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2019-12-31
  在这种新的探索中我们看到他的另一类题材

  雷子人说到过一种感觉。有一次他在三元立交桥下面看见一对小青年骑着自行车从桥下穿过,当时正值春暖花开的时季,女孩坐在自行车的前杠上,小伙子在蹬车,路边的草坪刚刚返绿,草坪里的水龙头在喷出雨雾般的水花,他们的自行车就在雨雾后面拐过去。这时的天特别明亮,路边的树和花都特别好看。他说这种感觉延续了一年多,他很想表现这种感觉,但又一直画不出来。后来他画了《晴暖无风》这幅画,这是一个相爱的场景,但公园、湖畔的背景都是他想像出来的,并不完全是那个春天的现实。

  雷子人的画有一种动人的情愫,他有一种表现生活现实的欲望,而且是表现情感的现实。他不是从某种理念出发,去记录社会的现实或评论社会问题;他是从内心深处,从记忆的深处去感悟现实,当这个目的实现了的时候,很自然地会把情感传达出来。雷子人的画不是现实主义的,不是浪漫主义的,也不是把日常生活场景浪漫化,而是带有一种表现主义的倾向,只有从生活的场景或现实的题材中触发了内心深处的情感和记忆,才会有那种强烈的欲望。就水墨画而言,传统的语言很难有直接表现这种现实题材与现实情感的可能;新传统的水墨人物画又过多地把这种语言现实化,缺乏情感的表现和心内世界的描述。而雷子人是通过题材追寻自己心灵的历史。比如,当他看见那一对骑自行车的恋人,就很想把这个画面记录下来,但实际上是这个场面触动了他内心的记忆,这种记忆与他的生命相联系,他可能想到自己童年少年的生活,想到了江南水乡那一片片盛开的油菜花,在油菜花里飞舞的蝴蝶与蜻蜓。这种被遗忘的童年记忆被现实的场景调动出来,现实的场景与模糊的记忆遥相对应,成为一个个符号标示着生命的历程。从这个角度来看,形式对于雷子人是特别有意义的,他不是在记录,不是在写实,而是在表达心灵的历史,因此他很关注表达的方式。雷子人的这批爱情题材作品的画面上有一些鲜明的特征,如画面显得非常空灵与通透,大量的空白仿佛是一个很大的想像的空间。人物在画面上占的比例不大,并且是很细的线条画出来的,颜色也很清淡。另外,人物的变形使人想到夏加尔的画法,不追求个别人物的准确,而是注意人物与人物之间的结构关系。这种不准确的人物造型像梦中的感觉,是一种模糊的记忆,而在整体上看又是精心地设计与安排的。更有意思的是,他的画所有背景都像非常虚幻的场景。这些人物都是活动在公园里、花园里、城市的绿地上,他把城市想像成都市里的村庄,童年和少年时候的记忆就这样与现实的场景结合起来了。如果把雷子人称为都市题材画家,他一定会觉得很困惑;因为他并不很关注都市题材,他关注的是个人的内心,关注的是笔墨的语言。在他之前已经有一些水墨画家在都市题材的探索与表现上很有成就,这些探索为他提供了参照,也使他认识到作为一位青年画家,不能再走别人的路,即使是在实验水墨上也应该走一条自己的路。对他来说最重要的财富是个人的经历,他的童年少年时代的记忆;这是他认识题材的方式,这种方式不同于任何人。如果准确地把握了这种方式,就会有与众不同的表达。逃避是当代艺术的一个重要主题,它与传统水墨画似乎有一种天然的联系,那种山林野趣和野逸之情与都市格格不入,都市本身又变得更加嘈杂,人的生存环境日益恶化。在表现都市题材上有李孝萱的喧嚣,有刘庆和的无聊,田黎明的对田园的向往不能说他们对雷子人没有影响,但他确定找到了一种自己的方式。他是把都市的感觉,他看到的场景以及他对田园的回忆结合在一起。他不是被动地记录记忆和经验,不是把传统的笔墨逐渐从自己的画中减掉,只留下一种个人的笔迹,他还是在水墨画的基础上探索自己的语言,仍在水墨语言上延续水墨画的传统。

