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Artists|藝術家

林桂華 / Lin,Kuei Hua

(1953~ ) 關於繪畫,一路走來,我總是不知道外面的世界為何,用一顆素樸的心境面對一切。一切都是開始,時間流逝其實只存在思想意識中。
About artistic, I have known nothing about the world outside, what I do is facing all I will meet with my heart truly.
Everything just started, the passing of time only happens in mind.

隨境光影的細觀凝視
 
1995年, 我42歲,因為健康的因素,移居美國充滿陽光的南加州。某天,接到住家附近的巴沙迪那社區大學寄來一本成人教育招生簡冊,看到有一門課叫做Life Drawing;我以為是畫靜物的課;於是很快繳費報名,希望能好好學學基本的繪畫技巧。開始上課不久,老師請一位女模特兒進入教室,要我們畫她;忽然看到模特兒將衣服一件一件的脫去; 到底發生了什麼事?太嚇人了,眼睛不知道應該往哪裡看,原來「Life Drawing」,就是「人體素描」!誤打誤撞,一頭栽進了繪畫的世界!
 
直到2006年,我在創作上開始跳脫既有的技巧框架,自由揮灑。終於漸漸發現自己創作的主軸-「線條」;除了對相關材料與用具進行研究,其中還可以分成幾個創作著力的課題:
 
(一)技法:
 
1. 水彩:為了要呈現線條的力道、速度、方向性、等寬線性…等等;我運用注射針筒,利用水彩顏料容易調色、高流動性、快乾…等等特性;先將幾個常用顏色,在不同的玻璃罐調勻,以針筒直接吸取並在筒內調色,然後將針筒視為畫筆在紙上揮灑。時而失控似的灑落在紙上,時而在未乾的線條上注入其他顏色,如同紙上混色,產生與畫筆截然不同的筆觸。
 
2. 粉彩:粉彩透明度與流動性低,很好的素描材料,我利用粉彩特性與不同的筆觸描繪靜物。
 
3. 油彩:油彩黏稠度高,如果要畫出游絲般書寫線條,很難找到適當的工具一氣呵成。於是我用適當比例的稀釋液混合油彩,以注射針筒壓擠做出長長的隨興線條,如此可使原本具像的主題顯得較為流暢自然。時而使用較少稀釋液去調和顏料,使擠出的線條,較有立體感;在線條未完全乾固前,用畫刀在線條上水平滑過,以得到厚度平均,平滑的線條。
 
(二)線條:工具語言/線性質地:
1. 掌握工具中的線性本質:繪畫媒材使用時,有時會產生與其本質相對立的反效果,所以我首先會去理解媒材的特長與侷限,也就是說工具、技法與線條被視為一體。從生活經驗中拾取經驗進行開發,例如:與墨水相關的馬克筆、簽字筆、原子筆、鋼筆…與粉粒顆狀或油脂相關的木碳筆及各種顏色的粉筆、蠟筆…等。
 
新的畫線工具可幫助畫者打破舊有的習性。 也會強迫畫者用不同的方法使用自己的手。或是說,比起以前慣用的既熟悉又可預期的工具,新的畫線工具可能更可用不同的方法繪出想要達成的畫作。
 
2. 掌控線條與失控線條:我總是藉由線條展現種種新的觀念,或者說線條是我始終關注的創作核心。其中大致可以分為掌控線條與失控線條。如同人一生行事,大部分是可 掌控規劃,但也常常事與願違。對我來說,失控意謂著美學上的美好意外,畫面上自由游走的線條,召喚人類原始神祕力量與童年時光的快樂塗鴉。然而,線條的本質是無限的、實驗的,它可以是輪廓的、有機的、幾何的、建築的、抒情的、制約的、侵略的、書寫的…等等。時而急速馳騁、時而緩緩推移;時而華麗精巧、時而粗暴駑鈍…。掌控線條與失控線條交相為用,使畫作既和諧又跳動,相得益彰。 線條是想法形塑與觀念產生本身,空間呈現最基本的單位,最經濟的指標。在繪畫中,線條一方面具有解構分析的功能,另一方面呈現心智無法迄及的整全意義。在理想的形態下,一條線能將立體3D空間轉變成平面2D形式,在載體表面和圖像之間涵蓋所有可能的空間關係;其中還包括了抽象思維與視覺形式之間的轉化。
 
(三)主題:逆光的景物
長期身處室內辦公,每天翹首觀看窗景,看著日露晨曦,看著烈日當頭,看著夕陽西下,一日又消逝,心中悵然,若能將窗外景緻留於室內,該有多麼美好!我對陽光有一份深深的依戀,對於背光/逆光的景物,總帶著深刻感受。午夜夢迴曾看見美麗的景色,靛藍的海洋,無法言喻的美麗紅光;陽光賦予了對象迷人的色彩,穿透窗口,逆光的靜物與桌上的倒影,成了我反覆創作的題材。
 
 
目遇畫室:風聲與月色
「創新」是藝術創作的根本精神,創新的存在總是相對於傳統,也就是說沒有「舊」要如何談「新」?但一切的創新如果只是在傳統上辯證,作品終究油盡燈枯,流於俗套,缺乏感動人的元素。在創作上,我採取雙軌並進,有時候浸淫在傳統中深化探問,有時反而去摧毀那高不可攀的階梯,滋意妄為。人類知識的來源有兩種,一種是邏輯的,來源於理智,產生概念;一種是直覺的,來源於想像, 產生意象。直覺是理性分析之外直接領受到事物真相的一種心理能力,是一種心智斷裂中的訊息接受,是創造力,是表現力,是全然新穎的動態過程,一種心靈賦形,把物質提升為心靈形式的過程。這種過程就是畫家藉由線條、顏色把感覺與印象提昇至可供觀照的具體形象。
江上之清風,與山間之明月,耳得之而為聲,目遇之而成色。取之無禁,用之不竭。是造物者之無盡藏也。(宋 蘇軾〈前赤壁賦〉)
 
西元1082年,當時蘇軾遭貶官黃州。政治上的打擊,固然讓他身心交瘁,卻無法迫使他就此喪志擱筆。在與朋友遊歷赤壁之後,抒發體悟,提筆成文。我以「目遇」命名畫室。以「目遇之而成色」表達我內心終極的繪畫本質,其「色」也包括著繪畫形色所相對的現象世界,即生活裡的形形色色,不只是物理物質,還有著「意義」上的層次,像是一個在喧嘩人群裡被遺忘的小孩,或是一位倚靠窗台沉思默想的女子。認識的對象與對象的認識本來就無法分割,到底我們眼前景緻是在屋裡,還是在窗外?還是其實就是那片玻璃本身?繪畫讓我知道,自由不在他處,制約在哪裡,自由就在哪裡。身處困境的蘇軾總是更顯其人格偉大與天真放達。
 
美國演員Steve Bussemi說:天真這個東西很有意思。由於不懂規矩,不知何者可為,何者不可為,所以會發生一些有趣的狀況(There’s something about being naive. Really interesting things come because you don’t know what the rules are, what you can and can’t do.)。
 
   關於繪畫,一路走來,我總是不知道外面的世界為何,用一顆素樸的心境面對一切。一切都是開始,時間流逝其實只存在思想意識中。
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
An artistic Originality: the Subtle Gaze into
the Light-and-shadow of the Scenes
 
In 1995 when I was 42 years old, I moved to the sunny Southern California because of some health problem.  One day, I received a program about adult education from Pasadena Community College and I saw that they offered a course “Life Drawing.”  I thought that it was about still life drawing, so I registered for the class and paid the fee right away, hoping to learn some basic painting techniques.  When the class began, the teacher gestured a female model to walk into the classroom and asked us to draw her.  Suddenly, I saw her taking off clothes.  What happened?  It was so shocking.  I did not even know where to look at.  It turned out that “life drawing” was about human figure drawing!  It was a lucky accident for me to walk into the world of painting! 
 
Not only the year of 2006 did I start to liberate myself from the pre-existing conventions and to freely express myself.  I have gradually found the main concept of my artistic practice – “lines.”  In addition to the exploration of related materials and tools, I also focus on several concepts as mentioned below: 
 
I. Techniques:
1. Watercolor paint:  In order to highlight the strength, speed, direction, equaled width and other qualities of watercolor paint, I use needle tubes to paint.  Since watercolor paint is easy to be mixed and dried while it also has high fluidity, I usually put the frequently-used colors in several jars, and use needle tubes to pump in, mixing the colors in the needle tubes.  Then I use needle tube as brushes to paint on paper.  Sometimes the paint is splashed on paper as if it were out of control, while sometimes the undried lines are added with different colors as if I were mixing colors on paper.  These techniques indeed help create totally different strokes from using brushes.    
 
