[ 專訪 ] 尹朝陽訪談:山水由心,隨行隨止
Meditation in ShanShui: An Interview with Yin ZhaoYang

山水由心,隨行隨止
尹朝陽訪談錄

問:這次亦安畫廊台北個展「江湖」中可看見你近幾年的山水創作。山水的格式其實有一定局限,就像中國山水畫或西方風景畫,大致有一定的程式。可是山、水本身卻是活的。你經常去各山游覽,是否比起繪畫操作、也就是創作實際過程的心得,觀山的經驗更是推動繪畫語言改變的來源?或是經驗和操作之間有怎樣的相互關係?

尹朝陽:經驗和操作永遠處於遞進當中,經驗可以積累沉澱,等同頭腦風暴式的創作 ,經驗的任何一次停頓和再出發都可以在操作層面體現出來。至於游歷的過程本身也是一種積極體悟的過程,更像是給心靈照鏡子。

問:游歷的過程是心靈的啟發。那請問多年來繪畫語言的啟發,是來自何處?

尹:對我自己而言,最重要的來源當然是傳統,繪畫作為一種獨立的表達手段年齡太長。我感覺甚至超過文字的年齡,這種行為必然包含許多非理性的基因。這也一直是我到今天迷惑又充滿興趣的魅力源頭。另一個來源則是向傳統學習的過程中自身的參與,年齡越大這種參與感越強,當然那同時也包含對傳統和自身習慣的反動,今天看這種反復是藝術自身的特質,我自己已經見怪不怪了。

問:當代藝術中經常有藝術家借喻山水,大多只用了山水的形式,卻沒有想過古人畫山水是為了超越這個形式。這是你不斷創作山水的動機之一嗎?

尹:近年來看過不少的古人山水,也去過許多古人山水的實景對照觀摩。我一直感興趣一個細節,從山水畫的第一個巔峰北宋,到明清以降,一眾大師只在區區幾尺內作文章,立軸長卷,尺幅不大即容曠野千裡,山川萬象。古人不太在意用多大的尺幅嚇唬人,也不在意材料的花樣上有多驚艷,他們更看重的是內在的規律的動力和人生觀乃至宇宙觀的更迭,那已不是簡單的形式的超越。

問:在動機上若我們簡單歸為復古,這讓人想起趙孟頫,也是你最尊崇的中國藝術家之一。同樣身為藝術家,你如何去評斷與吸收一個藝術家的成就?

尹:復古是個消極的詞彙,任何行為應當放在當時的語境裡去考量。趙孟頫所提的復古也是對他當時風氣的一種反撥,實質還是創新。但無論古人今人,終究要回到人的層面來討論,人之為人肯定有通感,但深度有高下,這也是古今藝術家相互參照的動力。

問:近來最注意的藝術家,以及關注的理由與心得為何?

尹:最近注意的藝術家除了馬蒂斯,還有塞尚。如果擴大範圍則一定要追到塞尚那兒去。我其實沒有把這條線索分割來看,這份名單應該還有高更,凡高等等,我的經驗是每次翻看他們的畫冊總有些新的發現,那種撲面而來的鮮活氣息非常動人,逾百年而不墜。另一條線索我對高古的藝術一直有興趣。古代雕刻和壁畫一直影響我,那種來自人類青壯年的勃發的藝術。最後一個來源則是直接站到生猛的環境裡去。山川是一部分,另一部份還有市井。此地此刻那種濃烈的化不開的糾結氛圍無時無刻不在作用於我的靈魂。有時候畫面上無形的緊張和激烈是無意識的裸露。

問:一個國家的藝術,尤其是被推崇的藝術,經常與那個國家的時代、思想核心緊密相扣。美國戰後當代藝術的發展便是一例。但現今中國當代繪畫卻常單方面拘泥個人主義的呻吟。你是少數能用宏觀角度看國家與時代的藝術家,並強調用繪畫貼近自己的心理狀態。這是否源自與中國文人山水傳統的對望?你怎麼評斷繪畫的創新部分?

尹:好的藝術家肯定是能夠極大可能地深入自身而不拘泥於自身的人,而且是能夠觀新如舊的人。超越簡單的進化論觀點應該是每個藝術家的基本素質標配。在個人層面,新是對於自身習慣和知識結構的反動,除了勇氣,還來自對於人性的洞察。

問:你曾在文章〈賓虹一畫〉中提到,黃賓虹的染之又染更像是為了貼近自己的心理厚度。你自己對於物質的油彩與心靈的呈現之間,又有怎樣的體會與詮釋?

