All posts by allen

Bare Masculinity 袒露男性气质

August 12, 2019 2019年8月12日

The light filters softly in through the window on the figure of a young man. Face half-covered, with a calm and slightly defiant expression, he looks as though he knows something he doesn’t want to reveal. The photo is part of Comfort Boy Zoom, a series of portraits of men in varying states of undress taken by Yan Yufeng. Asked why so much of his work features semi-naked men, he laughs. “That’s a misunderstanding,” he says. “That’s just one of my projects. Maybe everyone remembers it because it’s been going on for a while now.” It’s memorable not for the suggestive subject matter, but for the way the portraits blend confidence and vulnerability, withholding and revealing in equal measure. “The subject is an exploration of masculinity,” Yan explains. “And the models decide whether or not they wear clothes.”


光线透过窗户,投落在一名年轻男孩身上。半遮掩的脸上,表情平静又略带挑衅,像是藏着一个不想透露的秘密。这张照片来自严玉峰的摄影系列《Comfort Boy Zoom》,其中有许多男性私房照。谈到为什么他的大部分作品都是半裸男人时,他笑着说:“我觉得这是个误解。这只是我的其中一个拍摄项目,可能因为这个项目延续时间比较长,所以大家比较记得。”这个系列之所以令人难忘,不仅在于当中的性暗示主题,更因为这些肖像作品那种兼备自信和脆弱的矛盾性,以及在表象之下有所隐藏的神秘感。“模特穿不穿衣服都是由他们自己决定的,这个主题主要还是对男性气质的探讨。”严他解释道。

Yan grew up in Chengdu and studied printmaking in college in Milan. He began taking photos only a few years ago, in 2015, as part of a school project. He found he had a knack for it, and before long he’d turned his hobby into a profession. Now he lives in Shanghai and shoots for fashion brands such as Angel Chen, Ponder.er, and Untitlab, and magazines such as ELLE Men. When he’s not taking pictures for clients, he works on building his portfolio.

And whatever he says, that portfolio is dominated by half-naked men. They recline on couches, lie draped over chairs, stand baring all—though in many of the photos, the sensitive areas have discreetly been blurred out. Often a rectangle of sunlight falls across a chest, a geometrical counterpoint to the human subject. Yan’s genius lies in his knack for using light to give his photographs an unexpected depth.


严玉峰自小在成都长大,大学时去了米兰就读版画专业。直到 2015 年,因为学校的一个项目,他才开始涉足摄影。很快他就发现自己在摄影方面颇具天赋,这个爱好就变成了职业。现在,他居住在上海,为 Angel Chen、Ponder.er 和 Untitlab 等时尚品牌拍摄,还有 ELLE Men 之类的杂志。不用给客户拍照时,他就会进行个人创作。

虽然他表示自己不只是拍摄半裸的男性,但作品确实大都是这个题材。这些男人或靠着沙发、倚着椅子,或赤裸地站着,不过敏感位置都已被他模糊处理掉。在他的照片中,常常会有一抹方形的阳光落在模特胸前,与他们的身体形成具有几何感的对比。严玉峰的摄影,其过人之处就在于利用光线让照片呈现意想不到的深度。

For Ponder.er 《Ponder.er》合作拍摄
For Dear Boy Magazine 《Dear Boy Magazine》合作拍摄

A portrait of the photographer Liu Shuwei, taken at his Shanghai home, is set against the fading rays of a late afternoon sun. Another, more immediate light illuminates Liu from the front, and almost seems to radiate out from his body. The fine balance between these sources of light is what gives the portrait its electric energy.


他给摄影师刘树伟在上海家中拍摄的照片里,渐隐的夕阳映衬着他的身影。与此同时,另一个更直接的光源从正面照亮他的面孔,看上去就像有光线从他的身体辐射出来。不同光源之间的出色平衡使他的肖像作品充满扣人心弦的力量。

Even more dramatic lighting is at play in Yan’s black-and-white self-portraits, floating against a black backdrop and edited to leave only isolated strips of bare skin. The result is a series of almost geometric compositions—monochrome arrangements where the human figure has been sublimated into an abstract shape.


而在他自己的黑白自拍中,他又运用了更具戏剧性的布光:设景的黑色幕布再加之后期编辑,最后只留下了几片裸露的肌肤。最终,呈现出一系列几何风格的构图——通过单色构图,将人的形体升华为抽象的形状。

Given his close attention to form, it’s surprising that Yan says he’s led largely by instinct. “What I think about most [when shooting] is whether I like the photo or not,” he says. “Whether it’s a travel photo, a still life, or a portrait, if it ultimately carries out its mission, it’s a good shot.”


严玉峰的照片虽然看上去形式感很重,但令人惊讶的是,他说他拍照主要还是出于直觉。“我考虑最多的还是这张照片最后我自己喜不喜欢吧,我觉得一张好的照片,这个‘好’的定义每一个人都不太相同,不管是旅游照还是静物,人物的拍摄,照片最后完成了它本来的使命了,就是一张好照片。”他解释道。

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Website: yanyufon.com
Instagram: @yanyufon

 

Contributor: Allen Young
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li


喜欢我们的故事?欢迎关注我们 Neocha 的微博微信

 

网站: yanyufon.com
Instagram: @yanyufon

 

供稿人: Allen Young
英译中: Olivia Li

 

Queer Notions 用纷繁画面,打破陈旧观念

August 7, 2019 2019年8月7日
Familial《Familial》

Surrealist images dealing with real-world issues. Joyous pictures confronting difficult subjects. Photographs resembling digital collages. Leonard Suryajaya‘s artwork is a study in self-love buffeted by confusion and conflict. His photos are full of intricate details and mesmerizing subject matter. These large format film photographs are drenched in colorful costumes and linens, arrays of fluttering paper cut-outs, powerful locations, and a heavy dose of humor. They balance opposing elements to create tension and mystery. And there are clearly stories within all the symbolism and otherworldliness, which compels viewers to decode the images, making his work almost participatory.

Suryajaya, who currently lives and works in Chicago, was raised in Indonesia, where he was a minority three times over, in race, sexual preference, and religion. He grew up ethnically Chinese in a majority Malay population, queer in a conservative town, and Buddhist at Christian schools in an overwhelmingly Muslim country. Although things have improved for Chinese Indonesians since he was a child, when 1,000 Chinese were killed in riots in 1998, discrimination there remains. And despite going to a school surrounded by kids of his own ethnicity, he was still taunted by his classmates, who called him and his family “false idols.” Recently, his home country has been retreating into conservatism in terms of religion, sexuality, and morea fact that has made him feel increasingly distant from home.


超现实主义的影像,寓意现实世界的种种问题;滑稽风趣的画面,碰撞出复杂的主题。Leonard Suryajaya 的作品看上去像数字拼贴而成的照片,探讨了夹杂着混乱与冲突的自我怜爱。在他的照片里,充满了错综陈杂的细节和引人入胜的主题。那些大格式的胶底照片被五颜六色的服饰和亚麻布填满,在漫天飞舞的剪纸,以及充满视觉冲击力的布景背后,透露出一股浓浓的幽默感。平衡与对立的元素,营造出紧张和神秘的气氛。显然,所有这些象征主义和精神内涵都在明确地讲述着每一个故事,迫使观众对画面进行解码,也因而使得他的作品具有很强的代入感。

Suryajaya 目前在芝加哥工作和生活,而在他的出生地印度尼西亚,无论从种族、性取向还是宗教,他都可以算得上是 “少数派”。拥有华人血统的他,在一个主要由马来人构成的保守小镇中长大,作为佛教徒,他曾就读于一所基督教学校,而马来西亚却又是一个以穆斯林为主导的国家。在他小时候,印尼华人备受歧视,在1998 年曾有 1000 名华人在骚乱中丧生。现在,虽然情况已经有所改善了,但当地对华人的歧视依然存留。尽管他是在华人学校上学,还是会常常被嘲笑为 “false idol” (虚假的偶像)。近年来,印尼在宗教性取向、和其他方面开始再度退回到保守主义,这让他感到自己与这个国家越来越疏远。

Salem《Salem》
Mom and All of the Jewelries She Bought Herself with Her Own Money《Mom and All of the Jewelries She Bought Herself with Her Own Money》

Only when Suryajaya moved to California in 2006 to study art did he begin to feel free enough to explore his identity. And although in the US he was able to open up, it wasn’t the escape he imagined. “Xenophobia, discrimination, and attitudes of social/cultural superiority are present everywhere,” he says. “To say I was surprised is an understatement.” He directly tackles this difficult terrain in his work, especially the ongoing False Idol series, which he describes as “a body of work tracing my immigration process through my same-sex marriage. The permanent residence application takes about four to five years, so I plan on concluding the series when I find out if I get to stay in America or not.”


直到 2006 年,Suryajaya 搬到加利福尼亚修读艺术专业,他才得以真正自由地探索自己的身份。虽然在美国他能够更加开放,但他并未获得想象中的解放。“无论在哪里,都充满着各种仇外心理、歧视和社会/文化优越感。”他说,“这是我完全始料不及的。”他将这些复杂的问题直接诉诸于作品中,特别是他正在创作的《False Idol》系列。他将这个系列描述为 “记录我通过同性婚姻移民整个过程的作品。申请永久居留大约要四到五年,所以我打算在确定自己能否留在美国之前完结这个系列。

Kinfolk Lipsync《Kinfolk Lipsync》
Candyman《Candyman》

He didn’t hit his stride until he came out to his family eight years after arriving in the US. “For my growth as a human being and an artist, being able to admit to my mother that I was queer was really what I needed,” Suryajaya explains. “Since then, I’ve become more adventurous, celebratory, conflicting, and layered in my visual language, as opposed to trying to make things simpler by sweeping them under the rug.” His husband is one of the most frequently recurring models in his work, which also includes family, friends, colleagues, and lovers.


在美国的第八个年头,他向家人出柜,此后,他的创作获得了真正的释放。Suryajaya 解释说:“无论是作为一个人,或是作为艺术家,想要真正成长,我就必需向我的母亲承认同性恋的身份。从那时起,我的视觉语言就变得更大胆,风格更活泼,也有更多碰撞和层次,而不再是一味对所有事情避而不谈。” 除了他的丈夫,家人、朋友、同事和前任也常常作为模特出现在他的作品里。

Good Neighbors《Good Neighbors》
Two Bodies《Two Bodies》

One piece, Good Neighbors, finds him posing with another artist in comical polka-dot face paint as part of a response to racist incidents he encountered among his colleagues and followers. In his characteristic way, Suryajaya uses levity to engage viewers on a volatile subject: “A simple way to describe that piece is that I’m saying, ‘Hi guys, we come in peace, bearing flowers despite looking funny.’”


在他的作品《Good Neighbors》(好邻居)中,他与另一位面上画着滑稽波点的艺术家合影,以此回应他在同事和粉丝中遇到过的种族歧视事件。Suryajaya 以他独特的方式,通过搞怪,让观众探讨一个短暂的主题:“简单来说,那幅作品其实就我在说,‘嗨,虽然我们看起来很搞笑,但我们是为和平而来,还带着花呢。’”

Welcome Room (Florida)《Welcome Room (Florida)》
Homeland Security《Homeland Security》
Breakfast《Breakfast》

Other pieces depict women of various ages and ethnicities from his hometown in Medan, Indonesia, including his family members, wearing different costumes and staged in ritualistic poses. “The goal here was to show how the ideals of femininity can vary, particularly within Indonesia. Acknowledging that women are as powerful as men, if not more powerful, is important to me. I respect women, and try to acknowledge that I have more privilege as a male-bodied person.”