  在这种新的探索中我们看到他的另一类题材,即室内题材,就像19世纪末法国的纳比派画家的作品:窗前的少女,窗外的景色,色彩斑斓,笔墨浓重,与他的室外题材大不相同。还有一类题材是人体,这在目前水墨画中很少见。人体题材实际上是男人体与女人体的组合,似乎是他的爱情题材的变体,但是这种没有时间,没有环境,也没有身份的人物,更体现出他进行纯笔墨的实验与探索的倾向。在这种探索的过程中我们起码看到三种因素对他的探索起了作用:一个是陶艺,一个是油画,另一个是素描。这三种因素实际上在近年对他有很大的影响,他具体地进行了这几方面的实践,而不只是吸收一些表面的因素。陶艺上主要是李少文先生的课程安排,他要求国画系的研究生做做陶艺,去体验另类的造型方式,主要是一种表现感觉、把握感觉的实验。不论是材料还是技术,陶艺对雷子人都是很陌生的。在作陶的过程中,只能跟着感觉走,对材料无法控制,对结果也无法控制,但感觉的过程却是丰富的,不求其全,但求其意。这个特点在雷子人的画中体现得很明显,尤其是在人物的造型上,因为画室的训练都是要求形的准确,这种准确往往是通过一定的规范来实现的,但个人的感觉也被这些规范所淹没了。随意性在雷子人的画中得到充分表现,他完全不拘形的准确性,想怎么画就怎么画,这与画中潜在的主题,即印象的记忆和梦幻的感觉是相吻合的。油画也是雷子人有意尝试的,得到的最重要的感觉是油画的色彩、体积感与空间感这些感觉是非常实在的对现实的感觉。他说当你画了一个杯子的时候,油画可以画出一个实在的物体,水墨画只能画一种意象,这种实在与意象应该结合起来。他正是这种感觉的支配下画了室内景:窗前的少女是在色彩的包围中,而重墨则在这种色彩关系中发挥了作用,只有重墨才能压住鲜艳的颜色,使画面显得非常厚重,与室外爱情题材的清淡飘逸形成鲜明的对比。两者之间还是有一些联系,窗前少女的形象并不是具体的,仍然是在一种梦幻之中,但是在颜色的包围下,在窗外光线的照射下。很难说雷子人是在有意改造水墨画的语言形态,重要的是他想通过这种形式来提升自己对经验的表达方式,使他既把握那种清淡的感觉,也能表现现实的经验。

  最后是素描。和陶艺一样,素描也是课程安排的。有一段时间雷子人画了大量的人体素描(速写),其目的当然不是为了把形画的更准确,或把速写画的更好,而是要用于对感觉的探索,形成新的视觉语言或表达方式,并最终实现在水墨画的语言上。男人体与女人体组合在一起的题材仿佛是他的爱情题材的延伸,与室外题材相比,没有那种飘逸和空灵;与室内题材相比,没有那种艳丽和厚重;那是另外一种感觉,两个人体之间形成一种结构关系,这种关系是由线和面构成的,在画面上自成一体,两个人体被融化在这种关系中。我们看到雷子人这段时间在题材上的变化也导致了形式上的变化。但我们也从中感觉到一种矛盾:他是表现题材呢,还是想探索形式?怎么统一或解决这个矛盾呢?雷子人有一个先天的优势:他对形有一种天然的把握能力;他看到某一客观对象时,能够以特有的方式表达,这在他的早期作品中就已经反映出来了。素描给他提供的经验不仅反映在人体上,也反映在黑白的关系上。他画了一些非常随意的都市风景,这是很多水墨画家不太涉足的题材,因为难度很大直线的几何形结构,纵横交错的街道,整齐排列的窗户,似乎都不是水墨画的表现对象。但雷子人却进入到了这个题材,那些建筑的景观在他的画面都被虚化了,留下的是墨的轻重对比;他把建筑和树木都分割成一个个色块,通过交错对比,形成跳跃的节奏,再把一些颜色穿插其中,使画面富有特别的生气。城市在他的笔下变成诗意的表达,楼房成了黑色的森林,这可能是另外一种逃避。

  雷子人是一个安详的梦幻诗人,室内景、人体素描、城市景色,实际上都统一在这种出自心灵的诗意之中。他总是在不停地过渡,从一个题材滑向另一个题材。他是在生活中遭遇到这些题材的,而不是刻意找寻的,每一个题材又都被他改造成喃喃自语般地低吟浅唱,现实的生活成了记忆的符号和生命的痕迹。他的形式和语言随着题材的变换总是会越来越丰富和复杂,然而他又总是能以最单纯的方式把题材表现出来。什么时侯他走出了梦幻,在世俗中沉沦,那种诗意消失了,我们就会感受到他在技术上的熟练与精湛,其实那倒真的没什么意思了。

  Images between Dreams and Poems

  -Reading Lei Zirens Paintings

  By Yi Ying

  Lei Ziren once mentioned a feeling. He saw a young couple riding on a bike going through the Sanyuan Overpass. It was a warm and bloomy spring day. The girl was sitting on the front bar of the bike while the boy was pedaling; roadside lawns were just turning back green; the spraying from faucets in the lawns was like rain and fog. Their bike was cornering behind that rain and fog-like spray. The sky was extremely bright and trees and flowers on the roadside were extremely beautiful. Lei said that feeling clung to him over one year. He was eager to express the feeling by painting, yet failed. Later he drew the painting A Warm and Sunny Day with No Wind (《晴暖无风》) in which he composed a love scene with the background set in a park and by a lake which was imagined and does not fully reflect the reality of that spring day.

