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  • Yefeng Wang

LEAVING THE MENAGERIE: WANG YEFENG’S [‘PENTHAUS] / 藏春阁 - “离群索居”

http://yiker.trueart.com/20116681/article_item_52657_1.shtml?cid=243


离群索居:王业丰的“藏春阁” LEAVING THE MENAGERIE: WANG YEFENG’S [‘PENTHAUS] 撰稿人:克里斯·罗梅罗   Article by Chris Romero

2017. 07. 22 - 2017. 08. 22




结合了装置及影像,王业丰“漂流舞台”系列作品的延续“藏春阁”,关照了私人化、作为内在空间存在的住宅与外部空间宇宙之间模糊不清的界限。“藏春阁”展览两部影像中展现的空间既是宏观的,也是微观的。作品主要影像的线索由一个广阔且空旷的世界展开。我们看见一只猪在黑暗的海洋上空漂浮。天空是一片雪白的虚无,向远处扩张并无限延伸着。随着猪的运动,背景转换成一间充斥着稀奇古怪混合物的拥挤公寓,雕像、绘画、日常用品杂乱无章得陈列其中。影像中的两个空间迥然不同。作为主角的猪,缓慢的漂浮过这些空间。它没有情绪,仅余其穿过空间的矛盾及未知。  

 

王业丰将此影像系列形容为摄影作品的集合。因为摄影作品能同时捕捉切实的形态及无形的空间。猪游荡而过的空间既转瞬即逝,又安逸舒适。一片神秘的海洋;一间摆满纪念品及小物件的屋舍。由此,作品与王业丰旅居美国,偶归故土,且同时存在于网络的个人经验直接相连。《世说新语》中的一个典故也因此成为他作品的灵感来源之一,“刘伶恒纵酒放达,或脱衣裸形在屋中。人见讥之,伶曰:我以天地为栋宇,屋室为裤衣,诸君何为入我裤中! ”寓言中醉酒的人没有穿上他的裤子,似乎无法辨识自身,却同时想要去理解他所生存的世界。王业丰将这个典故与其自身经历相结合:旅居异国、与网络的无限空间对峙、存在于物欲横流的社会中来自“索取”的无情压力。此系列作品既是对内心情感世界的倾听,也是向影响人们内在世界的外部世界的低语。 

猪所游荡的空间令人不安,但相较王业丰 “漂流舞台”系列的早期作品,调性上已柔和了许多。“藏春阁”中的物件有一种颓废的美感,带着不吉的征兆。屋中的雕像有些一半是人像,一半是僵硬的石化状态;金色雕像则尺寸更大,手握智能手机,眼中喷出诡异的黑色液体。雕像的出现影射人们对物欲的执着,但更重要的是避免过分解读这些物件的含义,而仅仅欣赏其神秘的特性及它们如何与影像整体相调和。随着作品的放映,时间缓慢的流逝;猪漫无目的的游荡着,企图寻找一个可称之为“家”的地方。

王业丰将猪的尺寸设定为微小的迷你状,意味着猪在一个大于生命的空间内徘徊。这个空间并不是不可穿越的,但其过程必然令人生畏。或许将猪的矛盾心理解读为一种渴望更为恰当,希求寻找到一个合适的空间而得以生存。它最终找到了一条能够生存于其中的“裤子”,然而,这条裤子过分肥大;更糟糕的是,这只猪并没有后腿。无法穿上裤子的猪只能继续游荡。追寻着无法到达的目的地,它与空间的关系既辛酸且沉痛。


对于王业丰而言,生活在数字化的文化背景下,他所创作的这一系列作品也是对其自身与数字空间之间关系的回应。网络自身便充满矛盾,人们难以逃离它的诱惑,然而又永无可能理解它的深奥。它广阔且拥有无限可能,却又便携而易于接触。它是我们能拥有最近接宇宙的象征物。然而,网络并不是一个如影像开头中的黑海似的完全自由的空间。它介于宇宙与“家”的概念之间,如同一个充满可探索事物及区域的动物园,但却日渐被广告、限制令、及缺乏匿名隐私性的威胁所占领。它是拥挤的住宅,是杂乱无章的电脑桌面。