2. Pastel paint:  With its low transparency and fluidity, pastel paint is a wonderful material for drawing.  I take advantage of its unique quality and different strokes in my still life drawing. 
 
3. Oil paint:  Oil paint is thicker and stickier.  It is quite impossible to find a proper tool to smoothly paint the handwriting-like silky lines.  Therefore, I mix paint thinner and oil paint in proper proportion, using needle tube to randomly squeeze the long lines.  Such a method visualizes the realistic subjects in a more fluent and natural way.   Sometimes I use less paint thinner to mix, creating a stronger three-dimensional quality.  Before the lines are completely dried, I slide the palette on the lines horizontally to create smooth lines with equal thickness.   
 
II.  Lines:  the Vocabulary of Tools/the Linear Texture
1.  To master the linear essence of tools: Sometimes the painting material will create a totally opposite effect against its essence.  Therefore, the first thing I do is always to understand the quality and the limitation of materials, regarding tools, techniques, and the lines as a whole.   My exploration bases on my life experiences such as the ink-related ones (including marker, sign pen, fountain pen, and etc.), oil-related or powder-like ones such as charcoal, and crayons of various colors.
 
A new line-painting tool can help painters to challenge their old habit while it also forces them to use their hands in a different way.  In other words, compared with the familiar and predictable tool one used to use, a new line-painting tool might come up with a different way to visualize the ideal painting. 
 
2. The controlled lines and the out-of-control lines:  I always adopt lines to demonstrate various new concepts.  One might say that lines have always been the main concept of my artistic practice.  The “lines” in my works can be generally divided as the controlled lines and the out-of-control lines.  Similar to our lives, some things in our life can be planned in advance while some things are not anticipated.   For me, being out-of-control signifies a wonderful accident in aesthetics.  The freely roaming lines in the image evoke human beings’ primitive secret power and remind us of the happy drawing in our childhood.  However, the essence of lines is infinite and experimental.  Lines can be contoured, organic, geometric, architectural, lyrical, conditioned, aggressive, handwriting, and etc.   Sometimes they move rapidly while sometimes they proceed slowly.  Sometimes they are delicately splendid while sometimes they are violently rustic.    The controlled lines and the out-of-control lines are intertwined, perfectly creating a harmonious but yet vivid spirit in the image.  Lines are the most basic unit to represent a space, to form an idea, or to create a concept.  It is the most economical index.  In painting, lines function as deconstructive analysis while it also demonstrates the integral meaning human minds fail to reach.  Ideally, a single line can transform the three-dimensional space into a two-dimensional image.    Between the media’s surface and the image exist all the possible special relationships, including the transformation between the abstract thoughts and the visual forms.  
 
III. Theme:  the Scenes in Backlight
I had been stuck in an office for a long period of time.  Every day, I looked out from the window to see the sunrise and the sunset.   From dawn to dusk, I could not help wondering how wonderful it might be to keep the outdoor scene inside the room.   Sunlight always fascinates me.  I have a deep feeling for those scenes in backlight.   I used to see the most beautiful scene in my dream – the blue ocean and the inexplicably beautiful red light.   Sunlight penetrates the window and offers the most amazing colors to the scenes.  The still life in backlight and the shadow on the table become the reoccurring theme in my paintings.  
 
iMeet Studio: the Wind Sound and the Moonlight
Originality is the fundamental spirit of artistic practice.  The original is the opposite of the traditional.   If the traditional does not exist, it will be impossible for us to talk about the original.  However, if originality only depends on the dialectic of tradition, it will not be able to come up with impressive and refreshing works.    In my works, I always work with both.  Sometimes I further explore the preexisting tradition, while sometimes I choose to destroy the untouchable stairs, trying everything I want.   Human knowledge come from two resources: the logical one originates from rationality and produces concepts, while the intuitive one originates from imagination and produces images.   Apart from the rational analysis, intuition is a psychological ability to experience the truth of the reality.  It receives the information through the mental fragmentation.  Intuition is about creativity, expression, a whole new process of moving, the forming of the spirit, and the process to sublime the material into the spiritual.   It is how painters visualize the abstract feeling and impression into the realistic images through lines and colors. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In the year of 1082, Su Shi was demoted from his position and banished to Huang-Chou.   The political conflict frustrated him, but it never forced him to stop writing.  After he travelled to the Red Cliff with his friends, he wrote First Visit to the Red Cliff to express his feeling.    I name my studio as “iMeet Studio” for that the sentence “color to our eyes” expresses what I think of the absolute essence of painting. The word “color” here signifies the realistic world in comparison to the painted world – the various “colors” of life.    It is not merely about the material world but also about the spiritual world.   It might be a kid being forgotten in the noisy crowd, or a woman who is meditating at the window.   It is impossible to separate the object of the knowledge and the knowledge of the object.   Is the scene we see inside the house or outside the window?  Or is it just that glass?   Painting makes me realize that freedom is nowhere else.   Where the limitation is, where the freedom is.  In the troubled time, Su Shi even showed a greater personality and a broader mind.   
 
The American actor Steve Bussemi has once mentioned that “there’s something about being naive. Really interesting things come because you don’t know what the rules are, what you can and can’t do.” 
It is my idea about painting.  Throughout my life, I have never truly realized the outer world, other people’s opinions, and what the future might be life.  What is real? What is false? What is true? What is pretense?  On this road of painting, I always depend on my instincts, dealing with everything with the most honest heart.   Everything is just the beginning.  The passing of time actually only exists in the stream of thoughts. 
1995年 在美國南加州開始繪畫
 
2006年 發現創作主軸「線」
 
2013年 首次個展 「線。不設限」台灣師範大學德群畫廊
 
2014年【春意正濃】Absolute Spring In The Air -12位女性藝術家聯展 YESART AIR GALLERY
爭艷

爭艷 Blossom

林桂華 Lin,Kuei Hua
56x76cm
NTD 75,000
迎新

迎新 New Comes

林桂華 Lin,Kuei Hua
76x56cm
NTD 65,000
蘭花

蘭花 Orchid

林桂華 Lin,Kuei Hua
76x56cm
NTD 65,000
林間

林間 Woods

林桂華 Lin,Kuei Hua
76x56cm
NTD 65,000
「目遇」而成的心靈之歌-記林桂華首次個展

文/ 陳貺怡 教授                                                                                                                        
巴黎第十大學當代藝術史博士
國立臺灣藝術大學美術學系主任/研究所所長
 
桂華總是自謙非學院出身,對她來說畫畫就是一點好奇、許多夢想再加上一連串的意外,等到意識過來時,就己經擁有一間令許多專業畫家豔羨的畫室,也製造了一批質量都不差的作品,也已經居然要辦起人生的第一個畫展了。這樣的成果對一位師大家政系畢業,自承從小在美術方面並沒有非常突出的表現,曾當過兩年中學教師,留學美國攻讀營養科學卻又半途中輟,為了脫貧而轉戰商場,為了幫助夫君圓夢而努力工作長達三十年的女性而言,實在甚為傳奇。這樣的一位繪畫工作者,我們該如何去界定她呢?她是一位藝術家嗎?我們又該如何看待她的作品呢?用甚麼樣的標準去檢視它們呢?在回答這些問題時,我們的腦海裡馬上會浮出許多「專業藝術家」的定義,再把桂華的藝術天分、她的專業養成、她的藝術經歷和她的藝術作品,放在諸多專業標準之下逐項檢視,然後,生出許多疑惑。
不過,也許暫時拋開這樣的途徑,以及她是否藝術家的提問,回到一個更為根本的問題,即桂華為什麼要創作這件事情上:桂華為什要在四十二歲時,走進Pasadenca 的社區學校選修繪畫課程?為什麼又會在2007年回台定居後,不再甘心當位「星期天畫家」,而決定「自由創作」?又為什麼不斷地想閱讀更多藝術的理論和知識,了解更多藝術家的作品,花更多的時間與熱情在繪畫的探索上,終於反客為主,成為一位全職的創作者?在桂華朝著「專業」挺進的過程中,是甚麼支撐了她的意志,造就了她創作的獨特質性?
 