在其他作品中,他在家乡棉兰(Medan)拍摄了各种年龄和种族的女性,包括了他的家人。她们穿着不同的服饰,摆着充满宗教意味的姿势。“这些作品的目的是为了展示不同气质的女性,特别是在印度尼西亚。承认女性跟男性一样强大,抑或甚至更强大,对我来说很重要。我尊重女性,但也不得不承认,作为男性,我确实比她们享受到了更多特权。”

Feminine Conference《Feminine Conference》
Deafening Silence《Deafening Silence》
Arisan《Arisan》

But for all his social commentary and visual vocabulary rooted in Indonesian cultural signifiers, all Suryajaya really asks is that viewers abandon any preconceptions and be honest with themselves. You don’t need to understand it all to identify with it. “All I remember from my time in Indonesia is wanting to run away,” he says. “It would be close-minded to think I could only be understood by my culture specifically because my experiences have shown me that my cultures rejected me. The whole point is to pick up on what interests you initially and then spend time deciphering and seeing different narratives and possibilities. The aim for me is to be able to connect as humans.”


但是,尽管他所有的社会观点和视觉语言都植根于印尼文化符号,但 Suryajaya 希望观众能摒弃所有成见,并诚实地解读。你并不需要熟悉这些文化才能理解他的作品。 “我在印度尼西亚的时候,一心只想要逃跑。”他说,“如果以为只有懂印尼文化才能理解我的作品,那是一种狭隘的想法。因为经历让我明白,我被自己的文化拒绝。重要的是,了解最初吸引你的点,然后花时间去解读,洞察不同的叙述和可能性。我的目标,是希望被作为一个人来解读。”

Cracker Oath《Cracker Oath》
Musing《Musing》

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Website: leonardsuryajaya.com
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Contributor: Mike Steyels
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li


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网站: leonardsuryajaya.com
Instagram: @leonardsuryajaya

 

供稿人: Mike Steyels
英译中: Olivia Li

Muscle Boys 谁的青春期不像“匹诺曹”?

July 26, 2019 2019年7月26日
The Real Boy 7 (2014) 80 x 100 cm / Oil on canvas 《正道仔 no. 7》(2014) 80 x 100 厘米 / 布面油画

When she first began painting, Shang Liang created carefully arranged, realistic depictions of everyday scenes in a mild color palette. Fifteen years later, her works have different air: one of abnormal power and force. She paints muscular characters that seem to burst out of the frame of her large canvases. They can be human or inhuman, but they all possess the same larger-than-life muscles. 

Born in 1981 in Beijing, Shang was raised in a military community in the same city. She attended the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), where she studied oil painting under Liu Xiaodong, one of China’s greatest painters. Several years later, searching for new means of expression, she returned to CAFA for a master’s degree in experimental art, and there she developed a distinctive, slightly surreal style.


刚开始画画时,商亮喜欢用柔淡的色调,描绘各种精心设计、写实风格的日常场景。15 年后,她的作品呈现出截然不同的风格:充满怪异力量感的画面。她笔下肌肉发达的角色像是要从画中冲出来一样。这些角色既有人类也有非人类,但无一例外,都拥有夸张的发达肌肉。

商亮 1981 年出生于北京,从小在当地一个军区大院长大。后来入读了中央美术学院,师从中国著名画家刘小东学习油画。几年后,为了寻找新的表达方式,她又回到中央美术学院,修读实验艺术硕士学位,并在那里形成自己独特的、偏超现实主义的绘画风格。

The Real Boy 25 (2016) 158 x 129 cm / Oil on canvas 《正道仔 no. 25》(2016) 158 x 129 厘米 / 布面油画
The Real Boy 21 (2016) 166 x 129.5 cm / Oil on canvas 《正道仔 no. 21》(2016) 158 x 129 厘米 / 布面油画

This distinctive style began to appear when she became interested in the subject of adolescence: “I think there is obscurity about this period in life,” she explains, “teenagers have confused emotions and uncertainty about what they will become. It’s a period of intense transformation and development, both in the body and the mind.” More than anything else, adolescence is an important moment for developing a moral sense. Teenagers are complicated beings, innocent and still quite vulnerable to the influences around them.


这种独特的风格起源于她对青春期这个主题的兴趣:“我认为人在这个时期是模糊的。”她解释说,“对于自己将会变成什么样,青少年会觉得困惑和不确定。无论是身体还是心灵,这都是一个经历激烈变化和发展的时期。”更重要的是,青春期是形成个人道德观念的重要阶段。处于这个时期的少男少女是非常复杂的,他们既单纯烂漫,对周遭影响又相当敏感。

The Real Boy 19 (2016) 100 x 80 cm / Oil on canvas 《正道仔 no. 19》(2016) 100 x 80 厘米 / 布面油画
The Real Boy 6 (2016) 100 x 80 cm / Oil on canvas 《正道仔 no. 6》(2016) 100 x 80 厘米 / 布面油画
The Real Boy 1 (2016) 80 x 60 cm / Oil on canvas 《正道仔 no. 1》(2012) 80 x 60 厘米 / 布面油画
The Real Boy 20 (2016) 100 x 80 cm / Oil on canvas 《正道仔 no. 20》(2016) 100 x 80 厘米 / 布面油画



In 2012, Shang began to work on The Real Boy series, portraying slender teenage boys with hypertrophic abdominals, chests, and arms. Some are flexing their muscles so hard that veins pop out on their skin. Their faces still reveal tenderness and immaturity, but their expressions and body language suggest a longing to become powerful, muscle-bound men. 

Some paintings in this series feature boys with long, pointy noses, a clear reference to Carlo Collodi’s classic children’s tale Pinocchio. Like the puppet who dreamed of becoming a real boy, the characters in these paintings have to prove themselves mature without straying from the path of honesty and morality. This series dramatizes the challenges and conflicting impulses of adolescence. 


2012 年,商亮开始创作《正道仔》系列,描绘一些有着大腹肌、粗壮胸部和手臂的十几岁少年。其中一些男孩用力展示自己的肌肉,以致于手臂上青筋爆突。他们的面孔仍然显露出温柔和稚嫩,但他们的表情和肢体语言却流露出成为肌肉结实的男人的渴望。

在此系列的一些画作中,有些男孩有着又长又尖的鼻子,这显然是在借鉴 Carlo Collodi 的经典儿童故事《木偶奇遇记》中的匹诺曹。就像梦想成为真正男孩的木偶人一样,这些画中的男孩必须在遵守诚实和道德的原则上,证明自己是成熟的男人。这个系列戏剧化地展示了青春期的各种挑战和矛盾的冲动。

The Real Boy 14 (2015) 80 x 100 cm / Oil on canvas 《正道仔 no. 14》(2015) 80 x 100 厘米 / 布面油画
The Real Boy 21 (2015) 40 x 40 cm / Oil on canvas 《正道仔 no. 21》(2015) 40 x 40 厘米 / 布面油画
The Real Boy 18 (2015) 40 x 40 cm / Oil on canvas 《正道仔 no. 18》(2015) 40 x 40 厘米 / 布面油画

Shang’s following series, Good Hunter, developed naturally from The Real Boy: it’s as if the same characters had grown both in physical form and in confidence. The new characters seem to have exaggerated internal strength, with bodies developed into cartoonish muscular form. Their faces, however, retain the same boyish expressions or have no expression at all. The oversized canvases, bigger than a human body, suggest an intimidating superhuman strength. Standing before these characters, the viewer may feel small, or even oppressed. The exaggerated manliness combined with a complete absence of women seems to be an allusion to patriarchal systems built on oppression and misogyny.


接下来的延伸系列,商亮创作了《好猎手》:画里的人们仿佛还是同一个身份角色,但在身体上发育了,也变得更自信。这些新的少年形象似乎在夸大自己内在的力量,身体有着卡通般的夸张肌肉。然而,他们的面孔却保留着同样的孩子气,或索性面无表情。超大尺寸的画布,比真人更大,代表一种超乎常人的力量。站在这些男孩形象面前,观众可能感觉自己很渺小,甚至充满压迫感。这种夸张的男子气概、女性形象的完全缺席,似乎是对建立在压迫和厌女的基础上、父权制的暗示。

The Good Hunter 11 (2015) 100 x 100 cm / Oil on canvas 《好猎手 no. 11》(2015) 100 x 100 厘米 / 布面油画

In Boxing Man, her latest series, Shang departs completely from realistic human anatomy, and a new character emerges: one with a boxing glove in the place of the head and no sexual organs.  None of her characters ever really have an adult face, and here they are frightening and inhuman creatures. As she explains: “It’s not human. It’s a new species. You can guess how it senses the world, what it feels, and what it thinks.” With the metaphor of strength and power becoming a head on their own, Boxing Man appears as the culmination of all underlying issues found in her previous series: the struggle for the ultimate strength, the torture of moral dilemmas, and the blind pursuit of power. 


在她最新系列作品《拳击人》中,商亮完全脱离真实人体的描绘,创作出全新的角色:一个以拳套代替头部且没有性器官的角色。在她笔下,没有一个角色是成年人的面孔,相反,它们都是一些可怕和非人形的生物。对此,她解释道:“这不是人类,而是一种新物种。你可以去想象它是如何感知这个世界的,以及它的感受和它的思考方式。”在《拳击人》中,这些角色的头部被用来象征力量和权力,因此,整个系列似乎是对她之前所有作品的潜在主题的总结:奋斗以求的终极力量、囿于道德困境的折磨,和对权力的盲目追求。

Boxing Man 7 (2018) / Oil on canvas 《拳击人 no. 7》(2018) / 布面油画
Boxing Man 8 (2018) / Oil on canvas 《拳击人 no. 8》(2018) / 布面油画

As references for her characters, Shang looks to bodybuilding and fighting TV shows. She also refers to classical sculptures by Michelangelo. To achieve a certain luminosity, she places different layers of paint one over the other. Red, dark-red, and brown are predominant colors, evoking oxygenated and deoxygenated blood and bruises. Her brushstrokes have a notable strength, which comes, no doubt, from her practice of Chinese calligraphy. There are also elements of taiji embedded in the movements and curves of the characters.

Although she has unconsciously absorbed traditional Chinese elements, Shang’s underlying subject matter is not specific to any country or culture. Her work can be seen as a critical commentary on traditional ideas of masculinity. It is fascinating that this appraisal comes from a female artist. If boys face excruciating difficulties when expected to assume the role of a man, what do girls feel when they, too, are expected to succeed?

 

Selected works from Good Hunter and Boxing Man are on display in a solo show at MadeIn Gallery until the first of September. 

 

Address:

MadeIn Gallery
Longteng Avenue, lane 2879, no. 106
Xuhui district, Shanghai
www.madeingallery.com


为了角色的创作,商亮观看了各种健美和格斗类电视节目,并参考了米开朗基罗的古典雕塑作品。为了打造光亮感,她将不同的颜料层层叠涂。以红色、深红色和棕色为主的色调,令人联想到各种氧合血、脱氧血和瘀伤。得益于曾习过中国书法,商亮的笔触十分有力。角色的动作和曲线,也融合了太极拳的元素。

虽然她在创作中无意识地糅合了中国传统元素,但商亮的作品主题并无针对任何一个国家或文化。她的作品可以看作是对男性气质的传统观念的批判。让人深思的是,这种评价来自一位女艺术家。如果男孩被要求扮演男人的角色时,就会面临极度的困难,那么当女孩们被指望着人生有成的时候,她们又会作何感想呢?

