Lu Lin 卢琳


Lu Lin 卢琳

http://www.sohu.com/a/207099943_490444

http://www.baike.com/wiki/%E5%8D%A2%E7%90%B3%5B%E7%94%BB%E5%AE%B6%5D

 

卢琳 1986 生于山东济南,2009 年毕业于天津美术学院现工作生活在北京。

 

卢琳的作品有超现实主义和印象主义的影子,却更有自己独特的语言体系。他作品中的梦境,并不是像超现实主义那样来源于人类的潜意识,而就是当代现实日常生活的转化,虽然卢琳同样用形象抽空了再现的意义,但是他的作品中重要的并不是形象所指示的意义,而是形象本身所体现出来的当代生活感受。这样的效果是由卢琳自己独特的艺术语言来实现的。卢琳的作品抛弃了对细节的真实描绘,并作了一定的虚化、抽象化处理,具体说是“夜景化”转化。

 

 

 

 

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2018

Chaobai River, 2018 ,120x150cm,Acrylic on canvas

 

2016

Crossing the River, 2016, 150x150cm, Acrylic on canvas

 

Exit,  2016, 200x170cm, Acrylic on canvas

Exit, 2016, 200x170cm, Acrylic on canvas

 

2019

Linking Line, 2019, 150x120cm, Acrylic on canvas

 

2019

Dawn Soon, 2019, 150x120cm, Acrylic on canvas

 

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Lu Lin – New Experiments

Paintings from 2016 and 2017

 

 

Experimentation and Innovation

 

As a serious artist Lu Lin has many strengths: a modern outlook, a sound art foundation and his sensitivity. Two of the most significances are his belief in and his ability in artistic experimentation and innovation. In his work titled Forest he experimented with, and broke new ground in, the important element of composition arrangement. In the work – executed with instinctive swiftness – he created an abstract composition exuding invigoration with his two favourite driving forces – vivid realism and revealing symbolism. In a captivating work titled Three Friends Lu explored the expressive scope made possible by the technical command of  sweeping brushwork. Amazingly, Lu succeeded in infusing the brushstrokes with tonal range, sensitive nuances and – most valuable of all – instinctive evocation.

 

Light and colour

 

Light and colour, two formidable artistic forces, have fascinated the great artistic talents in modern art history in the West. French artist, Claude Monet and English artist, William Turner – the giants in modern Western art – forged timeless masterpieces. In Lu’s artistic endeavor, the elements light and colour have been – for him – an irresistible challenge. In the work titled Twilight he probed into the flux and change of twilight light and eventually created a work infused with visual mystery, enchantment and beauty. In another work, the painting titled Iceberg Lu took the colour black – which was difficult to exploit – to its zenith. With predominant black and a sprinkle of red, blue, green and white he transformed an uninspiring river-scene into a work singing with visual illumination and poetic ecstasy.

 

 

Twilight   2016   200 X 150 cm   Acrylic on canvas

 

As a serious painter I am very conscious about maintaining high quality in my artworks. I practice my art incessantly. I managed to produce consistently works of high standards. The works that do not meet my expectation I would destroy them. Destroying my creations is a painful experience.

Lu Lin

 

The painting with the appealing title Twilight began as an ambitious city’s outskirt scene showered with activities. With typical disarming technical skills Lu immediately struck a captivating and balance composition. Strategic positioning of the explosive fire, the painter and specific groups of people gave rise to a work of tension. In the process of the work Lu was suddenly mesmerized by the fleeting light of twilight. The place was transformed into a dazzling ambience with a silvery sky, glittering reds and browns on the grounds: the visual ecstasy of twilight.

 

 

Exit    2014 – 2016   200 X 170 cm   Oil and Acrylic on canvas

 

People in the modern society try desperately to find an exit to escape from life – But they are unaware of the irresistible temptations which distract them from their escape. Success is a powerful temptation. I use the unending stairs to symbolize this.

 

  Lu Lin

 

Lu’s intention is to create a work of art not through illustration but through interpretation. The work title Exit is a good example of how he deploys the technique of realism and symbolism. The figure symbolizes the person who tries to escape from life; the staircase symbolizes the element of success which lures the person away. The work is characterized by many dynamic elements: the powerful interplay of verticals and horizontals, the haunting atmosphere, the inexplicable mystery.

 

 

Iceberg    2016    175 X 145 cm    Acrylic on canvas  

 

People cannot see their true-self. Like the iceberg they only see the tip. There are all kinds of people. Some are born with silver spoons; others are born disadvantaged. In this work I attempt to highlight this inequality in society through a symbolic approach.

 

Lu Lin

 

With imagination and insight into the potential of colour, Lu transformed a limited  palette into a work of irresistible visual power and enrichment. Black was a colour that was difficult to manage, yet Lu skillfully exploited it to the full. Adding a patch of vivid blue the river came alive with glittering reflections. With dancing red lines the black trees were rejuvenated. The predominating black created an atmosphere characterized by serenity, mystery and even ecstasy. The monumental scale exuded authority.         

