Faceless Portraits by Norris Yim

If everyone were a color, which one would you be? Hong Kong-based painter Norris Yim specializes in abstract portraits — unlike most portraits, his have no faces. Looks are not a person’s most important distinguishing feature in his art — which is perhaps to say, looks are not what’s important about a person. He likes to view people through color. “Every work uses different colors. Those abstract pigments represent my current feelings and mood. I use my own mood to get to know and define each person I paint. My mood forms the basis of the work. Even if I painted the same person a hundred times, I’d still get 100 different results.”


如果每个人都是一种颜色,你有想过自己是什么颜色?来自香港的抽象画家 Norris Yim 擅长人像画,但与一般作品不同,他画的人一律没有脸孔。在他的画里,长相不再是区分一个人的重点,或者说,长相根本不是一个人的重点。他喜欢以色彩去观看一个人,“每一幅作品用的颜色都不一样,那团抽象的颜料代表了我当下的感受和情绪,我用自己的心情去认识、和定义画笔下的每一个人,心情就是我的创作依据。 就算是同样的人我画一百次,也会有一百次不一样的结果。”

Painting, for Yim, is purely a means of self-presentation, a process of transforming his observation of others and internalizing it as creative inspiration. “I’m always painting for myself, and what I seek is my own spiritual satisfaction,” he says.“But this satisfaction is often tinged with loneliness.”

While Yim has always enjoyed flexing his creative muscles, he never realized how deep his love for art truly was until college. After this self-revelation, art became an essential part of his life. “In college, I found that painting was the one thing I could concentrate on, the one thing I always wanted to do. At first, I just wanted to take an extra arts course, but when I came into contact with painting, it was like finding my own long-lost soul,” he recalls.“Ever since then, in a very natural way, I feel I have to pick up a brush every day, even if it’s just to tweak a color. That’s how painting became fundamental for me.”


画画对 Norris Yim 而言,是纯粹用来阐述自我的工具,一个从观看他人、内化到创作灵感的转变过程。“我一直都是为了自己在画,求的是个人精神上的满足,心境上甚至是带点孤寂的那种。”从小在香港长大,Norris Yim 说自己一直都喜欢创作,尽管途中迂回了一些,最后依然幸运的走回纯艺术的道路上。 “大学时期发现,画画是唯一能让我专注下来,而且渴望一直去做的事。本来只是想多学一门手艺,一碰触到画笔,就像意外找回自己许久不见的灵魂。从那时候起,很自然地每天都要动动笔,仅管只是调个颜色也好。就这样画画成了我的基本。”

In his Portraits series, some of the subjects are based on real people while others are completely conjured up from the depths of his imagination. Who they are is unimportant, because they exist solely in Yim’s mind. Occasionally, he paints with a specific subject in mind, but even then he’ll often still title the work as Someone or Untitled. He does this to avoid any link to the outside world, and to make the painting solely a tool for recording his mood.

Among his early works are some portraits with distinguishable faces. He moved toward his current approach because he wanted his work to be unconstrained and offer more space for creative freedom. “Looking back at my past pieces, I always think they feel too much like portraits. Anyone can paint a likeness. While the human figure is there, the painter’s soul is missing. I don’t want to limit my own work to someone else’s standards. I’m often asking myself, is my imagination unlimited? This question is the basis of all my art. I want to seek more possibilities in painting and color, more possibilities in myself.”


在人像画《Portraits》系列里,人物有些是真实存在,有些是出自凭空幻想。至于他们是谁,也不太重要,因为这些人都只存在在 Norris Yim 的一刻想像里。即使有时候有明确画的对象,Norris Yim 还是会以《Someone》(《某人》)或《Untitled》(《无题》)来命名,为的是不让以外的事件碰触,让画纯粹作为一个记录自己心情的工具。

其实往前看他早期的作品,也有脸孔还很清楚的人像画。之所以转向现在的表达方式,是因为想脱离那样局限的创作方法,寻找更多发挥空间。“现在回头去看过去的作品,总觉得人像感太重,也就是每一个人都可以画出近似复制的作品,虽然有‘人’的结构,却少了画者本身的‘灵魂’。我不希望以其他人的基准,去限制自己的创作。我常常在想,想像是无限的吗?这句话就是我一切创作的根本吧。我想从画和各种颜色里寻找更多可能,关于自我的可能。”

Behance: ~/norrisyim
Instagram: @norrisyimyn

 

Contributor: Yi Xuan


Behance: ~/norrisyim
Instagram: @norrisyimyn

 

供稿人: Yi Xuan