 

来自《好猎手》和《拳击人》系列的精选作品日前正在上海没顶画廊举办的个展中展出,展览将于 9 月 1 日闭幕。

 

地址:

没顶画廊
上海市徐汇区
龙腾大道2879号106室
www.madeingallery.com

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Website: shangliang.co

 

Contributor: Tomás Pinheiro
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li


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网站: shangliang.co

 

供稿人: Tomás Pinheiro
英译中: Olivia Li

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Untitlab Hits Its Stride 一双踏遍各种场合的鞋

July 12, 2019 2019年7月12日

Peng Xin, who goes by the name of Sans, is lanky and tall, with boyish looks and an irrepressible energy. At just 25, he’s just launched one of China’s newest and most peculiar high-fashion brands, untitlab, along with his friends Justin Zen and Tian Cai.  They’ve set themselves an ambitious challenge: to create shoes that bridge formal and sportswear.

Untitlab just debuted its spring/summer 2020 collection in Florence at Pitti Uomo, the semiannual menswear show that introduces new designs to industry buyers. This year’s guest of honor was China, and untitlab was one of just 10 Chinese brands selected to present their collection.


那个瘦瘦高高的、充满活力、脸上略带稚气的男生名叫彭鑫,亦称 Sans,是设计师。Sans 今年只有 25 岁,已经跟他的朋友田才与曾治翔创办了 untitlab,这是中国最清新、最独特的时尚品牌之一。他们给自己设定了一个艰巨的挑战:设计出正装和运动服都合适的鞋履。

最近 untitlab SS 2020 的鞋履系列亮相在佛罗伦萨的 Pitti Uomo 男装展,这场一年两度的盛会给业内买手推介着各大设计品牌的最新款,今年中国是特邀嘉宾国,十个品牌入选代表中国,而 untitlab 是其中之一。

Photographer: Yan Yufeng 摄影师:Yan Yufeng

Untitlab’s shoes are nothing if not eye-catching. With glossy black tops, neon highlights, puffy tongues, and oversized military soles, they look like a cross between oxfords, trainers, and combat boots. You may not need to go straight from an urbex outing to a rooftop cocktail party, but in these shoes you certainly could: they split the difference between the active and the elegant. Or rather, they’re the kind of statement piece that belongs to the more eccentric and rarefied realm of high fashion, where categories like “formal” or “athletic” are beside the point. If you’re wearing untitlabs, you don’t want to fit in.

That unclassifiable quality is reflected in the brand’s peculiar name, which itself is a mashup. Combining “untitled,” and “laboratory,” it aims to evoke a spirit of experimentation. “We want to cast off the constraints of function and contour,” says Sans. “We invite the wearer to play an active role, to create personal scenarios for use.”

Untitlab is also committed to making their company eco-friendly. Their shoes are 100% vegan, and what looks like patent leather is actually synthetic. Sans spends a lot of time on the road, meeting with factory managers and learning about different materials. In both design and production, he’s obsessed with making everything perfect.


untitlab 的产品非常显眼,黑色的漆面、鲜艳的提亮、蓬松的鞋舌、加大码的军事鞋底,有点像牛津鞋、运动鞋与战斗靴的组合体。穿着这款鞋子,就算要从城市探险直接跳脱到豪华的露台鸡尾酒会这种状况也完全不是问题:鞋子介于优雅和粗犷之间,或者更准确地说,这种个性标志属于更高的时尚领域,而“正装”、“运动”等类别完全不适用。可以想见,穿 untitlab 鞋子的一定不是随波逐流的那种人。

品牌的名字是混合词,反映了产品这种难以归类的本质。由 “untitled”(未命名)和 “laboratory”(实验室)这两个英文单词组成的品牌名,旨在勾起人们的试验精神。“我们希望打破功能与造型的束缚。”Sans 说,“是一个主动参与和自发建立个人使用场景的邀请。”

untitlab 还致力于环保,鞋子不含动物制品,那个像漆皮的面料实际上是人造皮。Sans 经常出差跟工厂老板会面,以加深对布料的了解。不管是设计还是制造,他都要达到完美的标准。

Sans studied product design and art, first at Jiangnan University—where he met co-founders Zen and Tian—and later at Birmingham City University in the UK. After graduating, he moved to Paris to spend ten months interning at Rombaut, a small shoe designer whose sensibility he shared. “I did two seasons of design for Rombaut, and also worked with brands like Sandro Paris and Hugo Boss,” he says. “There’s one style of Hugo Boss shoes where I saw through the whole process, from concept to product release.” Yet the individual designs were only part of the experience. “The city and the work were culturally enriching and broadened my horizons. That’s what really what mattered.”

In 2018, Sans moved back to China to work with fashion label Angel Chen, one of China’s leading young designers, known for her idiosyncratic style. But after two seaons he and his friends decided to strike out on their own and found a brand. “We realized that in China niche shoes were basically a wide-open sea—no brand had yet appeared that could command consumers’ attention,” says Zen. “So we thought, what if we could  create that brand and meet that demand? When the time was right, we all left our jobs to found untitlab.”


Sans 的专业是艺术和产品设计,在江南大学的时候结识了曾治翔和田才,后来转学到英国伯明翰城市大学(Birmingham City University)读完本科。毕业后搬到了巴黎,在 Rombaut 这家审美观点跟他一致的鞋履品牌实习了十个月。他说,“我负责了两季 Rombaut 的设计之外,也参与了 Sandro Paris、Hugo Boss 这些品牌的服务,有一款 Hugo Boss 的鞋我完成了概念到成品发布的整个过程。”尽管如此,对他来说这些作品只是那年感受的一小部分。“城市和工作本身带给我的文化渲染、眼界的开拓才是最重要的。”

2018 年,Sans 回到中国跟已崭露头角的设计师 Angel Chen 合作,她的独特风格很吸引他。两季后,他和朋友决定自己闯一闯,创办自己的品牌。“我们发现在国内小众男鞋品牌几乎是一片自由的蓝海,在这个领域还没有一个能够占领消费者心智的品牌出现。”曾治翔说,“那么我们就考虑,是不是可以成立一个这样的品牌去连接这个供需两端。于是时机成熟后,我们就都从各自公司独立出来创办了 untitlab。”

Not even a “wide-open sea” guarantees clear sailing, but so far Sans, Zen, and Tian have had the wind at their backs. Less than a year after starting out, they’re already doing a brisk business online and in select stores around China. “We’re in the initial stages of setting up collaborative relationships with a few buyers, and soon you’ll be able to buy our shoes in Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai. We’re also optimizing our online shop experience,” says Zen. They’re quickly carving a place for themselves in the Chinese fashion world, as their invitation to Pitti Uomo attests.

Still, for now they’re staying small: the entire company consists of the three founders and three interns. More would be hard to manage, they say, because when the inevitable disagreements arise, it’s important to be able to resolve them quickly and on friendly terms. Besides, for the moment, they’re serving a niche market. “Currently 80% of those wearing our shoes are men,” says Sans. “They’re very independent-minded about style in fashion and accessories.”


虽然“自由蓝海”不算无往不利,但目前为止一切都还顺风顺水。Sans、曾治翔与田才是 2019 1月1日才正式创立的公司,现在线上零售店与线下实体店的生意却很是兴隆。曾治翔说,“我们有与几家买手店已经初步建立合作关系,接下来在香港、北京、广州、上海都能够买到我们的鞋子,同时我们也在优化线上小程序商店的体验。”

尽管如此,公司暂时还是很小,包括三位创始人和三名实习生。但他们表示,人太多的话管理就变复杂了,人少比较容易找到和气的方法来解决不可避免的分歧,这很重要。并且,现在的受众群还不算大。Sans 说,“目前穿我们的鞋子的消费者 80% 是男士,他们对穿衣及搭配的风格很有自己的想法。”

From the untitlab A/W 2019 lookbook untitlab 2019 秋冬产品型录
From the untitlab A/W 2019 lookbook untitlab 2019 秋冬产品型录
From the untitlab S/S 2020 lookbook untitlab 2020 春夏产品型录
From the untitlab S/S 2020 lookbook untitlab 2020 春夏产品型录

Small doesn’t mean unambitious, and untitlab has big plans for the future. First they want to build a community of devoted customers and expand their operations. Eventually they hope to do research and develop their own sustainable materials. “We plan to set up our own materials production facility, maybe by starting out with a small-scale workshop,” explains Zen. “We want to use materials made in China that are artisanal, innovative, and sustainable.”

Asked about the company’s long-term aspirations, Sans isn’t shy. Their goals are: “within five years, to be the footwear brand with the most creative allure in China,” he says. “Within 10 years, to be a nationally influential brand, driving the development of the sustainable fashion industry. Within 20 years, to be a cultural brand with social influence internationally, driving innovation and progress in the global sustainable fashion supply chain.”

That’s a tall order for a brand whose shoes are, for the moment, far from mainstream tastes. But the three founders have talent to match their ambition, and after coming so far in such a short time, who knows how far they’ll go? Untitlab is one to watch.


小公司也有大抱负,untitlab 对未来有着宏大的理想。首先他们想建立 untitlab 的客户群并扩展生意,过了几年还希望能够研发可持续性的布料。“我们也有计划打造自己的面料工厂,可能先从小规模的作坊开始。” 曾治翔说,“希望我们的面料都能使用中国原创的、具有工匠精神的、创新且可持续性的面料。”

至于公司的长远愿景,Sans 相当大胆:“未来五年成为中国最具创意号召力的鞋履品牌;未来十年成为中国具有影响力的时尚品牌,带动中国可持续时尚产业的发展;未来二十年成为国际具有社会影响力的文化品牌,带动国际可持续时尚产业链的创新与进步。”

对这样的小众品牌而言,实现远大的愿景并非易事。但这三位创始人既有才华也有抱负,短时间内又成长得异常迅速,将来还会走多远,谁也无法预料。至少可以说,untitlab 这个充满创新的品牌非常值得关注。

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Website
: www.untitlab.com 
Instagram
: @untitlab
Facebook: ~/untitlab
Weibo: ~/untitlab
WeChat: untitlab_official


Contributor: Allen Young
Photographer: David Yen
Additional Images Courtesy of untitlab


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网站: www.untitlab.com
Instagram
: @untitlab
Facebook: ~/untitlab
微博: ~/untitlab
微信: untitlab_official


供稿人: Allen Young
摄影师: David Yen
附加图片由 untitlab 提供

Flowers in the Mirror 我、花朵和镜子的关系

July 5, 2019 2019年7月5日

Liu Ziqian’s simple, elegant, slightly surreal photographs are no ordinary self-portraits. They show more of her long limbs than of her face, and they often center on fruits, mirrors, or flowers. Yet she remains the subject, not only in a physical but in an emotional sense: her photographs began as a way to explore herself and cope with loneliness in the wake of a breakup. 

Out of all the creative outlets that she could have pursued, Liu decided on photography because she found that it was the most therapeutic. Soul-searching came in the click of a shutter. Photography also served as a visual diary, where different moments of her appearance are recorded in pictures.

“What I love most about photography is that it can be a very quiet and profound companion for me,” she says. “It helps me not just to record different moments, but also to convey my inner voice. In the process of photography, I can find answers to many internal questions.” 


刘子千镜头下简约、优雅、略显超现实的照片,其实并非一般的肖像照——它们更多的是展示她修长的四肢,而不是脸,也常常以水果、镜子或花朵为中心。然而,她自己仍是主题——不仅是身体,在情感上,她的照片也开启了一种方法,去探索自己、去应付分手后的孤独。

在她本可选择的所有创意媒介中,刘子千决定走上摄影这条路,是因为她发现摄影最为治愈。只消轻轻一按快门,灵魂展露无疑。那些照片也可以作为她的视觉日记,在那里,不同时刻她的形象被记录在照片上。

我最喜欢摄影的一点是,它可以成为我一个非常安静且深刻的伴侣,她说,“它不但能帮我记录不同的时刻,而且还替我传达了我的心声。在拍摄的过程中,它亦帮助我找到了许多内部问题的答案。

Liu’s series of portraits may be serene, but they are far from dull. “I hope to give the audience a small world that’s calm but not flat,” she says about her works. Though each portrait has a demure and delicate quality, she still aims to subtly channel women’s inner strength. At times Liu finds herself plagued by restlessness and bouts of insecurity. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, though, she takes control of these feelings, composing photographs whose meticulous balance seems to convey an emotional state.