尹:任何一種材料都有命。油彩作為一種外來物已經成為本地藝術家的基本手段之一。今天再談油畫的民族性和純正血統是愚蠢的,但首先應該具備對傳統和自身的深入骨髓的誠懇領悟。黃賓虹的染之又染被許多人曲解,以為必然漆黑一片,密不透風,但這是技術層面的招數,黃賓虹真正的魅力在於他的技術一直服從自己的心靈,那種時刻都在躍動的生命裡的隨時隨地的波動,仔細分辨他那些看似雷同的畫裡隨時可以看到這種新鮮。一個藝術家對材料手段的掌握其實相當於知覺的延長。

問:講到這裡,繪畫與藝術真的就是高下由人的事情。但也因此,繪畫的前進是一個非常困難且深層的工作。想要回頭問一個問題,就是你回歸繪畫山水的理由是什麼?有意識越簡單的命題越能深入繪畫的根本修行嗎?

尹:繪畫當然是件極為艱辛有趣的工作,我從最初僅僅懵懂的熱愛到今天的無動於衷,隨行隨止,其實已經不再過問它的來去了。我生活在一個信仰崩塌的國度,這個地方隨時隨地的謊言無時無刻不在考驗每個人。我的概念裡真即真理。那種逐漸的深入到藝術內部的追問一直伴隨我。最終一定會觸及到信仰問題。我不是信道者,但這種態度同樣在許多的時候困擾我,使我懷疑自己的判斷。此刻出現的繪畫應當是一束光,至少解救了我此時的困頓。在這個前提下,人物必然掙扎,山水則幾乎是慰藉,兩者交替,互為補充。

問:此次台北個展中有兩幅新作,細節筆觸等都更抽象,這似乎從去年亦安畫廊在台北國際藝術博覽會中所展示的〈秋山紅岩〉中就開始發展。抽象化,其實是一種遷想妙得的過程,有沒有可能用言語來解釋一下這個過程?

尹:在技術層面,筆觸的結構來自於這個作者同時期的生命狀態,諸如喜悅,悲傷,無聊甚至一次頓悟。我更相信那種抽象性對應了太多生活中不可言說的部分。

問:你講到一個重點,大多數觀者都認為,筆觸是一種刻意的學習與追求,因為它綜合的結果是連結到表達,而大多數觀者認為一張繪畫就必定要去「表達」什麼,往往忽略了作者的生命狀態。你對於當今這樣解釋、理解繪畫的角度有怎樣看法?

尹:觀念在今天幾乎是一種霸權式的存在了,這種對觀念的一邊倒的追捧已經呈現出某種荒誕。而且此「觀念」並非彼「觀念」。就我所見言必「觀念」者大多時候語焉不詳。繪畫的疆土應該像真正的大海一樣遼闊,「觀念」只是其中的幾個浪花而已。這也證明了人的自身局限性的狂妄和僵硬。當然也包括了藝術時尚潮流化之後那種隨時隨地的淺薄。

問:回到抽象化,抽象化也並非源自刻意的追求。不過抽象確實更容易讓觀者理解由有限中去表現無限,即萬象。你之前提到觀看古人山水的心得,而歷史上東方創作者的抽象化通常也與東方文化傳統有連結。可否聊聊這部分的心得?

尹:如果從西方藝術史的一輪一輪的運動的軌跡看,推到抽象實屬必然,但也應該看到抽象之後的反動。我並不喜歡這種非此即彼的更迭。這點東方藝術一直有種不一樣的觀點,即在前人的基礎之上再出發。很少出現徹底否定的現象。這種現象一度非常吸引我。比如書法,我自己傾向於認為那是純粹個人的一種行為,他始終處於一種向完美靠近的自我完善中。參照下來,僅就行為本身而言已足夠動人。

問:因為談到遷想妙得,顧愷之談到:凡畫,人最難,次山水。其實你是從人像繪畫中崛起,在山水中成就。你現在對人像、肖像的想法是如何呢?

尹:我已經重新在畫人了。顧愷之所談人和山水的難易是相對古人而言,今天的世界,尤其是藝術領域已經無可無不可,所以人和山水熟難熟易則因人而異。對我而言則希望以山水之境畫人,而以人之像悟境。二者混為一談是我下個階段的目標。

問:可否請你透露下階段的展覽大約有哪些安排?

