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论吴冠中的方式,张乾元教师London画展在美利坚合众国开设

2019年4月23日 - 美术动态
论吴冠中的方式,张乾元教师London画展在美利坚合众国开设

堪称20世纪最要紧的华夏美术师之1的吴冠中,不久前将她绘于1九伍七年至200七年中间的1壹三幅摄影及摄影贡献于新加坡共和国油画馆。那是她赠于公共博物馆的作品个中数量最大的一群。[1]
就乐师50年来摄影及摄影方面包车型大巴艺创而论,这一个文章颇具代表性。即使吴冠中在55虚岁以前未有着力于水墨美术,水墨画和摄影式的思索却已经在她艺术生涯的早先时代阶段发芽。吴冠中也画过颜色画—首如若在20世纪五六10时期的最起初段。

在20世纪后半叶至现代的神州油画发展历史上,吴冠中先生是壹位作出优良进献的乐师和画画国学家。他视艺术为生命,几10年来,无论身处何境,都对艺术抱以致高的优质和由衷的疼爱,以二个确实的美学家的无畏胆略和率真本性,在版画工作上做坚定的求偶与探寻。他的创始,为中华民族的文化积淀和艺林景色增加了宝贵的财物。

由纽约中华书法和绘绘画艺术术组织牵头的塞班岛高校客座教师“张乾元伦敦画展”于20拾年4月二三日-10日在美利坚联邦合众国London市法拉盛购物主旨文化广场举办,展出张乾元助教多年来创作的中中原人民共和国画人物、山水、书法、摄影小说30余件精品,当中有工笔写实型油画,也有意笔意象型壁画。同时,三日,在平等地址举办了“乾元教师大学生的周易美学讲座”,紧要讲述《周易》美学关于对称之美、交感之美、生生之美、变化之美、神通之美等中国共产党第五次全国代表大会主导美学特征,揭破周易本体论、宇宙论医学是怎么样引领中夏族民共和国措施管理学、书法和绘画理论、笔墨技法变化和进化的,并与London社区观者进行周易美学、文学与中国书法和绘画的学术切磋和对话。

论吴冠中的方式,张乾元教师London画展在美利坚合众国开设。In his latest 3-D animation work, Chinese artist Qiu Anxiong shows a man
in a black suit and an octopus-shaped mask fall through a city of
skyscrapers. Will he die? No one can tell because the lines between
reality and the virtual world have blurred.

真正,吴冠中之所以地位首要,有一大学一年级部分在于她6续及融入了上述两种格局格局。它们与个其他艺术史及美学背景密不可分,所表示的两极足以在微观的学问园地中组成Samuel·Huntington所谓的
“文明抵触”,[2]而站在美学领域
的这些十字路口主题的,就是吴冠中。要是大家把20世纪中华夏族民共和国措施的发展解说为单向抓稳油画及雕塑、西洋和古板中华人民共和国方式的交叉点,或称
“X形交叉”,
一面开始展览当代性的历程,那站在众道交叉之处的,也照旧吴冠中。人们从1九一捌年(相当于吴冠中出生的那年)伍四运动光景的话语出发,在20世纪初期提议的无数文化关心,都在她那边尽其发展、达到极致。

吴冠中先生身上最弥足珍视的为人是受命了中华夏族民共和国学子的精美风采,把艺术创制作为1种文化义务,自觉担任起超过古板、开荒立异的义务。在千头万绪和生成的文化条件中,特别在亲历中西方文字化互相碰撞激荡的人生旅程中,他壹味以中华夏族民共和国文化为根本,吸收融化西方艺术,产生了中西美术意蕴贯通融入的独特成果和斩新经验,突显了独自的学术思路和中华措施精神的时代新质。

在5月22日晚上London中华书法和绘绘画艺术术协会设置的电视记者欢迎会上,该组织实行团体首领金城市先生向记者介绍说:大家更好看地特邀到来自马尔代夫大学的张乾元先生在London法拉盛开设私家绘画作品展览,并特意特邀他为London社区作二个学问报告会。张乾元先生不是一般的歌唱家,他是三个确实的教师级的美术大师,他是台湾大学的教学、学士、塞舌尔大学的拜访教授、中国美术家协会会员、也是大家组织的荣幸会员,他不光有一流的正规化雕塑水平,在争论商量中也有特出的姣好,尤其是对华夏价值观文化的钻研,那是至极可贵的,所以本组织充足光荣地为她开设那样三个学术性的展出,进步社区艺术欣赏水平,促进文化调换。张乾元教师说:不管是中国画、西方绘画,如故当代派、后当代派美术和别的新的措施形式,都三百分之五十群着音乐大师艰巨的分神和活泼的创意。不管是梵高、毕加索等对守旧摄影方式的赶上式变革,照旧杜尚、达利等的后今世游戏,都历史性地记载着音乐家的奇怪的天才想象和反古板意识。因而,美学家在价值观积累和认知的根基上,不断地加剧与成立、颠覆与再生尤为主要。中华夏族民共和国画的立异区别于当代派、后当代派艺术变革,它有它的人文情况与才具供给,它有例外的措施魔力和大规模的前行空间。因而,今世中夏族民共和国画创新和交换,必须以精品来呈现其独立和震慑世界,中华夏族民共和国今世艺术的辉煌成就更供给介绍到London,介绍到环球。

亚洲必赢626aaa.net 1

“X形交叉”这一个词,在生工学上指人脑中神经纤维的陆续,在植物学上指的则是卡牌1对对沿着茎部排列成X字形的场所。水墨画与水墨画之别,不仅在于颜料和画画工具;两者分别代表1整套的文化内容,各有其文学观点、审赏心悦目、理论及历史。它们在20世纪的交换正如植物类叶子的X形交叉,迸发出在20世纪从前由于文化交换有限而一筹莫展产生的、跨文化的光辉四射的全新风貌。可是,人们关于20世纪艺术的阐释,到现在还未有最终的下结论。事实上,选取全世界视角的艺术史研讨职业可是才刚开始而已。那上边的收获包涵:迈克·苏利文的掘进之作(一98捌年的《东西方艺术的交汇》)、[3]这些年一些关于多元今世主义的编慕与著述(如国际视觉工业大学所出版的《注明艺术众史》系列),[4]以及新加坡共和国美术馆所加入的
“亚洲立体主义绘画:越界对话”[5] 和
“欧洲现实主义艺术”[6]等类型。摄影与天下今世格局之间的涉及,也是近年来华夏办法话语尤其关心的课题,举例蒙得维的亚水墨双年展以及相关的一对水墨绘画作品展览和写作就是这地点较为关键的一名目多数表现。[7]

从知识视角到写作视角,吴冠中先生的诀窍体现了她对自然与生命的钟情。他的描绘始终以祖国的分水岭风韵和家庭景象为核心,在当然前面感受万物的活力,体验生命的哲理,抒发胸中的块垒,表明开掘的欢腾;他在方式格局上的机智和坚执情势创设的信念使得她敢于打通壁画和雕塑的载体界限,在具像与虚空几种美术形态之外,创制出意象的艺术境界,使“写意”的华夏古板办阿尔巴尼亚语言以现代的秘诀突显出来,获得最棒的或许。他依赖富厚的学养和深度的妄图,革故更始,秉事论理,阐发了汪洋怀有本性的驳斥观点,在今世华夏美术界产生了很大的学术反响。

The Exhibition of Fine Art by Visiting Prof. Qianyuan from UH in New
York

Artist Qiu Anxiong’s latest ink animationNew Classic of Mountains and
Seas IIIcreates a world that blurs the line between virtual and real.

