Emotive Vessels 熟悉的陌生人

February 21, 2020 2020年2月21日

Taiwanese artist Fan Yanting creates ceramic art that feels human. His pottery wares—etched with faces and given endearing backstories—are as expressive as they are functional. Fan imagines stories for each of his works: the face on a flower vase belongs to a stern but kind-hearted school principal, a trio of coffee mugs show three quarrelsome brothers, and the character on the corner of a dessert tray is a hungry daydreamer.


台湾艺术家樊彦廷所打造的陶艺往往被赋予人性。它们各自诉说一段有趣的故事,由内至外地流露出几分人情的味道。这些陶瓷作品既富表现力又不失实用性:校长严厉而慈祥的脸浮现在花瓶上;三个喋喋不休的兄弟围成一个咖啡杯套装;痴狂梦中人的形象则映现在甜点托盘的角落。

Faces have long fascinated Fan. Sometimes a stranger may look inexplicably familiar, in a way that makes others feel at ease. It’s not always rational or grounded in reality. “When people see different faces, they project their own ideas onto them,” he says. “Maybe a face will remind someone of an old friend, a family member, or the coffee shop owner down the street. By leading viewers to experience everyday items that have different faces, I hope to explore this phenomenon in my work.”


一直以来,樊彦廷着迷于形形色色的面庞。有时候,路上的陌生人也会散发出莫名的熟悉感,令人感到自在。但这样的邂逅在现实生活中或许并不常见。他说:“每个人看到不同人脸的时候会有不同的回忆投射。你或许会想起某个朋友、家人、每天买咖啡的老板。藉由引导人去体验不同的人脸生活器,注入不同却很个人的情感投射。”

Fan has never received any formal art training. In fact, he’s only worked with ceramics for a year. But this inexperience has proven to be a virtue—through an approach that’s more intuitive than technical, he creates work that trades the over-polished presentation of fine art for something free and unassuming. “I empty my mind when I’m sculpting the human faces,” he says. “I might plan the pottery shape and maybe where I’d like to position the face, but I don’t start with specific character designs in mind.”


樊彦廷从未接受过任何正式的艺术教育。实际上,他接触陶瓷也只有短短一年的时间。但这种经验的缺乏却反倒成为一种优势——他在创作时可以更凭感觉,而非遵循技术。没有了过度的精雕细琢,反倒为作品增添了一份自由与含蓄。他解释说:“我在做人脸雕塑的时候其实是很放空的,只有器形是有规划的,以及人脸的位置有思考过,但雕塑本身是没有任何角色设定任何投射。”

A lack of a background in art has also given Fan a unique perspective on the relationship between artist and medium. He doesn’t just see the clay he works with as inanimate material, but instead recognizes it as a collaborator. To him, each new work is the beginning of a new relationship; as he and the clay familiarize themselves with one another, the relationship will grow and yield surprising creative results.


缺乏艺术背景也让樊彦廷以一种独特的视角来看待艺术家与艺术媒介之间的关系。在他眼中,粘土被赋予生命,是与他共同创作的伙伴。对他来说,每一件新作品都是一段新关系的开始;创作过程中,他与粘土的关系从相互播种到萌芽开花,最终结出令人惊喜的创意果实。

Though more modern techniques exist, Fan insists on hand sculpting, a technique that relies only on the artist’s two hands. It’s a process that often yields uneven edges and dimpled textures. But these imperfections, left as they are, lend his art an extra human touch—much like people, these imperfections are part of what makes each of his creations so unique.


尽管如今新式的陶瓷制作方法层出不穷,但樊彦廷依然坚持手工雕磨。这种仅仅依靠双手就能完成作品的手艺活,其过程往往也会形成不平滑的边缘和纹理。但正因为这些手工留下的缺陷,成就了它们,也为樊彦廷的艺术品增添了不少人情的味道。要知道,这世上金无足赤,人无完人,而我们每一个人也因此变得独特。

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Contributor & Photographer: David Yen
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li


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供稿人与摄影师: David Yen
英译中: Olivia Li

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