尹:11月會在上海做一個紙上作品的展覽,包括相紙繪畫和水墨作品,是這兩年來一部分工作的小結。

問:你的收藏也是令人刮目相看。收藏這件事情在當代藝術市場宣傳下變成一件大事,但事實上古代藝術家也收藏藝術,不外乎就是與今人交流、與古人交心。我想這也是你收藏的動機吧?請教你收藏的心得。

尹:收藏首先是一種世界觀的建立,它的行為本身需要對物有種超越理性的認識。以我近年體會,它真的是個如影隨形感同身受的摸索過程,他對人性裡固有的貪婪和占有欲有諸多的要求。所以收藏的過程是一個最大程度地對心靈檢驗的過程,我的收藏則是很大程度上對於自身趣味的檢驗,它的底色是:我希望自己的作品和藏品之間一直進行有效的對話。

問:你收藏的原則與標準是什麼呢?

尹:動心是第一位的,如果動心說明某種機緣已經達成。每一個階段的標準都不一樣,那取決於生命閱歷的豐盈,類似於化學反應一樣的東西。

問:最後,想要請問你對現今收藏與市場的看法。

尹:豐儉由人,起伏隨心,市場是條河,進或不進它卻在那兒!但收藏則對人有要求,財力心力,是為動力!

尹朝陽訪談錄
2016年10月14日
訪談者 萬永婷
原刊載於《典藏・藝術投資》2016年11月號

關聯展覽:
尹朝陽「江湖」
亦安畫廊台北
Yin ZhaoYang: Panorama
8 October – 19 November 2016
Opening Reception 8 October 2016 3 p.m.
aura gallery taipei

 

 

Meditation in ShanShui
An Interview with Yin ZhaoYang

Q: At this time’s Panorama in aura gallery taipei, it’s possible to see the landscape creations in the past few years. The landscape format has certain limitations, just like the traditional Chinese landscape paintings or Western scenery paintings, since they generally follow certain patterns. However, mountains and waters, or we called ShanShui are alive themselves. You often visit different mountains. Is it a comparison of painting procedures and also a form of knowledge gained from the actual creation process? Is the experiencing of a mountain view more of a way to promote changes in the source of the painting language? Or is there a kind of correlation between experience and procedure?

Yin ZhaoYang: Experience and procedure are always progressing. Experience can be accumulated. It is equivalent to a brainstorming creation. A pause of the experience at any time and the act of starting up again can both be reflected at the operational level. Even the process of travelling in itself is a kind process of experiencing and is like a mirror for the soul.

Q: If the process of travelling inspires the soul, then, may you talk about the inspiration of your painting language over so many years? Where does it come from?

Yin: For me, the most important source of inspiration is, of course, tradition. Painting has been an independent means of expression for too long. I even feel that, surpassing the Age of Writing, such behavior must include many irrational genes. This has also always been a fascinating source of bewilderment, as well interest, for me up to today. Another inspirational source is the participation in the process itself learnt from tradition. The older I get, the stronger the sense of participation becomes. Of course, at the same time, it also contains a reaction to tradition and self-habits. Today, seeing that this kind of repetition is a characteristic of art itself, I am personally not surprised anymore.

Q: In your essay A Painting by Binhong, you once mentioned that Huang Binhong’s dyeing and re-dyeing technique is more like a way to get close to his own psychological depth. Concerning the relation between the painting of substance and the presentation of the spirit, what kind of experience and interpretation do you personally have?

Yin: Any kind of material is alive. As a foreign material, oil paint has already become one of the major tools of local artists. Nowadays, to keep on discussing about the national character and pure lineage of oil painting is foolish. But first of all, a bone-deep and sincere understanding of the tradition and of oneself should be possessed. Huang Binhong’s dyeing and re-dyeing has been misinterpreted by many people, who think that pitch-darkness is inevitably impenetrable, but this is actually a movement on a technical level. The real charm of Huang Binhong lies in the fact that his technique always obeyed his own heart. Those moments are fluctuating anytime and anywhere in pulsating life. You can carefully distinguish among those of his seemingly identical paintings, and it’s possible at anytime to see this kind of freshness. An artist’s knowledge of materials and methods is in fact equivalent to the extension of consciousness.

Q: In contemporary art, there are often artists who use landscapes to make analogies, mostly only using the form of a landscape, while not having thought about the landscape in ancient paintings, and yet wishing to go beyond this form. Is this one of the motivations for you to constantly create landscape paintings?

