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乘機械美學之翼 談「御風瀚羽」--施宣宇陶展

乘機械美學之翼談 御風瀚羽--施宣宇陶展                              

文:呂佩怡


活在後現代文化氛圍中的年輕世代,內心需求與外在表現,總像生活中片斷影像拼貼般的疏離,失序的內外矛盾造就了這些不易了解的特殊X、Y族群。而這樣的差異卻在施宣宇的身上以另一種型態出現,他的矛盾以「震盪療法」(Shock treatment),與矛盾共處,互相包容著內外二者,他的內在依存著正反二元宇宙觀,深刻地在內心成為一種信仰與秩序的源由,但這種形而上的思想卻以工業機械美學的現代面貌,準確、冷峻但又優雅的向外挑戰,成為反映當下生活形貌的明鏡。他的矛盾也出現在材質特性的轉換對調與造型多樣的複寫,他以柔軟的陶土塑出機械般的堅固硬實,並跨界建築借取獨特語彙,彷彿經由雙手蓋出一座座現代城堡。

【機械美學】
    十九世紀末工業革命的成果帶來了人們對機械崇拜的心態,拉菲爾鐵塔的完成矗立了機械時代的新指標,帶給人們一種全新的經驗,藝術家無不從中得到創作靈感,畢卡索、布拉克的立體派,解構物體並以幾何造型再重組與拼貼,勒澤以軍旅生活為基礎發展出的機械派,畫面中的人就像機械人一般的笨重。義大利的未來派、俄國的結構主義都是受到機械世界震撼後的藝術新詮釋。但這樣的機械崇拜在兩次大戰的戰火中消聲匿跡,戰爭的殘酷毀滅了人對機械的單純想法,卻無法讓人離開機械世界的生活,越急切地擺脫,越發現自己早身陷其中成為機械的一部份。這種又愛又恨的心情在施宣宇作品中常可發現蹤跡,
「空中走廊」作品中一雙雙振翅高飛的慾望之翼,承載著科技便利後人們的陷落,現代生活的牢籠與枷鎖,鎖住了整個的身、心與靈魂,我們就像是與魔鬼交易的浮士德,沒有靈魂,只有機械的身軀,行屍走肉般的在大城市中遊蕩。
    
    施宣宇的機械美學來自於當兵時的海軍陸戰隊生活,龐大的軍械庫、圓筒狀碉堡、優美弧形的船身、風帆的張揚、錨的符號、準的意象都帶給他機械世界的震驚。而從海上到陸上,施宣宇的機械美學也來自現代建築,尤其是後現代建築的有機形式,不確定、動勢、斷裂、緊張、雙重譯碼、多元辯證等建築語言,二十世紀建築大師科比意(Le Corbusier)的朗香教堂、薩利能(Eero Saarinen)的紐約TWA航、蓋里(Frank Gehry)的西班牙古根漢美術館等,船的意象或飛翔的雙翅都給施宣宇的機械美學帶來靈感,他的陶藝造型可以說是縮小的建築,將建築語彙溶入作品,豐富了陶藝的視野與可能性,也將後現代藝術的跨領域交相援引發揮無疑。

【「新」的衝擊】
    去年暑假的美西學習之旅帶回了施宣宇口中的「混亂」,創作步伐像時差一般須要調整與轉換,他形容自己就像扛了太多包袱的天使,已忘了自己有飛翔的能力,於是回國後先將一件件裝滿藝術經文的包袱放下,讓自己沉澱一陣子,慢慢消化吸收。「時間」、「飛行」與「秩序重整」為這段日子創作的系列主題。

   以沙丁魚罐頭的開罐器掀起大地一角的「屏衛跳躍時間」是延續之前「時間」議題的作品,掀起的那一角之下充滿了時鐘,每個指針皆是一根激勵的刺,鞭策著人不斷的前進,時間真是無孔不入,無時不在。有人說「手錶是二十世紀的手銬,而大哥大將會是二十一世紀的腳鐐」,時時感覺生命的流逝已是一件讓人驚心膽跳之事,如果連想消失一下的慾望都無法實現的話,只能怨嘆身為現代人的可悲,B.B.CALL、大哥大、E-MAIL隨時的通緝,這樣的手銬腳鐐即使是天使也只能坐困愁城,再也無法飛翔,於是作品「天穹信使」中那個坐在頂端看世間的天使與「光之武士」手執利刃破除時間的無相天使彷彿都是世紀末人心的化身。

