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唐伟民

TANG WEIMIN
唐伟民

熟悉与陌生——读唐伟民的画

2014-06-18 17:09:52 来源:艺术家提供作者:彭锋

唐伟民的画,给人一种既熟悉又陌生的感觉。人们很容易将唐伟民的画归入藏族题材。不少油画家在藏族题材上获得成功,让这类题材在中国当代油画创作中并不陌生,尽管无论是画家还是观众,真正熟悉藏民生活的为数甚少。换句话说,大量藏族题材的油画作品,让人们对陌生的藏民生活变得熟悉了。为了让自己的作品看上去再现了原汁原味的藏民生活,有些画家多次深入藏区写生,或者佯装与藏民打成一片。但是,唐伟民从来从不掩饰作品的虚构性。在他作品中反复出现的人物,与其说像饱经风霜的藏女,不如说像久处深宫的女官。即使唐伟民画的是现实中的藏女,她的反复出场也消解了观众对藏女的陌生感。既然观众对藏人生活并不熟悉,唐伟民就可以放开手来玩味这熟悉与陌生的游戏,让他的作品可以自如地从现实生活中跳进跳出,让观者的心理在现实与虚构之间起伏,获得一种视觉和心理愉悦。

事实上,自从照相机普及之后,绘画是否真实地记录现实已经不再重要。没有那么疯狂的人,拿着绘画到法庭上指证某人正在做某事,不管画得如何逼真。但是,一幅不那么清晰的照片,却可以在法庭上作证。绘画与摄影的差别由此可见一斑。因为没有人将绘画当真。真要较真的话,画家多半也难胜其职。因此,对于唐伟民来说,人物是谁并不重要,她身上那身服饰究竟具有怎样的含义也不重要,重要的是所有东西搭配在一起能否传达出他想要的感觉,比如一种高贵感,庄重感,神秘感。在这种意义上,尽管唐伟民的作品初看上去像现实主义,而实际上却存在着浪漫主义或者表现主义的影射。或者说,唐伟民在用绘画追求音乐的效果,他表面上画的是具象人物,实际上在追求音乐中的抽象调子。正是因为感觉或者调子的不同,让唐伟民藏族题材的作品能够在众多同类题材的作品中脱颖而出。就像同样是《小夜曲》,莫扎特就不同于贝多芬。唐伟民是如此坚定地画着大家熟悉的题材,原因正在于他坚信自己表达的内容与众不同,自己的情感调子独具特色,即使是同样的题材,也不用有雷同的担心。

唐伟民作品的陌生感,正在于它们与众不同的精神气质和情感调子。这种精神气质和情感调子,既是作品的也是作者的。尤其是在熟悉的题材中,不同的精神气质和情感调子就体现得更为明显。比如,同以藏族女孩为题材的油画,唐伟民庄重就不同于艾轩的感伤。对于唐伟民来说,画面的一切安排都是为了这种情感调子的传达。这种情感调子正是一个艺术家的天生素质,如同李白的飘逸、杜甫的沉郁、王维的空灵那样,不是单纯通过学习获得的。从这种意义上说,艺如其人也不无道理。艺术并不会因为题材的穷尽而走向终结,原因就在于不同艺术家的不同气质。只要充分展示了自己的气质,就会创造出熟悉而又陌生的作品。这样来看,绘画如同演奏一样,同样的曲目,会因为演奏家的不同气质而成为不同的作品。唐伟民在经过艰苦的探索之后,终于在藏女题材中找到了自己的精神归宿。因此,与其说他所画的形象是现实中某位藏族女子,不如说他塑造了一位他心中的女神,用她来承载自己的精神寄托。

唐伟民之所以用藏女作为创作题材,也许是为了拉开与现实之间的距离,就像当年画家喜欢去边疆写生,以少数民族为题材创作作品一样。不过,当年的艺术家看重的是少数民族与政治的距离,唐伟民看重的是藏女与世俗的距离。唐伟民借助藏女来表达自己的精神高地,就像席勒当年借助古希腊来表达自己的精神诉求。独特的精神诉求和情感特质的融入,让唐伟民笔下的人物显得陌生,但是朴实的写实技法,又让唐伟民笔下的人物似曾相识。唐伟民没有因为表达个人情感的需要而走向变形的表现主义,也没有因为写实的需要而成为现实的奴隶,他在限制之中表达自由,在熟悉之中追求陌生,我想这正是唐伟民的绘画让人着迷的地方。