Yin: In recent years, I have looked at lots of ancient landscape paintings, and I have also visited many actual sceneries from ancient landscape paintings to compare and study. I have always been interested in one detail: from the first peak of landscape paintings during the Northern Song up to the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the masterpieces are only a few feet of vertical scroll. Even if small, they could contain an entire big view with a myriad of mountains and rivers. The ancients cared little about using large-scale paintings to intimidate people, and they also weren’t concerned about how striking the pattern on the material was. What they valued more were the dynamics of internal orderliness and alternation, the outlook on life, and even the changes on the conception of the universe. That’s not a simple form of transcendence.

Q: Concerning motivation, if we simply reduce it to “retro”, it reminds of Chao MengFu. He is also one of your most respected artists. As an artist yourself, how do you judge and assimilate another artist’s accomplishments? Can a dialogue and a comparison with an artist also be a driving force for your creative work or, so to say, the basis of it?”

Yin: The word “retro” has negative connotations. Any action should be considered within the context of its time. The mentioned Chao MengFu’s “return to the ancient ways” was also a kind of backwash of the atmosphere of his times. Essentially, it was still an innovation. But no matter if they are ancient people or contemporary ones, we must eventually return to a human level for discussion. Human beings certainly have synesthesia, but, deep inside, this is also the power of cross-referencing ancient and contemporary artists.

Q: Could you please talk about the artists you are recently following and referring to the most, as well as the reasons why and the knowledge you have gained from them?

Yin: Recently, in addition to Matisse, I have actually been focusing my attention on Cézanne. If you’re expanding the scope, then you certainly must get to Cézanne. I really didn’t do a segmentation of an artistic period timeline for my examinations. This list should contain Gauguin, Van Gogh, and so on. My experience is that every time I go through their books, there’s always something new to discover. That kind of fresh scent blowing over everything is very touching. It is still there after a hundred years. Another research line I have always been interested in is the “High ancients”. Ancient carvings and murals have always influenced me. They have that kind of vibrant art which comes from human youth. One last source stands directly in the living environment. The landscape is one part of it, and the other part is the town. Right here, right now, that sort of strong, clogged, and tangled atmosphere is constantly influencing my spirit. Sometimes, on the paintings, invisible tension and intensity are unconsciously exposed.

Q: The art of a nation, especially the highly-praised art, is often at the same time tightly connected to the epoch and ideological cores of that country. The development of American post-war contemporary art is a very significant example. However, nowadays, the Chinese contemporary painting is often a one-sided, individualistic moan. You are one of the few artists who can use a macro perspective to look at the country and at the times while also emphasizing the use of painting to get close to your own psychological depth. Does this originate from looking back at the Chinese literati landscape tradition? What do you think about, or how do you judge, the innovative components of painting? Is the “new” meaningful in painting? If so, how should it be presented?

Yin: A good artist is certainly a person who is most likely able to dig deeply in him or herself, and not rigidly adhere to the self, and is also a person who can look at the new as well as the old. A perspective which is beyond simple evolution should be the basic quality and standard of every artist. On a personal level, the new is a reaction to my own habits and knowledge structure. In addition to courage, it also comes from an insight into human nature.

Q: Speaking of it, painting and art really are subjective matters. But, as a result, the progress of painting is a very difficult and profound task. I would like to look back and ask: What was the reason why you returned to painting landscapes? Did you realize that the simpler the statement, the deeper the basic practice of painting is?

Yin: Painting is of course an extremely challenging and interesting task. From the beginning, when it was barely a muddled passion up to today’s complete indifference, I have worked and rested as it pleased me. In fact, I no longer bother to ask about the comings and goings of inspiration. I live in a country where beliefs are collapsing. The ever-present falsehood of this place is incessantly testing everyone. There’s truth in my concepts. That kind of gradual deepening, which reaches into the depths of art, has always been accompanying me. Eventually, it will surely come to the issue of faith. I am not a believer, but this kind of attitude has also puzzled me many times, making me doubt my own judgment. The paintings should be a beacon of light that at least save me at this time of hardship. Under this premise, to paint portraits inevitably struggles. To paint landscape is almost comforting. Both replace and complement each other.

Q: At Panorama, there are two of your new paintings. The details, strokes, etc. are more abstract. It seems that you started developing this last year when your work The Autumn was exhibited by aura gallery at Art Taipei. Conceptualization is in fact a kind of imaginative transformation process of the artist’s life experiences, values, and concepts. Could you possibly explain this process in words or tell which areas you got your inspiration from?