【鳥國狂的飛行慾望】
   「我並不渴望自由,但渴望以飛行的角度,站在頂端看世界的重整」施宣宇說的飛行角度在作品中化身為一雙雙天使翅膀,而這些翅膀讓人聯想起希臘悲劇中的「鳥」,劇中描述在天堂與塵世之間有座世界性的鳥國,是座免於恐懼與衝擊的自由之邦,因此當時的雅典人個個成為「鳥國狂」,並希望能得到一對翅膀,以飛向自由。這樣的渴望由來已久,人彷彿以為擁有翅膀便擁有自由與幸福,科技發達的現在,我們乘著大翅膀的飛機橫跨大洋,世界變小了,人並沒有更自由一些,反而像是雙腳被捆綁的天使,雖然可以飛,卻再也飛不高、飛不遠了。施宣宇要說的便是這樣的矛盾與可悲,因此具象化的羽翼帶著濃重的機械風味,有承軸的接合點,有弧狀的主體與方向舵般排列的羽毛,一整排展翅高飛的羽翼,停格畫面的就像未來派所追求的連續動態感,與巴拉的說法是相似的「在瘋狂的疾馳中,變化得像快速的震動。因此一匹奔跑中的馬有的不是四條腿,而是二十條腿…」。此作品的視覺凝視點在於垂直的中軸線,並暗示著振翅高飛,無限延伸,而此中軸線與之前作品中常出現的「準」或「梭」之意象有異曲同工之妙。

   「飛行」主題因觀察的角度與心情的不同,而有相異的形象。展翅欲飛的雙翅、側面雙羽重疊的單翅都被用做視覺的焦點。另一個令人印象深刻的「飛行」形象是「白鷺鷥的身影飛越天際,而影子倒映在田間的那一刻」,影子由本體抽離,去除了真實的形象,美的純粹度也提高,一如布朗庫西的「空中之鳥」上昇的形體表徵無限的慾望,相對於上下垂直,施宣宇的白鷺鷥是向前橫越飛翔,倒影在玻璃之上,波光粼粼,閃動的影像亦虛亦實。在這幾件作品中,施宣宇的脫離數字天書的長篇大論,簡潔的像一首小詩。

【秩序重整】
   「飛行」是人對於羽翼與自由之嚮往,而最近的「秩序重整」系列則是徹底的打破之前的拼圖,重新再來過,施宣宇對自由原型的企盼,以破解取代了再複製,荷佛(Hoffer)說:「自由毀滅了秩序,而人對秩序的渴求則毀滅了自由。」秩序重整勢必收回自由,水平橫軸兩端的拉鋸戰永不停歇,在正與反,自由與秩序之間期望找到一個「中介空間」,而圓點網狀透空的符號即是施宣宇的正反二元對立的中介點,這個穿透空間結合內外,統整元素間彼此的關係使得作品成為完整一體的王國,一如布朗庫西融於一體的完整性雕塑理念。秩序重整象徵著施宣宇的創作轉變,也似乎讓人們由世紀末的不確定與混亂中甦醒,新世紀的來臨又是一切如新。



   施宣宇的陶不只是陶,素材的延伸擴展與多元論述,打破了藝術媒介的侷限。從條碼、數字天書到所有符碼的消失,施宣宇似乎隨著時間的前進更加簡約,而他所熱愛的機械美學也由具象的形體運用,變成萃取分離後的抽象精神,以更含蓄的隱喻,寂靜無聲地展現我們身處的世界與面臨的問題。隱喻法的迂迴曲折一方面去除了機械美學的冷酷,一方面也加強了觀者對作品的感受力與對問題的反思,因此施宣宇的「變」在我眼中不諦是另一種的成熟。