  Lei Zirens works carry a touching feeling. He has a desire to manifest the reality of life, especially the reality of emotions. He does not record the reality of society or comment on social issues from the perspective of one certain concept; rather, he understands reality from the depth of heart, from the depth of memory. When the understanding is obtained, emotions are naturally conveyed. His works are not realistic, not romantic, or to romanticize daily life; rather, hi works have a tendency towards expressionism. Only when scenes in life or subjects in reality trigger emotions and memories in the depth of heart can that strong desire exists. As for ink painting, the traditional language can hardly have the possibility to straightly manifest such reality subjects and emotions; while new traditional ink figure painting realizes such a language too much, lacking expressions of emotions and descriptions of the inward world. Lei Ziren, instead, searches subjects for a history of his own heart and soul. For instance, when he saw the couples on the bike, he was eager to record that picture, yet actually it was the picture that touched his innermost memories which are connected to his life. He might recall his childhood and boyhood life, the patches of bloomy rape flowers in canal towns south of the Yangtze River, butterflies and dragonflies dancing among the yellow rape flowers. The forgotten childhood memories are activated by scenes of reality which echo with the remote and blurred memories, thus becoming symbols that mark the course of life. From this perspective, the form is of special meanings to Lei Ziren -- he is neither recording nor being realistic; rather, he is expressing the history of heart and soul, therefore he pays much attention to way of expression. This group of Lei Zirens paintings with the subject of love has some distinct characteristics: the pictures are very intangible and transparent, and a lot of blankness seems to be a huge world of imagination. The characters only occupy a small proportion of a picture; moreover, they are drawn with fine lines with very light colors. In addition, the distortion of characters reminds people of Marc Chagalls style: not to pursue accuracy of an individual character, but to pay attention to structural relationships between characters. This inaccurate character modeling is like a feeling in dreams, is blurred memories; but overall, it is carefully designed and arranged. Whats more interesting is that all backgrounds of his paintings are like very illusory scenes -- characters are in parks, gardens, and urban greens. He imagines cities as villages in metropolises, thereby linking childhood and boyhood memories with realistic scenes. If we call Lei Ziren a painter of urban subjects, he must feel confused, for he seldom cares much about urban subjects; rather, what he focuses on is individuals mind and the language of the brush and the ink. Before Lei Ziren, some ink painters have achieved sound achievements in the discovery and expression of urban subjects, which have provided him with references and made him realize that as a young painter he cannot follow others roads but to find his own way even it is experimental ink painting. For Lei Ziren, the most important fortune is his individual experiences, his own childhood and boyhood memories. This is the approach he understands a subject, which is different from other painters. If he can accurately master such an approach, then he can come out with unique expressions. Escape is an important subject in contemporary art, which seems to have a natural bond to traditional ink painting. The pleasures from natural woods and mountains and the carefree feelings from the wild are contradictory to metropolises. Metropolises themselves become noisy and crowded and human beings living environment is getting worse day by day. His paintings, when expressing urban subjects, manifest the uproar in Li Xiaoxuans paintings, the monotony in Liu Qinghes, and the longing for rural life in Tian Limings. We cannot say that these painters have no influence on Lei Ziren, but Lei himself did find his own way. He combines feelings toward metropolises with scenes hes seen and his memories of rural life. He is neither passively recording memories or experience, nor cutting traditional images from his own paintings and leaving only his individual traces. Instead, he is discovering his own language on the basis of ink painting, and continues the tradition of ink painting with the ink language. Lei Ziren also intentionally tried oil painting and the most important feeling hes got from it is colors, senses of volume and space of oil paintings. These senses are very real feelings of the reality. He said when you drew a cup, oil painting can draw a real subject while ink painting can only draw an image; however, the reality and the image should be combined into one. It was under the domination of such feelings that he drew indoor scenes -- a young lady in the front of windows is surrounded by colors, and heavy ink plays an important role in this color relation. Only the heavy ink can suppress such gorgeous colors and make the picture solemn, which forms sharp contrast with the light and elegant paintings of outdoor love subject. However, there is some connection between the two. Still, the young lady in the front of windows is set in a dream and her image is not specific but being surrounded by colors and light from the outside of windows. We can hardly say that Lei Ziren is reforming the linguistic form of ink painting in purpose. Whats important is that he wants to improve means of expression by such a form, so as to not only master that light feeling but also manifest his realistic experience.