藝術與存在
對創作行為研究的基本假設是人類受到創造「形」與貝爾(Clive Bell,1881- 1964)所謂「有意義的形」(significant form)之慾望挑動,並且對其他人的創作感到興趣。此種行為乃是人類所共通,完全獨立於藝術養成與文化背景之外。事實上,人人都可以實踐其創造力,自由創作存在於無名的大眾,也存在於專業藝術家。只是西方自文藝復興以來,在學院、博物館、官方展示機制共同織造的框架之下,在藝術史的撰寫上,體制外的作品幾乎完全被排除在外。直到十九世紀下半葉,挾現代主義的澎湃潮流之勢,這類作品才開始受到藝術家們重視,例如杜布菲(Jean Dubuffet, 1901-1985)就極力主張以所謂的「原生藝術」(L'art brut)對抗「美術館藝術」,他定義「原生藝術」為:
 
各種產品(素描、繪畫、編織、捏塑、或雕像等等),表現出自發的特質與高度的創造力,與一般的慣性藝術或文化的陳腔濫調無涉,而其作者是一些完全不知名,完全不屬於藝術圈的人物。
 
類似「原生藝術」這樣的概念,帶來的其實是對藝術本質的質疑:藝術究竟是繪畫、雕塑等某種媒材實踐之形式產品,亦或是個體在面對世界時,一種自我指涉的態度?而藝術作品究竟是完整的美學產品,抑或是具表現功能的實驗物件?
桂華最仰慕的藝術家梵谷(Vincent Willem van Gogh, 1853-1890[)並未接受正規的學院教育,僅有在布魯塞爾藝術學院註冊三個月的記錄,此外就是曾在海牙藝術家牟夫(Anton Rudolf Mauve, 1838-1888)的畫室中短暫學習,其養成的過程可說完全仰賴自學以及其他藝術家的感染。然而,他在27歲時毅然決然的將所有精力投注於繪畫,憑藉著強烈的創作衝動,在短短十年(1880-1890)的創作生涯中留下令人豔羨的840張油畫,超過1000張的素描以及無數的水彩和版畫,寫下數百封的書信給家人朋友,暢談自己對藝術的看法與作法,並且言之有物。正因為未受學院訓練的桎梏,所以創作中充滿了原生的力量,淬煉出獨特的筆法,充滿強烈的表現能力,能直接的深入並撼動人心。
對於桂華這樣義無反顧投入藝術的人,多半都得有同樣的熱情才行。桂華曾經描述自己對藝術的興趣大到連看到一個畫架在牆角,也會覺得非常愉悅。因此,她第一次在《美國藝術家》(American Artist)雜誌上看到畫架的廣告,就買了一個放在客廳天天看。也「從此展開對畫架、顏料、紙張、畫布、畫筆、畫刀、溶劑…的研究,並且在過程中覺得非常充實與快樂!」桂華深深被媒材吸引,彷彿煉金術士般審視色料,操控材料的物質變化,運用材料與工具觀察存有,表達現實,進而追求一己之昇華。她的水彩喜歡層層渲染、留白、擦洗、覆蓋;甚至自創將調好的顏料裝罐,以針筒唧取、混色、噴射、飛濺於畫紙上的技法,遊走於理性配置與感官即興、深思熟慮與直覺爆發之間。她的油畫除了傳統油彩外,偏愛非傳統素材如油漆或壓克力顏料,時而細膩的慢速描繪,時而以自創的針筒技法快速噴灑。至於粉彩畫,則是細緻綿密,她喜愛以短促的筆觸或順著輪廓形狀鋪排,如〈果實〉,或撒佈統御整個畫面,彷彿一張細密交織的網絡,如〈花間流光〉,這種具表現性的筆觸,很類似梵谷聖雷米( Saint Rémy)時期之後的作法。這一切都說明了桂華對材質(Matière)的愛好是何等顯著。
在十八世紀的繪畫辭典中,瓦特雷(Claude-Henri Watelet, 1718-1786)已經提到:「筆觸只要稍微超過適度,就傾向於變成一個符號,而不是準確的模仿」。而當繪畫停止模仿的功能時,來自於現實本身的筆觸就可以成為繪畫的目的。十七世紀的畫家林布蘭特(RembrandtHarmenszoon van Rijn, 1606-1669)開始強調筆觸,歷經華鐸(Jean Antoine Watteau, 1684-1721)、德拉克洛瓦(Eugène Delacroix, 1798-1863)、印象派(impressionnisme)直到1950年代的材質主義者(matiéristes)將異物摻入顏料中成為具厚度的顏料層(pâte),同時觸及時間性、空間性與視、觸的問題;並且一方面強調手的操作,一方面強調繪畫的物質屬性。代表人物杜布菲如此說:「藝術必須從材料與工具中誕生,且應該保留工具與材料鬥爭的痕跡」。亦即當材料被足夠的突顯,以至於成為現實的象徵符號時,它就擁有引起情感與情緒的能力,將繪畫的物質性導向繪畫的精神性。在戰後存在主義的氛圍裡,杜布菲事實上將藝術視為是一種創造的過程,透過藝術家留下的「痕跡」,觀眾必須能重建此一創作的過程,進而與藝術家的存在產生共鳴。無怪乎當羅森柏格(Harold Rosenberg, 1906-1978)看到波洛克(Jackson Pollock, 1912-1956)將大畫布放在地上,時而在其周圍繞行,時而踏進畫布之中,以筆刷或棍棒沾著鋁漆飛舞灑佈,滴淋而成的線條是藝術家身體運動所經之處留下的軌跡,化成層層糾結交纏無法理清令人窒息的線條,藝評家發出如下的宣稱:「在畫布上發生的是一個事件,而不是一個影像!」繪畫的意義即在於藝術家在創作時的角色,因為他將「情感與智慧的精力揮霍其上」,繪畫早已化身為畫家存在的象徵。
桂華也許還算不上是位材質主義者,她的處境與二戰後的這些藝術家也大相逕庭。但她對於創作的熱愛,對材質的癡迷,對自創技法所製造的筆觸、線條、痕跡的執念式的使用,都承載了遠遠超過學院派的冷靜所能承載的感動。她的創作毫無目的,她的創作只是藝術家存在的明證。
 
目遇
         桂華固然在材質的試驗上獲得無窮的樂趣,但卻無意放棄繪畫的模仿功能,貿貿然進入抽象的冒險。她的題材非常簡單,不外是捕捉生活裡的感動:朋友送來的禮籃、陽台上的盆花、工作室窗外的景緻、大自然令人驚嘆的造化之工。她將自己的工作室命名為「目遇」,強調視覺在自己創作上的重要性。
然而,藝術家的工作可能並不只是看到什麼就畫什麼這麼簡單,根據現象學的說法,大自然固然是一種占據時空的物質性存有,但它必須透過意識才能向人展現。藝術家看世界總是眼光獨具,因為誠如沙特(Jean-Paul Sartre, 1905-1980)所言,藝術家的「意圖」(intention)會建構影像,並且彌補知覺上的不足;當藝術家運用「直覺」(intuition)時,其意識也並非是空的,他所有的知識會在瞬間被傾倒在畫面上。而藝術家與常人不同之處,在於藝術家透過意識了解世界之後,進而將意識實體化為藝術作品。在此過程中,他的身體扮演了非常重要的角色,特別是他的眼睛。梅洛龐帝(MauriceMerleau-Ponty, 1908-1961)說:「藝術家的視覺並不只是一種對外的注視,一種與世界的單純的物理-眼睛的關係,世界並非藉再現的方式呈現在他眼前」,因為「思想/精神會在目光中被看到和讀出來」。他主張我們的視覺無所不看,既能看見真實亦能看見想像之物:「眼睛實現了向心靈開啟非心靈的事物」。
所以當畫家在作畫時,他的身體其實是畫家的精神與大自然之間的橋梁,他將自己向世界敞開,畫家的行動並非由精神所單獨決定,「它是某種視覺的自然延續和成熟」。也就說畫家面對大自然時產生的思維與感動,並不能單獨成畫,因為精神不能作畫,必須要借助從眼到心到手的過程,畫家才能將世界變成畫。所以繪畫的確不是現實之分毫不差的再現,但卻也不會因此就離開現實。繪畫是物與靈性的融合,梅洛龐帝說:「不管具象與否,線條既不是物的模仿,也不是一種物。」
塞尚(Paul Cézanne, 1839-1906)晚年隱居於艾克斯(Aix en Provence),從1885年開始直到1906年去世為止,不斷的重複同樣的主題,畫下了至少80幅的《聖維克多山》。在他去世前曾在一封給兒子的信中寫道:「我在小河邊作畫,主題不斷增衍。同一個對象由不同的角度去觀察,便呈現出更有力的研究主題。其變化又是如此的豐富,我想我可以畫上好幾個月,也不必改變位置。」塞尚何以能愛聖維克多山成癡,不但畫它千遍也不厭倦,連位置都不用改變?很明顯的,當塞尚畫聖維克多山時,並不追求單純的呈現這座山的外貌,否則應會很快的厭煩,且看他如何向年輕友人賈斯傑(Joachim Gasquet, 1879-1821)解釋:
 
