像社会学家那样发出视觉的声音,东方仕女图式的当代转换

 美术     |      2020-01-07

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。

  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。

他的作品,以直接的方式,反讽地显明了社会与人,艺术与艺术家的当下状态,具有某种概括式的记录性。这个时代,表象呈现的物的五光十色,与内心涌动的欲的光怪陆离,天然汇流并加速融合。

  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.

以卡通影像的方式,以美女刻划为基本样式,这就是今天,20世纪末与21世纪初的中国形式。30年前,人们才刚刚知道电视机,30年后,人们在回忆那是上个世纪的东西时,会不会记起电影院?江衡没有直接描写那种记录物欲的机器与技术,他记录了生活的样态,那些美女,那种任意放松的状态与愉悦的情绪。而今天,正好是这个样子,一个商店打折,时尚叠出的时代;也正好是时机,一个电视广告、网络与卡通的时机。不仅生活是如此,艺术是如此,布娃娃也是如此。

  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。

现在,物就是一切,而且,物的核心是财色,这是最大的真相,艺术与艺术家也不能幸免。许多艺术家都困于其中,挣扎其中,或者挤身其中。而感觉与说出来还是有区别,你说出这一点,就暗含着,个别的人还有别的追求,否则就不需要说,也没有听众;没有纯粹的客观与事实,表达就是说出自己想要说的话。

  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.

只有适度的变形,但表示了过份的变态。那些美女与玩偶们,是那回事,很本真,但又不完全是,或者不都是那回事,这是艺术家的个人理解,与别人有关系,但如果他不想与人争论的话,就没有太大的关系。

  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。

在呈示日常情景中,暗喻别样的情绪与倾向,这是现代艺术家的常用手法,也是艺术介入社会的独特路径。

  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.

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。

  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。

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。

  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.

摘之《艺术家图像志江衡》

  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。

Visual sounds emitted like a sociologist

  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.

Cao Zengjie

  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。

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.

  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.

His works adopt a literal approach to satirize the current relationship between men and society, art and artist that in my view can be both documentary and an overview. It is a time when the spectacle of representing the object and the artists mysterious impulse naturally comes together and merge.

  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。

Using the approach of anime with the basic motif of femme fatale is the mode of the present Chinas transition from the late 20th century to the 21st century. Thirty years ago, people first learned about televisions, and thirty years later as they retrieve memories from of the last century, would they think about cinema? Jiang Heng did not choose to portray the machines and technology used to document material desire, he documented the way of life, those beautiful women, and the blissful attitude leading a relaxed life. It is precise the case today, sales in a shop, a time flooded with fashion; it is also an opportunity, for television commercials, the internet and anime. Not only life is such, art is no different, the dolls as well.

  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.

Today, objects are ominous, moreover, it essentially reflects wealth this is the profound truth inescapable for art and artists. Many artists are trapped, they struggle with it, or involved. Yet, there is a distinction between realization and expression of such phenomenon, as one speaks out about it implies the existence of other pursuits, otherwise, it would be unnecessary, nor would it have any audience; there isnt any truth objectivity or truth, ones expression is about speaking out ones mind.

  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。

His shift is moderate, but has show outstanding transformation. Those femme fatale and dolls, seems right, quite real, but not entirely, or perhaps not at all. Its the artists own interpretation, irrelevant to others, although if he didnt want to argue with others, it would be irrelevant.

  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.

It is a common approach to allegorize for other emotions and interests through portraying the scenes of the everyday, it is also arts unique channel to intervene in society.

  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。

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.

  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.

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.

  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。

摘之《艺术家图像志江衡》

  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.

  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?

  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?

  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。

  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.

  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。

  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.

  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。

  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.

  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。

  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.

  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。

  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.

  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。

  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.

  摘之《艺术家图像志江衡》

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