

The Femme Fatale as the Symbols of Chinese Consumer Society and the Chinese Consumer Society Symbolized by Femme Fatale

---Interpreting Jiang Hengs Femme Fatale Series

20世纪艺术中的美学的麻木化现象,不仅体现在丑上,而且体现在非人性(inhuman)上。早在1913年,阿波利奈尔(G. Apolinaire)就曾经说过:首要的是,艺术家是一群想要成为非人性的人。他们在孜孜不倦地追求非人性的踪迹。1925年,格塞特(O. Gasset)做出这样的诊断:现代艺术的典型特征就是艺术的非人性化。梅洛庞蒂(M. Merleau-Ponty)在1948年评论塞尚的绘画时指出,它揭示了人类栖居其上的非人性的自然基础。阿多诺(T. Adorno)在他死后出版的《美学理论》中用其惯用的辩证风格断言,艺术只有诉诸非人性的追求才是忠于人性的。[i]

20世纪的艺术之所以拒斥美,原因在于要揭示非人性,之所以揭示非人性,原因在于要让人变得更人性。如同荀子的性恶论那样,目的不是弘扬人性中的恶,而是要正视进而彻底改变人性中的恶。也许丹托担心,如果让艺术去追求美,就有可能不能实现它的批判或者教化功能,因为人们为被作品中的美和由美引起的愉快情感所吸引,从而会削弱作品的批判力量。

然而,江衡的艺术却告诉我们,对于非人性的揭示,不一定非得求助于丑;通过美,同样也可以揭示非人性。江衡的作品多以美女为题材,然而所有美女都被转变成了非人性的卡通。人性的复杂、深度、恒久等特征,在江衡的卡通美女中已荡然无存,剩下的是浅表、瞬时、易碎等非人性特征。江衡作品中的美女不是现实生活中的美女,而是美的精灵或幽灵。

――――彭锋摘之《美的回归还是美的滥用?由江衡的作品引发的思考》

The phenomenon of aesthetic insensitization of art in the 20th century was not only reflected through ugliness, but also on inhumanness. As early as 1913, G. Apolinare has once said, Primarily, artists are a group of people who want to become inhumane. They are persistently pursuing traces of inhumanity. In 1925, O. Gasset has made such diagnosis: the typical characteristic of contemporary art is to make art inhumane. M. Merleau-Ponty had pointed out in 1948 in a criticism on Cezannes painting that it has revealed, the inhumane natural foundation where humans dwell. Theodore Adorno use his dialectical style in Aesthetic Theory, published before his death, Only when art resorts to the pursuit of inhumanity would it obey human nature. [1]

The reason why art of the 20th century rejected beauty resides in its revelation of inhumanity, and the reason accounts for that is in hoping to make men more humane. Just as Xunzis theory of the sinful nature in human, its goal was not to exemplify the perniciousness in human nature, but to ameliorate it. Perhaps Dantos worry of allowing art to pursue beauty, it might not be effective in its critical or didactic functions, because people would be attracted by the beauty and the pleasant emotions evoked, by which its critical strength would be diminished.

Yet, Jiang Hengs art tells us, one does not necessarily have to resort to ugliness in revealing inhumanity; through beauty, it is also possible. Jiang Hengs art portrays mostly femme fatale, yet all of them are transformed into inhumane comic figures. The characteristics such as complexity, depth, and eternity of human nature can no longer be found in Jiang Hengs comic figures of femme fatale, what is left are the inhumane characteristics of superficiality, ephemeralty and fragility. The femme fatales in Jiang Hengs art is not those of everyday life, but the spirits or ghosts of beauty.

The Restoration of Beauty or its Abuse? Thoughts provoked by Jiang Hengs works

Peng Feng

早在20世纪30年代,本雅明在其《机械复制时代的艺术作品》一文中曾对传统艺术和现代艺术进行了一个著名的区分:传统艺术具有一种独一无二性的光晕,这正是其艺术魅力之所在;现代艺术的本质则在于其可复制性,复制导致艺术光晕的消失。在此我提及本雅明并不是要对其理论进行评述,而是想借用他的区分来区分美和时尚。在我看来,美的事物都散发出一种独一无二的光晕,这种光晕隐含着某种不可穿透的神秘,使其构成独特的无可替代的这一个,而令人流连忘返,心神迷醉。而时尚的本质恰恰在于其无穷的可复制性,独特的这一个从来就不可能成为某种时尚,正是某种东西的不间断的复制,汇聚起来便形成一种时尚。