這些偉大的古典風景,我們的普羅旺斯,我們夢想中的希臘與義大利,是那些擁有精神化了的明亮光線的風景,在這些地方風景是一抹漂浮著敏銳智性的微笑……看這座聖維克多山。多麼奔放,多麼蠻橫的渴求陽光,而入夜之後,當所有的沉重都落下之後,又是多麼的惆悵﹗……這些岩塊是火作的,在他們裡面還仍然有火。陰影與日照彷彿因為懼怕他們而顫抖著後退;當厚重的雲層飄過時,落在岩石上的陰影發顫,彷彿被燒著,被一把火立刻蒸發了。……我好久以來都一直不能,也不知道怎麼畫聖維克多山。
 
            這樣的敘述可以讓我們輕易的了解,對塞尚而言聖維克多山不只是一座山而已,它顯然是被精神化了的風景。當畫家一次又一次的,隻身回到聖維克多山面前,當他不斷的想超越上一幅聖維克多山,想更完美的呈現他所感知到的這座意涵豐富的山,他於是在寂靜中沉思,與山單獨面對面,「用眼睛聽」,正如詩人克勞岱(Paul Claudel, 1868-1955)所言。他的精神與心靈緩緩的浸入表面上看起來不變,但卻令他移不開目光的風景。在這樣的神交中,這樣一筆接一筆的畫,直到1905年,在一封寫給貝爾納(Emile Bernard, 1868-1941)的信中才終於宣稱:「時間與思考漸漸的改變了視覺,理解(compréhension)終於來臨了。」
            桂華也常常提到在大自然面前的感受,驅使她不得不透過繪畫來重溫、解碼心靈之神祕經驗。例如當她到芝加哥探望在西北大學讀書的女兒時,曾在某天清晨到湖邊散步,看到「廣大如海洋的密西根湖上,太陽剛剛升起,雲層很低,接近湖面。晨曦與新鮮的空氣交融,內心忽然激動不已,回程深覺必須補捉這悸動的瞬間。」因此就立刻買了材料,趴在女兒客廳的地板上情不自禁的揮灑起來,兩天就完成了〈密西根湖畔〉。她的〈北角夕陽〉和〈冰河〉也是同類型的作品。又例如因「長期在窗邊觀察景物」,她特別喜歡畫逆光的盆栽與拉長的影子,同類型的主題畫多少遍也不感厭倦。她喜歡畫蘭花,這次展出的作品中就有六幅之多,其中的兩幅粉彩畫〈煦日蘭花〉與〈晴日蘭花〉幾乎是一模一樣的構圖,僅有光影細微變化的差異,此外又畫了一幅大幅的油畫,也是一樣的構圖,卻不感覺單調重複。這種對物的鍥而不捨的反覆摹寫,正是物我合一的自然表現,因為對桂華而言,繪畫的確是物與靈性的融合。
 
女性藝術家
            最後,還要試著略談桂華身為「女性」這個不容忽略的身分,以及這樣的身分與桂華的藝術熱情之間的關聯。
生長在百人的大家族裡,桂華自述「只要不哭,是不會有人多看你一眼的。也不會有人會想到妳。最好盡量站到牆角邊去,不要礙到別人。」她也因此「習慣忘記自己的存在」,並且因為父親的微薄收入,養成她不讓父母因為她「產生額外的花費。更嚴格要求自己不做會花錢的事,直到大學畢業。」大學畢業教書兩年後,終於為圓留學夢勇敢的辭去教職,卻又因為經濟壓力半途而廢。轉戰商場後很快的進入婚姻,為先生的夢想不斷努力,也為孩子的養育犧牲奉獻,直到生了病,仍舊是「忘記自己的存在」。
桂華的命運並不獨特,近代的女性主義者認為女性所受的社會壓迫來自父權社會:在這樣的系統裡男性群體得以將自己的權力凌駕於女性群體之上。馬克思主義者則將矛頭指向資本主義,認為男性統治女性只不過是資本統治勞動力的結果。或者乾脆將兩者結合,認為女性的處境是父權社會與資本主義互相勾結的產物。不論如何,女性在大多數的社會中屬於弱勢,是不爭的事實,她們需要在嚴酷的現實中尋找精神的自由與心靈的出口。而所有的藝術都是與現實對立的幻象(illusion),但卻在現實中扮演不可或缺的角色,特別是對女性而言,正如洪美恩(Ien Ang)在關於女性愉悅與欲望的研究中寫道:
 
幻想和虛構並不會替代生活的維度(社會實踐、道德意識、政治觀念等等),而是與之共生。它……是快感的泉源,因為它將「現實」括了起來。在幻想和虛構中,現實世界中的煩悶與壓抑、盤根錯節的宰制與壓迫,通通變得簡單明瞭;而文本正是透過此種方式為真實的社會衝突建構了想像性的解決方案。
 
桂華在臺灣早期傳統社會重男輕女的氛圍中成長,多半都不曾質問自己的命運,總是很認命、很安靜的盡一己之本分,柔順的向現實屈服。這樣的犧牲並非出於無知,其實也不需要女性主義者來分析誰壓迫了誰,我相信桂華的美德促使她的選擇都是出自於對父母、家人的愛,對社會的責任,以及克己的要求。的確,當桂華選擇了責任,並不代表她從此被現實困住。藝術提供了一個逃逸的途徑,一個烏托邦,讓她在其中得以實現自我,重建一己的身分認同(identification)。所以畫畫對桂華而言就格外的重要,她用色彩與線條畫出美麗的花卉、壯闊的山水、恬靜的林蔭或質樸的鄉景,建構了一個心靈的烏托邦,一個庇護所,她在其中找著愉悅,得著滿足,從「忘記自己的存在」,終於成就了自己的存在。
           
            在桂華首次個展的前夕,謹以此篇小文,記我這位不尋常的友人,充滿熱情的創作者、物我合一的藝術家、追求自我實現的女性。桂華一定比誰都明白這只是一個開端,期待她秉持著熱情繼續下去,期待她的聖維克多山。

 
 

 
A Spiritual Song “iMeet”
– A Writing about Kuei Hua Lin’s First Solo Exhibition
 
Kuang-Yi, Chen
Ph.D in Contemporary Art History at Université Paris X Nanterre                                
Chairperson and Director of Department of Fine Arts at National Taiwan Normal University
 
 
Kuei Hua’s is an unpretentious artist who always mentions that she is not academically trained.  For her, painting is the mixture of curiosity, dream, and a series of amazing accidents, which ultimately leads her to a life with a painting studio many professional painters long for and a great amount of outstanding works – without even knowing how and when.  Now, she is organizing the very first solo exhibition in her life.  It is indeed a legend for someone who graduated from the Department of Home Economics at National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), who has admitted the lack of talent in art since childhood, who has worked as a middle school teacher for two years, who has studied nutritional science in the United States of America but never finished the degree, who has stepped into the business world for financial concerns, and who has diligently worked for almost thirty years to help fulfill her husband’s dream.   How should we define such a painter?  Is she an artist?  How should we view her works?  With what standard should we examine them?  When we try to answer these questions, each definition of “professional artists” comes to our minds one by one, with which we carefully evaluate her artistic talent, her professional career, her artistic practice, and her works of art.  Then, we come up with even more questions.   
 
However, perhaps we should put down such a thread of thought about whether she is or she is not an artist, and return to a more fundamental question : why does Kuei Hua want to make art?  Why did she walk into the painting class at the community school in Pasadena when she was 42 years old?  Why did she decide to become a “freelance artist” when she moved back to Taiwan in 2007?  Why being a “Sunday artist” no longer satisfy her ?  Why does she continuously study more and more art theories, know more and more artists’ works, spend even more time on art, and devote stronger passion to her artistic exploration?  How comes her leisure recreation become the life pursuit of a full-time artist?  What is her spiritual support which attributes to the unique quality of her artworks when she marches toward the world of “professional artists?”
Art and Existence
It is a basic assumption in the art-making studies that human beings are motivated by the desire to create “form,” or the “significant form” as how Clive Bell (1881- 1964) puts it.  Such a desire also evokes the interest in other people’s creative works.  It is a common behavior shared by all humans, totally independent from any art education and cultural background.  In fact, everyone can work on one’s creativity.  The freedom of art-making exists among the anonymous public as well as professional artists.  It is just because the Western art history narrative has been constructed by academies, museums, and governmental exhibition institutions since Renaissance, the artworks outside this system are all removed from it.  Until Modernism prevailed in the whole world in the late 19th Century, artists started to pay attention to these artworks.  Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985), who advocated “L'art brut” instead of “the art in the museum,” was one of the examples.  According to his definition, “L'art brut” signifies that:
 
      Various products (such as drawing, painting, knitting, kneading, or sculpture) represent spontaneity and extraordinary creativity,
       which have nothing to do with artistic conventions or cultural cliché and are created by people outside the art society.
 