Familiarization and Strangeness

Peng Feng

Tang Weimin’s paintings remind us of a feeling both familiar and strange. People would easily classify his painting into the Tibetan subject. There are quite a few oil painters who have gained their success through Tibetan subject, which makes this subject no more strange among the creation of contemporary Chinese oil painting, despite of the fact that there is rare painters or viewers who are truly familiar with the real Tibetan life. In other words, it is the huge amount of oil paintings with Tibetan subject that make people to become familiar with the remote Tibetan life. In order to let their works look like original representation of the local life, some painters would go deep into the Tibetan district to do sketches or pretend to get involved into their life. However, Tang Weimin never disguises the fictionalized feature of his works. The Tibetan girls in his painting are more like court ladies living in the palace for long instead of the real Tibetans who have been through the vicissitudes of life. Even he paints Tibetan girls in real life, their repeated presence has dispelled the alienation towards Tibetan girls for the audience. Since the audience is not really familiar with the real Tibetan life, Tang Weimin could get the chance to paly the game between familiarization and strangeness freely. His painting could therefore jump in and out unrestrained from the real life, driving the audience up and down between the mental reality and fantasy, acquiring a kind of visual and psychological pleasure.

As a matter of fact, ever since the popularization of camera, it is no longer important for painting to record reality in sincerity. Nobody would be that crazy to take a painting of someone doing something as evidence in court, no matter how realistic the painting is, while on the other hand, a photo that is even not so clear could work. The difference between painting and photography could be underlined from this case. No one would take painting seriously as records. If painting must be records of life, perhaps most painters could not succeed in this task. As a result, it is not important for Tang whoever the figure is in his paintings, nor is the significance of the particular costume on that figure. What really matters is with everything matched together, whether he could convey the feelings he wishes to achieve, such as elegance, dignity, mystique. In this sense, although Tang’s works seem to be realistic at first glance, they in fact carry the projection of Romanticism or Expressionism. Or, we can say that Tang is pursuing the effects of music with paintings. At surface, he paints figurative person, but indeed he goes for the abstract tones in music. Just because of the distinguished sense or tone, Tang’s Tibetan paintings would be able to stand out from the massive resemble subjects, which is similar to the case that Mozart and Beethoven would compose in different styles in the same genre of serenade. Tang is so determined to work on the subject that everyone is familiar with. The reason is exactly due to his firm belief that the meanings he expresses are different from anyone else, and his emotional tone has characteristics, even within the same subject matter. Therefore, he would not have to concern the issue of similarity.

The de-familiarization of Tang’s works lies in their distinct spiritual disposition and emotional tone. They belong to both his works and the painter himself, particularly evident in the familiar subject matter. For example, both adopting the subject of Tibetan girl, Tang’s dignity is different from Ai Xuan’s sentimentality. All the arrangements of canvas function to carry out the emotional tone for Tang. This emotional tone is exactly the gift that an artist is born to have, such as the ethereal quality of Li Bai, the depression of Du Fu, as well as the intangibility of Wang Wei, all of which are not be learned from simple training. To this extent, it is fairly reasonable to say that art resembles personality. The reason why that art will not run to an end only because of the exhaustion of subject matters is just due to individualized temperament of artists. As long as the personal disposition could be fully demonstrated, works that both contain familiarization and strangeness would be thus created. From this perspective, painting shares some similarity with playing music. A same piece of work would vary due to the different disposition of the players. After tough exploration, Tang finally finds his spiritual sustenance through the subject of Tibetan girl. Therefore, it is rather to say that he has created a goodness of his heart than he paints Tibetan girls from real life.

The reason why that Tang Weimin adopts the Tibetan girls as his subject matter is probably to widen the distance from reality in painting, which is similar to the case that painters used to be fond of going to the frontiers to do sketches, adopting the minority as subject in their creation of works. Nevertheless, those artists were more concerned of the distance between the minority groups and politics, while Tang focuses on the distance between Tibetan girls and the secular. He uses Tibetan girls to express his spiritual high ground, just as Schiller used to borrow the ancient Creek to convey his psychic pursuit. The figures in Tang’s painting seem to be de-familiarized through his combination of unique mental pursuits and emotional quality, while the pure and simple realistic manner in the depiction of figures makes a sense of déjà vu. He neither heads to the distorted expressionism for his personal emotional need, nor does he become a slave of reality for the need of realism. He seeks freedom in restrains and pursues strangeness through familiarization, which to me is the most fascinated site of Tang’s painting.

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