《起自荒蕪的蓬勃生機|Vitality Rising from Desolation》

 

  張禮豪|Chang Li-Hao

 

 

「我們自黑暗中出來,不,我們進入黑暗中;外頭一片漆黑,這裡煙霧之中隱約可見一些東西;光線迷茫,也許來自燭火,不過看得見顏色,黃色,藍色,在白色上,在桌上,斑駁的色塊,有紅、也有綠,框以黑色的外框,白色四方形上的圖畫散落在桌上。」[1]      

 

                       ──一卡爾維諾《命運交織的城堡》

 

 

 

 

即使,前述所描繪的是一間時空未知的酒館,但當我們面對吳尚邕的作品時,類似的情境似乎也會自然而然地浮現。或許你會想像自己來到火山噴發後的某個異境,漫天飛舞的塵埃灰燼如厚重的墨色雲層,無窮無盡地遮掩住整片天空;光線彷彿被徹底吸入黑洞之中,沒有絲毫逃脫的空隙。那種鋪天蓋地而來的既是全然的死寂,卻也充滿了化作春泥更護花的希望。因為你知道,太陽只是暫時隱身在黑霧後面,定有撥雲見日之際,隨著時間的流轉,同一個地方的土壤將變得肥沃,又有嶄新的生命會從中萌生而來,最終形成蓊鬱林木。又或許你發現自己卑微地立足於巨碑般的高山峻嶺或者幾乎為蔓草所覆蓋的城牆下,仰首上望始終看不到頂端,只恍惚間瞧見牆垛點綴幾點似是旗幡的色塊,在輕風吹拂而過的同時,耳邊約略聽見遙遠的松濤如浪一波又一波襲來,彷彿范寬《谿山行旅圖》中自天上一路傾流而下的涓絲瀑布,頓時你也化身為頭戴斗笠,挑擔準備過橋的點景人物,在流水潺潺的陪伴下,即將與前方的駝隊行列在窄隘的山路上相遇,展開不知內容為何的對話……

 

 

 

 

這些自吳尚邕的創作延伸而來的劇情(如果其中真有這回事的話)有時相當薄弱,但正因為它的薄弱,反而得以發展出更多曖昧不明的情節──彷彿任何地方都存在著蛛絲馬跡引導觀者視線進入一探究竟,隨之而來的卻經常演變為迂迴,甚至徹底的迷途。所幸,這樣的迷途並非全然是一件壞事,也絕非相疑無路的山窮水盡,卻是只要打破慣常的視角細心尋覓,就能踏訪到柳暗花明又一村的遼闊世界。正如他所說的:「在高度發展的生活環境中,自然的山川景致與人為的道路、建築等相互交織聚合出不同的組態,當人們處身其中,感受到的往往只是概括的複合印象,彼此主客的相對關係,也因此變得渾沌而僵化。」至此,在看似抽象的畫面當中,他創作的意圖已昭然若揭,亦即拆解人們慣見的城市空間樣貌,重新探索不同物件、量體乃至於構造所代表的原始意義,以及最重要的,人的位置。

 

 

 

 

以「交織著,以某種距離」命名的多件系列作品為例,縱然已經跨越了既定媒材的限制,不再單用水墨,但吳尚邕無論是在肌理、量感的營造,或是整體氛圍的醞釀,不但有層層堆疊的墨染情韻、以白計黑的疏密關係,乃至於出現在大塊面積裡頭不憚其煩、細細描繪的筆觸,更是與歷來被書畫家不斷實驗創新的各種皴法息息相關。最值得注意的,卻是他將中國山水繪畫中所謂的高遠、深遠與平遠等移動視角靈活運用,讓看似鉅觀的宏大抽象畫面,其實也精心藏匿了某些機巧精微的具象細節,兩者的結合不但絲毫未見衝突矛盾或扞格不入,甚至還因此激盪出某種超現實的況味來。凡此種種,都不難看出其在汲取傳統的創作養分之餘,仍不忘與時俱進,添加更多可能的創作元素,以描繪出意義懸置不明的曖昧地景。像是《交織著,以某種距離Ⅱ》採取了鳥瞰鏡頭的視角,描繪出象徵人造物的橋梁或高架道路橫空切劃過一池湖水或者河流的模樣。雖然二者自始至終未曾真正遭逢,卻在人們的眼中映照出透露著幾許寂寥、複雜而難以言喻的心緒。