吴冠中早年在国营阿德莱德艺术专科高校于林风眠、潘天寿的教导下初习版画与水墨画(即193玖至壹玖四二年间;这个学校于当下的战役时期从瓜亚基尔主次迁移到山西的萨拉热窝和安江,以及吉林的壁山和卢萨卡),后来又在巴黎的国办高档美院受教于杜拜和苏弗尔皮(Jean-Marie
Souverbie)。吴冠中从一玖四八年至一9七三年间根本是画油画(那段时日早期也画水彩画),到了一九七一年过后才认真地画起油画来。1972年一幅描绘特古西加尔巴江城仔景的墨画,标记了那些两大媒介并行的新阶段的起始。吴冠中后来在那幅画作上题字,注脚:“那幅小品是本身水墨画生涯与墨彩生涯联系的济宁。”[8]
那些所谓 “港口” 的关键时刻,正好是 “无产阶级文化大革命局动” 接近尾声之时(“无产阶级文化大革命局动”
截止于197八年),代表了吴冠中艺术生涯中一个至关心珍视要的启迪。

吴冠中先生一贯以艺术为公器,把社会便是自个儿格局能源的归宿。在过去屡次向社会进献小说的根底上,他于910破壳日之际,再2遍多量向中外公立油画馆捐献她的精品力作,进献精神高节清风,令人爱戴!继在新加坡展览之后,中华夏族民共和国水墨画馆、香水之都壁画馆和新加坡共和国油画馆合伙隆重在香江市开办他的捐献小说展,结合相关历史文献、图片和印象,以期全面呈现他的措施创设历程和丰富的艺术成果。他名贵的进献精神和他精辟的格局将永生长久并茂相映,光华灿烂。

On June 21 – June 22, 2010, the Exhibition of Fine Art by Visiting Prof.
Qianyuan Zhang from the University of Hawaii opened at Flushing Mall,
Culture Square, New York, sponsored by N.Y. Chinese Calligraphy, Arts
Society.

It’s a future world created by the video and animation artist for the
final episode of his ink animation trilogy New Classic of Mountains and
Seas. The Shanghai-based artist spent three years producing his latest
work of 25 minutes to discuss people’s confusion and struggle living in
a high-tech world, where reality is mixed with the virtual.

谈到“港口”,新加坡共和国也早就因为它当做3个历史、地理及文化的交叉点,被人描述为三种意思上的
“港口”。吴冠中是在1玖肆七年首回来到新加坡共和国的。当时他乘船远赴法兰西,路经此地,于红灯码头登入。[9]
他虽说平素想到新加坡1游,到亲身来访后,却顿感失望,意兴索然。据吴冠中撰文追忆所言,“新加坡共和国实际只是三个落后的小镇,路边有个别小贩售切开的凤梨,苍蝇乱飞。”[10]
没想到,60多年后,他却将协和最大的一群捐募画作交给了新加坡共和国。而 “港口”
也表示着知识建设意义上海重机厂新体系的 “X形交叉”。

范迪安

This exhibition showed his ink brush painting, calligraphy, and oil
painting, including traditional style Chinese landscape painting and
figure painting, these were the meticulous and realism paintings and the
express imagination and meaning style paintings, more than 30 high
quality paintings

The video’s two protagonists, a factory worker who is obsessed with
computer games and a city-based designer, seem to live totally separated
lives. However, their lives intertwine in the virtual world. In it, they
build their own ideal land to avoid the real one – dull and full of
glorious facades. In it, they can be immortal because they are reborn,
again and again. Who is dead and who is not? The question remains open
for the audiences.

垄断(monopoly)摄影与水墨画之间的涉及,是询问吴冠中小说的一大重要。依照办法律专科高校家的观看,吴冠中在摄影中灌注了油画的美感,[11]
并又在摄影中灌注了西方艺术的形式主义。[12]刘骁纯聊到国际上对吴冠中的受纳时建议:吴冠中若不是因为他的墨画,绝不会在全世界舞台上获得广大群众的注意;但她若不是因为自身的油画,也无能为力创立出吴冠中独家风格的摄影。[13]
吴冠中确实为广大欢蹦乱跳于西方的华夏学者所称道,当中包罗Mike·苏利文、[14]高居翰[15]以及李铸晋。[16]
高居翰在1篇与曹星原合著的文章里就涉嫌吴冠中融合了水墨画里勾勒线条构成的形象和西方歌唱家如马蒂斯、毕加索或米罗那种勾画清晰、扁平、波折的块面形象,形成吴冠中描画古树所用的特有交叉与重复线条结构。[17]

中夏族民共和国水墨画馆馆长

On June 22, The Lecture on I-Ching Aesthetics (in English and Chinese)
by Prof. Dr. Qianyuan was held at same place. Professor Qianyuan
introduced five fundamental aesthetic features of I-Ching: Beauty of
symmetry 2) Beauty of intercourse 3) Beauty of change 4) Beauty of birth
and rebirth 5) Beauty of supernatural power, and revealed how the
ontological and cosmological philosophy of the Yijing led the way to the
developments in philosophy of arts, theory of Chinese painting and
calligraphy, and formation of laws of ink technique in writing and
painting.

The high-tech aspect of our lives, such as virtual reality, has two
sides. They offer us great conveniences but also have a negative side,
says Qiu, 45.

咱俩欣赏绘于一玖伍陆年的《故乡之晨》(1九伍陆年,摄影,2-捌一
[即《吴冠中全集》第壹册第8一页;下文指涉画作均用此类缩略式数字标示],此画属新加坡共和国摄影馆典藏
[正文所谈起的富有画作,均为二〇〇玖年吴冠中赠于本馆的文章]),可发现个中端倪。其镜头的空灵与大规模的半透明色块—包涵对房子墙壁的描绘—隐隐透出水墨与水彩的乐趣。早先时期的摄影,如《白云与白墙》(二〇〇〇年,摄影,四-26九)更是如此。其它,《故宅》(200一年,壁画,4-248)大块的深紫就像墨画的色彩;《山西佛壁》(1九陆二年,版画,二-100)中以中距离垂直山形分割的画面,还有《San 何塞尼罗河大桥》(197叁年,水墨画,二-204)湖南中国广播公司泛的水面,四处显透露属于山雕塑的构图意向。至于影象主义对吴冠中的熏陶,则在《五牛图》(一玖九七年,水墨画,四-13玖)和《千年动脑筋出文苑》(一九九7年,水墨画,肆-140)1类小说中较为显著。除外,乐师还知道将摄影的增加色彩转而选拔于油画,举例《夜宴越千年》(1997年,墨画,八-52)在那方面便有绝佳的显现。