 

 

The Party  2017   200 X 150 cm   Acrylic on canvas

 

Artists should focus constantly on their artistic pursuit – their artistic practice and the dialogue that enhances it. But in China today artists are obsessed with the politics of their time. I think this is unproductive. In this work I illuminate this irony with a humorous approach.

                                                                                                Lu Lin

 

The painting titled The Party is essentially realistic but with symbolic overtones. While the intention is a satire on Chinese artists, the work emerges as an enchanting landscape with aesthetic appeal. The predominant black is again the highlight of the work. Skillfully manipulated, Lu Lin’s brushwork could infuse the black trees with random evocative visual nuances creating a romantic yet mysterious atmosphere. Spanning 200 m, the work has a breathtaking visual authority.

 

 

Three Friends     2017   150 X 120 cm    Acrylic on canvas

 

There are three good friends. But their personal fortunes are different. One is more fortunate: he is an official and thus enjoys many advantages – authority, power, influence and wealth. The other two have no advantages and thus are helpless. They simply blend into society, faceless. I see this as a serious concern of society.

     Lu Lin

 

This is the type of rare work which captures the viewer’s imagination immediately. Many exciting painting elements interplay to give the work its gripping unity. The unusually bold brushstrokes articulated with lightning swiftness infuse the work with visual dynamism. Then come the colours – they exude the emotional depth reminiscent of the evocation in Chinese ink art. The work has a transcending spirit.

 

 

Forest   2017   120 X 150 cm   Acrylic on canvas

 

This work is about the destruction of the forests. Why cut down the trees and deprive us from the rich variety of fruits? Why destroy the forest which enhances our environment? Forest destruction is about money, about greed. In this work I want to highlight such harmful practices.

  Lu Lin

 

One of the appealing strengths in Lu’s artistic endeavor is his flair in artistic re-invention. The work titled Forest is a good example. The work seized the viewer’s imagination instantly. With three dynamic forces – vivid realism, revealing symbolism and suggestive elements of abstraction – Lu created an irresistible visually work with eclectic elements. The grey-black-white colour- scheme heightened the mystery in the work. Forest is a work which grows on the viewer.

 

 

 

W. Y. Choy

Artist, Art Curator Singapore

2019

 

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含蓄与袒露力——画有感

 

文/杜曦云

 

 

种种已知和未知、可控和不可控的复杂因素的合力,让充满不确定性的“当代”,如同携带大量沙石的洪涛,或风云际会的气流,高速运行、变化莫测。常人在这时代巨力的裹挟中,充满困惑、无奈。生活在当代中国,更是如此。

 

卢琳的绘画,介于具象和抽象之间,似乎有叙事,驻足推敲时又无迹可寻,因为充溢画面的主要是诗性的情绪,指向一言难尽的生命感怀。他用阔大的笔触、斑驳的肌理、高纯度却基调阴郁的色彩,营造出一幕幕壮阔芜杂的天地。简约轮廓勾划出的具象的人和物,在其中渺小、微弱,孤独寂寥的或动或静着……

 

这些绘画的情境,大都来自于日常生活,如同一帧帧的视觉日记,留存着普通人的生存记忆。充溢在画面中的情绪忧伤抑郁,结合这个时代的风起云涌、悲欢离合,能反向推测出这些情绪背后所隐藏的具体问题。但艺术家克制的把握尺度,对具体的社会、文化问题欲言又止。由无数具体细节累积出的真切感受,本可以万语千言一一道来,但艺术家在二维的画布上,用美学的方式把它们转化为浓郁的诗性,欲言却止、欲止又言,在形式/心绪的含蓄和袒露之间,形成美学和心理的张力,指向很多普通人的处境和心态。

 

当代艺术泥沙俱下,在历史之网的重重过滤下,只有极少数能留存为经典。但当代艺术的能量和魅力,就在于它即时的应对着正在发生着的世事人心,至于时过境迁后被拣选的命运,在此时此地并不重要。卢琳作品中的美学方式和表达出的心理状态,在当下正在“当代”着。曾经热情高涨的全球化如今正在走向逆全球化,在剧烈的震荡中,一个新的时代在渐渐拉开着帷幕,难解的纠结正在牵扯不休,这个过程中辐射出的能量,加深着人们的困惑程度。由此导致的心理是非常复杂的,但又如同迷雾中人般难以说清。在这个背景下来看卢琳的作品,其中的感性信息颇能呼应当下很多普通人的心理状态。

 

当然,再退后一步看,在物质主义、成功学占主流的时代,在这些文化秩序中处于弱势、边缘的人群,如果没有自成一体的文化来抵御主流,就是处于社会荒漠地带,眼里心里都是荒芜冷酷,这时,看社会、看时代、看自然宇宙,都是忧伤抑郁的。艺术家能通过美学的方式释放这些情绪,乃至转化为诗性,别人呢?