刘子千一系列的肖像照也许显得很淡然,但她们并不单调。“我希望给观众一个平静但不平淡的小世界。”她这样评价自己的作品。尽管每张照片都流露出端庄细腻之感,但她仍然试图巧妙地引导女性内在的力量。刘子千时不时会发现自己为焦躁和不安感所困扰,她不再顾影自怜,而是去控制这些情感,通过拍摄照片,以微妙的平衡去传达了一种情感状态。

Forget about avant-garde theatrics and elaborate props—Liu uses simple, everyday objects. Round mirrors, fruits and flowers, even eggs serve as her co-stars in the portraits. They help shape the two main themes of her works. First, a balance between human beings and nature. Liu believes that humans are part of the natural world, as we live in the same space and breathe the same air. “I try to find a state of harmony between humans and nature in my works, one that is full of peace and emotion.” 

The second theme centers on perspective. As we get overly familiar with the simple objects we use everyday, we no longer really see them in a unique light. Liu encourages the viewer to look at familiar things from different angles by changing the appearance of her props, such as using sliced lemons instead of the whole fruit. “This is not only about things,” she clarifies, pointing to a larger meaning. “It’s also about understanding others and our hearts.” 


忘掉那些浮夸的动作和复杂的道具吧,刘子千的照片里用的是再普通不过的日用品——圆镜、水果和鲜花,甚至鸡蛋也可以入镜。它们帮助塑造了她作品的两大主题。第一,是人与自然的平衡。刘子千认为人是自然界的一部分,因为我们生活在同一个空间里,呼吸着同样的空气。“我试图在我的作品中找到一种人与自然和谐的状态,一种充满和平与情感的状态。”

第二个主题,是以独特的视角为中心。当我们对每天使用的物什过于熟悉的时候,也就不再会以独特的视角来看待它们。刘子千鼓励观众从不同角度观察熟悉的事物,改变它们的外观,比如用柠檬片代替整颗柠檬。“这不仅仅关于小物价本身,”她正言道,指出了一个更大的含义,“这也关乎理解他人和我们的心之所想。”

Minimalism is one of the most popular styles of photography on Instagram, perhaps because viewers seek peace in an otherwise chaotic world. Almost without meaning to, Liu has beautifully harnessed this aesthetic in her photos. “I do not have a very clear expectation of style. Everything is completely based on feelings and is always in the state of semi-fumbling, semi-learning. But I want to keep it minimalist. Minimalism is a reminder for me to stay pure inside and try not to be too distracted by the noise.” 

She discovered her style through constant arrangement and experimentation while shooting and processing her photos. She aims to find the combination that makes her feel most comfortable and “quiet.” Avoiding repetition, or trying to maintain her style while still pushing boundaries, sometimes proves to be a challenge, but she presses on. “I want to think more and observe more to get more inspiration,” she says. 


也许是因为观众想在这个混乱的世界里寻求安宁,让极简主义变成 Instagram 上最流行的摄影风格之一。刘子千在她的照片中完美地利用了这种美学:几乎全无刻意。“我对风格没有很明确的期望。一切都完全建立在感情的基础上,总是处于半摸索、半学习的状态。但我想保持它极简主义。极简主义提醒我要保持内心的澄澈,不要被噪音干扰。”

刘子千是在拍摄和处理照片时,通过不断的排列和实验发现了自己的风格。她的目标是找到让她感觉最舒服和“安静”的组合。有时候在持续突破界限的路上,需要避免重复、保持个人风格,会被列为一种挑战,但刘子千很坚持。“我想多思考,多观察,以获得更多的灵感。”她说。

Speaking of inspiration, Liu finds her muse in her own growth. “Sometimes I look at my earlier pictures on Instagram. The pictures were obviously not mature, but I can see my growth process over time. So I wonder how far I’ll go in photography, and whether this curiosity about the unknown and the visible will inspire me to become a photographer.”

Liu’s success is also a testimonial to the power of social media. Despite taking photos for only two years, and having held only two public exhibitions, she reaches an international audience, with close to 100,000 followers. 

“I had never really thought about this before, but I really appreciate the viewers liking my work. All I can do now is try to respond to all the people who have left comments and move on to shoot more works. I have no future plans at the moment—I’ll let things take their course.” 


说到灵感,刘子千发现这来自于她自己的成长。“有时我在 Instagram 上看我以前的照片,那时拍得显然还不成熟,但日积月累,我可以看到我的成长过程。所以我想知道我在摄影方面能走多远,这种对未知和可见事物的好奇心是否会激励我成为一名摄影师。”

刘子千的成功也证明了社交媒体的力量。尽管她只拍了两年,只举办了两次公共展览,但她的全球粉丝人数却接近 10 万人。“我以前从来没有认真想过这个问题,但是我真的很感激观众喜欢我的作品。我现在能做的就是对所有留下评论的人做出回应,然后继续拍摄更多的作品。目前我还没有未来的计划——听其自然吧。”

Like our stories? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Instagram: @ziqianqian

 

Contributor: Joanna Lee
Chinese Translation: Chen Yuan


喜欢我们的故事?欢迎关注我们 Neocha 的微博微信

 

Instagram: @ziqianqian

 

供稿人: Joanna Lee
英译中: Chen Yuan

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Finding Comfort in Discomfort 人之为人的必经之路

June 28, 2019 2019年6月28日

In 2016, in Berlin, Heji Shin was hanging out anywhere pregnant women might go: prenatal yoga classes, hospitals, and birth houses. The German-Korean photographer would introduce herself to the women and ask if she could capture the most vulnerable moments of their lives: giving birth. She wasn’t successful.

But she found a solution to what felt like an impossible challenge: midwives, who over the course of a pregnancy become very close to the expectant mothers they work with.“I even had midwives calling me and saying, I have a birth—a woman agreed while she was in labor,” she remembered, “And I was like, we haven’t even met before!”


2016 年的柏林,韩裔德国摄影师 Heji Shin 的身影总是出没在孕妇出现的地方:产前瑜伽课、医院和产房。她向孕妇介绍自己,然后问她们自己能不能用相机拍摄下她们生命中最脆弱的时刻:分娩的过程。她被一一拒绝了。

这是一个看似不可能实现的事情,但她最终找到了解决办法:助产士。在孕妇怀孕期间,助产士往往会成为准妈妈非常亲密的人。曾经有助产士打电话给我说,我这边有位妈妈在分娩时同意拍摄了。当时我就想,我们之前甚至都没见过面!她回忆道。

Through the help of midwives, Shin was able to photograph 14 births during 2016 and 2017. She wanted to challenge the public’s perception of birth and babies. “Birth is a very violent and brutal process, and it’s very much excluded from public life,” she said, “just as death is.”

Through her lens, newborns are anything but cute. They look suffocated while being squeezed by their mothers’ vulvas, their oval-shaped heads covered with blood and their faces purple and black. “When you see a picture of birth, it shows a very harmonious and beautiful process,” Shin said, “which is not what the reality is.”


在助产士的帮助下,Heji 2016 2017 年期间一共拍摄了 14 次的分娩。通过这些照片,她希望挑战公众对出生和婴儿的看法。出生是一个非常暴力和残酷的过程,而这个过程几乎是被排除在公众视野之外。她说,就像死亡一样。”  

在她拍摄的照片中,新生儿一点也不可爱。当他们被母亲的阴道挤压着出来的时候,看起来就像窒息了一般,椭圆形的头部布满血丝,脸上一片紫色和黑色。Heji 说:你所看到在大多数新生婴儿照片,基本上都是非常和谐和美好的画面。但这不是事实的情况。” 

Born in Seoul in 1976, brought to Germany at two, and now based in the U.S., Shin doesn’t completely identify as German, Korean, or American. “It’s an advantage to have different cultural influences in your upbringing,” she said, “my Korean family on one side, Germany on the other side. It is an advantage to be different.”

While studying in Hamburg, Shin started working as a commissioned photographer for magazines and cosmetic companies. She knew early on that her approach didn’t align well with commercial photography. “At some point, you have to decide whether you should reorientate yourself or reconcile yourself to what you want to do. I just reorientated myself, and it was a very natural thing for me to go into art photography.”

Now she works on both commercial and art projects. Many of them feature individuals’ most private and intimate moments. How does she feel when she’s shooting? “I don’t always feel very comfortable,” she said, “but the idea is to leave my comfort zone.”


Heji 1976 年出生于首尔,两岁时被带到德国生活,现定居美国。Heji 并不完全认为自己是德国人、韩国人或美国人在成长过程中能够体验不同的文化,这是好事。她说,一边是我的韩国家庭,另一边是我的德国家庭。有这样不同的生活经历是一种优势。

在汉堡读书的时期,Shin 开始担任杂志和化妆品公司的摄影师。她很快就意识到,自己的创作方式与商业摄影并不一致。某些时候,你必须要决定到底是要重新定位自己,还是要让自己适应想要做的事情。我选择了重新定位自己,对我来说,进入艺术摄影是很自然的事情。

现在她的创作兼备了商业和艺术项目。其中许多题材都是个人比较私密和亲密的时刻。当她拍摄时,她会有什么感觉?“我有时候也会觉得不太舒服。”她说,“但我的想法是走出我的舒适区。”

With complete creative freedom for the Eckhaus Latta’s Spring ’17 campaign, she wanted to combine the idea of fashion advertising with porn, she said. The eight real couples featured in the campaign are half-dressed in the season’s clothes and lost in each other’s eyes as they engage in explicit sexual acts. It was a logical step for her after she photographed for a German sex education book for teens, she said. 

Several media outlets called the shoot the most provocative fashion campaign of 2017. Although the overall images are suggestive, the couples’ intimate parts are pixelated. “The images display less what viewers think they look at,” she said. To her, that’s the most interesting aspect of it. 


在她为 Eckhaus Latta 2017 春夏系列拍摄的一组广告片中,她有了将时尚广告与色情片相结合的想法。在该系列的广告片中,八对现实生活中的情侣穿着当季新款服装,半裸着身体,在镜头前沉迷于两人的性爱中。此次的摄影灵感正是源于她之前为青少年拍摄的一本畅销的性爱教科书。

一些媒体将这组广告大片称为 2017 年最具挑衅性的时尚广告。虽然整组照片充满大胆的性爱,但情侣的隐私部位都加了马赛克。“这些照片原来的画面其实并没有观众想像的那么大胆。”她说,而这也是这组照片的有趣之处。

Shin is also drawn to the idea of depicting gay culture as a female artist, and she explored her fascination in Men Photographing Men a series of pornographic gay photos shot in the very gallery where they were exhibited “The viewer becomes the witness, but in an alternate time,” Shin said. “The mere idea of witnessing what happened is stimulating.” No part of this series is digitally veiled.

Featuring handsome men she found through Craigslist and model agencies, Men Photographing Men is a humorous approach to the policing and surveillance of masculinity. One photo depicts a naked man lying on a black sofa, sword in one hand, his own erect penis in the other. Another photo captures the intense gaze between two men in police uniforms, one leaning on the other’s shoulders.