Yin: On a technical level, the structure of a stroke comes from the life condition of the artist at that time, such as joy, sadness, boredom, even an epiphany. I believe even more that this kind of abstraction corresponds to too many ineffable parts of life.

Q: You mentioned a key point. Most viewers think that a stroke is a kind of deliberate study and pursuit because its comprehensive result is linked to expression. Most of the viewers think that a painting is bound to “express” a certain “concept”. They often neglect the artists’ state of being. What’s your opinion about the current interpretation and understanding of the painting perspective?

Yin: The concept today is almost a kind of hegemonic presence. This kind of one-sided pursuit of the concept has already shown some form of absurdity, and that “concept” is something totally different from “the concept”. All the “conceptualizers” I have met are vague most of the time. The painting’s territory should be as vast as the real ocean. “Concept” is just some foam of waves inside this. This also proves the arrogance and rigidity of people’s own limitations. This, of course, also includes that kind of always recurrent shallowness present after art has become a fashionable trend.

Q: Going back to abstraction, abstraction also does not originate from an intentional pursuit. However, if looking from the relatively shallow standpoint of the modern viewer, abstraction is easier to see that understanding is limited just by the infinite. Before, you mentioned the knowledge which comes from observation of abstraction of Eastern creators is usually linked to the culture and traditions of the East itself, such as calligraphy, ink painting. Could we talk about whether or not these aspects are also connected to your works?

Yin: If we look one by one at every movement in the History of Western Art, it’s inevitable to mention the abstract, but we should also see the reactions to the abstract. I don’t like this kind of “either-or” alternation. In this respect, Eastern Art has always assumed different perspectives, even if starting out again from the basis of its predecessors. Completely negative events rarely happen. This kind of phenomenon was once very attractive to me. Take calligraphy as an example. I tend to view it as a purely personal act. It has always been a nearly perfect tool of self-improvement. By reference, the act alone is already enough to inspire people.

Q: When it comes to an artist’s life experiences, values, and concepts, Ku KaiChih wrote, “Painting people is the most difficult and next come landscapes.” You actually rose to prominence because of your portraits and have achieved success with landscape paintings. What are your thoughts now about figures and portraits?

Yin: I have already started painting portraits again. The degree of difficulty in painting people and landscapes that Ku KaiChih talks about relates to the ancients. In the present-day world, especially in the field of art, anything is possible, so the maturity level in representing people and landscapes varies from artist to artist. As for me, I wish to draw inspiration from landscapes to depict figures and use the features of people to create an atmosphere. Mixing both is the target of my next phase.

Q: Could you please disclose what is approximately planned for your next stage of exhibitions?

Yin: In November, I will hold an exhibition displaying art on paper in Shanghai, including paintings on photography and ink paintings, which is a brief sum-up of part of my work in the last two years.

Q: Your collection is also very impressive. However, collecting artwork has become a big thing under the advertising of the contemporary art market. In fact, ancient artists also used to collect artworks. Collecting is nothing but communicating with contemporary people and opening the heart to the ancients. I’m thinking that this is also your motivation for collecting artworks? May I ask you about your collecting experience? And also, what is the relation between your own works and the collected ones?

Yin: Collecting is first of all the establishment of a world view. For the act itself, one needs to have knowledge of things which goes beyond rationality. According to my experience in recent years, collecting is really a process of exploration where shadows are like an identification with shapes. It has a lot of claims in the greed and lust of human nature. So, the collection process is a psychological test on the highest level. My collection largely examines my own interests. Its foundation is: I hope there will always be an effective dialogue between my own works and the collection.

Q: What are your principles and criteria for your collection?

Yin: Obsession comes first. If the obsession indicates some kind of opportunity, it’s already an achievement. The criteria are different at every stage. It depends on the abundance of life experience, which is something akin to a chemical reaction.

Q: Finally, I would like to ask your opinion on art market today.

Yin: Fancy or simple depending on the person, it goes up or down according to his current mood. The market is like a river. Whether you cross it or not, it is always there! But collecting holds specific requirements. Financial as well as mental transcendence are its driving forces.

October 14, 2016
Interviewed by Wan Joyce
Published in “Art. Investment” November 2016

Related Exhibition:
尹朝陽-江湖
Yin ZhaoYang Panorama
Oct. 08 – Nov.19, 2016
aura gallery taipei