 

2019年10月10日于北京

 

The Tension Between Implied and Exposed – Lu Lin’s Painting

By Du Xiyun

 

 

The complex combination of known and unknown, controllable and uncontrollable makes the “contemporary” full of uncertainty. It is like the waves carrying a large number of sand and stone, or the airflow of the wind and cloud, running at high speed and unpredictable. Ordinary people are full of confusion and helplessness in the glory of this era. This is especially true living in contemporary China.

 

Lu Lin’s paintings, between realistic and abstract, seem to have narratives. When scrutinized, they have no traces, because the main picture is poetic emotions. They are indescribable feelings of life. He uses a wide brush stroke, mottled texture, high-purity but gloomy color tone to create a magnificent world. The simple contours outline the figurative people and things – small, weak, lonely or moving or quiet…

The scenes of these paintings are mostly from daily life, like a series of visual diaries, which retain the living memory of ordinary people. The emotional sadness and depression that fills the picture, combined with the turbulence, joys and sorrows of this era, can reversely speculate on the specific problems hidden behind these emotions. However, the artist’s restraint on the scale of the specific social and cultural issues is stopped. The true feelings accumulated by countless specific details can be said in a thousand words, but on the two-dimensional canvas, the artist transforms them into rich poetics in an aesthetic way, they speak but stop and want to speak. Words, between the subtleties of the form /  mood and the exposed, form the tension of aesthetics and psychology, pointing to the situation and mentality of many ordinary people.

 

Contemporary art is in a muddle, only a few can survive as a classic under the heavy filter of the historical network. But the energy and charm of contemporary art lie in its immediate response to what is happening to the human heart. The fate of being chosen after the passage of time is not important here and now. The aesthetic way and psychological state expressed in Lu Lin’s works are being “contemporary” at present. The once enthusiasm of globalization is now going against globalization. In the turbulent shock, a new era is gradually opening, and intractable entanglements are being dragged in endlessly. The energy radiated in this process deepens people’s degree of confusion. The resulting mentality is very complicated, but it is as difficult to explain as a person in the fog. Looking at Lu Lin’s works in this context, the perceptual information is quite able to echo the psychological state of many ordinary people.

 

 

Of course, one step backwards, in the era of materialism and successful learning, if the people who are weak and marginal do not have a self-contained culture to resist the mainstream, they are in the social desert zone. Their hearts are ridiculous and cold. They feel that the society, the time, and the natural universe are all sad and depressed. Can artists release these emotions through aesthetics, and even transform them into poetic?

 

 

 

10 October 2019, Beijing

 

 

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文 /

 

作为艺术界的前辈,我曾与卢琳有过一次深入的对话,话题是从探讨我们这两代人的差异性开始,我们都认同中国的当代艺术是从我们这一代人在观念上的清晰、直白以及通俗化而遁入到他们这一代人的暧昧不清的语义之中,起码从架上绘画这一块看上去是这样的。

 

具体说到他自己,他对有评论者由于其画面的暧昧不清而将他归入超现实主义一脉而大不以为然,至于另有人从其画面中生发出“孤独寂寞和无法逃脱之感”而被其视为对自己艺术的存在主义式的误读,相较之下,他倒更赞同我的看法,及作者在以禅宗式的“机锋转语”制造出一个有关我们生存现实的“哑语”,一个当下语境的“公案”,一个没有标准答案的“启示”,甚或只是一个白日梦者的“智力游戏”。

 

另外,我们也谈到了我们这两代人对绘画技术的态度,相对来讲,上一代当代艺术家似乎在刻意去“技术化”,他们中的一些人甚至以绘画革命者的姿态理直气壮地强调“技术不重要”。而卢琳这一代人我注意到似乎更乐于沉浸在绘画“建设者”的角色里游戏与技术之中,他们甚至为此而创造出一些“俚语”,比如“手感型”这一新词汇就是专指卢琳这一类画家的。

 

最后我们谈到了“艺术生态”最现实也是最残酷的一个话题,即职业艺术家的生存问题,但卢琳所表现出的对自身前途的淡定以及其在艺术市场上的稳步成长最终让我深深的松了一口气。

 

By Sun Guanghua

 

 

As a predecessor of the art world, I once had an in-depth dialogue with Lu Lin.  We started by exploring the differences between our two generations. We all agree that in our generation, Chinese contemporary art is conceptually clear, straightforward and popularized.  It then moves into the ambiguous semantics of their generation, at least looking from their shelf paintings.