与主展厅中充满细节、偏向叙事化的作品不同,在展览的另一个空间中王业丰利用虚拟现实技术创作了三屏同步影像作品。这件影像被安置在一个被刻意压缩了的小空间内。它节奏更加紧凑,却因其循环播放的特点而保持了静态属性。作品中充满活力并令人目眩神迷的色彩,有意的引导受众迷失或说是寻求关注。这种视觉效果几乎正常化了作品左右两侧的奇异生物。这只生物或许是超级消费者时代,由网络驱使的世界的体现。它是一种变异物,是20世纪20年代画家眼中的超现实主义怪兽;但如今,却作为一种再正常不过且受欢迎的形象以代表我们的身份。对于我们而言,这件影像作品在当下语境中是可理解且可靠的,因而在现实世界中并不会产生令人不安的负面效果。它是一段困在不稳定运动及重复行为之间的动画。尖锐的线条、形成鲜明对比且参差不齐的形状,多种元素的组合使人无法明确它究竟是什么。

“藏春阁”的影像是怅然若失的。闷闷不乐和满怀希望同时浸透着作品。对应其同系列早期作品充满震撼力的效果,“藏春阁”在节奏上更加缓慢并且采取了一种较系统化的方法以表述“漂流舞台”系列中更为宽泛的主题。这些主题包含界线、穿越边界、对立面、时间、空间及我们如何在全球化数字世界中构建个人身份等。


人们极容易沉溺于固有的私人空间及熟悉的事物。最终,终日埋头于手机及日常工作,我们得以幡然醒悟的代价是窥见外部世界并逃离自身的安全区。另一方面,离开故居既代表自由,同时也意味着不安。《世说新语》中王业丰提及的醉酒之人将自家的屋舍比作宇宙,因为他通过它了解事物。这并不完全是消极的。将屋舍看作一个充满新洞见的广博奇妙空间,它也能成为一个可供观察及欣赏的对象。尽管王业丰的许多作品中都以猪作为意义深远的象征符号,这件影像作品却更能让我联想到寄居蟹。那些渺小的生物,抛弃了它们自身的一部分以追寻新的事物。它们轻而易举的完成了我们总难以达成的事。它们频繁的移动并尝试新的外壳,与此同时,“家”对它们仍然至关重要,无论去往何方,“家”永远被它们带在身边。



En:

Combining elements of installation and video art, Wang Yefeng’s "[‘Penthaus]", a continuation of the series "The Drifting Stages", considers the ambiguity between the home (personal/inner space) and the universe (exterior spaces). The spaces present in the two video installations of "[‘Penthaus]", are both macroscopic and microscopic. The main video of the series opens with a vast and empty world. We see a pig floating above a darkened sea. The sky is blank, white, expansive, and limitless. Following the pig’s movements, a transition is made into a crowded apartment filled with an odd assortment of disorderly objects - statues, paintings, household objects. The two spaces present in the video could not be more different. The pig, our protagonist, slowly floats through these spaces.  It reveals little emotion, remaining ambivalent and uncertain of the space it traverses.

Yefeng describes the video series as a collection of photographs. As with photography, both the tangible and intangible is captured. The environments the pig roams through are both fleeting and comforting. A mysterious sea; a familial room of relics and knicknacks. In this way, the work is directly linked to Yefeng’s personal thoughts of moving to the United States, returning occasionally to his home country, and also existing on the internet. His inspiration for the work also stems from an old Chinese book, A New Account of the Tales of the World. In the book a drunk poet contemplates that the universe is his house and that his house is his pants. Still, in a fit of delirium, the drunkard cannot fit into his own pants. This serves as an allegory for the drunkard not understanding his own self, let alone the space he lives in. Yefeng takes this poem and applies to his recent experiences - one that involves living in different places, confronting the vast space of the internet, and the relentless pressure of a society driven by acquiring “things” and “stuff”. In this way the series speaks to both the interior of the mind and the exterior world that influences it.