 

 

 

 

相較之下,《四分之三圓滿》或許是敘事相對單純,且最具傳統文人氣息的一件。畫面中高聳入天的巨岩在亮晃晃的銀色月光照拂下顯得更加雄偉,上段凹處的平坦處像是不知何時搭建起的一間小屋,裡頭空無一人,就這樣形成一個孤傲的存在,獨對被陡伸的峭壁遮去部份的圓月,頗有幾分「空山松子落,幽人應未眠」的晚秋氣息,也間接點出人事的無常與變易,冥冥中仍是被莫名的力量給推動著。然而,為了不讓作品停留在文人過於傷春悲秋的層次,吳尚邕刻意在肌理起伏、層次明顯的畫面中,巧妙地點綴了圓形的黑與不規則紅色的小面積色塊,成為引導視線得以不拘泥固定方向遊走的關鍵焦點,也為此作增添更多的玩味可能。

 

 

 

 

另外,從《擴散,從邊界徘徊開始》一作當中,或許更可以清晰看出創作者的用心所在。從畫面下方一路向上延伸的流淌乳白,乍看頗有幾分浪花激濺、水氣氤氳的擬態。隨著越接近由黑色顏料所構築起來的偌大空間邊緣,兩者之間卻巧妙地形成了頗具幾分橫看成嶺側看成峰的直觀性聯想,彷彿綿延不絕的層岩疊嶂被刻意地翻轉到另一個時空向度,更遠處竟如終年不化的白雪橫亙山頭。在這裡,世界不見所謂的中心,只有不斷交疊的邊界,由點至線到面,以迄不同色階的黑白,持續以各自有急有緩的步調向外擴散,確切地宣示那些曾經存在過的就不會消失,頂多以另一種我們無從確切得知的形式遺留下來,可能是藕斷絲連的情感,也可能是一絲在冬日裡可貴的溫暖,在你感到徬徨不安時給予最大的撫慰。

 

 

 

 

這才明白,在吳尚邕的這些作品前,你不能只是佇立凝視。唯有移動,調整眼與心的焦距跟節奏,才能夠真正無畏地走進荒蕪,擁抱起自荒蕪的蓬勃生機。 

 

 

 

 

[1] Italo Calvino,《命運交織的城堡》(Il Castello Dei Destini Incrociati),P.65,林恆立譯。時報出版社,1999。

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We come out of the darkness, no, we enter; outside there is darkness, here something can be seen amid the smoke; the light is smoky, perhaps from candles, but colors can be seen, yellows, blues, on the white, on the table, colored patches, reds, also greens, with black outlines, drawings on white rectangles scattered over the table. [1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

                   ──“The Castle of Crossed Destinies”, Italo Calvino

 

 

 

 

 

 

The description by Calvino might be about a pub in an unknown place at unknown time, but when facing Wu Shang-Yung’s artworks, the scene emerges naturally. Or, you imagine yourself in a bizarre realm after volcano eruption, the sky is enshrouded in thick inky clouds, stirring dust and flying ash blanket the entire horizon. All light is sucked in to a black hole, there is no way to escape.

 

 

 

 

Nevertheless, the overwhelming solitude brings hope, what is buried could become the soil for blossoms in the coming spring. You always have the faith that sun only hides behind the heavy haze temporarily, it eventually will push away the dusty air and shine again. As time goes by, places once barren could be transformed into fertile lands; new lives are given birth, a lush green forest finally takes shape.Or, you realize that you are standing at the foot of a castle where vines crawl all over above your head, even you crane your neck so hard you still can’t see the top of it. In a trance you spot the colored streamers embellishing the piers. You might experience your own humble existence in a grand, precipitous mountain reminisces of a gigantic monument, and as breeze whisks over pine woods, waves of trees rustling are in earshot. Now you discover that you are actually by the silver waterfall in Fang Kuan’s painting Travelers Among Mountains and Streams; being one of the figures wearing a bamboo hat and carrying baskets with a shoulder pole, you are going across a bridge. Hiking along the gurgling stream, you will encounter a caravan at the narrow mountain trail and exchange words for casual conversations as time has become irrelevant ...