 

Touching about he himself, he disagreed with the critics who attributed him to the surrealism because of the ambiguity of his artworks. As for some other critics, who feel that his paintings are filled with loneliness and inability to escape, this is the misunderstanding of his art of existentialism. In contrast, he agreed more with me about his works. He creates a truth about our existence in the Zen-style – Jifeng zhuanyu “机锋转语” (ie.  high capabilities possessed by those grandmasters) — It is a “mute language”; a “complicated public case” in the current context; a “revelation” without a standard answer; or even a “intellectual game” of a daydreamer.

 

In addition, we also discussed about the attitude of our two generations with regard to the painting technique. Relatively speaking, the last generation of contemporary artists seems to be deliberately de-technical, and some of them even assume the role of art revolutionary emphasizing that technique is not important. Lu Lin’s generation I noticed, seems to enjoy the role of the “builder” in the art technique. They even created some “slang” for this, such as the new term “hand feel” specifically referring to Lu Lin and this kind of painters.

 

Finally, we talked about the most realistic and cruel topic of “art ecology”, that is, the survival of professional artists, but Lu Lin’s calmness on his own future and his steady growth in the art market finally made me deeply relieved.

 

 

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琳,孤独的未完全参与者

作者:宏,新加坡家、策展人、评论

我的耳边回响起康定斯基曾经说过的话——“色彩是琴键,眼睛是锤子,而心灵则是钢琴的琴弦” ,因为我在那一瞬间,看到了卢琳的作品。

 

不过,若是你把这句话与想象的美景联系起来,那就错了——卢琳的琴键来自一座废弃的空房,四壁残破,琴已经被摔散,麻木地躺在地上,甚至不想呻吟。卢琳的眼睛也不明亮,无论是森林还是城市,都已经被烟霾过滤,因为悲伤,因为孤独,他已经看不到可爱与艳丽,一点情绪都没有,即似站在阳台上伸手就可以够到大概是果子的东西,算了吧,也许连果子也不是,可能是飞上去的好看的垃圾。

 

生活与现实已经变得支离,但他还是很想参与。参与还是不参与,这是一个问题,而且,这是一个他自己控制不了的问题,最终,卢琳选择不完全参与,他退后,用画笔支起无力的眼皮,用余光,懒散地观察这乏味的世界。

 

如果说卢琳注重符号的表达,那么他确实做到了,在他的作品中,表象的符号具体而且清晰,隐性的符号,同样可以直抵观众的内心。他的色彩并不强烈,画面的构图甚至也有些过于松散,然人感到一丝故意的混乱,在貌似漫不经心的安排中,他创造了一种气氛,一种无奈的、落败的气氛。当这种气氛逐渐蔓延的时候,观众就体会到了画家的情绪和情感,一种挣扎之后的颓丧。

 

人并不是什么时候都需要鼓起勇气,不需要什么时候都充满阳光,有时候,颓废也是一种正确的选择。

 

消极无奈的犬儒主义,接受并跟随现实经验,“以不相信来获得合理性”,这就是卢琳作品要表达的社会文化形态。不相信别人的热情,不相信别人的义正言辞,不相信有所谓正义的呼喊,甚至不相信还能有什么办法改变所不相信的世界。对现有秩序的不满转化为“不拒绝的冷漠”、“不反抗的清醒”,以及“不认同的接受”——“既然世界是如此大荒谬,大玩笑,我亦惟有以荒谬和玩笑对待之。”

 

囿于技术和流派的评论是低级的,当我们对画家作品的关注仅仅停留在这个层面上时,那么我们只是草原上对着雄狮叫嚣的鬣狗,雄狮一旦跃起,就可以轻易地杀死狂吠的鬣狗,并对它们的尸体不屑一顾。我们应当关注通过画面所表现出来的画家的内心,即使画面被脏兮兮的色彩遮盖,因为那是他故意的,即使画面被松软无力的线胡乱切割,因为那也是他故意的,我们都要耐心地去向后张望,因为那一切的背后,是画家的内心,即使有时候他就是故意不让你读懂。

 

这个世界,对错“无所谓”,因为有足够的怀疑论者认为“根本就没有”正确与错误之分。卢琳的作品,大概就是有点这个意思。

 

Lu  Lin  –  Lonely  Incomplete  Participant

By  Lloyd Zhao Hong  –  Singapore artist, curator, critic

 

When I saw Lu Lin’s work, Vasily Kandinsky’s words echoed in my ears: ”Color is the key, the eye is the hammer, and the heart is the string of the piano”.

 

However, if you associate these words with the imaginary beauty, it is wrong. Lu Lin’s piano keys come from an abandoned vacant room. The walls are broken. The piano has been shattered, lying numbly on the ground, not even wanting to moan. Lu Lin’s eyes are not bright. Both the forest and the city have been haze filtering. Because of the sorrow and loneliness, he can’t see loveliness and beauty. There is no emotion at all. Standing on the balcony, his hands are long enough to reach probably a fruit. Oh no, it might not even be a fruit. It may be a good-looking garbage flying up.