On the Wings of Mechanical Beauty:
A Discussion of Shi Hsuan-yu’s
Wings in the Wind- Ceramics Solo Exhibition

Lu Pei-yi



For the younger generation living in post-modern cultural environment, inner demands and external e­xpression, always seems as disassociated as a collage of segmented images from daily life. Disorderly inner/outer contradictions lead to the hard-to-understand X and Y generation. This gap is displayed in Shih’s works in a different form. His contradictions coexist with contradictions through shock treatment, inclusive of both internal and external problems. Internally, he depends on a positive-negative dualist view of the universe, which has become a deep felt source of belief and order. However, this metaphysical thinking challenges the outside with a modern industrial mechanical beauty that is precise, cold and also elegant, as a mirror that reflects contemporary life. His contradictions are also shown in the contrast and stylistic diversity in the way material characteristics are transformed. Using soft clay, Shih creates a machine-like solidity and borrows the unique vocabulary of architecture, seemingly using his hands to make a series of modern castles.

“Mechanical Aesthetics”

The industrial revolution at the end of the 19th Century, created a situation in which people worshipped machines. The completion of the Eiffel Tower stood as a testament to the machine age, giving people a whole new experience. Artists were also inspired. Picasso and the Cubist school of Georges Braque deconstructed objects, reassembling and making collages of them using geometric shapes. The mechanical school developed by Fernand Leger, which took military life as its foundation, depicted people in paintings as clumsy machines. The Italian Futurist School and Russian Structuralists represented new forms of artistic e­xpression that followed the impact of the mechanical world.

However this kind of mechanical worship disappeared amidst the fighting of WWI and WWII. The cruelty of war destroyed the purity of ideas about machines, without allowing people to leave life in the mechanical world. Indeed, the stronger the urge to leave, the greater the realization that man had already become part of the machine. Traces of this love-hate feeling can often be seen in Shih’s work. The piece “Sky Corridor” has wings of desire that are spread and flying high, taking with them the fall of people after technological convenience, the cages and shackles of modern life that imprison the body, spirit and mind. We are like Faustus dealing with the devil, having no soul just the body of a machine, wandering like zombies on the streets of our big cities.  

Shih Hsuan-yu’s mechanical beauty comes from his life in the ROC Marine Corps. The large armaments warehouses, round tube-shaped pill boxes, beautiful arc-shaped boats, billowing sails, the symbol of the anchor and image of the standard, all led to his fascination with the mechanical world. From sea to land, Shih’s mechanical beauty comes from modern architecture, especially the organic form of post-modern buildings, architectural language that includes uncertainty, kinetic energy, cracking, anxiety, dual decoding and multi-element dialectics. Looking at the Notre Dame du Haute chapel by 20th century master Le Corbusier, the New York TWA building by Euro Saarinen or Frank Gerry’s Guggenheim Museum in Spain, images of boats or wings have inspired Shih’s mechanical beauty. It could be said that his ceramic art are miniature buildings, utilizing architectural vocabulary in his work, enriching the vision and possibilities of ceramic art and fully realizing the interconnected nature of fields in post contemporary art.

The Impact of “New”

Shih suggests that his study trip to the West Coast of the US last summer caused him gave him “turmoil.” As a result, he was forced to change and transform his creative process, something he likens to adjusting to jet lag. The artist describes himself as an overburdened angel that has forgotten it can fly. As a result, on returning to Taiwan the first thing he did was put to one side all of this baggage, reflect and slowly digesting al he had learned. “Time”, “flight” and the “reestablishment of order” were his main themes in this period.

The work “Screening Jump Time” in which a corner of the earth is lifted up by a sardine tin opener, is an extension of earlier “time” motif works. Under the raised corner are numerous clocks, each hand an encouraging poke, pushing people continually forward. Time really does reach everywhere and is always with us. Some people say: “Watches are the handcuffs of the twentieth century’s and the cell phone will be the manacles of the twenty-first century.” To continually feel the passing of life is a scary thing. If even the desire to disappear for a short while cannot be realized, then all we can do is sigh at the misery of modern people. Pagers, cell phones and E-mail always find us, and with such handcuffs and manacles even angels cannot fly. The angel looking down from above in the piece “The Archangel of the World” and the “The Warruors of the Light” with the dagger in its hand cutting through time in “Warrior of Light” seem to be the personification of people’s hearts at the end of the twentieth century.