Concepts similar to “L'art brut” questions the essence of art: should we define art as a formal product as well as a final result of the practice of certain medium such as painting or sculpture, or should we define it as an attitude of self-reference one adopts when facing the world?  Should we consider an artwork a complete aesthetic project or an experimental object with representational function? 
 
Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853-1890), the artist whom Kuei Hua admires the most, did not officially have any academic training either. Record shows that he registered in the Académie royale des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles and had studied there for three months.  Later, he studied in a painting studio owned by Anton Rudolf Mauve (1838-1888), an artist from The Hague for a short time.  The preparation process of his artistic career was totally dependent on his self-taught experiences and the influences from other artists.  When he was 27 years old, he was fully determined to devote his life to painting.  The strong passion for art-making inspired him to create 840 oil paintings, more than 1000 drawings, and numerous prints and watercolor paintings within merely ten years (1880-1890).  Meanwhile, he had written hundreds of letters to his friends and family members to talk about his ideas about art and art-making, sharing his valuable thoughts.  Without the burden collectively shared by the academically trained artist, van Gogh’s artworks   are full of primitive energy expressed by his unique strokes.  The dynamic visualizion directly hits us, touching the depth of our hearts.
 
For a person like Kuei Hua who is irrevocably determined to devote herself to art, one should have the same passion.  Kuei Hua has once mentioned that her love for art is so deep that she feels pleased even when merely looking at an easel at the corner.  Therefore, the first time she saw an easel advertisement in the magazine American Artist, she spent no time to hesitate and purchased one in her living room to look at it everyday.  This episode in her life was eleborated into “a series of explorations of easels, paints, paper, brushes, palette knives, solvents and etc., while the process indeed brought her happiness and fulfillment!”  Kuei Hua is deeply attracted to materials.  Like an alchemist, she carefully examines the color paints, and manipulates the material changes of the medium she uses.  She makes the best use of the materials and the tools to observe the existing objects, to express the reality, and to pursue the slimation of one’s own soul.  Her watercolor paintings feature layers of wash, blank spaces, wipe-wash, and overlapping.  She even bottles the mixed paints and uses needle tube to pump, to mix colors, to inject, and to splash on her paintings.  The techniques created by herself function between the rational arrangement and the sensitive improvisation, or one can say, between the meticulous thinking and the intuitive impulse.  Apart from the traditional oil paintings, she is also fond of non-traditional materials such as house paints or acrylic paints, with which she combines the delicate slow-painting and the fast needle-tube-splash, a technique invented by herself.  Her pastel paintings, on the other hands, are eleborate and exquisite.  She particularly likes using short and rapid strokes to render with the flow of the contours.  Take Fruits for example, the strokes are spread over the whole image, creating a dominating network intertwined with fine and delicate lines.  Light Surrounds Orchid is another example, in which the expressive strokes remind us of van Gogh’s late stage during his stay in Saint Rémy.  All these mentioned above prove Kuei Hua’s significant affection toward Matière (material). 
 
In an 18th-Century painting dictionary, Claude-Henri Watelet (1718-1786) has mentioned that “once the strokes are slightly excessive, they will become a symbol instead of an exact imitation.”  Therefore, when painting removes itself from the function of imitation, the strokes coming from the reality become the “purpose” of painting.  The 17th-century artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) was one of the pioneers to emphasize strokes, followed by Jean Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), the impressionnisme, and the matiéristes in the 1950s, who mixed different objects with color paints to create pâte with more thickness as a response to the issues of time, space, visuality, and tactility. Meanwhile, they also emphasized the material properties of painting as well as the man-made manipulation.  According to the representative artist Jean Dubuffet, “the birth of art comes from materials and tools, so the trace of how art has been struggling with tools and materials should be reserved.”  When materials are sufficiently manifested as the symbolic signs in the reality, they are empowered to evoke emotions and feelings, transforming the materiality of painting into the spirituality.  When Existentialism prevailed over the post-war world, Jean Dubuffet considered art a creative process.  Through the “traces” left by artists, viewers were allowed to reconstruct the creative process and to create a resonance with the existence of artists.  When the art critic Harold Rosenberg (1906-1978) saw Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) painting – spreading the large canvas on the floor, walking around it or stepping onto the canvas, holding the brushes or sticks to freely splash the aluminum paint, creating breathtaking and suffocating twines of lines with traces marked by artist’s physical movements –, Harold Rosenberg could not help but gasping in admiration that “what’s on the canvas is an event rather than an image!”  The meaning of painting shows how artists play their roles, for that they “devote all their emotions and wisdom to it.”  The final painting thus embodies the existence of the artist.
 
Kuei Hua might not be a matiériste.  What she has lived through is also different from the post-war artists.  However, her passion for art and addiction to materials encourage her to explore a unique way playing with strokes, lines, or traces.  The emotions visualized in her painting weight more than the calm and sober nature of academic art.  Her art shows no purpose but the proof of the artist’s existence. 
 
iMeet
Although Kuei Hua has lots of fun when experimenting with materials, she never intends to give up the imitative nature of painting to jump into the venture of abstract art.  She is always fond of simple subjects, while most of them capture the daily scenes touching her heart, including the gift bascket sent by a friend, potted flowers, scenes from the studio window, and the magically created nature.  She names her studio “iMeet Studio”, emphasizing the importance of visuality in her works.  
 
However, artists’ work is not as easy as painting whatever they see.  According to phenomenology, Nature might be a material existence which occupies certain space-time, while it is only revealed to people through human consciousness.  Artists always have a unique perspective to see the world.  As how Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) puts it, the “intention” of artists constructs the images and makes up what the awareness lacks of.  Even when artists are working with their “intuition,” their consciousness is not completely black-out.  All the knowledge they own will be immediately poured down onto the image at one second.  The different between an artist and an ordinary person is that an artist materializes one’s consciousness into a work of art once one realizes the world through the consciousness.  During this process, artists’ physical bodies play a very important role, especially their eyes.  Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) has once explained that “Artists’ visuality is not merely an external gaze, a simple physical relationship between the eyes and the world – world is not revealed in front of an artist through representation” for that “the spirit and the thought will be seen and read from the gaze.”  He believes that our eyes see everything, including the real and the imagined: “eyes fulfill those non-spiritual things which open up the spirituality.”
 
Therefore, when painters are painting, their bodies serve as the bridge between the spirit of the painters and Nature.  They open up themselves to the world.  Painters’ action is not determined by the spirit alone.  Instead, “it is the natural extension and maturation of visuality.”  In other words, painters need to work on the thoughts and the emotions evoked by Nature rather than painting on the basis of nothing.  Spirituality is not what you paint with.  It is necessary to experience the process from the eyes, to the heart, and finally to the hand.  It proves that painting is nothing like an exact representation of the reality while it cannot be separate from the reality either.  Painting is the mixture of objects and spirits, as how Maurice Merleau-Ponty puts it “no matter whether it is realistic or not, lines are neither the imitation of objects nor the objects themselves.” 
 
In his old age, Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) had lived a secluded life in Aix en Provence from 1885 till 1906, the year he passed away.  During that period of time, he had repeated the same subject to paint at least 80 Mont Sainte-Victoire.  In a letter to his son before his death, he wrote: “on the riverbank where I paint, I keep elaborating the subject.  If we observe the same object from various perspectives, we will be able to demonstrate an even more powerful image.  The variations are so rich that I guess I can stay here to paint for several months without changing my position.”  Why was Cézanne so addicted to Mont Sainte-Victoire that he could even paint a thousand paintings about it without changing the place to paint?  Obviously, when Cézanne was painting, what he intended to capture was not a visual representation of Mont Sainte-Victoire, or he would get bored easily.  His explanation to a young fellow Joachim Gasquet (1879-1821) has indeed enlightened us:
These magnificent classic sceneries, our Provence, the land of Greece and Italy in our dreams, the landscape with the spiritualized light of brightness, the places where landscape becomes a smile of the clever wisdom… look at Mont Sainte-Victoire.  It is so unrestrained, with such a strong and outrageous eagerness for the sunlight.  When it gets to the night time, all the burdens are released, creating a sense of sadness…these rocks are made of fire, and there is still fire inside.  Both the shadow and the sunlight seem to be afraid of them, so they step back, shivering.  When the thick and heavy cloud comes, the shadow fallen on the rocks is shivering too as it were burned and vaporized by the fire… for a long while, I have not known how to paint Mont Sainte-Victoire.  
The story helps us to understand that Mont Sainte-Victoire was more than a mountain to Cézanne.  It was the spiritualized landscape.  When the painter again and again returned to Mont Sainte-Victoire alone, with the attempt to surmount the “previous” Mont Sainte-Victoire and to visualize the greatness of the mountain in his perception in an even more perfect way, he thus meditated in silence alone in front of the mountain.  He “listened with his eyes,” as how the poet Paul Claudel (1868-1955) describes it.  Both his spirit and mind were slowly immersed in the landscape which seemed always the same but made him fail to turn his gaze away. They exchanged spirits, and that was the moment when Cézanne finished one painting after another.  In a letter to Emile Bernard (1868-1941) in 1905, Cézanne finally claimed that “time and thinking gradually change the way we see, and now it is the age of comprehension.”
 