Life and reality have become fragmented, but he still wants to participate. Whether participating or not participating, this is a question. The question is beyond his control.   In the end, Lu Lin chooses not to participate fully. He steps back and uses a brush to lift up the eyelids, idly observing this boring world with lingering light.

If Lu Lin pays attention to the expression of symbols, he has indeed done it. In his works, the symbols are specific and clear. The hidden symbols can also directly touch the hearts of the audience. His color is not strong, and the composition of the picture is even too loose. People feel a little intentional confusion. However, in a seemingly careless arrangement, he creates an atmosphere, a helpless and defeated atmosphere. When this atmosphere gradually spreads, the audience realizes the mood and emotion of the painter, a kind of depression after struggling.

 

People don’t need to be courageous at all times. They don’t need to be full of sunshine at all times. Sometimes, decadence is also a right choice.

The negative and helpless cynicism; accepting and following the reality of experience; obtaining rationality by not believing; these are the social and cultural form that Lu Lin intended to express in his works. Do not believe in the enthusiasm of others. Do not believe in the righteous words of others. Do not believe in the so-called cry of justice. Even do not believe that there is any way to change the world that cannot be believed. Dissatisfaction with the existing order turns into “indifference without rejection”; “sobriety without resistance”;  “acceptance without approval” etc. are felt in reading his art pieces — “Since the world is such a big absurdity and a big joke, I can only treat it with absurdity and joke.”

Only commenting on technique and genre are of low level. When our attention to the artworks focus only at this level, we are just the hyenas yelling at the lion on the grassland. Once the lion leaps, it can easily kill the barking hyenas and despises the dead bodies. We should pay attention to the painter’s heart through the picture, even if the picture is covered by dirty colors, which are deliberately done. At times, the picture is cut by the soft and weak lines, it is again intentionally. We must be patient and look back, because behind the picture is the artist’s heart, even if sometimes he is deliberately not letting you read.

In this world, it doesn’t matter what’s right or wrong, because there are enough skeptics who think there’s no such thing as right or wrong. Lu Lin’s work is probably something like that.

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站在历史与人性的灰烬上

——卢琳的废墟绘画

郝青松

在二战废墟的灰烬上,德国人一直不敢直面自己的罪犯身份。在战后法庭上,国家和战犯已经承担了应有的罪行,可是作为个体的德国人并不因此就被历史宽恕。二十年后,基弗的艺术勇敢挑战了这种集体沉默。至此之后,德国乃至欧洲才真正迎来了罪的重负被释放之后的自由。而今,当基弗与新表现主义来到中国,不仅仅是一种风格的进入,或是传统的延异,更是艺术社会学维度的启发。

 

已经有一些中国当代艺术家走在基弗的道路上,他们希望自己的艺术与社会历史记忆相关,能够激活真实的历史书写。这也是青年艺术家无法背离的背景,他们依然生活在未完成的现代性历史遗产之中。从西到东,既是文明秩序的传递,也是历史原罪的承继,更是生命救赎的递进。因此,既有德先生和赛先生,又有鸦片战争和殖民主义,更有传教士入华殉道。这是一条从文化进入文明之路,很多废墟都是文化自负为文明所致。因此这也是一条文化的凶恶之路。语出“不叫我们遇见试探,救我们脱离凶恶”。与凶恶的历史相比,当代社会更是人性试探之路。

 

青年艺术家依然还在面对凶恶的试炼中,就又进入了试探里。葛兰西预见了“文化霸权”的理论和实践,文化作为试探的方式比其作为凶恶更为有效。从大众文化开始,直至消费社会才是文化霸权最有效的实践。所以,从当代艺术明星开始,一众青年艺术家也有很多人迷失在霓虹灯下,把消费的快感当作自由,其实只是自由的幻觉而已,没有灵魂的肉身。这是一种无意识的精神捆绑,越是成功越被奴役。真相却是,这一代人刚刚开始迈出他们青春的步伐,就遇到了一堵柏林墙。

但并不是所有人都被触痛,只有很少的艺术家画出了绚烂而虚无的废墟之痛。

 

