物语-卢彦鹏个展

 Lu Yanpeng  卢彦鹏

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物  语

卢彦鹏摄影

画 儿

 

大学毕业的第二天,怀揣着电影的梦想,彦鹏从家乡福建坐上了开往北京的火车。他从未想过有一天自己会迷上摄影,事实上,即使到了今天,摄影于他,依然只是诗歌的一个段落,或电影里的一幕。当2011年他在平遥国际摄影大展上摘得10万元摄影师大奖时,这位名不见经传的年轻人开始受到人们的瞩目,那一年他刚满27岁。他和新一代的摄影师们如同中国摄影的一股新浪潮,相比前辈们严肃的、肩负使命感的表达理念,他们凭借绘画与毕业于专业艺术院校的良好美术基础,更注重理想化和心灵探索的个体语言陈述,这一特征给显得有些沉重的本土摄影带来了一束后现代之光。他们在作品中加入了一些柔情的、诗意的、享乐的、离奇的,甚至荒诞的生活元素,而这些气息并没有妨碍他们始终在作品里携带着对中国传统文化的思考与探寻。

 

1984年彦鹏出生在漳州市平和县,这里自古称“弦歌地”,历代文人辈出,中国现代著名大学者林语堂先生就是从这里走向了世界。而在卢姓这个普通的乡村家庭里,已经出了好几位当代艺术家,彦鹏血液里的艺术基因也许早已是注定的。很小的时候他就会背诵很多唐诗宋词,舅舅每次从外面回家都给他买书,带他听音乐,他也很乐意给舅舅和姨娘当模特儿,吃他们画完的水果,幸福快乐的童年,潜移默化的在他的身体里注入了理想主义的种子,以至于来到北京的很长一段时间,都无法适应这里紧张和浮躁的氛围。舅舅荣荣和姨娘亚丽都是学艺术的,他们是北京东村的元老,在1990年代中期,与陆续进驻东村的张洹、马六明、邢丹文、诅咒、仓鑫等一批赫赫有名的中国当代艺术家,共同见证了中国当代艺术的历程。

 

2005年6月,这位初到首都的南方青年,每天的生活充满了艺术,绘画、诗歌和各种艺术展览,可这样的日子并没有延续多久,他就被千奇百怪的各类艺术信息压迫的喘不上气来,眼看着自己的理想主义之梦行将破灭。如同一场宿命,当比他早五年来到北京的胞弟卢彦锦把一台老禄莱相机送给他,摄影便站在了他的面前。这是他第一次拿起相机,在此之前他甚至觉得摄影有些无聊。彦锦16岁就来到荣荣身边,他感悟力强,极具艺术天赋,跟随荣荣之后又先后给黄锐和艾未未做过助手和暗房师。毫无疑问,舅舅和弟弟对他未来的摄影之路产生了重要影响。荣荣除了提供最好的生活条件和创作环境,还有自己的艺术态度,以及生活的点滴;弟弟纯净的影像语言和高超的暗房技艺,让他从开始就走在了正确的道路上! 

 

自从搬进荣荣家里,每天接触的几乎全与影像相关,很多的摄影家,很多的摄影藏书,很多的摄影原作,这些都在慢慢的滋养这个如饥似渴的艺术青年,直到有一天当他看到法国摄影大师贝尔纳·弗孔(Bernard Faucon)的作品时,他也明确了自己的方向。“我发现摄影其实有很多可能性,我太小看它了。”后来他说。

 

当我不能画画时

就写诗来记录自己的感觉

当我不知道写些什么时

就画画形成一种记忆

当我发现了相机以后

似乎既不能写也不能画了

从此,我全部的情感

聚焦在30秒或60秒的时间里

 

弟弟送的那台老相机,经常出问题。 荣荣看到他真的很想拍照,就又送了一台莱卡R3给他,这部相机,荣荣用过,背面还刻了荣荣的名字。荣荣在自家院子里搭建了一个很长的玻璃屋,彦鹏白天进去听音乐,拍玻璃上的灰尘和掉落在上面的枯枝,下雨天在拍,下完雪也在拍,那些变化让他着迷。而当夜晚降临,他便像精灵一样在月色里上演一幕幕属于自己的舞台剧。“我把人体当作一个发亮的物体,在黑夜里的那个亮点,像是一块石头,或者别的什么。”从2005年到2008年,这组《记忆·迷失》,经过长时间的曝光,让童年的记忆和当下的迷惘回旋在了迷人的夜色里。