Kuei Hua also mentions a lot how she feels in front of Nature.  It is this feeling which has driven her to reeperience it through painting and to solve the mystery of the heart.  When she came to Chicago to visit her daughter who studied at Northwestern University, she used to take a walk to the lakeside.  One day at dawn, she saw “that the Sun rose up above Lake Michigan and the cloud was so low that it almost touched the lake surface above the vast, ocean-like lake.  The dawn light and the fresh air mingled with each other, deeply touching my
heart.  I suddenly felt a strong impulse to capture this moment on my way home.”  Therefore, she bought the painting materials right away, finishing the painting Michigan Lakeside on the floor of her daughter’s living room in two days.  Her Sunset at North Cape and Glacier are 
twosimilar works.  Another habit of Lin is “to sit beside the window to observe the scenery.”  Therefore, she is particularly interested in painting potted flowers in backlight and the elongated shadow.  She can keep painting the same subjects without feeling bored.  Orchids are one of her favorite subjects, while six paintings of orchids will be shown in this exhibition.  Among them, the two pastel paintings Glimmer of Light and Orchids at Noon share almost the same composition with slight difference in light-and-shadow.  She also paints a large oil painting Orchids on the Glass Table with the same composition too, but she never bores us with tedium repetition.  Such a repetitive depiction with persistence perfectly demonstrates the harmonization of the world and the self.  For Kuei Hua, painting indeed is the combination of the world and the spirituality.    
 
As a female artist
In the end, I would like to talk about Kuei Hua as a “female artist” – the identity one cannot ignore and how it is related to her passion for art.
 
Growing up in a big family with more than one hundred family members, Kuei Hua recalls that “as long as you don’t cry and stay quiet, no one will pay any attention to you, and no one will think of you.  It’s better for you to stay at the corner without getting others’ way.”  Therefore, she soon got used to “forgetting her own existence.”  Moreover, her family lived on her father’s slender earnings, so she had learned “to avoid unnecessary expenses and to spend as little money as possible until graduating from college.”  After college, she had been teaching for two years but still resigned from her teaching job to fulfill her dream – studying abroad.  Soon, she quit school because of her financial concerns and started to make a living in the business world.  It was during this time that she got married.  The primary concern in her life became her husband’s dream and her children.  Even when she was ill, she still “forgot her own existence.” 
We might all be familiar with such a story.  The contemporary feminists believe that the oppression of women comes from a patriarchal society, where all men as a whole are empowered with authority over women.  As for Marxists, they tend blame it on capitalism, accusing it for the capitalization of labor.  Some even mix the two theories, arguing that the oppression of women results from the collision between the patriarchal society and capitalism.  No matter what it is, it is for sure that women are the disadvantaged minority in most of the society.  They need to search for spiritual freedom, an exit to let go what they have been through, in the harsh reality.  Art, which offers an illusion opposite to the reality, thus plays an indispensable role in the reality, particularly to women.  In Ien Ang’s research, she writes about women’s pleasure and desire:
 
Illusion and fiction will not replace the dimension of life (including social practice, morality, political concept, and etc.) but live with it.  It… is the resource of sensation for that it highlights the "reality."  In the world of illusion and fiction, the real-life anxiety and the intertwined oppression become plain and straight-forward.  It is how "text" constructs an imaginative solution to the realistic social conflict.
 
Growing up in a traditional patriarchal society in early Taiwan, Kuei Hua seldom questioned her own destiny.  Like other women at that time, she always accepted everything happening to her, quietly playing her role and submissively surrendering to the reality.  It was not an ignorant sacrifice.  She did not need those feminists to analyze by whom she was oppressed.  I sincerely believe that it was her virtue urging her to take the responsibility for her parents, for her family, for the society, and for herself.  Indeed, even though it was Kuei Hua’s choice to consider responsibility her primary concern, it did not mean that she had to be trapped by the reality.  Art has offered her a path of escape – the Utopia for her self-fulfillment and to reconstruct her own identification.  Therefore, painting was particularly important to Kuei Hua.  She captures the beautiful flowers, magnificent landscape, tranquil woods, and the rustic countryside with colors and lines.  She creates a spiritual Utopia, a safe house for herself, where she has found pleasure and satisfaction.  Stepping out of the world of “forgetting her own existence, " she finally fulfills her existence.
           
Right before Kuei Hua’s first solo exhibition, I am writing this article for this unusual friend, a passionate artist who has always pursued the harmony between the world and herself, and a women in search of her self-fulfillment.  Kuei Hua should know better than anyone else that it is just a beginning.  I sincerely wish that she will go on with unceasing passion to climb her Mont Sainte-Victoire.
 
 
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無限的線,無風格的風格


文/王哲雄教授
法國巴黎第四大學藝術史與考古學博士
國立台灣師範大學美術系所前主任所長
現任實踐大學工業產品設計研究所兼任教授
 
從一張名片說起
在一個晴朗的午後,應邀造訪陽明山上「目遇畫室」的主人林桂華女士。看到她遞給筆者一張別出心裁的名片,背面引錄宋代蘇軾「前赤壁賦」的一段文字:「江上之清風,與山間之明月,耳得之而為聲,目遇之而成色。取之無禁,用之不竭。是造物者之無盡藏也。」並且特別將「目遇之而成色」以粗黑字體標示,清楚說明了畫室命名的源由。名片正面,桂華女士因為閱讀一本Michael Wilcox所著的色彩學:“Blue and Yellow don’t make Green”(藍色加黃色不成綠色),而體悟到「如何每一次都調出真正需要的顏色」的箇中三昧,於是使用了紅、黃、藍三原色印成三個長方形部分交疊,交疊處再印上橙、綠,以及小圓的紫等三個次級色,同時也彰顯了畫室主人,要以色彩詮釋大自然萬事萬物的明確理想。沒錯,林桂華女士的繪畫都是取自「無盡藏」的大自然,而以明豔的色彩讚頌宇宙的光燦與美奐、奧秘與生機。
 
曲折卻不偶然
林桂華女士不是正規藝術學院的科班畢業生,她學畫的經歷雖然有點波折迂迴,但會走到繪畫藝術這條路,絕對不是偶然。從小時候開始就對繪畫很有興趣,家中哥哥、姊姊和弟弟個個都是繪畫能手;她本人在就讀國立台灣師範大學家政系期間,便因與美術系有近水樓台的地緣關係,而經常有機會參觀美術系各項大小型的展覽,激發了她對繪畫世界探索的好奇心與嚮往。1975年,師大畢業後,教書、赴美進修、工作、戀愛、結婚、生子,直到兒女長大成人夫婿創業有成,林桂華女士終於可以放下一切牽掛而專心從事繪畫創作。
 
事實上,因夫婿創業公司業務需要,她必須往返於台灣、美國之間,利用上班空檔的時間,到加州Pasadena Center of Fine Art Art Center College of Design-Pasadena 跟隨Mark Stickland, John Paul Thornton, Anny Kwon 等藝術家學畫,所以她的繪畫藝術具有學院良好的素描基礎,卻無學院保守風格的包袱,她坦然地表示:「我嘗試運用各種技法,表現自己特定的感受;熟練一些技巧後,開始跳脫既有的畫法,自由的揮灑」。在繪畫上,她的腦筋非常清楚,她想探索的階段性目標,是絕不會將自己局限在一個永遠不變的死胡同裡。
 