卢琳从天津美术学院毕业来到宋庄,已有十年。追寻梦想就像西西弗斯一样,周而复始,恒久忍耐。凭借他的直觉,在日常生活中就感受到一个世纪的疼痛,那是奥斯维辛的象征和辐射。虽然已经身在不同的空间和世纪,但是日光之下并无新事。或许有的艺术家聚焦于奥斯维辛的复数事件,卢琳却沉浸在奥斯维辛的日常呼吸之中,无有一时不在其中。每一个雾霾中深深绝望的日子,都是奥斯维辛的镜像。从铁笼到消费,从凶恶到试探,都是梦想的滑铁卢。如果做一个绝对的判断,世界的本质就是奥斯维辛的悲剧,奥斯维辛只是其中最为疼痛的那一次。所以,它无时无处不在。 为什么古希腊以悲剧著称?为什么王国维说中国没有悲剧?如此说来,回避了悲剧性本质的中国艺术的意义大可商榷,中国当代艺术亦然。身在特殊状态下,上一代艺术家普遍使用了玩世和调侃的消极自由的方式面对世界,这样的态度也被很多青年艺术家沿袭下来。这才是最深的悲剧和绝望,并非无力自拔于悲剧,而是完全对处境的真相没有感觉。诚然,仿像的时代愈加精致,华美的大厦冲天而起。可是,装饰的艺术能遮蔽生命里的不安吗?面对试探,艺术不期然已经成为了凶恶的帮凶。

 

确实,文化霸权系统之下的世界秩序而高效,内中却有着复杂、隐秘的权力网络,如同北大博士论文《中县干部》所揭示的社会生态,亦如福柯窥见的“知识就是权力”的全景监狱。卢琳画面中几乎无处不在的连线,就是这个秘密的显现。看起来,连线是乡村和县城里裸露在外的杂乱电线,是高尔夫球场上方与低端人口隔离开来的高端娱乐,是突发事故现场的高声警示,实质上却是一个秘而不宣的共谋,拉奥孔被蛇捆绑的历史寓言。张晓刚画面中的连线出于血脉和生命,卢琳的连线则是破译和泄密。绵密的连线编织起社会的隐秘结构,它坚韧而锋利,禁锢身体控制自由,但它内在又极其脆弱、恐惧,似乎弱不经风。卢琳所画的风景无关风月,乃是20世纪的世界景观。20世纪是激进主义的世纪,世界翻天覆地。一切坚固的东西,都烟消云散了。现代性的自负达到了顶点,黑暗中唯有火光冲天。千百年来永恒不变的文明秩序,却在一瞬间毁于一旦。灰烬中高高飘扬的,是连线的傲慢。人类砍伐的原木,正在建构成工具理性的监牢。卢琳揭示了这个废墟现场。看起来是奥斯维辛的象征和遗产,其实是伊甸园偷吃禁果的原罪,是该隐杀亚伯的遗产。现代性的症状,其实也是一个根深蒂固的人性连线。

 

新的柏林墙没有视觉和触觉形态,柏拉图和瓦萨里谈及的摹仿论在此完全失效,但这堵墙无处不在,弥漫以至包围了肌体,甚至进入身体合二为一,形成斯德哥尔摩综合症。最感同身受的是挥之不去的雾霾,明知有害却也不得不呼吸,想撕破它却触摸不到,想穿透它却无法越过,更看不到雾霾之外的天空。我们今日已经须臾不可分离的网络世界也是如此。这也是那块青年人遭遇的无形的天花板,看不到诗更看不到远方。只有艺术成功学的试探在灰色雾霾中或隐或现,消耗着青春和生命。天空中那些银盐的灰色、过分饱和的蓝色,无不充满艺术的试探,再美的装饰也是致命的雾霾,如同冬夜里飘荡的孔明灯,都像一些智慧的神话,很快就被雾霾吞没。卢琳的画面中,地面上一片废墟,立面以至天空虽然色度在不同倾向但都格外浓重似一团化不开的浓雾,既是废墟现场的背景,又是事件最终的结果,精疲力尽,一无所有——崔健仿佛在三十年前就已预言了这个无言的结局。

 

世界如此,人性如何?我们不得不面对,这个愧对真理的世界和世纪。无法逃离,又无能为力。大多数人唯有沉默,沉默却不是金。所以我们只能转身背对真实,而去面对那个虚拟现实,那个未知的未来。卢琳作品中的人物就是这样,无论旁观还是见证都留给世界一个背影。为什么不敢正视现场?这也是二战之后德国的问题,更是人性原罪的问题。当始祖偷吃禁果被上帝质询时,亚当和夏娃都把过错推给别人,却不敢正视原罪。所以继续软弱的人们啊,就只有背转身去。卢琳这样画,反而最真实,画出了人性最真实的虚弱。人类总是这样,不置可否时就背转身去。如同弗里德里希在19世纪初风景画创作中的自然神学解决方案一样,似乎不画正面的人像就避免了偶像崇拜,其实却回避了人性的真问题。人类一旦再遇到试探和凶恶,就又重蹈覆辙。

 

面对这样没有选择的背景,卢琳在艺术创作中探寻世界的秘密,常常悲伤也总有信心。那些软弱的身影也是他自己,站在废墟现场,无力地望着未来。成长不会简单地心想事成,而要承受拉奥孔被蛇捆绑的痛苦,以及始祖被蛇诱惑的试探。青春和艺术都是试炼的禾场,也一起成长。

 