The space the pig navigates is unsettling but much more subdued than Yefeng’s previous "The Drifting Stages" videos. The objects in "[‘Penthaus]", while beautiful and decadent, have ominous attributes. Statues populate the room with half human and half petrified attributes. A larger gold statue also appears. Holding an iPhone, it’s eyes pour out a strange black liquid. The statues allude to our obsession with objects, but it is more profound to not over analyze them and instead appreciate their mysteriousness and how they fit within the larger picture of the video. As the video continues time moves slowly. The pig wanders aimlessly attempting to find a place to call it’s home.

The scale at which Yefeng has created the pig, small and miniature, means the pig is a roaming a space that is larger than life. It is not impossible to navigate, but it is certainly daunting.  The ambivalence that the pig feels might actually be more appropriately described as a longing to find an appropriate place to exist. It eventually finds a pair of pants to live within, but, they are too large and to make matters worse the pig does not have back legs. Unable to fit within the pants the pig is left to wander. It’s relationship to the space is poignant as we know it is searching for something that is unable to find.


For Yefeng, as an artist embedded in digital culture, creating these types of works is also a response to his relationship to digital space. The internet in particular is a paradox. It is difficult to escape its allure, and at the same time we will never understand its depth. It is vast and open ended, yet portable. It is the closest thing we have to a representation of the universe. However, the internet is not a space entirely full of freedom like the black ocean in the beginning of the video. In this way the internet is in-between a universe and a home. The internet is a menagerie of things and places to visit, but it is increasingly filled with ads, restrictions, and a lack of anonymity. It is a crowded house, it is a cluttered computer desktop. 


Different from the more narrative-highly detailed piece in the main gallery space is a flickering video triptych Yefeng made using oculus VR technology (located in a much smaller space in the back of the gallery). The piece is more rapid, but it remains stagnant in the sense that it is cyclical and repetitive. The colors, vibrant and psychedelic, are intentionally disorienting or attention-seeking. They almost normalize the strange creature on both the left and right sides of the piece. This creature, perhaps is a representative of an inhabitant in our hyper-consumer internet-driven world. It is a mutation, something that would seem like a surrealist beast to painters of the 1920s, but is now, in our generation, normal or a welcomed representative of our identity. For us, in our present world, the video is not unsettling, if anything it is understandable or relatable. It is an animation stuck between erratic movement and repeated behavior. It’s unsure of what it is, as many elements are thrown together, sharp lines contrasting jagged shapes and so forth.


The videos of "[‘Penthaus]" are wistful. There is something both slightly sad and hopeful imbued in the series. This is a counterpoint to the shocking quality of the earlier works in the series. "[‘Penthaus]" is slower in pace and it appears to take on a more methodical approach to the broader theme of "The Drifting Stages". These themes include boundaries, moving across borders, opposites, time and space, and how we construct our personal identities in a global digital world.


We easily become comfortable or rooted in our personal spaces and the things that we surround ourselves with. Ultimately, by getting wrapped up in our phones or work, we are introspective but at the cost of seeing the outside world, and escaping our comfort zones. On the other hand, leaving behind our homes can present both a sense of freedom and insecurity. The drunkard that Yefeng alludes to considers his home as the universe because it is all he knows. This is not entirely negative. The room can become a place for observation and appreciation, seeing it as a large wondrous space of new insights, but, it can also become a trap. The drunkard is likely not going to leave the space, especially if he can hardly even fit into his own pants. That story in the old Chinese book, like Yefeng’s work, is about balancing two realities - the inner self and the world at large. Despite the pig being a profound symbol in many of Yefeng’s works, the video actually made me think more about hermit crabs. These tiny creatures abandon a part of themselves in search of something new. They effortlessly perform an action that we often fail to achieve. They are constantly moving and trying on new shells, but at the same time their home is of the utmost importance, taking it with them whenever they go.