作为一名女性艺术家,Heji 也对描绘同性恋文化特别感兴趣,并创作了《Men Photographing Men》(男人拍摄男人)来展现这种迷恋。这是一系列同性恋的情色照片,拍摄地正是这些照片所展出的画廊。观众变成证人,只是在不同的时空中。 Heji 说,目睹正在发生的事情,单是这种想法就令人兴奋。整个系列的照片都没有在网络上发表过。

她通过 Craigslist 和模特经纪公司来找英俊的男模特来拍摄《Men Photographing Men,以一种幽默的方式来展现社会对男性气质的监督和审视。在一张照片中,一个裸体男子躺在黑色沙发上,一只手拿着剑,另一只手则握着自己勃起的阴茎。另一张照片则是两名身穿警服的男子,热烈地注视对方,其中一人靠在另一人的肩膀上。  

“Art is not only about pure creativity alone, or manifesting your and other people’s beliefs,” Shin said, “it’s about experimenting and challenging common ideas, your own ideas.”


“艺术不仅仅是纯粹的创意,或是表达你和他人的信仰。” Heji 说,“艺术也需要试验和挑战一些人们习以为常的想法以及你自己的想法。”

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Website: hejishin.com
Instagram: @hejishin

 

Contributor: Jiang Yaling
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li
Images Courtesy of Heji Shin, Reena Spaulings Fine Art (New York), and Galerie Buchholz (Berlin)

 


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网站: hejishin.com
Instagram: @hejishin

 

供稿人: Jiang Yaling
英译中: Olivia Li
图片由 Heji Shin、纽约 Reena Spaulings 美术馆和柏林 Buchholz 画廊提供

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Oral Fixation 一根线上的他和他

June 24, 2019 2019年6月24日

 

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“Why do you never kiss me?” Mark (played by Xiao Ke) asks his boyfriend Li Ting (Etsen Chen) in Fan Popo’s short film Floss, which will be screened at the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival. “I just did,” Li Ting replies impassively. “No, I mean French kissing.” By now, viewers have learned that Li Ting has a strange secret: he’s obsessed with teeth, his own as well as his partner’s, but above all by the delicate threads used to clean them, even sneaking off to rummage through the trash to recover a string of floss used by Mark. What follows suggests that his interest goes beyond oral hygiene to something much deeper.

Fan, a Chinese filmmaker, is probably best known for his wholesome documentaries Mama Rainbow (2012) and Papa Rainbow (2016), both of which explore the journeys of parents coming to accept their children’s sexual and gender identities in a society where family and face remain paramount. Fan is hardly new to fiction, and his 2019 piece The Drum Tower, about the budding connection between an introverted student and a transgender shopkeeper in Beijing, was recently screened in Taipei as part of a queer shorts series. Yet Floss is light years away from his earlier documentary works in form and subject matter. In contrast to his earlier themes of coming out and eventual parental acceptance, Floss explores the abject objects of our desire and the often-unacknowledged loneliness of love.


“为什么都不亲我?”Mark(由肖可演)问他的男朋友李廷(陈彥廷饰)。这是范坡坡的短片《线》中的一幕,该片刚刚在旧金山国际 LGBTQ + 电影节上映。“我亲了呀。” 李廷无动于衷地回答道。“没碰到舌头你都算?”看到这里,观众已经知道李廷有一个奇怪的秘密:他对牙齿有恋物癖,无论是他自己的牙齿或是爱人的牙齿,尤其是用来清洁牙齿的细腻牙线,他甚至会偷偷在垃圾里翻找出 Mark 用过的牙线。接下来的画面让人发现,他对牙线的迷恋早已超越口腔卫生,而是一种更深层次的迷恋。

中国电影制片人范坡坡最为人熟知的作品是他的纪录片系列《彩虹伴我心》(2012)和《彩虹老爸》(2016),这两部影片探讨了在一个以家庭和面子为重的社会,父母逐渐接受孩子的性取向和性别认同的故事。而剧情片这一体裁对范坡坡来说也并不陌生,在 2019 年的作品《鼓楼》中,他讲述了北京一个内向的学生与跨性别店员相识的故事,并于最近在台北酷儿电影节短片单元放映。然而,无论是题材还是体裁方面,《线》都与他早期的纪录片作品截然不同。他早期的作品中,大多为出柜和获得父母认同的主题,而《线》却是在探讨人类欲望中那些令人难以启齿的话题,以及常常被人们所忽略的、爱情中的孤独感。

In Floss, we follow the pair as they go about their lives. On the outside, they’re no different from any other couple: they dine out, walk the dog, watch movies together, and have sex. But something is simmering inside Li Ting. When Mark buys flosser picks rather than thread floss, Li Ting can’t hide his dissatisfaction. During intercourse, he shows no interest in emotional intimacy. He concocts excuses to remove himself from situations where these might be expected. Mark, painfully aware of all this, tells him at one point, “I don’t think you like me at all.” Li Ting, in return, says nothing.


在《线》这部影片里,镜头跟随着这对同性情侣的生活轨迹。从表面看来,他们和其他情侣没什么区别:他们一起外出就餐、遛狗、一起看电影、做爱。但李廷的内心却在酝酿着什么。当 Mark 最后要买牙线棒而不是牙线时,李廷无法掩饰住自己的不满。两人做爱时,他也不会表现出对情感亲密关系的兴趣。当他需要作出情感回应时,他总是找各种借口来逃避。意识到这一切的 Mark 痛苦地说:“我觉得你根本都不喜欢我。”对此,李廷一言不发。

“I studied scriptwriting in film school, so making fiction films is what I always wanted to do,” says Fan. “But when I graduated, I thought I could use documentary filmmaking as a way to practice. Now this ‘practice’ has been going on for almost ten years.” He freely admits that Mama Rainbow and Papa Rainbow presented hopeful images of what parent-child relationships in “rainbow families” could and perhaps should look like, rather than balanced depictions of the current state of queer life and rights in China. But he also finds himself bored with the formulaic coming-out stories that tend to dominate LGBTQ film festivals, important though they are. “I didn’t want to do another coming-out story,” he says. “I wanted to do something new.” And, to his credit, Floss’s central motif—sexual obsession with dental floss—is certainly novel.

Its novelty, however, isn’t for shock value but instead serves as a point of entry for examining contemporary relationships. Mark’s apartment is decorated with pictures of a happy couple that bear little resemblance to the sullen pair eating their dinner in silence and passing time with gory films. The viewer wonders if something has shifted, or if the images that couples tend to display for themselves and the world are illusory from the start. “Does being in a relationship actually make you happier?” Fan asks. “From my observations, often it’s the opposite.” Even during their occasional bouts of vigorous but passionless sex, the two appear worlds apart, as Li Ting averts his gaze from Mark and is later haunted by dreams of being bound by web-like, incandescent floss.


“我在电影学院学过编剧,因此拍摄剧情片一直是我想做的事情。”范坡坡说,“但是毕业的时候,我觉得可以通过拍摄纪录片来练习一下。到现在为止,这种‘练习’已经持续了将近十年。”他承认,《彩虹伴我心》和《彩虹老爸》所展现的是酷儿家庭中可以实现且应该有的理想亲子关系,但这并非目前中国酷儿群体实际的生活和权利状况。但是,他也表示,自己已经厌倦了 LGBTQ 电影节中那些公式化的出柜故事,尽管讲述这样的故事也很重要。他说:“我不想再拍关于出柜的故事。我想拍一些新的题材。”因此,在《线》中,他选择了以牙线的性迷恋为题材,这毋庸置疑是一个新颖的题材。

然而,短片的新颖题材并不纯粹为了吸引眼球,而是旨在审视当代的情感关系。 在 Mark 的公寓里摆放着一对幸福夫妻的照片,这张照片与一对闷闷不乐、沉默不语地吃晚餐,看恐怖电影消磨时光的情侣形成了鲜明的对比。这让观众不禁开始思考,是不是有些事情已经发生了变化,或者说,这对情侣表面看来的样子,从一开始是不是只是做给自己和世界看的,是虚幻的。范坡坡提出问题:“处于情侣关系中真的能让你更开心吗?从我的观察来看,事实往往相反。”连在他们偶尔激烈而冷静的性爱时,两人看起来也像是处在不同的世界里,李廷总是避开 Mark 的注视,而那被蛛网般的牙线紧紧箍住的梦魇,也始终萦绕着他。

Li Ting’s obsession with floss invites reflection on the highly private, idiosyncratic nature of fantasy and the power it exerts, particularly when it concerns some aspect of reality that is typically forgotten or forbidden in daily life. Indeed, the line between desire and disgust can be vanishingly thin, with the same thing triggering both at different times: sweat, spit, an unwashed body—even, in Li Ting’s case, blood and bits of masticated food. But awareness of the abject nature of one’s fetish, its crossing into the territory of the undiscussable, the gross, or the weird, also means shame and its attendant silence. Just how much of ourselves do we conceal from the person closest to us? That is the central question Floss invites audiences to chew on.


李廷对牙线的迷恋让观众对高度私密的性幻想及其力量的思考,特别是当它涉及日常生活中常被遗忘或禁忌的某些现实时。事实上,有时欲望和厌恶之间的界限只有一线之隔,在不同的时间,两种感受能被同样的事物触发:汗水、口水、未洗澡的身体,甚至李廷迷恋的血液和咀嚼过的食物。不过,意识到自己的恋物癖伤风败俗,会使人避而不谈、倍感恶心或怪异,那么也就会让人羞于启口了。在我们最亲密的人面前,我们又隐瞒了多少关于自己的秘密?这是短片《线》想要引发观众思考的问题。

While much recent mainstream LGBTQ cinema shies away from the less savory aspects of love and lust, Fan centers on a fetish in order to question the one-size-fits-all model of the monogamous couple. Sometimes, your dentist understands what your lover just can’t. Like Li Ting, Fan is obsessed with what lies beneath the pearly-white exterior of relationships, fixing his camera on something disavowed and decidedly more interesting. With a studied restraint worthy of its neurotic protagonist, Floss strings the viewer along until it reaches an uncomfortable truth: like it or not, we can only ever have part of our partners.


虽然最近的主流 LGBTQ 电影回避了爱情和欲望中不那么美好的方面,但范坡坡通过恋物癖这个题材,进而质疑一夫一妻制下的一体适用模式。有时候,可能你的牙医比你的爱人更能理解你。范坡坡和短片中的李廷一样,痴迷于隐藏于美好的情感关系表面之下的真相。他将镜头机对准那些被拒绝又更有趣的事物上,《线》和其主角一样克制,将观众步步引向一个令人不适的结论:无论如何,我们只能拥有自己爱人的一部分。

Floss will next be shown at Frameline43, San Francisco’s International LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

Address:
Victoria Theatre
2961 16th St.
San Francisco, California
United States

Screening Time:
June 26th, 2019
9:15 pm

 

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Facebook: ~/FlossShortFilm

 

Contributor: Brandon Kemp
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li


接下来,《线》将在旧金山国际 LGBT 电影节(暨 Frameline43)上展出。

Address:
美国
加利福尼亚州,棕榈泉市
Camelot 剧院 (棕榈泉文化中心)
E. Baristo 路 2300 号

放映时间:
2019年6月26日
下午9点15

 

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脸书: ~/FlossShortFilm

 

供稿人: Brandon Kemp
英译中: Olivia Li

Chipping away the Layers 被印在墙上的你我

June 12, 2019 2019年6月12日

 

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Ever since he first visited in 2012, Portuguese sculptor Alexandre Farto, aka Vhils, has felt a fondness for Shanghai, and the city forms the backdrop for many of his trademark chiseled portraits. On empty lots, construction sites, buildings slated for destruction, and out-of-the-way walls, he’s chipped away concrete and plaster to depict the faces of local residents. Vhils maintains strong ties to China, and in collaboration with the creative group Solid Dogma, he recently made a video in Shanghainese that commemorates his time in the city and pays homage to the people of who make it their home. It’s also a moody meditation on solitude and the difficulty of finding one’s place in the world.