论及卢琳的废墟绘画,表现主义文脉的风格影响必要而有效,重要的更是他的处境表达,能够洞悉社会和人性的秘密,以及世界混乱而虚弱的废墟本质。他不盲目乐观,而是直面了人类不敢直面世界真相的人性真相。他亦无力却有真诚,与作为消费文化的当代艺术分离开来,也与社会叙事的当代艺术不同。他依然关注文化政治,但已极其难得去拷问人性,以人性审判社会。

 

站在历史与人性的灰烬上,重要的不是艺术,也不是社会,而是人性。

 

 

 

 

On the Ashes of Flames of History and Human Nature

A Glimpse of Lu Lin’s Ruins-themed Painting

Hao Qingsong

 

 

Faced with the ashes of flames of World War II and ruins left over, the Germans have long been a coward to recognize themselves as criminals. In post-war courts, the state and its war criminals were brought to justice, while its citizens as individuals have not been forgiven by history. Not until twenty years later when Kiefer’s art bravely challenged such collective silence, people of Germany and even Europe as a whole restore freedom from the burden of sin. Yet when Kiefer and Neo-Expressionism set foot in China, it meant not only the introduction of a style or the difference of a tradition, but also the inspiration of the sociological dimension of art.

 

Having followed the example of Kiefer, some of the Chinese contemporary artists aspire to build a link between their artworks and social and historical memory and vividly record history in their paintings. That is exactly the background that young artists cannot deviate from as they still live in the unfinished historical heritage of modern times. Be it in the west or the east, the modern history can be regarded as the extension of the civilization order, and also the inheritance of the original sin committed in history and even further efforts for the salvation of life. No wonder the land of China has witnessed Democracy and Science (two nicknames for democracy and science created by Chen Duxiu, a fierce critic to traditional Confucian rituals in China), Opium Wars, colonialism, and even Christian martyrs. This is a road from culture to civilization, and this process leads to many ruins as a result of self-conceit of culture into civilization. Therefore, this is also a vicious road to culture, which justifies a saying that goes, “Don’t test us with temptation but save us from evil.” Compared with the vicious history, contemporary society is more like a road probing the abyss of human nature.

 

Still being in the midst of fierce trials, the young artists have become bogged down in another round of trials. In Gramsci’s foresight of “cultural hegemony”, both theoretical and practical, culture as a way of trial is more effective than itself in a fierce form. Developing from the popular culture, the consumer society proves to be the most effective practice of cultural hegemony. Similarly, many young artists, represented by the stars of contemporary art, get lost under the neon lights, and take the pleasure of consumption as freedom. Trapped by the illusion of freedom, they are merely soulless walking bodies. This is unconscious spiritual bondage. The more successful, the more enslaved. The truth is no sooner has this generation embarked on a promising journey do they run into the Berlin Wall.

 

Yet not everyone feels the pain but only a few artists who have painted the pain of the gorgeous yet illusory ruins.

 

It has been a decade since Lu Lin graduated from Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts and settled down in Songzhuang. On his journey towards his dream, Lu Lin is assiduous and persevering as Sisyphus. His intuition drowns every day of his life in suffering that dates back one century, the symbol and radiation of Auschwitz. Although times have passed and circumstances have changed, there is nothing new under the sun. Some artists may focus on the plural events of Auschwitz, but Lu Lin is immersed in every bit of it, never absent for a single moment. Every day of deep despair in the haze is the reflection of Auschwitz. From iron cages to consumption and from fierceness to temptation, everything means a crushing defeat in the Battle of Waterloo for his dreams. In an absolute judgment, if possibly made, the whole world is full of Auschwitz-like tragedies in its essence, Auschwitz being the most painful one. The tragedy exists everywhere. Why is ancient Greece known for its tragedy? Why did Wang Guowei say China had no tragedy? In this regard, the significance of Chinese art that evades the tragic nature is questionable, as is the Chinese contemporary art. Artists of the previous generation generally chose to face the world with negative liberty that was cynical and ridiculous as a response to the special social realities at that time. Unfortunately, such attitude has been inherited by many young artists. That is the deepest tragedy and despair. It does not arise from the inability to extricate themselves from the tragedy, but the complete insensitivity towards the truth of the reality. Indeed, the era of imitation has become increasingly sophisticated, as the gorgeous buildings have towered into the sky. But can deco art cover up the restlessness in life? Confronted by temptations, art has been unexpectedly reduced to the accomplice of evil.