Bird Country Crazy Desire for Flight

“I do not thirst for freedom, but I am keen to look down from on high at the rebuilding of the world as I fly.” Shih says that in his work the flying perspective is transformed into pairs of angel’s wings and these bring to mind the global bird kingdom between heaven and earth described in the Greek tragedy “The Birds,” a country free of fear and conflict. At the time all the people of Athens became “Bird kingdom crazy” hoping to acquire a pair of wings and fly to freedom.

This kind of thirst has been developing for a long while, with people seeming to believe that wings will give them freedom and happiness. In the technologically advanced world of today we take planes with large wings across the ocean. The world has become smaller, but people are not freer, in fact they are like angels with bound feet, able to fly but not high or far. What Shih wants to discuss is this kind of contradiction and sadness, hence the representational wings have a heavy mechanical flavor and joint points, an arc-shaped main body and rudder-like arrangement of the feathers, like a line of feathered wings set to spread and fly high. The freeze-frame image is like the feeling of continuous movement sought by the Futurist School. His explanation is similar to that of Bala: “Amidst the crazed gallop, changes have to be like rapid vibrations. So, the running horse doesn’t have four legs, it has twenty.” The visual focus of this work is the central vertical axis, implying the spreading of wings, flying high and limitless extension. Relative to the idea of a “standard” or “shuttle” that appears in the previous work, this axis achieves the effect in a different way.

The “flight” theme has different images depending on angle of observation and state of mind. The pairs of wings are spread and ready to fly and from the side the single wings with layers of feathers are the visual focus. Another “flight” image that leaves a deep impression is the “shadow of the white egrets flying across the sky and the shadow reflected inverted in a field.” The shadow separates from the body eliminating the real image and enhancing the purity of beauty, just as Constantin Brancusi’s “Bird in Space” symbolizes infinite desire. Aligned vertically, Shih’s white egrets are flying forwards and appear as inverted images on the glass. The glistening, shimmering image is both false and real. In these few works, his eloquent discourse, detached from secret message numbers is as concise as a short poem.

Reestablishing order

“Flight” concerns the desire of people to have wings and be free. More recently, the “Reestablishing order” series made a complete break with previous work starting from scratch. Shih’s expectation of the original prototype of freedom replaces reproduction with decoding. Hoffer says: “Freedom destroys order, and the desire of people for order destroys freedom.” The reestablishment of order inevitably involves taking back freedom. The tug of war between the two ends of the horizontal axis never ends as we search for an “intermediate space” between positive and negative, freedom and order. Dotted net shaped empty symbols are the intermediary point for Shih’s counter-position of negative-positive dualism. This penetration of space, unity of internal and external and systemization of relationships between the elements, allows the work to become a complete kingdom, just like Brancusi’s concept of comprehensive sculpture. The reestablishment of order symbolizes a change in Shih’s creativity and seems to wake people from the uncertainty and turmoil of the end of century period, to a new century where everything is new.

Shih Hsuan-yu’s clay is not just clay, the extension and diverse discourse of materials shattering the barriers between art mediums. From barcodes, to secret message number books, to the disappearance of all symbols, it seems that Shih is becoming simpler with time and the mechanical beauty he loves so much has transformed from the use of representational forms to an abstract spirit, that involves absorption and separation, using more restrained allusions to silently express the world in which we live and the problems we face. On the one hand the circuitous metaphor removes the coldness of mechanical beauty, on the other it also strengthens the ability of the viewer to feel the work and reflect on questions. As such, I would say that to my mind Shih’s “change” should be seen as an alternative form of “maturity.”




[本日誌由 Samuel 於 2010-12-16 05:33 PM 編輯]
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