  

2009年是卢彦鹏重要的转折点。《石头的记忆》创作灵感来自他太太凌华的同名纸本素描长卷,与这一年他们孩子的降生密切相关。 这个系列由“破裂”、“撞击”、“拖着石头的婴孩”、“一只手”、“一只眼睛”、“一张脸”等作品组成, 采用摄影与绘画相叠加的手法,将翻拍的凌华素描与自己的景物摄影在暗房里长时间的曝光融合,原本看似毫不相关的两组叙事体发生了共生共长的关系,记忆了一个生命的孕育和成长带给他们的欣喜和崇敬之心。 李逦在《以心映物》里有过这样的描述:⋯⋯母性的甜蜜期待,温和且多义。对先祖的膜拜情结,抑或是对生命和自然的眷恋之情,都渗透在氤氲的雾气和这一片魍魉的“虚境”之中。银盐与笔间的影像在纸基纸面上相互攀附生长。整个画面中,充斥着某种上升的,充满敬畏之心的宗教意象。在这里,银盐影像仿佛是温暖柔软的子宫,使得用铅笔渲染的物象得其血脉之气,遂能生生不息。“我希望它们不是摄影,也不是绘画,而是一首诗。”彦鹏说。

 

在昨晚

做了一个很奇怪的梦

一座高山有着朦胧的雾

我们都叫它猪牛

有着一棵枯树      

和小孩天真的面孔

我们寻找猪牛

我们寻找雾

在此时我们变成了雾       

⋯⋯

 

2010年彦鹏完成了《山·雾》系列,这组作品酝酿及拍摄始于2008年。《记忆·迷失》时的激情澎湃,甚至用力过猛,在《山·雾》里已有了一种自省的内敛张力,个人影调风格也更加清晰确定。他以“一座山”混沌初开,以“听雾”、“歪斜的树”、“树枝”、“石头和草”、“树上的鹅”⋯⋯的直观图像叙事呈现出天地始分的状态,然后,他如同一位魔术师在暗房里精心控制药液的稀释比例、水温、时间,以及双手的触摸,将山雾的莫测和笼罩全部显影在银盐纸基纸上,这无异于挥洒自己的情绪在暗房里完成了一场绘画。事实上,他用了更多的时间与这张底片发生关系,然后将其痕迹留在了画面上。练春海在《构筑诗意的栖居—评卢彦鹏摄影艺术》中道:我不敢擅自说,他的作品模糊了诗、绘画与摄影之间的界限,但是他的创作在艺术家如何处理“道”与“术”的关系中贡献了新的价值。

 

拍摄《空·气》时,彦鹏已明显的放松和自如。其实,他在《山·雾》时已经在酝酿一股突围的力量,情绪被凝结在画面中央的一个聚焦光亮处,似乎在意旨理想与现实之间的难以逾越的鸿沟,而这股暗藏的力量在《空·气》中终于得到了释放,那场“雾”最终指向了“悟”。中国传统绘画中素有“计白当黑”的说法,彦鹏在作品中巧妙的“不着笔墨”留白应用,在使观者陷入一片无边的静穆之时,也给自己预留了新的玄机和更大的隐藏。

 

夜中不能寐

起坐弹鸣琴

薄帷鉴明月

清风吹我襟

孤鸿号外野

翔鸟鸣北林

徘徊将何见

忧思独伤心

——阮籍《咏怀诗》

 

他说喜欢魏晋时期的竹林七贤,在《山·雾》和《空·气》中不难看出他所受影响的端倪。这位生性敏感害羞,蕴藉含蓄,渴望身心自由的艺术家,在大都市繁杂的环境里,既无力抗争,也不愿同流合污,只能把自己的灵性隐藏在镜头里的景物之间,藉由这样的暗涌封存那些莫名的不安和喜悦。这个表面安静,喜欢疾走,来去一阵风的年轻人,血脉里始终涌动着激情,“我对生活的变化很好奇,我喜欢去经历一些事情,留下一些痕迹,有存在感!我所做的,都与自己生活和环境的变化有关。”彦鹏说。