自从 2012 年首次到访上海,葡萄牙雕塑家 Alexandre Farto(又名 Vhils)就对这座城市产生了浓厚的兴趣,并在这里下了多幅标志性的肖像作品。他在空地、建筑工地、围起来的待拆建筑物,到城市各个角落的墙壁上,在混凝土和灰泥上刻凿出一幅幅当地居民的面孔。Vhils 始终和这个国家有着千丝万缕的连接,最近,他携手创意团体 Solid Dogma,合力打造了一部短片,以纪念他在上海的时光,同时向那些以此为家的人致敬。另外,这部短片其实也是对孤独、对人苦苦寻求立命安身之所的深沉思考。

The portraits he creates occupy entire walls, like oversized monochrome photographs, and they call to mind the larger-than-life images of celebrities or political leaders. Yet unlike billboards or propaganda posters, these images show anonymous, everyday people, and by portraying them so prominently and at such a scale, the artist gives them a certain heroic dignity. He also leaves them in the open, where, almost like human faces, they change as they age and erode.


他所创作的肖像作品往往占据整幅墙壁,就像巨幅的单色照片一样,令人联想起那些名人或政治领袖的大幅照片。但不同于广告牌或宣传海报的是,Vhils 的肖像作品都是一些无名的平凡人物,通过如此大规模的肖像画,这位艺术家让这些平民呈现出一种英雄式的威严感。Vhils 让这些画裸露在外,因而它们也像人的脸庞一样,会被岁月慢慢侵蚀,留下印记。

Many of the public artworks that Vhils created were intended to be temporary, and some fell long ago to the wrecking ball. Yet he’s created a series of portraits at a similar scale for display in a museum setting that are now on display at Danysz Gallery in Shanghai. This show, Realm, an expanded version of one previously shown at CAFA in Beijing, allows viewers in Shanghai to experience for themselves these portraits in concrete, wood, and plaster, and to see with fresh eyes the faces of the city around them.


Vhils 创作的许多公共艺术作品都是暂时性的,其中一些作品很久以前就已经被拆掉了。然而,他专门为博物馆展览创作了一系列相似规模的肖像画,最近将于上海的 Danysz Gallery 展出。展览原在北京中央美术学院美术馆展出过,但本次以《境域》(Realm)为名,将呈现更丰富的作品和内容,让上海的观众可以亲自体验这些以混凝土、木材和灰泥创作的肖像作品,以全新的角度审视这座城市里的平凡面孔。

Realm is on display until June 19, 2019, at Danysz Gallery.

Address:
256 East Beijing Road
Huangpu District, Shanghai
China

Hours:
Monday to Saturday, 10 am ~ 6 pm
Sunday, 12 pm ~ 6 pm

 

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Website: vhils.com
Instagram: @vhils

 

Contributor: Allen Young
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li


《境域》(Realm)在 Danysz Gallery 展出至 2019 年 6 月 19 日。

地址:
中国
上海市黄浦区
北京东路 256 号

营业时间:
周一至周六 早上十点至晚上六点
周日 中午至晚上六点

 

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网站: vhils.com
Instagram: @vhils

 

供稿人: Allen Young
英译中: Olivia Li

Arriving in London 进入伦敦

May 22, 2019 2019年5月22日

Arriving in London

by Wu Qi

 

This essay originally appeared in Chinese as the introduction to One-Way Street Magazine no. 18, “The Empty Metropolis: Special Issue on Contemporary British Literature.” Neocha is pleased to present this English translation.

My first time in London, I seem to have gone by train. Of course I flew into Gatwick first, catching a train to Liverpool Street Station and changing there for a line to the suburbs, without getting out in London or seeing what it looked like. Only on the second day, now more relaxed, with my luggage and the more obvious indications that I was a traveler back at a friend’s place, did I officially set foot in the city. Such an experience is entirely different from getting off a plane and hurrying straight into town, lugging a suitcase and looking for your hotel, still reeling from the shock and the unfamiliarity.

So different, in fact, that the first thing I noticed about London were the chimneys. On the outskirts, each and every residential building, large and small, is crowned with a brick-red or pale-yellow stack, darkened to a coal black by years of smoke—a silent relic of the Industrial Revolution. As the train pulled into Liverpool Street Station, the tangle of tracks, taut wires, and cellular equipment converged onto a single path, and my ignorance of the place was lulled by a strange physical familiarity: if, on the outside, the station was an airy structure of brick and iron that set the tone for London’s past, on the inside it was just a dark tunnel lying at the end of some quiet country scenery. We entered, the sun disappeared for a moment, and the light in the car cast everything in a dimmer light, blurring and thickening the colors. Then daylight streamed through the glass ceiling again, and almost as if on command, everything returned to normal. The train slowed to a halt, the tunnel retreated out of sight, and a din of voices began to rise. Everything took on a hallucinatory quality, and only then did I understand the shadowy, mysterious train in that painting by J.M.W. Turner, or the terrifying trains of the films of D.W. Griffith. I could even imagine myself as a Dickensian apprentice from Northern England who had set out on a long journey to London to seek his fortune.

Sometimes how you arrive in a city matters more than your stay there. After that trip, I didn’t have much interest in describing London’s grandeur or desolation, which are all too evident. Endless pages have been written on the subject: nearly every angle has been covered ad nauseam, and usually exaggerated.

As the birthplace of urban modernity, London can of course easily satisfy your every need. It has the world’s most international language, a cultural life that never rests, politeness and reserve, antiquated buses still diligently making the rounds, people of diverse ethnicities living in their own class-marked districts—it seems to embrace and connect everything. Well-trained vegetation in parks and public spaces appears in moments of fatigue or heartbreak, while graffiti here and there flashes out like a dagger amid the order, faithfully striking a discordant note. . . .  All this is urban life we’re familiar with today. From Europe and America to Asia and Africa, streams of people are entering these orders and structures, as if on an assembly line. London is no longer unique—or rather, London simply preceded other cities.

In my trip I also arrived long after many others, and the surfeit of writing and attention given to the country may have subconsciously influenced me. In many modern countries and regions that bloomed late—including the relative laggard Spain, within Europe’s borders—travelers from afar have played a role, even a leading role, in the discovery of the local culture. Yet London’s story has been written mainly by its own people. One of them was Henry James (1843-1916), an American who settled in Britain and once described the capital as “the spoiled child of the world.” Keenly aware of the strict hierarchy, the extreme division between rich and poor, the bleakness of scraping by in the metropolis, he nevertheless stood by its side:

all England is in a suburban relation to [London] . . . It is the spoiling perhaps of the country, but it is the making of the insatiable town, and if one is a helpless and shameless cockney that is all one is obliged to look at. Anything is excusable which enlarges one’s civic consciousness. It ministers immensely to that of the London-lover that, thanks to the tremendous system of coming and going, to the active, hospitable habits of the people, to the elaboration of the railway-service, the frequency and rapidity of trains, and last, though not least, to the fact that much of the loveliest scenery in England lies within a radius of fifty miles—thanks to all this he has the rural picturesque at his door and may cultivate unlimited vagueness as to the line of division between centre and circumference. It is perfectly open to him to consider the remainder of the United Kingdom, or the British empire in general, or even, if he be an American, the total of the English-speaking territories of the globe, as the mere margin, the fitted girdle.

This haughty, exclusive veneration of cities runs through the entire nineteenth century—runs through continental Europe, and continues to influence us today. Yet this historical stage is hard to prolong, and in the city center there are crises everywhere you look: dreams of the countryside have never really come to the rescue, and empire’s boundaries are gradually vanishing. We twenty-first-century latecomers to London should learn to skirt around these illusions. After all, James also said the city was “as indifferent as nature herself to the single life.”

So it felt as though my detour around London, my unplanned commuter trip, opened up a sort of alternate space and time and whisked me down a different, accidental branch of road. On that road you can see how several small, belly-like mounds rise from the horizon at the border of town and country, how the light is refracted through the air in different ways on brick and glass, how road barriers, sandbags, fences, and debris alongside the tracks create a scene of utter desolation, how rows of warehouses, parking lots, and Lidl discount stores stand  guard on the city’s fringe, with trademarks and logos as their banners. You can see how, on the highways in the distance, shipping trucks outnumber cars, and near the villages people take leisurely rides on bicycles. You can see how every little stop on the way is almost identical, like a miniature version of the central station, with just two empty platforms. The British television series Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams has an episode that takes place in a station like this: when people reach a dead-end in their lives, they hop off the train there and just walk out toward the little villages in the open countryside. In this place, which appears on no map, time stops the moment before the tragedy occurs, offering a fresh beginning.

This story may not be so fictional: history really always does return. The new center and periphery are being hashed out even now, an issue our current generation needs to start to face. London, like any other large metropolis, no longer means a fixed location, and even if we persist in calling such places “centers,” they’re simply convenient transit points to somewhere else. They extend in countless directions, and even they themselves are in flight. This issue of One-Way Street has been a circuitous journey. We passed through London, entered Britain, and brought back five writers who had never been translated to Chinese. Their works are scattered like light in the open country: some are pressing toward the city center, some are wandering on the unglamorous edges of Europe, some of them are flying to the islands, and some have returned to Asia, where they were born.

Language and writing today, while cutting one path after another through modern life, have also reached a sort of impasse. We easily slip into talking just about love, loneliness, the lost meaning in our lives, ultimately repeating the same themes with only minor variations. Through the work of our British contemporaries, we can once again ask what the city center ultimately holds, and beyond the city, what broader, more distant spaces are possible. The “empty metropolis” of our title does not of course refer to a material emptiness, nor even a spiritual void, but rather to the fact that “urban consciousness” is no longer so ready-made, can no longer be summed up in such offhand Jamesian hindsight. We naturally assume these things are all close at hand, but the closer something is, the harder it is to describe.

Of the writers who have written about London, I’m particularly partial to Charles Lamb (1775-1834). Lamb spent his whole life in London, and his intimate familiarity with the city shows through in his words, though he often traveled farther afield, too, and was a sort of eternal outsider. He writes, “I had long been used not to rest in things of sense, had endeavored after a comprehension of mind, unsatisfied with the ‘ignorant present time,’ and this kept me up.” This spirit kept him up as he shouldered his small family’s heavy burden—his mentally ill sister murdered his mother—and the petty bourgeois life of a sensitive spirit seeking fame in London. “Endeavoring after a comprehension of mind” may also help buoy us as we find our own way.

London itself has countless byways, side streets that lie as far off the beaten path as the suburbs. For example, heading east from Whitechapel Gallery, in the eastern part of the city, through a largely South Asian and Middle Eastern area—historically this has always been an area of immigrants, and the earliest European migrants also settled here, giving a boost to the textile industry—you cross several parks, canals where boat dwellers moor, and cheap, modern residential areas . . . and scattered along the way you find several modern art galleries, where you sometimes can’t even find the door, and where no one pays you any attention anyway. Displayed inside are a series of self-regarding works of art about the status of women, the issue of refugees, lighting in prisons, car mechanics in Palestine, the rise and fall of the highbrow US journal The Partisan Review . . .

Incidentally, I finished writing this piece on yet another trip to London, and the experience of constantly arriving and departing has shown me that repetition, circulation, and movement can be also be a stimulus, a challenge, a creative process. Every departure is the origin of countless other departures. For One-Way Street, this is especially true: we’ve read Beijing, London, Australia—next we’ll travel to Latin America, to Scotland, to Ireland, to Africa.