線,無限
德國「藍騎士」群體( Der Blaue Reiter ) 創始者暨抽象藝術的始祖康丁斯基( Wassily Kandinsky 1866-1944 ) , 1926年出版了「點和線與面的關係」( Point et ligne par rapport à la surface ) 一書,這是他在德國包浩斯學院( Bauhaus ) 教學課程的重要原則,也是他所遵循的創作思維。就幾何學概念而言,康丁斯基認為:「點」是看不見的三個面的交集,所以它的大小等於「零」,意會著「起點」(commencement)、「源頭」( origine ) ,也就是拉丁文所說的“origo”。就精神靈性的角度來說,「神秘的點」( le point mystique ) 等同於「共濟會的秘密」( secret maconnique ),換句話說就是「無窮大中的至尊」( le grand dans l’infinitésimal ) 亦即是「神聖」( divinité)、「無限」( infini ),它是最渺小符碼的最強大者,它等於是最「原初」、「新生」和「開端」的元素。( Wassily Kandinsky, Écrits complets-La synthèse des arts, Denoel-Gonthier, Paris, 1975, p.223. )
 
康丁斯基還認為看不見的幾何形體(亦即「點」)的具體表現,是由「積體大小」( la dimension )、「形狀外在極限)( la forme ) 以及「色彩」( la couleur ) 三個物質屬性來決定與區分。這三個物質屬性不因為「集點成線或集線成面」的過程,而有所「質」( qualitative ) 變,改變的是「量」( quantitative ) 。所以康丁斯基堅信「點本身就已具備最完整複雜的表現。」( Kandinsky, op. cit. p.224: “que le point à lui seul peut suffire à des expressions les plus complexes”)
 
林桂華女士似乎延續著康丁斯基的點、線、面之基本概念,而特別提出「線」可容乃大的價值觀:「線,不設限」。思路綿密的她,篤定地說:「線條是成功畫作很重要的元素之一。線條是展現新觀念或闡述主題中心思想最常用的方法,它是無限制的、實驗性的。對想法的形塑或觀念的產生是很理想的訓練。線條也可作為呈現空間最經濟的指標,也是建立紙張表面和圖像之間的關係,很主要的元素。線條可以作為分析用,也是將抽象的思考轉變成視覺形式很好的方法。沒有比線條更能將立體3D的世界轉變成2D 的形式了。甚至線條可以說是最好玩的每個人都享受過胡亂塗鴉的樂趣! 
 
她意識到線條形式的多元與無限可能:「可以是畫輪廓的、機械用的、建築學的、抒情詩般的、受限制的、侵略性的、手寫體的、書法的、暗示性的、異想天開的等等。線條可以表現力道、快慢、整潔、散漫、美麗的、醜陋的。很少藝術家使用線條時,侷限在某一種特定的形式。」希望藉此做為她創作立論的基礎,強調營造一個以「線條為主調」的畫面。
 
既然線是由無數點集結而成,點的屬性又絕不會因此產生質變,故主張線是不設限,也就是說「線是無限」的邏輯是沒有問題的,是可以被接受的。她直覺上就把線條區分為「可掌控的線條」和「失控的線條」;她說:「人是很矛盾的,在可控制的生活中,因為太安定,缺乏挑戰,往往覺得無趣。而面對未知,則又恐慌戒懼。有的人選擇永遠停留在安定的舒適區(comfort zone),忍受重複不變的生活形態。有的人則設法跳脫既有的框框,接受未知的挑戰,即使遭受挫折也無怨無悔。表面上,順境是令人安適的,挫折是痛苦的。奇妙的是,因為歷經痛苦磨難,心智昇華,反而獲得無上的快樂!」她直截了當地表明:「我以可掌控的線條,描繪出安適的美。但是更喜歡以失控的線條,挑動不安的情緒。兩者相得益彰,得到生動之美」。這看似感性的分類,卻延伸出藝術創作與「意識」之間的關連性,也就是說藝術家創作,大部分時間是處於意識力清楚之下,故所表現的線條是「可掌控的線條」;而某些時候會處在意識力薄弱或非意識(半意識或潛意識)的狀態下,故所畫出的線條,往往不受意識力的道德邏輯掌控,而顯得隨性灑脫,這就是所謂「失控的線條」。「有意識的線條」和「無意識的線條」此兩種形式的線條,不管在林桂華女士何種風格的畫作裡,都會以最貼切的形式相伴相隨:「我喜歡兩種線條交相為用,使畫作既和諧,又跳動」。
 
無風格的風格
在使用過各種「繪畫性材料」和「非繪畫性材料」的實驗之後,林桂華女士深深體悟繪畫「技法」和「材料」之間的緊密關係,要具備運用各種表現技法,必須熟悉各類材料的特殊性質;所以現階段的創作成果,她並不刻意去追求統一形式的「風格」和統一的媒材。然而,「風格」是一位藝術家執行創作所採取的屬於個人之特殊手法( J. P. Néraudau, Dictionnaire d’histoire de l’art, Quadrige/Presses Universitaires de France, p. 443. ),是故沒有風格的「風格」,依究是一種「風格」。再說林桂華女士現階段的繪畫,正如前面所說是在追求一種以「線條為主調」的畫面,無論是靜物與靜物之間,風景與風景之間,或靜物與風景之間…;形式固然不是很一致,每件作品卻都在探討「線條」在該作品中,如何扮演一個重要的繪畫元素與角色。
 
例如《密西根湖畔》( 2006, Acrylic on canvas, 88 x 188 cm ) ,這幅一氣呵成、色彩統調,極富詩意和音樂節拍旋律之美的作品,將大自然的浩瀚與奧秘詮釋得如此得體得勢!據桂華女士談及此作的緣起,是因為她在2006年,前往美國芝加哥,探望在西北大學攻讀神經科學博士學位的女兒。有一天,清晨早起散步到湖邊,看到遼闊如海洋的密西根湖上,旭日剛東昇,雲層逼近湖面。晨曦與清新的空氣交融會流,此時此景內心為之震撼激動不已。歸途迫不及待地等到商店開門,立刻買了幾罐丙烯原料、油漆刷子和畫布,就在她女兒的斗室,搬開桌椅隨即在地面上畫起來,將瞬間胸中悸動轉寫而成。有如浪漫主義的藝術家看大自然的心緒起伏,以及象徵主義畫家詩般的歌詠,林桂華女士以各種對應變化的線條,時仰時俯,時急時緩,時聚時展,集點成線,集線成面,揮灑自如氣勢一貫。
同樣地,對德國大哲學家康德( Immanuel Kant, 1724~1804 ) 所強調的大自然的「壯美」( sublime ),林桂華女士不遺餘力地以深邃而嚴峻的色彩,捕捉那滾滾急湍的《冰河》( 2010, oil on canvas, 162 x 130 cm ) 或黑暗前最後一道光芒的《北角夕陽》( 2010, oil on canvas, 162 x 130 cm )。「線條」在《冰河》這件作品裡所扮演的角色是決定性的,它是河水和岩石的輪廓線,同時也是其運動與其肌理;它是色彩同時也是光影;它是具象的波光與浪花,同時也是抽象的能量與律動;它是實體,同時也是象徵。至於「線條」在《北角夕陽》的宇宙玄機裡,林桂華女士以藍線和橙線交互出現,象徵光明也是黑暗;象徵短暫也象徵永恆。
《大天堂鳥》( 2011, oil on canvas, 112 x145 cm ) 是一件「意象化」之具象風格的佳構。林桂華女士從「觀察自然」到「簡化自然」再到「淨化自然」始終是以自然為本,也就是現代繪畫之父塞尚(Paul Cézanne)常說的「參照自然」( selon la nature );而「意象化」除了「參照自然」之外,特別參照藝術家的「自我」。那淨化的葉子,沒有色彩與明暗漸層變化的中間過渡,只有被分離後的色調明度之清晰對照。所以色面是平塗的、純淨的、調和的;尤其白色的天堂鳥,在深紫的花被烘托下,顯得格外清新。線條在這件作品裡扮演著明確而多元的要角:它決定綠葉子的輪廓和葉脈系統的走向;它呈現淺藍色水面流動的方位和深度,是波紋也是反光;它是流蕩的空氣,也是聽覺裡的旋律。
同樣以天堂鳥為主題的水彩畫作《一枝獨秀》( 2006, watercolor on paper, 76 x 56 cm ),林桂華女士似乎掌握了此種水性顏料的特性,重疊上色時充分利用其乾濕時間差,以達暈染或堆疊色彩的不同效果,特別是當她使用注射針管擠壓出細細的彩色線條時,可以有更多掌控和偶然效果的變化。線條依實質的需要來決定色彩,天堂鳥周邊的雜草橫生,有檸檬黃、橙橘色和綠色線條交雜糾葛,時斷時續,時快時緩,渾然形成草叢的陰陽向背及光影的現象,既真實又抽象。
淋漓盡致的《野菊》( 2005, watercolor on paper, 76 x 56 cm ),有段會心的小插曲:原來林桂華女士有位大學同學愛好攝影,時常和她先生爬山健行兼攝影, 並將照片「Po」到網路與朋友分享。有次林桂華女士看到一張路邊野菊的照片很美,就將之畫成一幅半開的水彩畫。後來得知這位同學有喬遷之喜,於是她將畫裝裱送去致賀。意想不到她同學對桂華女士說:幾天前她也有一位好友,也因搬新家,她特地將這張野菊的照片,放大裝框送給朋友做為賀禮。當下她們兩人相視一笑,真是心有靈犀一點通呀!但鏡頭底下的菊花畢竟和畫家筆下的野菊,有著不同層次的美感表現;林桂華女士的《野菊》有著奔放灑脫的自由,看那濃、淡、乾、濕與留白處置得宜的效果,精準而不就範的鵝黃花瓣,結實厚重的花蕊,卻是極度放手與豪爽的點和線所構築,這種寓規矩於放肆的氣度,可圈可點。
 