 

2014年5月10日  北京

 

Sence of Presence 

The Photography of Lu Yanpeng

Curator:Hua'er

 

 

On the next day after graduating from college, Lu Yanpeng boarded the train from Fujian to Beijing with his dreams for films. He never thought that one day he would fall for photography. Actually, even today, to him, photography is still only a verse of a poem, or a scene in a film. When he won the 100,000-yuan photographer award at the Pingyao International Photography Festival in 2011, people started paying attention to this little known young man who had just turned 27. Lu and other photographers of the new generation are like a new wave in the world of photography in China. Compared with the more solemn expression and the sense of mission in the works of their predecessors, Lu and his peers can draw upon the art skills that they learned in professional art schools, and they tend to focus on an individual expression that is more ideal and soul-searching. Such characteristics bring the light of post-modernism to the slightly grim Chinese photography. These photographers add a touch of tenderness, poetry, pleasure, quirkiness and even absurdity in their works, without compromising the ever-present reflection and exploration of traditional Chinese culture.

 

Yanpeng was born in Pinghe County of the Zhangzhou City, a place traditionally known as the “Home of Stringed-instrument Songs” and the birthplace of numerous literary men, including the great contemporary Chinese scholar Lin Yutang. The Lu family, home to generations of ordinary farmers, has produced several contemporary artists, and Yanpeng was probably born with artistic genes in his blood. Back when he was very young, he was able to remember many ancient poems and verses by heart. His uncle would bring him books and music every time he returned to the county, and Yanpeng was happy to pose for his uncle and aunt and eat the fruit used for the painting. The happy childhood sowed such seed of idealism in him that he found himself at odds with the tenseness and fickleness of Beijing long after he arrived at the city. His uncle Rongrong and aunt Yali were both artists and the founding members of Beijing’s East Village. In the mid-1990s, together with well-known artists who came to settle in East Village, including Zhang Huan, Ma Liuming, Xing Danwen, Zu Zhou, and Cang Xin, they witnessed the growth of contemporary art in China.

 

In June, 2005, the young man from southern China has just settled in Beijing, and his life was filled with art: paintings, poems and various art exhibitions. But those days did not last long before he was suffocated by an outlandish assortment art. He was almost feeling his idealist dreams turning to dust. However, it was destined that photography would come into his life when his younger brother Lu Yanjin, who came to Beijing 5 years before him, gave Yanpeng an old Rolleiflex. That was the first time he held a camera in his hand, and he used to believe photography to be a bit dull. As for Yanjin, he had been following Rongrong since the age of 16; he was extremely perceptive and gifted, and he subsequently served as assistant and dark room technician for Huang Rui and Ai weiwei. It is without doubt that both Yanpeng’s uncle and his brother had a profound impact on his future path of photography. Besides providing the best living and creative environment, Rongrong also passed onto Yanpeng his attitude towards art and details in life. The pure visual language and great darkroom skills of his brother also helped Yanpeng to get on the right track at the very beginning.

 

Since moving into Rongrong’s house, almost everything Yanpeng came in contact with was about photography. This voracious young artist was immersed in the nourishment of numerous photographers, photography books and original works, and he eventually figured out where his direction was when he saw the works of Bernard Faucon, the French master photographer. “I realize that photography is something of infinite possibility. I was underestimating it.” he said at a later time.

 

When I can’t draw,

I write poems to record my feelings

When I don’t know what to write,

I draw pictures that are formed from my memories

But when I discovered the camera,

it was as if I could no longer write nor draw

Since then, all my feelings are condensed

in those fleeting 30 or 60 seconds

 

The old Rolleiflex from Yanjing often broke down. Having witnessed Yanpeng’s passion for photography, Rongrong gave him a Leica R3 which was previously used by Rongrong , with Rongrong’s name carved at the back. Rongrong also built a long glass house in his yard so that during the day Yanpeng could go listening to music inside while shooting the dust on the glass and the dead twigs. He was shooting on rainy and snowy days and was fascinated by the changes in nature. When the night came, he would stage a play of his own like an elf in the moon. “I think of human body as a luminous object, or the light in the dark, or a stone, or something else.” Taken during the period from 2005 to 2008, the series of Memory · Lost, in which long exposure was used, captured the mix of childhood memory and present-day confusion in the alluring nights.