亚洲必赢626aaa.net ,2009年春

On June18, the N.Y. Chinese Calligraphy, Arts society held the Press
Conference for the exhibition and lecture by Qianyuan Zhang at Flushing
Mall. World Journal, Global Chinese Times, Sino Television Inc, Chinese
American Voice Inc, etc. most important press of New York City attended
the conference. Professor Qianyuan received many kinds of the
interviews。

亚洲必赢626aaa.net 2

咱俩对吴冠中大约具备的小说,都可套用那么些 “版画 /摄影相互关系”
的框架加以研商,并以水彩画作为双方的连接分界面。水彩这一红娘以水和纸张为本,为她提供了庞然大物的写作空间,得以发挥油画大片留白的线条本性,以及水墨画的斑块和构图布署。这是吴冠中连接油画及摄影的首要环节;他于两岸美学及技法方面包车型地铁初期探究,有一大一部分都以形诸水彩的。

Mr. Wu Guanzhong is regarded as an outstanding artist and art educator
who made significant contributions to the development of Chinese art
from the period starting from the second half of the 20th century to the
present. He views art as his life, and for the past several decades he
displayed a profound love and understanding for arts that was held to
the highest ideals. With his unremitting pursuit of exploration, Wu
built an artistic career that exemplified fearless courage and a genuine
temperament. His resulting works have added significantly to the
artistic wealth and heritage of China.

The president of the society, City-King said, we were very pleased to
invite Dr. Qianyuan Zhang from the University of Hawaii, which hold sola
exhibitions in Flushing, New York, and particularly invited him to give
an academic public lecture with community of New York. Mr. Zhang
Qianyuan wasn’t an ordinary artist, he was a real professorial level
artist, he was a Professor and Ph.D. of Jiangsu University, visiting
professor of University of Hawaii, a member of Chinese Artists
Association, also was an honorary member of our society, he not only had
the excellent level of professional fine art, also had outstanding
achievements on the theory, particularly on the study of traditional
Chinese culture, which was very valuable, so our society was very
honored to hold such an academic exhibition, and for broaden community’s
horizons of the appreciation for arts, promote cultural exchange.

For the young generations growing up in the internet era, the virtual
world is their reality, says the artist.

据吴冠中本人表示,他到了80年份开端以画雕塑为主,却开采积攒了40年的摄影素养竟是使她经济的敲门砖。于是,水墨画、壁画成为他的
“双刃剑”。[18] 那把双刃剑是让我们窥视吴冠中的文化 “X形交叉”
的三个窗口。这里提到的不光是媒介和技法而已;大家借使综观美术师的画作与论述文字,结合宏观的美学
/
文化的野史及关切,个中辉煌的跨文化光彩自必昭然暴露。苏利文目前在新加坡共和国进行的三回集会上,论及画笔、文笔俱精而又再3怀想的书法家难得一见,仅仅举四人为例—壹人是给妹夫提奥写出非凡书信的梵高,另一位则正是商量精到的吴冠中。[19]
小编在此将经过与吴冠中的点子有关的四个概念或核心,尝试发明那点。它们提炼自吴冠中日常被人引述的叁篇小说—小说分别为:《绘画的情势美》、[20]《关于虚无美》[21]以及《风筝不断线》。[22]吴冠中曾经细读石涛(164二-1707)的《画语录》,建议自身的演讲、批注与评释;[23]
作者在此将略作东施效颦之举,着重于八个概念(即:1、方式;二、抽象与实际表现;三、关于受众的主题素材),探究它们与吴冠中艺术的关系,并且增添,联系有关中夏族民共和国今世方式的总体性研商。那多个概念或宗旨,将结合本文主体多个部分的着力。

One of Wu’s greatest qualities, and a fine example of a Chinese
intellectual, is the way he regards artistic creation as a cultural
responsibility. From this mindset, he sought to advance tradition
through pioneering innovation. Wu’s personal life journey led him
through the complex and ever changing cultural environment of China,
wherein Chinese and Western cultures collide. During this journey, Wu
remained true to the foundations of Chinese culture as he simultaneously
absorbed elements of Western art. His pioneering artistic style and
expression integrated both Chinese and Western sentiments, and this
allowed him to evoke an independent cultural ideal which uniquely
represented the spirit of Chinese art entering into the new era.

Prof. Qianyuan answered the question by the reporters, and he said,
“today is post modern times, everything, anyway are an unprecedented
openness, transparency, integration, the culture and economic also
integrate into each other, complement and cooperate with each other.
Cross the border——Close the gap. However, whether Chinese painting or
Western painting, whether modern or post-modern arts, or the other new
art forms, all the excellent art always condense the hard work and fresh
innovation. Whether Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, leaping change to
traditional art forms, or Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dali, made
post-modern play games, the art history always record theirs peculiar
genius imagination and consciousness of anti-tradition. Therefore, the
artists must base on the traditional understanding and accumulation and
continuously deepen, create, and subvert the tradition, it is
particularly important. The innovation of Chinese painting is different
with the change of the modern, or post modern art, it has its human
environment and technical requirements, it has a unique artistic charm
and broad development space, and Chinese painting must use the high
quality arts to influence the world.”

He is sensitive to high-tech and always keeping an eye on problems that
come with human application of technology, he says. Since 2005, the
artist has been making his ink animation trilogy. The first explores
conflicts caused by energy crisis and the second focuses on crisis
brought by astronautics and biotechnology. The second is now at the
Museum of Modern Art in New York.

形式

From his cultural perspective to his creative vision, Wu’s art reflects
his fondness for nature and life. His paintings often adopts themes of
beautiful scenery from his motherland and rural country home, with
artistic flourishes inspired by the vitality of nature, his own life
philosophy, and Wu’s inherent joy in discovery. His sensitivity to
artistic forms and his desire to innovate led him to boldly break down
the medium based barriers that long separated oil painting and ink
painting. Wu’s creations created a new realm of art outside the
dichotomy of realism and abstraction, and allowed for new ways of
expressions of seemingly unlimited possibilities that went beyond the
traditional Chinese art vernacular. With his abundant energy and
profound insights, Wu revolutionized old conceptions and freed art form
to allow an abundance of new theories rich with individuality. His
innovations leave a far-reaching impact on the academic circle of the
contemporary Chinese art scene that continues till this day.

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The name of the trilogy is taken from the ancient Chinese myth book
Classic of Mountains and Seas, dating more than 2,000 years ago.