进入伦敦

《单读》18:都市一无所有(当代英国文学特辑)

卷首

吴琦 著

 

第一次的时候,我仿佛是坐着火车去伦敦。当然也是先飞到盖特威克机场,在那里换上去利物浦中央车站的火车,再换另外一趟,直奔郊外,没在伦敦城里停留,也没有见到它的样子。直到第二天,当我把行李和其他一些最能显示出旅客身份的东西,全都留在朋友住处,才一身轻松地,正式踏进这座城市。那种体验,和你一下飞机就用最快捷的方法进城、拎着箱子一边找住处一边处理惊奇和陌生完全不同。

以至于我最先注意到的,是伦敦的烟囱,郊外大大小小的民居无一例外地顶着砖红、鹅黄的帽子,经年累月,它们大多泛出烟熏过的煤黑色,是往昔工业革命留在今天生活里的一种沉默的事物。然后火车再次驶入利物浦中央车站,许多条铁轨交错,和撕扯的电线、基站一起,逐渐汇成唯一的路,此时,一种奇妙的物理性的熟悉镇定着我其实对它的一无所知——如果从外面看,这座火车站是一个砖铁结构支撑的透明大棚,过去的伦敦从这里开始起搏,从里面看,它不过是一条暗黄色的隧道,埋伏在平静的田园风光的尽头。进站之后,自然光线先消失了一阵子,车里的灯把周围事物的颜色照得暗沉、混杂、滞重,然后天光再次透过玻璃屋顶照下来,突然就规矩许多,像接受了指令似的,速度停止,隧道退却不见,人声突然鼎沸起来,一切恍如幻觉。这时候我才理解特纳(J.M.W. Turner)画的氤氲神秘的火车,格里菲斯(D.W. Griffith)电影里令人惊惧的火车,或者回到狄更斯的小说,把自己想象成一个 19 世纪从英国北方赶了漫长的路来伦敦谋生的学徒。

进入一座城市的方式有时比在这座城市里逗留更加重要。在此之后,我好像就没有太多兴趣去描述伦敦的成功或者失败,这些都太显而易见了,类似的论述浩如烟海,几乎所有角度都已经被穷尽,并且夸大其词。

作为现代城市的起源,伦敦当然可以轻易满足你的一切要求。老迈不堪仍然孜孜运转的公共交通,多元的种族各自生活在阶级明确的区域中,礼节、距离感、最国际化的语言、永不休止的文化生活——看上去包容和连接了一切,被驯服得很好的草木、公园和公共空间,在人们疲惫和心碎的时候适时出现,而涂鸦像匕首一样在这些整齐的安排中偶尔亮出来,忠实地扮演一个不和谐者……这些都是我们今天熟悉的城市生活。不论在欧洲、美洲、亚洲、非洲的大陆上,人们都像被送上了流水线,陆续进入这样的程序和结构。伦敦不再特别,或者说,在这方面,伦敦只是时间上提前于它的后来者。

我的旅程也落后于很多人,关于这个国家的“过度”书写和关注,可能潜意识里影响了我。不同于许多后发的现代国家和地区,包括欧洲境内相对滞后的西班牙,外来的旅行者都介入甚至主导了本土文化的发现,而伦敦的故事主要是由它的自己人书写的。亨利·詹姆斯(Henry James),这个移居英国的美国佬,也是其中之一,他形容伦敦是一个“世界宠坏了的孩子”,在清楚地意识到这里等级之森严、贫富分化之严重、都市生存之贫乏之后,他依然站在它那边:

“整个英格兰都相当于伦敦的郊区。这也许是对乡村的破坏,但却是对永不满足的城市的创造。如果有人是一个不可救药、厚颜无耻的伦敦佬,那就是他不得不观看的情景。凡是拓宽人的城市意识的东西都是情有可原的。多亏有巨大的交通运输网络,多亏有人民积极好客的习俗,多亏有优质周到的铁路服务和火车的频繁、快捷,最后,当然不是最不重要的,多亏英格兰许多最秀丽的风景就在伦敦方圆五十英里之内这种事实——多亏这一切,热爱伦敦的人的门口就有一派美丽如画的田园风光,而且可以把中心和边缘的分界线搞得无限模糊,凡此种种,就大大助长了热爱伦敦的人的城市意识。他完全可以放心地把联合王国其余的部分,或者整个大英帝国,或者如果他是一个美国人,甚至把全球所有讲英语的疆土都仅仅看作边缘,看作合身的紧身褡。”

这些霸道的、单一的对城市的崇拜,穿过了整个 19 世纪,穿过了欧洲大陆,至今主导着我们。但这个历史阶段在今天也难以为继了,城市的中心危机四伏,田园梦想从未真正为它解围,帝国的疆界也逐渐消,。我们这些 21 世纪迟迟赶到伦敦的人,应该学会绕开这些幻觉。毕竟这话也是詹姆斯说的,“它就像大自然本身一样对单个的生命漠不关心”。

于是我在伦敦绕道、通勤的无心之举,仿佛打开了另一个时空,进入了一条偶然的岔路。在这条路上,你会看到地平线是如何像不平坦的小腹一样在城乡之间形成不同形状的隆起,砖瓦和玻璃如何在空气中造成不同的光线折射,路障、沙袋、栅栏和废弃的杂物如何在铁路两边筑成断壁残垣,和联排的仓库、停车场、廉价的 Lidl 超市一起,护卫城市的边缘,各种商标和公司 logo,成为它们的旗帜。你会看到在远处的公路上,货车永远比汽车多,而乡间的近处,只有悠悠骑着自行车的人。你会看到沿途每个小的火车站几乎都一模一样,是中央车站的微缩版,只有两排空空的站台,英剧《菲利普·狄克的电子梦》(Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams)有一集就设定在这样的车站,许多人遇到生命的难关,都在这一站跳下火车,走向原野和原野之中的小镇,在这个地图上找不到的地方,时间会在悲剧发生前的那一刻停止,让一切重新来过。

这个故事也许没有那么虚假,历史的确总是重来。新的中心与边缘,正在酝酿之中,我们这一代人,已经需要开始面对它。伦敦,也包括其他任何超级大都市,都不再意味着一个既定的位置,即便非要用中心来形容它们,也只是一些更便捷地去往别处的接驳点,向无数的方向延伸,甚至它们本身也在出走。这一辑《单读》就是这样一趟拐弯抹角的旅程,我们经过伦敦,进入英国,带来了五位尚未被中文翻译过的当代作家。他们的作品像田野里光线的散射,有的向城市的中心逼近,有的在不知名的欧洲边缘徘徊,有的飞向岛屿,有的回到了自己的出生地亚洲。

今天的语言与文字,在前仆后继地开掘现代生活的道路上,也走到了某种瓶颈。我们动不动就只能谈论爱情、个人的孤独、不知所踪的意义,最终都陷入一种重复的内核,形式上细枝末节的变奏。我们借由英国同时代人的创作,重新设问,到底城市的中心有什么,而除了城市之外,更远、更大的空间如何可能。我们所说的“都市一无所有”,显然不是指它物质上的空虚,甚至也不是精神上的空洞,而是所谓的“城市意识”不再那么现成,不再能被詹姆斯那种后见之明所武断地概括,原本我们想当然地以为这些都是近在咫尺的事,恰恰是越近的事物越难描述。

在写过伦敦的作家中,我更偏爱查尔斯·兰姆(Charles Lamb)。他毕生生活在伦敦城中,对这座城市的亲近溢于言表,但他又时常游离在这一切之外,像是个永远的异乡人。他说,“长期以来,我习惯于不倚靠感性中的事物而追求内心的理解,从不满足于‘愚昧的现今’——正是这一点支持了我。”这种精神支持着他承担起自己小家庭的重担——患了精神病的姐姐杀死了自己的母亲,以及一个敏感的心灵在伦敦汲汲营营的小市民生活。“追求内心的理解”,也该可以支持我们自己独立去走一段路。

伦敦市内就有许多无数的“小路”,和郊区一样人迹罕至。比如从东区的白教堂画廊出发,一路往东,走过一段南亚、中东人聚集的地方——这里在历史上一直是移民区,欧洲其他国家的移民最早也住在这里,从而刺激了伦敦的纺织业,走过几座小公园、停着船家的河道、现代而廉价的住宅区,会发现许多现代画廊错落其间,有些甚至连门都找不到,进去了也没人理你,一些自言自语的艺术作品陈列在那里,讨论女性的地位、难民问题、监狱里光线的构造、巴勒斯坦的汽车修理工、美国知识分子杂志《Partisan Review》的兴衰……

巧合的是,这篇文章是在我又一次飞向伦敦的旅程中完成的。而不断进入又离开的经历告诉我,重复、循环、流动,同时也可能是激发、挑战、创造的过程。每一次出发都是无数次再出发的开始。对《单读》来说更是如此,我们已经检阅过北京、伦敦、澳大利亚,下一次,我们去拉美,去苏格兰,去爱尔兰,去非洲。

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Author: Wu Qi
English Translation: Allen Young


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作者:吴琦

Reading the World 阅读世界

May 22, 2019 2019年5月22日

Four times a year, a compact paperback with a simple cover hits Chinese bookstores, its pages filled with essays, notes, interviews, long-form nonfiction, book reviews, poetry and short stories by some of the most spirited voices from China and abroad. One-Way Street Magazine, as the quarterly is known in English—the Chinese name Dandu name might be translated as “independent reading” or “reading alone”—is a journal that thinks books and ideas are worth arguing about, and for the past ten years it’s created a small but vital space for intellectual debate. Highbrow but unpretentious, it’s a platform for opinions, articles of faith, and moments of doubt—in short, a public conversation about cultural life.

Printed on the cover of every issue is the journal’s English motto, “We read the world,” while underneath a line in Chinese adds: “A source for worldwide youth thought.” One-Way Street aims to put writers from around the globe in dialogue with their Chinese counterparts. “We’re a journal that grew out of a bookstore, and reading has always been our primary vehicle for knowledge,” says Wu Qi, the editor-in-chief. “And in a globalized age, we want the object of that knowledge to be the entire world.” Each issue ends with a handful of capsule reviews of new and noteworthy titles that haven’t yet appeared in Chinese. Recently they’ve covered books by Martha Nussbaum, Rachel Cusk, Timothy Snyder, and Teju Cole, among many others, and though there’s a distinct Anglophone bias, this section epitomizes the journal’s mission: to read deep and wide and to respond in a reflective, critical spirit.


每三个月问世一本封面朴素、设计紧凑的平装书,囊括了散文、随笔、访谈、长篇报道、书评、诗歌与小说,作者皆代表着国内外最独特的新声。这本名为《单读》的季刊致力于一个主张:书籍和思想是值得辩论的话题,十年来创造了一种较小却精力充沛的知识议论空间。高雅但不张扬,这本杂志提供了展示各种意见、信念和疑问的平台,简而言之,是一种关于文化生活的公共对话。

印在每一期的封面是杂志的英文口号:“We read the world”(我们阅读世界),下方又用中文补充了一句“全球青年思想策源地” 。《单读》旨在为来自中国和世界各个地方的作家创造对话。主编吴琦解释道,“我们是在一家书店诞生的杂志,所以阅读始终是我们最重要的认知方式,而在一个全球化的年代里,我们希望我们认知的对象是整个世界。” 一如其名,每一期的结尾部分都有一系列短短的书评,评价一些国外惹人注目但还没翻译成中文的书籍,最近评价对象当中有玛莎·努斯鲍姆(Martha Nussbaum)、蕾切尔·卡斯克(Rachel Cusk)、蒂莫西·斯奈德(Timothy Snyder)和泰茹·科尔(Teju Cole )等著名作家。虽然略显侧重英文作家,但这个《全球书情》代表了杂志的宗旨:有广泛而深刻的阅读,以审慎而严谨的精神回应。

Wu Qi, the editor-in-chief of One-Way Street Magazine 吴琦,《单读》主编
Wu Qi, the editor-in-chief of One-Way Street Magazine 吴琦,《单读》主编

Before it was a journal, One-Way Street was a bookstore. In 2005, a group of journalists living in Beijing opened “Danxiangjie Tushuguan,” or One-Way Street Library, named after Walter Benjamin’s idiosyncratic collection of observations on early-twentieth-century life. The shop began hosting lectures and panel discussions, and it quickly made a name for itself as a meeting place for Chinese intellectuals. Four years later, in 2009, when the founders launched a publication—initially also called Danxiangjie—their events gave them a ready list of contributors.