 

 

 

 

 

These are all the scenarios developed from Wu’s art, some might have truly happened despite the plots are not concretely structured. And because they are not confined, many ambiguous episodes could be further staged. There are always clues leading the perspective of the audience for further exploration, leaving them in winding paths, sometimes completely wonderers. Fortunately it is not a bad thing to be drifted apart; the world does not end at the edge of mountains or waters.Breaking away from our habitual angle of seeing, we will find ourselves an expansive world of arcadia. Wu has pointed out that, “In the highly developed environment, man-made structures including roads and buildings constitute a variety of appearances with natural landscapes. Surrounded by them, we come up vague, synthetic impressions of our environment, and the relationship between subjectivity and objectivity becomes blurred nevertheless rigid.” The artist’s statement has clearly clarified the attempt of his abstract painting; he deconstructs the cityscapes we are so used to and reinvestigates the original connotations contained in different objects, volumes, and structures. More importantly, he reinvestigates the position of mankind. 

 

 

 

 

 

Series works Interweaving with Distance have gone beyond the limitations of ink on paper commonly applied medium. He spreads layers of ink washes, calculates the density of black based on white to present uncommon textures and volumes in his paintings. He elaborately draws large chunks with fine brushes, reminding viewers the various fashions of “wrinkling” that has been experimented endlessly by Chinese painters and calligraphers. He successfully transforms the high, deep and level perspective in Chinese landscapes, and meticulously inlays figurative details in the enormous planes of abstract paintings.Such a combination doesn’t result in any clash, instead they create a impression of surrealism. The efforts of the artist reveal that in addition to his inheritance of tradition, he also continues absorbing new elements and trying new possibilities in order to depict the landscapes whose connotations he keeps in suspense.In Interweaving with Distance II, Wu took aerial views to profile man-made structures such as bridges and expressways that relentlessly run across natural lakes and rivers. Although they don’t really intercept, they have induced the indescribable, mixed feelings of loss and regret from the audience.

 

 

 

 

Relatively, Fulfilled Actually has simpler narrative, and contains a rich ambiance of traditional Chinese literati art. Lit by silver moonlight, the towering cliff is unusually spectacular, and at the small platform of the rock is an empty hut, secluded and aloof. With the three-quarter moon behind it, a poem describing late autumn is embodied, “Echoes of a pine cone falling into the gorge is heard by people still awake.” Both the painting and the poem refer the capriciousness of fate that seems to be driven by unknown forces. But Wu did not indulge in the literati melancholy over the changes in spring or autumn; tinges of a black dot and an irregular small red chunk emerge in the vibrating, layered texture, subtly freeing the audience from defined angles and adding more interests to the painting. 

 

 

 

 

The author’s attempt is more telling in Diffusing from the Edge, the bluish white diffuses upward from the bottom of the painting, like the mist from crashing waves. As it approaches blackness, a large space is constituted at their edge. The watery scene now becomes mountains viewed from different angles at the same time, and at the end of the world the snow covering the peaks all the year round never melts. Then the endlessly extending mountain ranges and stacked rocks are turned into another spatial-temporal dimension. No center is defined in this painting, there are only overlapping borders diffusing outward with different paces and different black-and-white levels. They manifest that those once appeared never disappear, only they exist in forms unknown to us. The feelings attached bring up a little warmth in winter days, greatly comforting you when you are lost and adrift.

 

 

 

 

Now you understand that when appreciating Wu Shang-Yung’s art, you can’t stand still like a statue but following the signs, moving your body, embracing your imagination and searching with your eyes in order to enter his world of desolation without fear, and embrace the abundance of power in this philosophical rhythm he has created.

 

 

 

[1] Calvino, I. (1977) The Castle of Crossed Destinies. trans. Weaver, W. . New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, p.51.

 

 

 

 

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