在此意义上说,江衡的作品可以看作是对我们当下时尚社会的一种形象表达。作品中一系列相互复制、没有个性、没有灵魂的快乐时尚美女形象,恰恰构成对时尚本质的一种揭示。

――――董志强摘之《失去灵魂的维纳斯江衡作品解读》

美国作家马克吐温有一本小说《汤姆索耶历险记》,有评论者说,这部小说是为儿童写的,但成年人读了,也能对自己的童年有一个美好的回忆。英国作家詹姆斯巴里也写了一本小说《彼得潘》,写一个拒绝长大的小孩彼得潘,读起来能使人忘记尘世的烦嚣和纷扰,找回一丝宁静和纯真。

读完这些儿童小说,再来看江衡的画,会有一种奇特的感受。那些小说是写给儿童看的,用成人的眼睛看儿童,看到了生活中纯真的一面。江衡的画则正好相反,是画给成人看的青春启示录。在这里面,有儿童的趣味,有儿童式对纯真的追求,但却有着儿童所没有的对生活的深入理解,有对世道人生的深深的忧虑。

――――高建平(瑞典乌普萨拉大学美学博士)

摘之《从太虚幻境到失乐园江衡作品一瞥》

The American writer Mark Twains novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, believed by some critics as written for children, that could also evoke the adults wonderful memories of their childhood. The British writer J.M. Barries Peter Pan depicts Peter Pans refusal to grow up that allows the reader to forger about all the worldly noise and disputes in exchange for a moment of tranquility and innocence.

Looking at Jiang Hengs paintings once having read these childrens stories, ones impression of it would be unique. Those novels are written for children, yet looking at them from the adults perspective at children, we receive the innocent facet of life. Jiang Hengs paintings are of the contrary. They are paintings of youthful enlightenment for adults. Here, there are childish characteristics, and the childrens pursuit for innocence, but also ones deep understanding of life that is absent for children, as well as ones profound anxiety of the world.

From Visionary Emptiness to Lost Paradise A look into Jiang Hengs work

Gao Jianping (Ph.D candidate of Uppsala University of Sweden)

江衡的后卡通油画系列全然无视北方学界主流意识形态的喧嚣,完全以一种释然的平静和简单的纯粹在康德古典美学倡导的无目的的合目性中,平平谈谈地摇拽着自己的视觉造型。

江衡的后卡通油画系列就是南方区域这个时代在他们这一代人的视觉体验中经历的主流艺术,罗中立们是触及现实对父亲及中华民族传统的苦难进行叙事的反思一代,江衡们也是触及现实对当下后现代都市文明给予视觉艺术打造的卡通一代。

――――杨乃乔(2008于复旦大学)

摘之《天真的纯粹与平静的简单评江衡的后卡通油画系列及其对主流意识形态的全然失忆》

美术理论家贡布里希有一句名言:绘画是一种活动,所以艺术家的倾向是看他要画的东西,而不是画他看到的东西。在今天这个欲望喷涌和体验翻新的消费文化时代,贡布里希所揭示的原理是否还适用呢?如果你去琢磨江衡的美女系列作品,也许会有所发现。在他的图像学里,一个独特的图像形态美女跃然画面。更有趣的是,这些长相各异的美女脸上,一个突出的图像符号一以贯之:大得不合比例的眼睛。那一对又一对大眼睛正凝视着什么?当你作为观者去凝视这一凝视时,又会有何种发现?

性感的艳俗在江衡笔下的美女那里已经不再是什么新鲜主题,他要表达的也许是眼睛与世界的象征关系:这是一个受到视觉统治的时代,生存的快乐和体验有赖于视觉的把握。由此,江衡的美女系列作品便越出了美式波普艺术的艳俗性感窠臼,切入一个当代文化的视觉主题:看的质询性。王尔德早就指出,看一样东西与看见一样东西全然不同。我们可以天天看世界,却有可能什么也没有看见。江衡美女系列那瞪大的眼睛和富有穿透力的目光,或许是在质询看本身,召唤看的在场,把看径直转变为看见。因为事物存在是因为我们看见它们,我们看见什么,我们如何看见它,这是依影响我们的艺术而决定的。(王尔德语)这不正是画家想要我们明白的真相吗?

――――周 宪 (南京大学)摘之《用眼光质询存在》