“The bookstore made a point of inviting prominent people from every field to talk about cultural and social issues,” says Wu. “We wanted to create a space that was truly shared, and we very organically gathered people from the worlds of social thought and literature. They became the journal’s first contributors, and many of them, like Yan Geling, Liu Yu, Zhang Chengzhi, Li Yinhe, and Xiang Biao, went on to have a big impact on contemporary Chinese thought. From the very start, the journal was an attempt to create that shared space on paper.”


在成为杂志之前,“单读”原来是家书店。2005 年,北京一群记者创办了“单向街图书馆”,名字源自德国思想家瓦尔特·本雅明(Walter Benjamin以对二十世纪早期生活的观察写成的独特著作《单向街》。书店很早开始举办各种讲座和小组讨论,并迅速成为中国知识分子的聚会之地。四年后,在 2009 年,创始人推出了杂志,最初名为《单向街》,而曾经举办的这些活动也让他们积累了众多投稿作者。

吴琦说:“书店创立时,便致力于邀请各界人士谈论人文思想和社会问题,想要开创一个真正的公共空间,那么自然地,也就积累了很多思想界、文学界的朋友,他们成为了这本杂志最早的作者群,其中包括了许多对当代中国思想影响很大的人物,比如严歌苓、刘瑜、张承志、李银河、项飙等等,所以说,最早的《单读》杂志其实也是一个在纸上开创公共空间的尝试。”

After five issues released more or less once a year, in 2014 the journal began publishing on a quarterly basis and changed its name to Dandu, while the bookstore expanded to other locations in Beijing and changed its name to Danxiang Kongjian, or One-Way Space. Newer issues feature pull-quotes on the cover in both Chinese and English—a nod to the editors’ aspiration to engage the outside world beyond China’s borders. In fact, they now include a table of contents in English along with a short summary of each piece. “We want to introduce Chinese writers abroad, as well as to bring foreign writers in, and language is a barrier,” says Wu. “Hopefully one day we can publish a special issue in English.” To that end, the journal has begun collaborating with the Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel and Paper Republic to make some articles available in translation. Neocha is likewise pleased to include an exclusive English edition of Wu’s recent essay “Arriving in London” below.


直到 2014 年,前五期杂志(约一年一期)已经问世后,杂志便开始按季度发行,并更名为《单读》。与此同时,原来的书店也扩散到北京的其他地点,更名为“单向空间”。现在杂志封面上印上了双语引文,点明编辑促进中外交流的理念,里面也配上英文目录和英文摘要。“我们希望把中国作者介绍出去,也想把国外作者翻译进来,所以语言是一个很大的壁垒。希望有一天我们能出版英文特辑。”为此,杂志已经开始与《洛杉矶书评中华频道》(Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel)和线上文学翻译组织“纸托邦”(Paper Republic)合作,进行一些文章的翻译。在本文结尾,Neocha 也荣幸地刊登了吴琦的近期文章《进入伦敦》独家英文版本

“We want each issue’s theme to address current topics of discussion in contemporary Chinese society, and at the same time to have a deeper theoretical or intellectual background,” explains Wu. “Escape to the Future,” the most recent issue (no. 19), includes an interview with Yuval Noah Harari, along with essays by Jia Hangjia on the future of language, Lu Ye on technology, and Yu Wei on personal autonomy. Not every article or story takes up the topic; the themes don’t draw a border so much as give each issue a center of gravity. Others include “The Empty Metropolis (no. 18, special issue on British literature), “The Age of Anxiety” (no. 9), and “Is the Avant-Garde Dead?” (no. 2). They try to strike a difficult balance—timely but not ephemeral.


“每期主题我们都希望能够贴近当代中国社会正在发生的议题,同时又具有比较深渊的理论或者思想背景。”吴琦解释道。最新一期(第 19 期)“到未来去”,包括了与尤瓦尔·赫拉利(Yuval Noah Harari)的采访、贾行家谈论语言的未来、陆晔讲述科技以及于威有关个人自主权的文章。不是每一篇文章都必须符合杂志主题;主题不是要划定界限,而是成为每期杂志的重心。往期杂志还包括“都市一无所有”(第 18 期,英国文学专刊),“焦虑的年代”(第 10 期),和“先锋已死?”(第 2 期),他们在试图达到一种微妙平衡——主题要贴合时势,但不能转瞬即逝。

One-Way Street has a website, an app, podcasts, and WeChat and Weibo accounts, yet its heart is in print. In fact, the editors seem to regard the online world with a certain suspicion. “We’re children of Gutenberg,” wrote Xu Zhiyuan, one of the journal’s founders, and still its most widely known figure, in the introduction to the inaugural issue, back in 2009. “What we fell in love with was the stillness of reading alone under faint light, the logic that strings one sentence to another, the surprises between the lines. And staring at a computer screen, constantly interrupted by an MSN chat window, with messages coming one at a time, is hard to take.” This dedication to print is less an eccentric or nostalgic whim than an attempt to resist the distraction of online media. To read their stories, you can’t always go online—you have to get your hands on a paper copy, or at least an ebook. In an age when every smartphone is refreshed with trivial, mindlessly scrollable “content,” One-Way Street insists on a format that requires patience and attention.


《单读》有网站、手机 APP、音频,还开设了微信公众号和微博账号,但它心心念念的始终是平面印刷的杂志。事实上,编辑们是带着质疑来看待网络世界的。早在 2009 年,许知远(杂志创始人之一,也是最著名的公知人物)曾写道:“我们都是古登堡的孩子,我们钟情的是在昏黄的光线下,独自阅读的静谧,句子与句子的逻辑感,字里行间的意外。而对着电脑屏幕,不断被 MSN 对话框中断,从一个文本接到另一个文本的方式,实在令人难以忍受。”这种对平面印刷的执着不是一种古怪或怀旧的想法,而是在试图抵制令人无法专注的网络媒体。要阅读他们的文章,不能总是上网去浏览,而要时不时手握一份纸质的杂志,或至少一本电子书。在这个时代,当每个人的智能手机都充斥着可以无限滚屏但并无实质的碎片“内容”,《单读》坚守了一种要求人注入耐心和专注的方式。

With its slightly contrarian posture, the journal is what in China is called xiaozhong: it appeals to the “small crowd” because it deliberately goes against the mainstream. Its critical spirit offers an alternative both to the reigning consumerism and to the bland official values touted on posters across the country. It’s an insistent, bracing reminder that the world doesn’t have to be the way it is.

Yet in recent years the space for such independent voices in the public sphere has begun to shrink rapidly. “I never thought the changes would come so quickly and abruptly,” Wu admits, describing the shifting media environment. “Not just in the past 10 years, in the past five years, the atmosphere for publishing and for cultural critique has drastically changed. In general the space for speech has contracted, while materialism is on the rise.” Hemmed in by censorship and corroded by distraction, the public sphere itself is unrecognizably changed. This gives the early issues a certain poignance—and makes them seem unsettlingly prescient.


持着怀疑的态度,《单读》其实是一份小众刊物:违背主流而行,吸引少数文艺爱好者。其批判精神体现了另一种价值观,异于随处可见的消费主义和无聊的官方宣传,仿佛是在警醒我们,世界并非一定要成为这个样子。

然而,在公共思想言论领域中,最近几年这样有着独立声音的空间正在迅速缩小。谈及现在媒体环境的变化,吴琦承认道:“我也没想到变化会来得这么快这么迅猛,不用说十年,五年来我周围的出版和人文环境就已经是翻天覆地的变化了。概括来说,主要是言论空间在变小,人们普遍的逐利心态在上升。”遭受了审查制度的扼制和腐蚀人心的分流信息,公共言论领域本身已经面目全非。这种变化也令最早几期的杂志蒙上一种凄美,也突显出其可怖的先见之明。

Looking back now, essays from those early years read like dispatches from a bygone world. In a piece from 2010 titled “A Slip of the Tongue,” which opens the second issue, Xu Zhiyuan laments how the advent of the digital age seems to have left intellectuals in China in a daze:

Over the past ten years, people have witnessed a technical revolution sweeping across the whole of society, bringing unprecedented public involvement and reshaping the social mood. Yet intellectuals have lost the ability to respond—there’s not so much as a single impassioned debate. A more powerful system has taken shape, and even though it seems free-wheeling and rowdy, firm control and anarchy can exist side by side. Most of the time people enjoy  the system, and they can no longer clearly tell whether it benefits, implicates, or harms them, or all three at once.

How can I put these vague impressions into clearer words? A heavy shower has just fallen, the air is fragrant with grass and earth, and I have no clue where to begin.

It’s a lament and a call to arms: Xu urges intellectuals to make themselves heard on the public stage. And despite his professed impotence, his words here are themselves a beginning, as are his many other essays, along with the whole collective endeavor of the journal. One-Way Street is an attempt to reclaim a space for the intellectual in the Chinese public sphere.

As for Wu, the current editor, he’s far from pessimistic. “If you want to complain about something, that’s easy,” he says. “Yet if you’re really interested in publishing, in the media, in the culture of knowledge, then you just have to keep working no matter what. I see a lot of barren land that needs cultivating, so we have plenty of possibilities. You can’t give up on yourself too soon.”

 

Click here to read Neocha’s exclusive English translation of Wu Qi’s essay “Arriving in London,” from issue 18 of One-Way Street Magazine. Click here to visit the bookstore’s page on Taobao.


回过头来看,早年的文章读起来就像来自过去的一份份讯报。在 2010 年的第 2 期杂志一篇名为《失语》的文章,许知远感叹数码时代的来临令中国的知识分子陷入迷茫:

在过去的 10 年中,人们则又目睹了一场技术革命席卷全社会,它带来了前所未有的公众参与,也重塑了社会情绪。但知识分子已经失去了回应的能力,连一场热烈地争论都没有。一个更加强大的系统形成了,而且它看起来又是如此自由和喧嚣,牢固控制和无政府状态,可以并行不悖,  更多的时刻,人们乐在其中,人们也已经分不清楚自己是这个系统的受益者、参与者还是受害者,或者三者都是。

该怎样将这些模糊的感受变成更清晰的言说呢?一场大雨刚刚过去,空气里有草和泥土的清香,我仍毫无头绪。

这是扼腕的叹息,也是振奋的呼吁:许知远敦促知识分子在公共舞台发出自己的声音。尽管声称无能为力,但这些话语本身就是一个开端,他的其他文章以及杂志所作出的全部努力也都是如此。《单读》是在试图重夺中国知识分子在公共思想言论领域的一片天地。

就现任主编吴琦而言,他丝毫不悲观。“如果要去抱怨什么,这很容易……如果真的对出版、媒体、知识文化有兴趣,那么不论如何,继续工作就行。事实上我看到有许多荒地需要去开垦去填补,这些都是我们的可能性,不要太早自我放弃。”

你还可以阅读吴琦撰写的《单读》18 期卷首语《进入伦敦》或者 Neocha 独家刊登的英文版点击这里前往单向空间的淘宝。

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Website: owspace.com
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Contributor: Allen Young
Photographer: David Yen
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li & Chen Yuan


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网站: owspace.com
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供稿人: Allen Young
摄影师: David Yen
英译中: Olivia Li & Chen Yuan