独白 A Monologue

余少龑个展“独白”

钟林春

初知少龑,是他在假杂志的一个线上展,《扁平的建筑》。那是他留学柏林时,于街头所拍的,种种建筑物,冷静而约,有德人的气象。及后遇见,看了他用日本WASHI FILM和纸胶卷所拍的“花的姿态”三部曲等,却是东方人的审美,一时诧异。黑白的影像,却隐约,虚白,流动,有水墨之感。本是修习书法的他,对此简直不能太爱了。有了这一个载体,他说,好像找到了个人的风格。

处身异国的他,借师友遥远的目光,更自信地锤炼自己的摄影语言。他15年来,常修习书法而受的滋养,亦渐化入其中。他对作品的诗意和境界的在乎,对抽象的偏爱,对自然万物的有情,在荫翳中一点点显现。他成长着,亦广泛地吸收着,从东到西。

不变的,是他仍爱一人独行,至少在作品里,如是。他的照片中,看不到什么其他的人。但将一己的情感,依托在所见的山、林、洞,种种万物上。这些照片,如此亦是他一个人的独白。他体会着内心,亦思考着如何在异国的文化脉络下,用摄影的语言来呈现这一切。他希望,这会是西方人也看得懂的照片。

他的老师勉之,多试验,做成当代艺术。不能不说,这同时也是一个危险。就是,太注重语言,而忘了,还至本处。如他欣赏的井上有一,一度受波洛克的感召,将书法做成抽象的画,晚年却回归颜体,体认到书法的“中文字”本身就是象,就有意义,就很美。既窈窕以寻壑,亦崎岖而经丘。何处是落点,这不只是少龑一个人的课题。

他自还在确认的风格的路上,我却希望有一天,他将所有的执都打掉,包括对风格的。那是一种更大的“觉”。他说,他已经在寻找。就好像,我们看他那些暗的照片,也若在寻找什么那样。

Shaoyan Yu “A Monologue”

Zhong Linchun

I first discovered the images of Shaoyan through an online exhibition titled “Compressed Architecture” that was presented on JZZP’s WeChat account. Shaoyan contributed calm, simple photographs of buildings that he took while studying in Berlin. I then saw his series “The Gestures of Flowers,” an emotional work for which he used Washi Film – a novel black-and-white film that mimics traditional Japanese washi paper. The looming, flowing images looked akin to Chinese ink paintings, and I believe it is with this tool and his background in calligraphy that Shaoyan found his style. 

Shaoyan has wandered far from the motherland, absorbing East and West and adapting his language along the way. But he has retained a sense of solitude and an ability to project emotion  onto mountains, clouds, the sea – indeed, all natural beings. Elements originating in traditional Chinese painting merge with reality in his pictures. He presents us with a reiterative monologue, flickering between heaven and earth. 

Shaoyan is in love with landscape and the askew perspectives of traditional Chinese painting. But he was not content to remain in the province of “tradition.” Studying overseas, he tried to make work that Westerners could understand and appreciate. He explored combinations of Chinese calligraphy and painting and contemporary photography, striving to make modern art. 

This is an ambitious goal. And since discovering Washi Film, he has made significant progress. Influenced by the Japansese painter Inoue Yuichi, he decided to use black-and-white film as a form of abstract ink, drawing from abstract expressionism and romantic landscape paintings of Germany. He has also been writing poems, creating calligraphy, and exploring the potential of installations. New possibilities open all the time. 

Shaoyan is still exploring. When he graduated from his undergraduate program in calligraphy, he wrote a large “觉,” which means “feelings” and “introspection.” Then, when he went to Germany to study, he created his “flower trilogy” – “death,” “rebirth,” and “bloom.” He is always looking for “the brightest light in the darkness.” Now he is unsatisfied with himself and on the road to something bigger. I appreciate his lonely persistence. 

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