吴冠中的《摄影的情势美》于一玖七七年登出时,正值后无产阶级文化大革时局动时代的早期。音乐家在文中申明反对已纵横中夏族民共和国三10年之久的、珍视艺术实用的社会现实主义思想,在及时引起了一点都不小的震惊。他所反对的考虑,源点于毛泽东一九四四年的《在庆阳文化艺术座谈会上的言语》,其当场的筹算是要为宣传方法设定方向,以利于社会主义改造专门的学业。[24]
中华夏族民共和国社会现实主义的驳斥基础,以蔡仪1玖四7年刊出的《新美学》为本。[25]
在从历史唯物主义观点出发的蔡仪看来,“方式”
表示物质存在或唯物主义,美只可以是存在于客观的物质性个中,而不是书法大师主观性的心理因素。由于那种论调以物质方式的客体之美为底蕴,吴冠中张扬艺术的样式表现,从而指向个人主义及独立于物质世界之外的大概,实为针对蔡仪态美学中所持之以恒的社会现实主义古板建议了激进的反调。

Wu has always viewed art as a tool for the public. He also viewed
society as the ultimate destination for his own artistic wealth, a
belief that has led him to generously donate many of his works. For his
ninetieth birthday, Wu once again gave away large quantities of
excellent work to public museums in China and abroad, a gesture that
exemplifies the artist’s noble character and sterling integrity. After
its initial viewing in Shanghai, National Art Museum of China, Shanghai
Art Museum, and Singapore Art Museum have now jointly organized this
superlative exhibition in Beijing that combines historical documents,
images and videos to provide a comprehensive display of Wu’s incredible
art journey and impact to Chinese art. His noble dedication and his
superb artistry will shine brilliantly here.

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Qiu says he puts what’s happening now into an ancient context, which
allows us to see the current society from a distance.

吴冠中的《水墨画的形式美》聊起画师自个儿在法国首都留学的阅历,建议:他这时的课程内容包括了音院表现中古音乐、古典音乐、罗曼蒂克主义音乐及今世音乐的油画,而导师也陶冶学生遵照抽象的、属于方式性质的音乐节拍考虑画面构图的结构布局,以确认保证每1幅画都反映出韵律的流淌。换句话说,美术并不是非得以画作主题材料为主要关怀的。吴冠中还在80年间写过一篇题为《曲》的随笔,那里的“曲”就兼具
“波折” 与“歌曲”
之义。[26]线条的音频美与音乐韵律相通—这点在诸如《野藤明珠》(19九7年,墨画,8-8八)、《玉龙松》(19九7年,墨画,8-十叁)及《墙上姻亲》(19九8年,墨画,八-1二4)等文章中亦可知一斑。

Fan Di’an

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In Qiu’s real-meets-virtual world, everything becomes a living monster.
Surveillance cameras on streets are one-eyed flying beasts; garbage
trucks are elephant-shaped; treadmills are running wolves. Other things
turn into fancy items as human beings change themselves in a virtual
world.

在此之上,吴冠中更进一步提出:艺术的风骨也必须在个体的感性之中求得。[27]
那一立场代表艺术家通透到底退出了40时期先前时代至70年间早先时期盛行的社会现实主义守旧,使他被人公以为挑衅社会现实主义美学的先行者之壹。他的反对,与70年间末今世主义艺术和文艺网易潮的勃兴同步产生,实为与朦胧诗和有限画会一气相连的1种进步动态。吴冠中肯定情势美是方式的严重性内容,描绘对象仅属次要,是方法的花招而不是目标。[28]
这种立场使吴冠中简直是个形式主义者—关于那一点,下文还会作进一步的切磋。

Director, National Art Museum of China

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For Qiu, the most challenging part is to turn Chinese ink paintings into
3-D animation projects – the former stresses on abstraction and
imagination while the latter needs things to look as real as possible.

梅耶 · 夏皮罗在时时被人引述的、195三年有关 “风格”
的一篇小说中,把作风说成是私人住房及群体艺术中的恒常方式。形式可归纳恒常的因素、性子与表明格局。同理可得,对作风的讲述诉诸艺术的八个地点—方式成分、格局关系,以及特色。[29]
其实,吴冠中的风格论在比十分大程度上亦与此相似,也是将方式与发挥沟通起来的。此外,夏皮罗也建议:内容与风格之间的关联是个复杂得多的议题。据她所言,尽管“与特定内容有关而发生的作风往往产生必然时代在那之中人们广为接受的、主导当时有着具身体表面现的1种格局”,服膺马克思主义的论者却接着尝试建议壹套具有归纳性的
“冲突论”,否定社群的纯1性,将群众体育的在那之中争论视为“发展的引力来源”,剖析那种动态给观念观念带来的熏陶。[30]
属于 “解构” 型的各样艺术史分析,以及与其同临时代属于20世纪末年所谓
“欧洲大六批判学派”
的文献(尤其是德里达的行文),其实有一大学一年级部分都建立在那种思索之上。[31]

Spring, 2009

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“解构”
对专家来讲大概是研讨的对象,但对身为美术大师的吴冠中来说,却是他无产阶级文化大革时局动劫后余生、催生个人解放的呼吁。其主张卫发,异常快便引起了宽广的共鸣。不过,关于情势的冲突并非在70年份才早先的;事实上,那是举例说蔡振、周树人、宗白华及邓以蜇等20世纪初期中华夏族民共和国办法理论家共同关切的课题。宗白华以为美与油画的表征,是在“格局”、在
“节奏”,而它所突显的是人命的基石,是生命之中最深的动,是绘影绘声而又系统的生命情调。[32]
在措施思想方面与吴冠中更为近似的,是编写具体研究美术与书法的邓以蜇。[33]
吴、邓肆个人常用的诀窍概念大为一样,个中各个包罗:体、形、意(下文将对此详作切磋)、理、生动、神、意境,以及气韵生动。[34]
邓以蜇将艺术视为 “心物交感”,
而这便是对吴冠中的主意与创作意图分外确切的叙述。

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I have to find a balance between them, to have the spirit of Chinese ink
painting while giving it a 3-D presentation, says Qiu.

就 “心物交感”
的价值观来说,情势确定是存在于主观性与客观性相互关系的关联之中。它超过画作的情理特点之外,但又不是未经人心/人手效用的、直接属于物质性的样子。与此周边的是印度办法的
“契似”这一个概念—“契似”并不代表自然主义,而是音乐家欲求就其对象得到真知的一种尝试。那种真知未必能通超过实际际观测获取,只可以注重在特性层面上进展的壹种超过性。[35]
在此意思上,尽管“形式主义”指的是方法当中不延及自己以外其余指涉对象的大体特点或造型(换言之,即
“非客观” 艺术),那吴冠中实际上并不算是一个格局主义者。当然,“格局”
终归是个不无难题的词语,大家有必不可缺校之置于吴冠中艺术执行的宏观思索语境中加以定位。[36]
大家在此无妨借用邓以蜇的话:“形者脱于物质之拘束,
而以物理内容为描写之对象。”[37]

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A sea of clouds in his film, he says, is a good example of such balance.

架空与具体表现

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He was born in Sichuan province and went to Sichuan Fine Arts Institute
in Chongqing, a mountainous city. In 1998, he went to Art University
Kassel. His works back then were paintings, especially oil paintings.
During his stay in Germany, he sought inspiration from traditional
Chinese culture, like ink paintings and moved ahead in his career.