有兩件繪畫情境很特殊的作品:《鯉魚飄》( 2012, oil on canvas, 112 x162 cm ) 和《紙藍鵲》( 2012, oil on canvas, 162 x 112 cm ),突然讓現實的景象轉入超現實的夢幻,只因林桂華女士在現實的風景中加入飄拂的「紙鯉魚」和「紙藍鵲」。她說:「《鯉魚飄》,有別於常見的風景畫,我在畫中前景,畫上一條長線及一隻隨風飄的鯉魚。 如同有人在室內窗邊繫上一條長長的繩子, 綁著一隻鯉魚飄隨風飄動. 與窗外樹葉已落的楓林,似有風聲般遙遙呼應。」 的確是這條座落於畫幅下方三分之一處,由左通到右的長線上,綁著的一條紅、橙、黃、綠、藍五彩繽紛的紙鯉魚,讓一片光禿禿的落葉楓林在無人煙活動的環境下,產生「人因效應」,使原本的現實風景,蛻變為藝術家「心象」的寫照。林桂華女士又對《紙藍鵲》加以補充說明道:「以同樣的意念,畫中前景上方,畫上幾條布幔,再用兩條絲線繫上兩隻像似飛躍而下的紙藍鵲,對照窗外的潺潺溪水,恍惚間好像聽到水聲鳥聲共鳴。」首先畫幅上端的布幔,藝術家已經有意將溪流現實風景轉化到奇幻的世界,尤其是當兩隻被繫上絲線,狀似展翅飛躍而下的的紙藍鵲加入其中,一股奇妙的原始氛圍,隨著四只反白的藍鵲眼睛逐步升高。這兩幅畫,形同超現實主義家族的孿生姊妹,帶著淡淡傷感( mélancolie ) 的詩意。我喜歡這種法國文學與藝術特有的「傷感」。不同節奏與方向的線條是扮演形式統調的大功臣。
 
最後,筆者想談談林桂華女士的粉彩作品。粉彩( pastel ) 是種古老的繪畫媒材,1495年,義大利藝術家達文西( Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-
1519 ) 最先提到此種顏料, 接著義大利威尼斯女畫家卡藜拉( Rosalba Carriera, 1675-1757 ) 和法國畫家崗丹‧德拉度賀( Maurice Quentin de La Tour,1704-1788 ) 使用粉彩畫出媲美油畫的細緻和厚實感的肖像畫;18世紀法國「洛可可」( Rococo ) 的藝術家,夏荷丹( Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, 1699-1779 ) 更將粉彩與不透明水彩混合使用,畫出質感逼真的人物肖像;19世紀法國印象主義的藝術家,竇加( Edgar Degas, 1834- 1917 ) 因為長期被油畫嚴重傷害眼睛而改畫粉彩,又畫出別具韻味的時尚題材如女帽商、歌劇院和芭蕾舞一系列讓人愛不釋手的粉彩畫傑作。美國女畫家瑪利‧卡莎特( Mary Stevenson Cassatt1844-1926 ) 及達波( Leon abo, 1868-1960 )  都是使用粉彩作畫的高手。林桂華女士的《禮藍》( 2009, pastel & oil on paper, 76 x 56 cm ) 的細膩光線;兩幅蘭花作品:《煦日蘭花》(2012, pastel on paper, 76 x 56 cm ) 、《晴日蘭花》( 2012, pastel on paper, 76 x 56 cm ) 的光與影之間的色彩遊戲,線條以隱藏的形式只在所有反光的部位出現;《憶友》( 2006, pastel on paper, 64 x 50 cm ) 用色的清新抒情和詩意;《午後》(2010, pastel on paper, 76 x 56 cm)窗外窗內對比色彩的輕聲細語,尤其紅底白色花紋的桌布上光線玩味夠細緻,所有茶具和 「雲南七子餅茶」都活了起來。由此可以看出她對粉彩技法的掌控已入木三分,如果能在粉彩混色時多找到一些間色的變化,那麼他日在粉彩繪畫上必有更上一層樓的成就。  
 
總結
林桂華女士雖然是首次辦個展,作品的個人風格尚待靜思統整,她的觀念與階段性方向是明確的,尤其她的「自信和誠懇」:「我以為只要有很強烈的興趣,富觀察力,勤於學習,勇於創新,認真工作,就能走出一條屬於自己的路!何況繪畫無需太多言語。不論如何我都將一試!」這是作為一位專業藝術家不能或缺的氣度。當筆者從她說過的話再去檢視她的作品之時,她的確是做到了!不過對充滿資質有潛力的林桂華女士,筆者仍舊有更高的期待,希望她的「線」能更加留意與斟酌「面」和「點」之間的互動關係與變化,以及色階變化的豐富性,下次的展覽一定會令人刮目相看! 

 
 
 
 
 
The Line of Infinity and the Style without a Style
Professor Joseph Wang
Ph.D. in Western Art History and Archeology at Université Paris-Sorbonne
Former Chairperson and Director of Department of Fine Arts at National Taiwan Normal University 
Adjunct Professor in Industrial Design Department at Shih Chien University
 
 
 
It began with a namecard. 
In a sunny afternoon, I was invited to visit Ms. Kuei Hua Lin, the artist of “iMeet Studio.”  On the back of her namecard, I saw that she quoted First Visit to the Red Cliff, a poem by Su Shi, the famous poet of the Song Dynasty poet: “Only the cool breeze on the river and the bright moon over the hills serve as music to our ears and color to our eyes, which we can take freely and enjoy forever; these are inexhaustible treasures supplied by the Creator, and things in which we can delight together.” She particularly put the sentence “color to our eyes” in bold, which clearly illustrated the origin of the name “iMeet Studio.”  On the front side, Ms. Kuei Hua Lin overlapped three rectangles in three primary colors (red, blue, yellow) and put small circles in secondary colors such as orange, green, and purple in the overlapped area.  The design not only shown her realization of “how to make the right color when you really need it” after reading Michael Wilcox’s book Blue and Yellow don’t make Green, but also revealed her definite ideal to fully interpret Nature with colors.  Indeed, Ms. Kuei Hua Lin’s inspiration always came from the “infinite” nature, while the bright colors in her paintings glorified the beauty, the myth, and the life of the Universe. 
 
It was not a straight road, and it was not accidental.  
Ms. Kuei Hua Lin is not an academically trained artist.  She has experienced many twists and turns throughout her artistic practice.  However, it was definitely not an accident for her to enter the world of art.  She has always been interested in painting since she was a child, and all her siblings are good at it.  When she studied in the Department of Home Economics at National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), she often had a chance to go to the exhibitions presented by the Department of Fine Arts.  It thus evoked her curiosity and longing for the world of painting.  After graduating from NTNU in 1975, she started her teaching career, went to the USA for advanced studies, started to work, fell in love with somebody, got married, and became a mother.  Not until her children were grown up and her husband’s business was established could she really put down her domestic burden, being fully devoted to painting.  
 
Her husband’s newly established firm required her to travel between Taiwan and the USA frequently.  Therefore, she always took her off-work time to study with artists such as Mark Stickland, John Paul Thornton, Anny Kwon at Pasadena Center of Fine Art and Art Center College of Design-Pasadena in California, where she fundamentally consolidated her drawing skill.  Her painting thus shows how she was academically influenced but without any academic burden of the conservative styles.  She frankly shares with us that “I have tried every technique I can to express my unique feeling; once I master some technique, I will liberate myself from the conventional style to freely express myself.”  When it comes to painting, she has a very clear
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