 

Indeed, efficient as the world order under cultural hegemony may be, hidden inside is a complex network of power, just like the social ecosystem revealed in a Peking University student’s doctoral thesis “Cadres in Chinese Counties and Townships” as well as  in Foucault’s Panopticon, a metaphor that allowed him to state his theory that knowledge is power. Such secret got vividly manifested in the almost ubiquitous lines in Lu Lin’s drawing. These lines appear as a clutter of bare wires in the countryside and counties, collectively as a dividing line that keeps the high-end entertainment above the golf course away from the low-end population, and even a loud warning at the scene of an accident. In essence, they reveal tacit collusion, the equivalent to the historical fable of Laocoon strangled by snakes. If the lines in Zhang Xiaogang’s drawing symbolize blood and life, then those created by Lu Lin mean decoding and leakage of a secret. The dense network of lines weaves an invisible structure of society. Tough and sharp, it imprisons the physical body and deprives people of freedom. Yet inside it is too fragile and fearful to stand too much strain. Lu Lin’s artwork has nothing to do with the countryside scenery, but portrays the world landscape of the 20th century, an era of radicalism when the world slipped into an utter chaos, wrecking everything solid. The arrogance of modernity has reached its apex, and such darkness could accommodate nothing but the full glow of the raging fire, which devours, in an instant, the order of civilization surviving centuries. Flying high in the ashes is the arrogant lines. Logs humans cut are being built into prisons for instrumental reason. The scene of ruins, as revealed in Lu Lin’s drawing, seems to be the symbol and legacy of Auschwitz, but actually it could be traced back to the original sin of stealing the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden and believed to be the legacy of Cain’s killing of Abel. To conclude, the modernity also gives full expression to a complicated system of lines deeply rooted in human nature.

 

The new Berlin Wall has no visual or tactile form, which completely frustrates the mimesis proposed by Plato and Vasari. Yet it seems so ubiquitous that it encircles the physical body and even penetrates into the body to be part of it, turning people into victims of the Stockholm syndrome. The closest personal experience of such feeling arises from the lingering haze. We all know it is harmful yet still we need to breathe. We all want to scatter it but we cannot even touch it. We all wish to go through it but the thick haze is just like an impenetrable wall that keeps the blue sky away from us. Such is the case with the internet world that we can’t live without for even one moment today. This is also the invisible ceiling that young men have encountered, a ceiling that isolates them from poetry and even the place faraway. Indistinct in the gray haze is but the temptation of science of art success consuming youth and life. Those silver-salt grays and oversaturated blues in the sky are filled with such artistic temptations. The decoration, however beautiful, is another form of a fatal haze. The lingering sky lanterns in the winter night bear some resemblance to wisdom myths that are soon devoured by the haze. In Lu Lin’s painting, the world is left in a heap of rubble, and despite the different chromaticity between the facade and the sky, the whole world seems dark as if covered in a dense fog. That’s both the background of the ruins and the end of the world, exhausting everyone involved yet getting them nowhere – a silent ending seemingly predicted by Cui Jian three decades ago.

 

What about human nature in the world? We hate to admit we’re living in an era unworthy of truth. Yet we can’t escape from it, neither can we do something about it. Useless silence. That’s all most of us have. The only destiny left over for us is to leave behind the reality for the virtual one, the unknown future. That’s the exact feeling that characters in Lu Lin’s works convey to us: be him a bystander or a witness, everyone turns back on the scene without the courage to look straight into it. Why? That’s not only the problem facing Germany after World War II, but also a matter of original sin. When the earliest ancestors of human were questioned by God for stealing the forbidden fruit, neither Adam nor Eve took their responsibility, a cowardly escape from the original sin. This story seems to justify people’s weakness. Lu Lin’s way of expression proves to be the most loyal to reality instead for he depicted the deepest weakness in human nature. Humans invariably turn and go away, noncommittal. Just like how Friedrich explained the Natural Theology in his landscape paintings in the early 19th century, it seems that artists may break down with set practices of idolatry by avoiding figures on the front side in artworks, yet by doing so they actually evade the real problem of human nature. Once confronted by another temptation and viciousness, humans will fall into the same old trap again.

 

Without any way out, Lu Lin has to resort to artistic creation, in a hope to catch a glimpse of the world’s secrets. From time to time, he gets sentimental, or confident. Those weak figures are believed to be a reflection of himself, standing still among the ruins and gazing at the future, helpless. Inevitable is the pain of growth, the same pain with Laocoon’s sufferings when he was strangled by snakes and the temptation from a snake that our ancestors indulged in. The young people who are in their most brilliant years harden their heart in artistic creation, and their maturity also gets revealed in the artworks.

 

Lu Lin’s paintings of ruins are influenced by the style of expressionism, which is proved essential and effective. More importantly, his expression of the situation opens a window into the dark side of society and human nature as well as the essence of the chaotic and fragile world. Without being blindly optimistic, he confronts the truth that to escape reality is human. Weak as well as he may be, he tries to be sincere, and separates his artworks from contemporary art as consumer culture and from that in the form of social narrative. While concerning for cultural politics as always, he commendably digs deep into human nature and takes it as an instrument in serious reflection upon society.

 

Standing on the ashes of flames of history and human nature, it is neither art nor society that matters, but human nature.

 

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Art Book:

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