人们常说吴冠中的画作从80时代先前时代起首便变得比较“抽象”。综观歌唱家从《再绘高昌》(1玖八柒年,墨画,陆-1壹三)、
《伴侣》(一九八七年,墨画,6-贰肆7)、《昼梦》(一九9二年,墨画,7-7四)、《大运》(1九九三年,墨画,7-10肆)、《白花》(19玖三年,水墨画,四-5贰)、《广元》(1997年,墨画,八-52),一贯到《红装素裹》(200三年,壁画,四-276)这一名目大多画作的写作进程,
在这之中真正有一种倾向,显出戏剧家逐步偏重图案与色彩,平时使其占用主导地位,乃至是大于于创作主题材料之上。我们阅读吴冠中的稿子,简单察觉:那1“过程”并不代表音乐家“离弃”
了具体画法,转而投入所谓的悬空美术。应该说,那实在是画师自早年来讲平昔信持的主导美学原则具体落到实处的壹种表象。吴冠中过去争辨过抽象与具象表现之间的涉嫌,比如她所记录的阅读石涛《画语录》之心得,便有那类论述。石涛画论的第二三章聊起:音乐家在纸上勾画物质世界的山丘大海时,此山此海均存在于乐师的无理意识之中,故此水墨画中的山和海南大学可相互替换。山和海在作画中表现出来的表征既然能够并行替换,相当于表示
“山即海也,海即山也”。吴冠中于此得出的结论是:美术主题材料的选拔实在全由戏剧家本人调整,其人身自由以致到了能够山替海、以海替山的水平。[38]

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From a distance I realized the beauty of my culture, where I truly
belong. I read lots of books on traditional culture, such as Taoism and
Buddhism, says Qiu of his turning back to ink from oil.

鉴于画画大师如此无须依赖特定难题,并且存有将主观性注入实景之中的随机,吴冠中朝“抽象派”行进的迈入路子自然也就展示有理可循了。我们要是取其初期、后期的某些画作—比方《丹桂树》(1977年,墨画,五-六3)、《大运》(一9玖三年,墨画,7-10四)以及《窗里窗外》(200一年,墨画,八-20陆)—互相相比,自可开采其中神秘。可是,大家在察看中夏族民共和国措施时用上“抽象派”那个词,不免疑难重重。首先,具象美术在文化艺术复兴守旧中自有其长进进度,中华夏族民共和国艺术史上却从未接近的长河,故此在中夏族民共和国美术大师眼中,所谓抽象与具体表现之间的见解反差相比不醒目。其次,中中原人民共和国写生发芽较早,有大要两千年的历史;在那长时间的时刻中,中中原人民共和国歌唱家对于艺术描摹方面包车型大巴题目,观点及思维格局均有别于西方。

He drew everything in his film, which was a huge amount of work. In his
latest show at Beijing’s Boers-Li gallery, his sketchbooks and ink
paintings for the film are being displayed.

“意” 和 “意境”
是人人描述中华夏族民共和国艺术与美学之根本特色时常用的词语。但是,对“意”以及现代主义所谓抽象艺术与实际艺术那两大门类进行相比较,照旧比较有创新意识的,而吴冠中的法子可因而为大家激荡卓越多精辟的观念。究其语源而论,“意”
指的是
“高等级次序思维”(咱们这里运用乌瑞克·米登多夫考证公元前7世纪《管敬仲》所用“意”字而提出的疏解)。
“有些状态于主体内省观照之时,或能够精神专注的、回神敛思的措施爆发出意识”—如此正是那里所谓的“高等级次序”。那类情形的发出,是“获取知识及产生语言的必要条件,而持有约束的一坐一起又是以那两头作为基础”。[39]
在艺术领域中,我们得以把那种高等级次序思维精通为主观心思与合理物理世界中间的竞相,
而且它以歌唱家意识在那之中的反身性为历来。在炎黄军事学观念中,具象与虚无之间平昔不曾划清界限。

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吴冠中的肤浅艺术被刘骁纯称为 “自然抽象”。其 “抽象”,不外是从对 “意” 和
“意境”
的捕捉行为中流露出来。在如此的行文历程中,具象与虚幻并不变成重大的贰元概念,两者之间乃至不造成显著的对照。鉴于大家已不再有供给将抽象艺术掌握为非客观艺术(也正是有
“自己作主性”
的、不指涉任何物质对象或形态的艺术),刘骁纯据此推导出那般的论点:“风筝不断线”
并不对抽象摄影构成障碍。咱们倘若要持吴冠中的描绘与虚无表现主义举办其余比较,就亟须置之于上述语境中给予考量。[40]

The city he creates is also a combination of reality and imagination.
It’s not hard to find cities like Shanghai or Chongqing in his video. A
train running through a tall building is from Chongqing while some of
the skyscrapers are from Shanghai.

受众

The time of the world I created is unknown, maybe the future or maybe
the apocalypse. It’s all about magic realism, he says.

吴冠中19玖三年在巴黎塞纽奇博物馆进行个展,并为展览画册撰写了序文,但他不以“序”为题,而是题为
“致观者”。该展览距离他前边在大英博物馆的个人作品展仅一年的小时;美术师在小说的起来表示:一年前当壹个人United Kingdom艺评家向她发问,问London是还是不是他亚洲巡回展的率先站时,他心中不禁展开了深入的反省。吴冠中不无歉意地批注:他对当下能在法国首都学习方法其实深为多谢,对于自身曾经病逝的高卢鸡讲课也寄以无比的哀悼。音乐家继而表示:本人从北部来到西方,后来又回到东方,一生都贡献给中西方文字化的过渡。他声称依赖观者,相信任何尝试融合差别文化之举不管是不是有所全数意义的巧夺天工之见与深度,观众都是能看得出来的。他还语带谢意地问道:他阔别法国首都四拾年,近年来再次回到旧地,法国首都的听众是或不是确实能来看他那时留学此地到底学到了哪些?书法大师最后写道:“小编长久往返于事物里面,回到东方是回到,再回到西方又是归去,归去来兮!”
[41]

The 3-D ink animation is described by the artist as the keynote work in
his career. While being a teacher with the design school of the East
China Normal University in Shanghai, he says he will keep exploring this
kind of art form and write science fiction in future as well as produce
related installations and mixed media works.