  In this new discovery we can see another kind of subjects of Lei Zirens paintings, indoor subjects. These paintings just like the Nabis Schools paintings in the end of the 19th century -- a young lady in the front of windows and sceneries outside windows in gorgeous colors and heavy ink, which are greatly different from his outdoor subjects. Another subject is human body, which is quite rarely seen in current ink paintings. The body subject is actually combinations of male human bodies and female human bodies, which seems to be a variant of his love subject. However, this kind of characters with no time, no environment and no identity, better reflects his tendency to conduct experiments on pure brush and ink and discovery. During the process of such discovery, we can see that at least three elements have influences on Lei Zirens discovery, namely, pottery, oil painting and sketch. The three elements actually have had a powerful influence on him in recent years. He specifically practices these three aspects rather than just absorbs some superficial factors. Pottery, generally, is a class arrangement by Mr. Li Shaowen who demands postgraduate students from the school of traditional Chinese painting doing pottery so as to experience a special modeling means. The class mainly is an experiment to express and grasp emotions. Whether the material or the technique, pottery is strange to Lei Ziren. During the process of making pottery, one can just follow his feelings, and have no control of the material as well as the result. However, the process of experiencing is rich, asking for only its meaning rather than completeness. This characteristic is manifested very obviously in Lei Zirens paintings, especially in the modeling of characters. Practices in art rooms demand accuracy of shapes which is usually realized through certain norms. As a result, emotions of the individual are overwhelmed by such norms. Arbitrariness is fully manifested in Lei Zirens paintings, in which he is not confined to the accuracy of shapes at all and draws freely. This coincides with the underlying subject of a painting, that is, memories of impressions and dreamy feelings.

  The last element is sketch. Just like pottery, sketch is also a class arrangement. For a period of time Lei Ziren did a lot of life drawing (sketch). His aim, of course, is not to draw shapes more accurately, or to sketch better, but to do a discovery of feelings and form a new visual language or expression means which can be finally applied to the language of ink painting. The subject of a combination of a male human body and a female human body seems to be the extension of his love subject. Compared with outdoor subjects, it does not have that elegance and intangibility of outdoor subjects; compared with indoor subjects, it does not have that gorgeousness and solemnness. It brings another kind of feelings. A structural relationship is formed between the two human bodies. This structural relationship consists of lines and planes, becomes integral in the picture and the two human bodies are melted into the relationship. We can see that during this period of time, Lei Zirens change in subjects also results in the change in form. We can also sense a contradiction: is he expressing subjects or does he want to explore the form? Concerning the unity or the solution of such contradiction, Lei Ziren has a natural advantage. He has a natural mastering ability that when he sees an objective target, he can express it in a unique way, which has been reflected in his early paintings. His experience from sketch is not only reflected in his paintings of human bodies but also reflected in the relation between dark and light. He has drawn some very casual cityscapes which are subjects that many ink painters seldom touch, for they are of great difficulty -- linear structures of geometrical shapes, crisscross streets, orderly-arranged windows, all do not seem to be express objects of ink paintings. However, Lei Ziren enters the field of such subjects. Landscapes of those architectures are blurred, and contrasts of light and heavy ink are remained. He segments architectures and trees into color lumps and forms jumping rhythms by crisscross contrasts, and then interweaves some colors, bringing special vitality to paintings. With his painting brush, cities become poetic expressions and buildings are turned into black woods. This may be another kind of escape.

  Lei Ziren is a serene dreamy poet. Indoor scenes, or life drawing or cityscapes, no matter what it is, is actually unifying his innermost poetic feelings. He is always in transitions, changing form one subject to another. It is in life that he encounters these subjects; he does not search for them in purpose. Every subject is reformed by him into murmurs and soft and sweet songs, and reality becomes symbols of memories and traces of life. His form and language are always becoming more and more rich and sophisticated as the subject changes; however, he can always manifest the subject in the purest way. Someday when he walks out of the dreams and indulges himself into this secular society, the poetic feelings will disappear. By then we may see his experienced and sophisticated skills, however, that is of much less fun.

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