 

The year 2009 was an important turning point for Lu Yanpeng. Memory of Stones was inspired by an eponymous pencil sketch of his wife, Linghua, with affinity to the birth of their child. The series consists of works like “Breaking”, “Crashing”, “Enfant with a Stone”, “One Hand”, “One Eye”, “One Face” etc. Drawings are superimposed on the pictures by long-time exposure and fusion of photos of Linghua’s sketch and Yanpeng’s own pictures of landscape, so that a symbiotic relationship was developed between the two originally disconnected narratives to crystalize their joy and reverence for the growth of a new life. Li Li wrote the following words in The Heart’s Reflection on the Outer World, a commentary of Memory of Stones: The sweet expectation of maternity is tender and rich in meanings. The worship of the ancients and the affection for life and nature are everywhere in the dense fog and this illusory land in which magnificent creatures seem to be lurking. The images created by silver halide and pencil form an intergrowth on the paper base, and a religious awe-inspiring imagery seems to rise from the picture. Here the image produced by the silver halide corresponds to the warm and soft womb in which the life depicted by pencils can live and grow. “They are neither photos nor drawings--I hope they constitute a poem.” says Yanpeng.

 

Last night
I had a weird dream
A heavy fog enveloped a great mountain
We all called it a pig cow

There was a withered tree

And the face of an innocent Child
We searched for the pig cow
We searched for the fog
Then we became the fog

 

Yanpeng finished Mountain·Fog in 2010, but the preparation and shooting started as early as 2008. The passion and even overstrength in Memory·Lost has been transformed into a well-harnessed tension in Mountain·Fog, and Yanpeng’s personal style was becoming ever more clear. He crystalized the initial separation of heaven and earth with images of a mountain in its primitive magnificence, the fog, crooked trees, stones and grass, the goose on the tree, etc. Then, just like a magician, he meticulously worked the dilution rate, the water temperature and the time in the darkroom. And with the touch of his hands, the unfathomable enshrouding fog was developed on the silver halide layer, just like a painting done in the darkroom with full emotion. As a matter of fact, he spent much time with photographic plate to leave his own mark on the picture. Lian Chunhai said in Constructing a Poetic Dwelling Place—Commentary on Lu Yanpeng’s Photography: I dare not say that his works have blurred the boundaries between poems, drawing and photography, but his creation has brought something new to the table in terms of how to handle the relationship between the “way” and the “means” for an artist. 

 

When shooting the Open Air, Yanpeng was apparently more relaxed and free. Actually, during the production of Mountain·Fog, he already had a force brewing—as if wishing to break out, with his emotions congregated at a light spot in the center of the picture, seemingly referring to the insurmountable gap between the ideal and reality. The hidden force was finally set free in Open Air, and the fog (pronounced as “wu” in Chinese) eventually led to epiphany (also pronounced as “wu” in Chinese). Yanpeng’s ingenious blank-leaving—the artistry long revered in traditional Chinese painting—gives the audience a sense of endless solemnity and allows himself space for more mystery and hidden secrets.  

 

Last night

I had a weird dream

A heavy fog enveloped a great mountain

We all called it a pig cow

There was a withered tree

And the face of an innocent Child

We searched for the pig cow

We searched for the fog

Then we became the fog

--Songs of My Heart   by Ruan Ji

He says he loves the “Seven Saints of the Bamboo Grove” (the seven well-known recluse Chinese literary men from 240 to 249). Traces of such influence can be spotted in his Mountain·Fog and Open Air. The shy, sensitive, underdemonstrative, but nevertheless freedom-longing artist feels that he cannot fight the fickleness of the metropolitan city, but he refuses to go with the flow. As a result, he can only reveal his spirituality in the scenes captured in his camera and let such undercurrent overwhelm the indescribable uneasiness and joy.

 

Passion always flows in the veins of this taciturn, fast-pacing young man. “I'm curious about the changes in life, and I like experiencing things and leave my own marks on them so that I can get a sense of presence. Everything I do is connected with changes in my life and my surroundings.” says Yanpeng.

 

May 10, 2014  Beijing

 

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