吴冠中在《美术的情势美》一文中重申:艺创是一种样式考虑,而情势美是内部的关键环节。美学家通过成立格局,才能够提超过属于本身的风骨,最后独辟蹊径。那无非是长寿举行艺创、忠于本身心思的当然结果。吴冠中的《纸鸢不断线》则重申:即便在经过格局抽象化未来,艺术品以及它植根于生活的源头之间仍应当有所关联;唯有纸鸢不断线,大家技术调节文章与观众中间的互动。正如画画大师自身在塞纽奇博物馆展出画册的前言中所揭穿,这条
“线” 绝不受单1的文化区所局限。

读书原作

吴冠中既然有此开阔的襟怀,对跨文化观念又深怀敬意,大家看她向新加坡共和国贡献多少最大的一堆创作,如此的墨宝也就不太出人意料了。新加坡共和国从那时 “切开的黄梨”
的时期同步走来,已经走了很远的迈入道路,最近已是声名远播的园林城市,因为其清新水平与高功效而不断得到国际上的必定。吴冠中曾经说过:“新加坡是本人爱慕的3个国度。”并又从她普通的见解如此加以补充:“在道德质量各类方面,它都以介于中西方之间,与中方十分接近,到西天也很接近。两边的独到之处,都汇集在你们身上。”
可是,音乐家也不忘提醒大家:新加坡共和国“交通、工业都比较发达 …… 但是文化艺术 ……
不够珍视。”[42]
无论如何,正如新加坡共和国油画馆主席尚南安普顿妻子恰如其分的答复所言,吴冠中的捐募是“一份给今后的红包”。[43]
吴冠中的措施确实是赠与全人类的一份礼物—它不仅显示了20世纪的知识X形交叉,对于21世纪、以至是更漫漫的前程也大有启发意义。

记者|Deng Zhangyu

Wu Guanzhong, arguably one of the most important Chinese artists of the
20th century, has given the Singapore Art Museum his largest donation to
a public museum comprising 113 oil and ink works painted during the
years 1957 to 2007.[1] These works are a good representation of Wu’s
creative oeuvre encompassing art practices over five decades and in both
the oil and ink mediums. Although Wu Guanzhong did not begin to paint in
ink in an intense way before 1974, at the age of 55, the thinking in oil
and ink started at the very beginning of his artistic career. Wu also
painted in watercolour mainly during the early phase of 1950s and 1960s.

来源|China Daily

Indeed, a key significance of Wu Guanzhong is the crossing and
synthesizing of these two art forms (oil and ink) which must be
understood within art historical and aesthetic contexts of their own,
representing binaries as far apart as what Samuel Huntington calls the
clash of civilizations in the broader cultural spheres[2], and
standing right in the middle of these crossroads in the aesthetic realm
is Wu Guanzhong. In so far as the story of 20th century Chinese art
being one that could be told about a journey in modernity anchored in
the intersections of oil and ink, western and traditional Chinese art,
Wu Guanzhong again stands right in the middle of the crossings,
representing a culmination of many of the cultural concerns raised at
the beginning of the century, underpinned by the discourse around the
time of the May Fourth Movement in 1919, the very year of Wu Guanzhong’s
birth.

编辑|吴潇岚

The term “decussation” in physiology refers to the crossing of nerve
tracts in the human brain, and in botany refers to leaves arranged along
a stem in pairs, forming shapes of X. Oil and ink in art are not just
about colour pigments and painting instruments, they represent cultural
make-up complete with philosophical outlook, aesthetic value, theory and
history the interchanges of which in the course of the 20th century is
akin to a stem of laves forming in decussation, creating a new spectacle
of intercultural brilliance which could not have happened any earlier
than the 20th century due to the limited cross cultural exchanges.
However, perspectives on the 20th century art are by no means
conclusive; in fact, art historical research work taking on a global
perspective has merely just begun. To cite a few examples, we can think
of the pioneering work by Michael Sullivan (The Meeting of Eastern and
Western Art, 1989)[3], the recent publications on multiple modernisms
such as the Annotating Art’s Histories series published by the Institute
of International Visual Arts[4], and also Singapore Art Museum’s
involvement in projects such as Cubism in Asia: Unbounded Dialogues
[5] and Realism in Asia [6]. The relations between ink painting and
global modern art have been a topic of particular concern in the recent
Chinese art discourse, an important series is the Shenzhen Ink Biennale
and related exhibition and publication programmes.[7]

Trained in oil and ink painting first in the China Art Academy (1938 –
42 during the war-torn years the academy shifted from Hangzhou, to
Kunming and Anjiang in Yunnang, and to Bishan and Chongqing in Sichuan)
under the tutorage of Lin Fengmian and Pan Tianshou, subsequently at the
Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts under the tutorage of J. Dupas
and Jean-Marie Souverbie, Wu’s practice from the 1950s to 1974 was
primarily in oil (and watercolour in the early part of this period), and
painted in ink in a serious manner only after 1974. A 1974 ink painting
on the cityscape of Chongqing marked the beginning of this new phase of
dual medium, to which painting Wu Guanzhong later added a colophon,
“this miniature work was the entrepôt of my journeys in oil and
ink.”[8] This moment of “entrepôt,” which happened towards the closure
of the Cultural Revolution in 1976 was to be a great revelation in Wu
Guanzhong’s artistic career.

“Entrepôt,” incidentally, is also a word that describes Singapore given
its historical, geographical and cultural disposition as a cross road in
multiple regards. Wu Guanzhong also first stepped foot on Singapore and
landed at the Clifford Pier, a transit point during his sea voyage to
France in 1947.[9] Wu was not impressed even though he had always
wanted to visit Singapore, which turned out to be a disappointment. Wu
wrote that Singapore was “a backward town, with some hawkers selling
sliced pineapples, with flies hovering all over.”[10] Some sixty years
later, in a further decussation, Wu decided to give his largest donation
of artworks to Singapore.

A key to understanding Wu Guanzhong’s works is the very relation between
oil and ink. Art scholars have observed that Wu Guanzhong had
impregnated his oil with ink aesthetics[11] and ink with formalism in
western art.[12] On Wu Guanzhong’s global reception, Liu Xiaochun
noted that if not for Wu’s ink, he would not have received response of
such global scale; similarly, if not for his oil, he would not have
created the Wu Guanzhong style ink painting.[13] Wu Guanzhong has been
embraced by many western based experts of Chinese art such as Michael
Sullivan[14], James Cahill[15] and Chu-Tsing Li.[16] Cahill in an
article co-authored with Cao Xingyuan noted that Wu Guanzhong had
synthesized the forms rendered through contour outline in traditional
Chinese ink painting, and forms delineated through clear, flat and
curvilinear lines in western artists like Matisse, Picasso and Miro, to
create Wu’s own style of crisscrossing and repetitious lines such as in
his painting of old trees. This is an example of Wu’s virtuosity in
drawing inspiration from both Chinese and western art.[17]

We can look at the 1960 work Hometown Morning (1960, oil, 2-81
[referring to The Complete Works of Wu Guanzhong, v. 2, p. 81; short
numerical reference used hereafter], Singapore Art Museum Collection
[all works mentioned in this essay are part of the 2008 Wu Guanzhong
donation to the museum] ), the airiness and large areas of translucent
colours, including the treatment of walls of building, suggest ink and
watercolour sensibilities. All the more so in later oil works, such as
White Cloudes and White Walls (2002, oil, 4-269) while A Former
Homestead (2001, oil, 4-248) has large patches of black suggesting
colouration in ink. The partitioning of the composition by a near
distance vertical mountain in A Tibetan Buddha Wall (1961, oil, 2-100)
and the wide expanse of water in The Yangtze River Bridge at Nanjing
(1973, oil, 2-204) indicate compositional orientations in ink landscape.
The Impressionist influence on Wu, on the other hand, is obvious in the
cases of Five Oxen (1996, oil, 4-139) and Thousand of Years of
Conception in the Literati Garden (1996, oil, 4-140). The exuberance of
oil colours was in turn applied to ink paintings an excellent example of
this is A Night Feast Over a Thousand Years (1997, ink, 8-52).

