Animal Regulation

Put on the soundtrack to Annihilation, whose eerie tracks can jolt you out of your habitual frame of mind. Immersed in that otherworldly soundscape, you can understand the images Liu Di presents.

A graduate of Beijing’s prestigious Central Academy of Art, Chinese visual artist Liu Di creates works that reveal a meditation on the tediousness of life, from the second you lay eyes on them they capture your attention. From a massive animal sitting amidst a sprawl of slum housing to a giant man with a hyperrealistic face that nevertheless seems to be more plastic than flesh, jarring contrasts are often used to great effect in establishing the sense of surrealism in his work.


这段文字起始前我打开了《Annihilation》的电影原声带,听着这样超脱现实的音乐隔离了我的仪式感,更可以去思考柳迪作品里所传达的东西。

毕业于中央美术学院的视觉艺术家柳迪,虽然作品中透露出对于冗长生命的深刻思考,仍然能在第一秒钟就刺激到你的视觉。不论是在随处可见的破败房屋群落里坐着的巨大动物,还是具有塑胶质感却依然彷真到几近真实的老人面孔,都在演示这种矛盾带来的超现实感。

As a child, Liu dreamed of becoming a doctor one day, but when he would page through medical books, it was the illustrations that piqued his interest. He eventually realized that his true interests lay in art. In 2010, he won the coveted Lacoste Elysée Prize for photography, and today, he’s become an established name in the Chinese art scene.

Despite his success, Liu continually defies the label of “photographer” with works that are a departure from traditional documentary-style photography. More often than not, an elaborate post-production process is required to realize his vision.


小时候的柳迪曾经想成为一个医生,当他尝试打开阅读医科书籍,吸引到他目光的却是那些书里的插图,此后他渐渐明白了艺术是他的真正兴趣所在。至今他已是一位小有建树的艺术家,曾经在2010年荣获 Lacoste 爱丽舍摄影奖一等奖。虽然平常被称为一位摄影师,但比起传统意义上的纪录拍摄,柳迪更倾向于用后期制作的手法,来实现他脑海里的视觉想象。

In Animal Regulation, Liu reevaluates the relationship between civilization and nature by placing gargantuan animals in unexpected urban settings. “To tell the truth, I’m not looking to change much with my work,” he shrugs. “I believe art’s social meaning is limited because the message is indirect. But this is not to say that meaning of art itself is limited. On the contrary, art’s meaning goes beyond its social meaning. Art can soothe and give a voice to human emotion. My work is just a proclamation – it’s trying to convey something akin to ‘How can we lead lives like these?’” Unlike the combative radicalism seen everywhere in contemporary art, Liu’s work feels much more reserved and rational.


在《动物法则》系列中,柳迪将庞大的动物放置在一些意想不到的城市场景里,灵感出发自他对于人类社会进步与自然之间关系的思考,而这样的思考更多是倾向于自我表达,不是要刻意去打破些什么,“我其实不想通过作品改变什么,我认为艺术的社会意义是很有限的,因为它并不直接。但这不是说艺术本身的意义有限,相反的,艺术的意义是超越社会意义的,对人来说,艺术是具有抒发和治愈人心效果的。我想透过作品表达的像是一种对于生命的感叹,类似于 “我们怎么是这样的一种存在?” 之类的疑问。” 这种由理性思考散发出的含蓄气质,使得他的作品并不具备当下当代艺术普遍存在那种激进的攻击性。

Liu’s latest project is planned as a three-part video series, with each video being a visual interpretation of a particular idea. Currently, two videos are complete: The Weight of Oneself and A Stubbornly Persistent Illusion. He calls this series “three sentences with the same grammatical structure.”

The Weight of Oneself is inspired by a philosophical insight from Witold Gombrowicz: the weight of each of our selves, Gombrowicz mused, depends on the size of the population on the planet. If humanity’s weight is constant, then each individual’s weight is equal to one divided by the number of people living at that time. A Stubbornly Persistent Illusion, on the other hand, is his personal interpretation of Albert Einstein’s quote: “The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”


他的最新作品计画由三段视觉影像组成,其中两个是《自我的重量》与《顽固而持久的幻觉》。他称这个系列为 “同一个语法结构的三次造句”。

《自我的重量》的灵感来源于贡布罗维奇(Witold Gombrowicz)的一个哲学思考:“我们每个人自我的重量取决于地球上人口的数量——人类的自我重量的总和是一个不变的恒量,而每个人自我的重量约等于那个时代人口数量分之一。” 而《顽固而持久的幻觉》的题目则来源于爱因斯坦(Albert Einstein)写下的一句话:“过去、现在和未来之间的分别不过是顽固而持久的幻觉。”

 

无法观看?前往优酷


 

无法观看?前往优酷

Ultimately, Liu Di hopes for his work to serve as an oasis from the monotony of our daily lives. One noteworthy detail in The Weight of Oneself is the number of frames dedicated to the dense jungle setting. As the camera pans upward, a gigantic figure comes into view, towering above the canopy; the camera pans back down, and then repeats its climb, again showing the giant. Yet after a few cycles—not visible in the shortened preview above—as the viewer expects to see the giant, he is nowhere to be found, gone between camera movements. Liu Di seems to be playing with our expectations and habits in everyday life. 


柳迪希望他的作品能让人暂时脱离日常的琐碎。在《自我的重量》里,你会发现一个有意思的细节(需至完整版观看,以上仅为预告):影像中大部分呈现的是一片树林,镜头缓慢上移,你会看见身处于树林深处的巨人,几次往复的循环,当你开始预设巨人的出现时,他突然消失在某一次镜头移动中。这看起来就像,柳迪跟我们的经验式日常生活开了一个小小的玩笑。

Weibo:~/柳迪
Instagram: @liudi_a

 

Contributor: Shou Xing


微博~/柳迪
Instagram: @liudi_a

 

供稿人: Shou Xing