Practically all of Wu Guanzhong’s works can be discussed within this
matrix of interrelations between oil and ink, along with watercolour as
an interfacing category. The watercolour was an important medium linking
oil and ink, and much of the early explorations of aesthetics and
techniques between oil and ink were done so in watercolour as the water
and paper based medium offers the opportunities of both the linear
quality with large void areas of ink painting and the multiplicity of
colours and compositional design of oil painting.

Wu Guanzhong notes that by the 1980s, he started to paint mostly in ink
but the four decades of dexterity in oil turned out to be a stepping
stone for ink. Oil and ink had been his “double-edged sword.”[18] This
double-edged sword is a window to Wu Guanzhong’s decussation of
cultures. They are not merely mediums and techniques, but interfacing
the works with the writings of Wu and broader aesthetic and cultural
histories and concerns, we can paint of picture of intercultural
splendor. My attempt here is to elaborate this through three concepts or
themes related to Wu Guanzhong’s art, which have, incidentally, been
inspired by three of-cited writings of Wu. Wu is prolific with both the
brush and the pen. At a recent conference in Singapore, Michael Sullivan
singled out Van Gogh and Wu Guanzhong, exemplified by the former’s
letters to his brother Theo, and the latter’s critical writings, as rare
examples of artists who are deeply thoughtful and articulate with both
the brush and the pen.[19] The three Wu Guanzhong essays are: The
Formal Beauty of Painting [20], Concerning the Beauty of Abstraction
[21], and Unbroken Kite String [22]. Wu Guanzhong has also
transcribed, interpreted and annotated his close reading of Shitao
(1642-1707)’s Notes on Painting which I shall cite later.[23] A member
of the Ming royal house, Shitao became a monk after the fall of the Ming
dynasty. With staunch individualism and creative style, Shitao is
revered as one of the most celebrated artists in Chinese history.

Referencing Wu’s three essay, I am looking at the three concepts of,
firstly, form; secondly, abstraction and figuration; and thirdly, the
question of the audience, and how they relate to Wu Guanzhong’s art
along with broader relevance to general discussions on Chinese modern
art. The three concepts or themes will form the remaining sections of
this essay.

Form

Wu Guanzhong’s Formal Beauty of Painting when it was published in 1978
had caused quite a stir in the immediate post-Cultural Revolution period
as the artist annunciated his opposition to the three decades of social
realist persuasion in the utilitarian purposes of art, with genesis in
Mao Zedong’s Yan’an literary forum in 1942 which set the direction for
propagandistic art in the agenda of socialist reconstruction.[24] The
theoretical foundation for social realism in China was predicated by Cai
Yi in his New Aesthetics published in 1947.[25] With a predication in
Historical Materialism, form to Cai Yi indicated physical presence or
materialism, and that it is in the objective physicality that beauty may
be located, as opposed to the emotive elements in the subjectivity of
the artist. Due to the underpinning of the objective beauty of the
physical form, Wu Guanzhong’s suggestion that formal expression in art,
which pointed to individualism and could be independent of the physical
world, was a radical opposition to the steadfast social realist value in
Cai Yi’s aesthetics.

In The Formal Beauty of Painting, Wu Guanzhong wrote about his training
in Paris how murals rendering medieval, classical, romantic and modern
music from the music conservatory were part of the syllabus in his Paris
artelier, and students were trained to think of structuring pictorial
composition based on the abstract and formal terms of musical rhythm, so
as to ensure the rhythmic flow in each painting. In other word, the
subject matter of the painting did not need to be a predominating
concern in painting. Wu has wrote a prose in the 1980s entitled qu which
has the dual meaning of curve as in quzhe and song as in gequ.[26] The
rhythmic beauty of lines is consonant to musical tune, as seen in works
like Wild Vines with Flowers Like Pearls, (1997, ink, 8-88), Pines Upon
the Yulong Mountains, (1997, ink, 8-103), and Marriage Ties on the Wall
(1999, ink, 8-124).

Wu Guanzhong further noted that style had to be located in the feelings
of the individual.[27] The implication of such a position was its
radical departure from social realist values in the mid-1940s to
mid-1970s. Wu Guanzhong is widely regarded as among the first to
challenge the social realist aesthetics, in tandem with the surge of a
new wave of modernist art and literature, in parallel developments of
genres such as Obscure Poetry and the Star Art Group in the late 1970s.
Wu asserted that the formal beauty was the main content of art, and the
object of rendition was secondary, and was a means rather than an
end.[28] This position apparently made Wu Guanzhong a formalist, a
point to be further discussed.

In the oft-cited Meyer Schapiro’s article on “style” , he spoke of style
as the constant form in the art of an individual or a group. The form
could include the constant elements, qualities, and expression. Thus,
the description of style referred to three aspects of art – form
elements or motive, form relationships, and qualities
(expression).[29] Wu Guanzhong has spoken of style also very much in
this sense of the correlation of form and expression. Schapiro further
noted that the relationship of content and style is a much more complex
issue. Acknowledging that while “a style that arises in connection with
a particular content often becomes an accepted mode governing all
representation of the period,” Schapiro noted that Marxist writers had
further attempted a general “theory of conflicts” which did not see a
social group as homogenous, but the internal conflicts within the group
as “motors of development,” and the impact that these dynamics had on
philosophical outlook.[30] This underpinned much of the approaches to
art historical analyses under the general rubric of “deconstruction,”
along with its concurrent sources in the so-called “continental schools
of criticism” especially the writings of Jacques Derrida, in the
late-century.[31]

Whereas “deconstruction” would have been the object of researchers, for
Wu Guanzhong as an artist it was his call for a personal liberation in
the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution that quickly received
broad-based resonance. The debate on form, however, did not only begin
only in the 1970s. It was, rather, a common concern among early-century
Chinese art theorists such as Cai Yuanpei, Lu Xun, Zong Baihua and Deng
Yizhe. Zong Baihua regarded beauty and its characteristics as being
located in form and rhythm, and what it manifest is the inner core of
life and the energy within; it is the lively and yet orderly movement
and zest of life.[32] Even closer affiliation between Wu’s values in
art is one with Deng Yizhe who zeroed in on painting and calligraphy in
his writings.[33] Wu Guanzhong and Deng Yizhe share a same array of
frequently used artistic concepts: ti, body (as in physical form and
structure); xing, form; yi, (to be discussed); li, order (as in reason);
shengdong, vitality; shen, spirit (as in vitality); yijing, realm of yi;
and qiyun shengdong, spirit consonance[34] Deng Yizhe regards art to
be the interaction of the subjective emotive and the objective physical,
which very aptly describes Wu Guanzhong’s art and creative intent.

In such aesthetic value, form must be located in the co-relation of
subjective and objective. It is more than the physical properties of the
painting, nor is it directly physical forms unmediated by the human mind
and hands. It is akin to the concept of sadrsya in Indian art, which
does not imply naturalism, but an attempt at true knowledge of an
object, which may not be obtained by empirical observation but by a
transcendence undertaken at the human level.[35] In this regard, Wu
Guanzhong is not actually a formalist, if by formalism it is meant the
physical properties or the plastic form in art which do not subscribe to
references beyond themselves, that is, “non-objective” art.Form, of
course, ultimately is a difficult word and it is necessary to further
locate it within broader philosophical contexts of Wu Guanzhong’s
practice.[36] To further quote Deng Yizhe, “form emancipates itself
from physical constraint, and turns to the physics as the object of
depiction.”[37]

Abstraction and Figuration

It is often said that Wu Guanzhong’s paintings became more “abstract”
from the mid-1980s onwards. Consider a progression from The Ruin of
Gaochang II (1987, ink, 6-113), Company (1989, ink, 6-247), A Dream in
the Daytime (1991, ink, 7 – 74), Ongoing Years (1992, ink, 7-104), White
Flowers (1993, oil, 4-52), Zhangjiajie (1997, ink, 8-52 to 53), to In
Red and White (2003, oil, 4-276), there was indeed a greater emphasis on
patterns and colours, often taking centre-stage overpowering even the
subject matter of the work. In reading through Wu’s writings, this
“progression” did not represent a “break” from figuration to abstraction
as such, but were rather the realizations of fundamental aesthetic
principles which he held since the early period. Wu discussed the
relation of abstraction and figuration through, for instance, his
reading of Shitao’s Notes on Painting. In chapter 13 of Treatise on
Painting, Shitao wrote about the interchangeability of the mountains and
the seas in painting as these physical manifests all existed in the
subjectivity of the artist in capturing them on paper. Since their
qualities in painting were interchangeable, “mountains were seas and
seas were mountains.” Wu concluded that it was up to the painter to
determine the choice of the subject of painting, to the extent of the
interchangeability of the mountains and the seas.[38]

Such non-dependency on subject matter and the artist’s freedom to inject
subjectivity into the physical landscape explains Wu Guanzhong’s
trajectory towards “abstraction.” This is seen, for instance, in
comparing his paintings of the earlier and later periods, in the series
of, say, An Osmanthus (1977, ink, 5-63), Ongoing Years (1992, ink,
7-104), and Within and Without the Window (2001, ink, 8-206). Using the
term “abstraction,” however, is tricky when it comes to looking at
Chinese art. Not only is the contrasting of notions of abstraction and
figuration less pronounced given that Chinese art did not have a
parallel history of representational painting in the Renaissance
tradition, the problematic of representation was conceived differently
since the early beginnings of Chinese painting some two millennia ago.

Yi and yijing (“realm of yi”) are terms frequently used to describe the
key characteristics of Chinese art and aesthetics.However the
comparisons between yi and modernist categories of abstract and
figurative art are new and the art of Wu Guanzhong can offer much
insight into the discussion.Etymologically yi referred to “higher-order
thought,” as in the explication provided by Ulrike Middendorf in
referring to its usage in Guanzi in the 7th century BCE. This “higher
order” refers to “the focused, reflective way in which states can become
conscious when subjects introspect them is a necessary condition for
knowledge acquisition and language production as the basis for
controlled action.”[39] When it comes to art, this higher-order
thought can be understood as the interaction of the subjective emotive
and the objective physical world, predicated by reflexivity within the
consciousness of the artist. The line was never drawn between figuration
and abstraction in the Chinese philosophical tradition.

Liu Xiaochun calls Wu Guanzhong’s abstraction “Natural Abstraction.” Wu
Guanzhong’s “abstraction” flows from the capturing of yi and yijing. In
this creative exercise, figuration and abstraction do not form a
significant binary or even contrast. Given that it was no longer
compelling to render art in abstraction in the sense of non-objectivity
(that art is “autonomous” and makes no reference to any physical object
or form), Liu argues that this follows that “unbroken kite string” is
not a hindrance to abstraction. Any comparison between Wu with Abstract
Expressionism, such as the comparison with Jackson Pollock, must also be
seen in this context.[40]

Audience

Instead of titling his message in the catalogue of his solo exhibition
at the Musée Cernuschi in Paris in 1993 a foreword, Wu Guanzhong
entitled it “To the Audience.” This exhibition happened one year after
his solo exhibition at the British Museum and Wu commenced the essay by
saying that it was a moment of soul searching when asked the year before
by a British art critic if London was his first venue for his European
exhibition. Wu was apologetic, and went on to explain how grateful he
was of his art education in Paris and that he sadly missed his professor
who had passed away. Wu went on to say, that from the east to the west,
and back to the east, he had dedicated his life to the interfaces of
Chinese and western culture. Wu proclaimed his trust of the audience,
and that the audience could tell, if there was any meaningful insight
and depth in any attempt at the integration of cultures. In an
appreciative tone, Wu asked if the Parisian audience could indeed
recognize what he acquired of his Parisian training upon returning to
the city after an absence of forty years. Wu wrote that he would journey
to and fro the east and the west, only to “return” to the east, just as
he also “returns” to the west.[41]

In The Formal Beauty of Painting, Wu Guanzhong stressed that art
creation is a kind of formal thinking, and that formal beauty is a key
link in this. It is through formal creation that an artist gets to
develop his own style eventually. Such is the natural result of being
true to one’s feelings over a long period of artistic practice. In
Unbroken Kite String, Wu Guanzhong emphasized that even after formal
abstraction, there should still be a connection between the artwork and
its source in life; only when the string of the kite remains unbroken
may we have a grip on the interaction between the work and its viewers.
As the artist’s foreword in the Musée Cernuschi exhibition catalogue
indicated, this “string” was by no means one that is confined within a
single cultural zone.

Given Wu Guanzhong’s magnanimity and deep respect for intercultural
values, his broad brushstroke gesture of presenting his largest donation
to Singapore is not entirely a surprise. Singapore has come a long way
from the days of “open sliced pineapples” to be a much celebrated garden
city with frequent international accolades for its cleanliness and
efficiency. “Singapore is a country I respect,” Wu Guanzhong is his
usual perspective way noted, “it is positioned between the east and the
west with regards to ethics and quality of life; it is close to China,
as it is close to the west; the virtues of both sides are concentrated
in you.” Wu Guanzhong then reminded that Singapore has done well in
areas such as transport and economy, but has not given enough emphasis
on culture and the arts.”[42] As Jane Ittogi, chair of Singapore Art
Museum aptly responded, that Wu Guanzhong’s donation is a “Gift for the
Future.”[43] Wu Guanzhong’s art is a gift to humanity, from the
decussation of cultures in the 20th century, to the future of the 21st
and beyond.

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