Tag Archives: artist

Deciphering the Human Experience

Born in Taipei and raised in Shanghai, Jocelyn Tsaih is an illustrator, animator, and designer currently based in New York City. Her artistic style is defined by a distinct, minimalist approach that’s complemented by her quirky sense of humor.

More often than not, Tsaih’s work features a mysterious, amorphous character that’s meant to embody the various facets of modern life. The character, initially based on a stick figure, evolved as a way for Tsaih to convey abstract concepts derived from her own experiences.


在台北出生,在上海长大的 Jocelyn Tsaih 目前长居在纽约,是一名插画家和设计师。她的作品风格简约,且充满着古怪的幽默感。

Jocelyn 的大部分作品里会出现一个神秘的、不定形的角色,意在表达现代生活的方方面面。而这个角色最初是她以火柴人为原型创作的,后来演变成她从自己的经历中传达抽象概念的一种方式。

“It sounds kind of cheesy, but I started drawing it as a way to express my internal conflicts and to represent anything human,” she shares. “As I explored different ways of conveying what I was feeling, I started to use the figure in ways that are more abstract. I think my thought process is that even though we are human, a lot of things about us are intangible, like emotions and feelings.”


“虽然听起来有点俗气,但我一开始画这个角色是为了抒发内心的冲突,表达关于人类的一切。” Jocelyn 说,“随着我尝试用不同的方式来传达自己的感受,我也开始用更抽象的方式来表现这个火柴人。我的想法是,作为人类,很多关于我们的事情都是无形的,譬如情感和感觉。”

Tsaih currently works at WeWork as a full-time graphic designer and illustrator. Outside of her full-time job, she’s equally busy with a constant juggling act between personal and freelance projects. She’s already accumulated an impressive list of clients including Adobe Photoshop, Condé Nast, Nickelodeon, Tictail, and GIPHY. But despite her professional accomplishments, there was a time when Tsaih felt uncertain about her future as an artist. As a teenager, many of her peers discouraged her desire to pursue a career in the arts. It was only after a period of self-doubt and confusion that she decided to trust her own judgment: “I believed that art was valuable, and I pushed myself because I didn’t want people’s skewed perceptions to be validated.”


Jocelyn 目前作为一名全职平面设计师和插画家任职于共享办公空间 WeWork。不上班的时候,她会去创作自己的个人项目和自由职业项目,她曾经合作过的客户里包括 Adobe Photoshop、康泰纳仕集团(Condé Nast)、美国儿童节目频道 Nickelodeon,以及 Tictail 和 GIPHY 网站。虽然如今在事业上获得成功,但曾经有一段时间,Jocelyn 也不确定自己是否真的能成为一名艺术家。十几岁的时候,她的许多同龄人都不鼓励她去追求艺术事业。在经过一段时间的自我怀疑和困惑之后,她才终于决定相信自己的判断:“我相信艺术是有价值的,我不断推动自己去努力,是因为我不希望证明人们扭曲的看法是对的。”

For Jocelyn, creativity comes from being open-minded; it comes from a willingness to dive head first into new experiences, whether it’s interacting with different people or being in an unfamiliar environment. She tells us, “A lot of my work represents my reaction to things, so the more experiences I have, the more ideas I’ll have to turn into drawings.” These days, she’s begun dabbling with ceramics and paintings – processes that, for her, require a lot more time and deeper reflection on the underlying concepts she intends to explore. Patience is a fundamental part of her creative process. “90% of the time is spent thinking an idea over and 10% of the time is spent making the actual work,” she explains, “The final result often looks simple, but it usually takes a long time for me to get to that point, although I know it doesn’t look like it.”


对于 Jocelyn 来说,创意来自于开放的心态和尝试新事物的经历,或是与不同的人互动,或是置身于异国的环境中。她告诉我们:“我的许多作品都表达了我对事物的反应,所以,我的经历越丰富,我才能有越来越多的想法来创作成画。”近来,她一直在涉猎陶瓷和绘画,对她来说,这些艺术创作过程需要花大量的时间对作品内在概念进行反思。Jocelyn 表示,耐心是她创作过程的关键。她解释说:“ 90% 的时间是花在思考上面的,只有 10% 的时间才是花在实际的创作中。最终的作品看起来很简单,但我其实需要很长的时间才能画出来,虽然我知道它看起来不像。”

After six years in New York City, Tsaih is now planning a move to San Francisco in the coming year. She sees this as an opportunity to explore a new environment and experience a change of pace. She shares with us, “Having come from Shanghai to New York, I feel like I’ve only known how to live in very stimulating, fast-paced environments. It might be a little challenging to shift to a slower pace of life, and I might end up hating it, but I hope some good things will come out of the experience either way!”


在纽约生活了六年后,Jocelyn 计划在新的一年搬到旧金山,体验新的环境,转换一下生活节奏。她说:“从上海来到纽约,我觉得自己好像只在紧张刺激、快节奏的环境里生活过。要转变到一种较慢的生活节奏,可能会有点挑战性,甚至我可能最终会讨厌这种生活。但我希望不管怎样,都能在这次经历中取得一些好的收获。”

Websitewww.jocelyntsaih.com
Instagram: @jocelyntsaih

 

Contributor: George Zhi Zhao
Photographer: Nick Korompilas


网站www.jocelyntsaih.com
Instagram: @jocelyntsaih

 

供稿人: George Zhi Zhao
摄影师: Nick Korompilas

Little Thunder

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Little Thunder is a comic artist and illustrator whose distinctive style has led her to become one of the best-known artists in Hong Kong today. Often featuring empowered female subjects, her artworks draw inspiration from a variety of different sources, including Japanese manga, American pin-up art, and even Hong Kong’s rich cultural history. Her masterful approach to visual storytelling allows her to craft meaningful narratives even in the confines of a single frame.


Little Thunder(門小雷)是土生土长的香港漫画家和插画家。她从日本漫画、美式挂图艺术和香港的丰富历史文化中汲取灵感,创作出一系列充满力量的女性画像。加之以娴熟的视觉叙事方式,Little Thunder 让单幅的画像也营造出一种难得的叙事深度。

Little Thunder explores the theme of feminity through a mix of humor, sexuality, and observations of whimsical everyday occurrences. Describing the inspiration behind the empowered female subjects of her works, she says, “Some women have a natural air of confidence and independence. They’re really clear on what they’re doing and what they’re capable of doing, without blindly believing that, ‘Whatever men can do, women can do too!’ Men and women are different by nature, and the perceived ‘inadequacies’ of women are often some of their most attractive traits. These are the kinds of traits that fascinate me the most.”


Little Thunder 的许多作品都是通过幽默、性爱或者异想天开的日常主题来探索女性的本质。对此主题的钟爱,她解释说:“有些女性天生就有一种自信和独立。她们非常清楚自己在做什么、有能力做什么,而不是盲目地相信‘男人可以做的女人也可以做!’男人和女人天生就是不同的,有一些女性所谓的‘不足’往往是她们最吸引人的特质,也是最让我着迷的地方。”

Being also inspired by Hong Kong’s traditional culture, many of Little Thunder’s works convey a sense of nostalgia and communicates her hopes of preserving the fast-disappearing aspects of old Hong Kong. She says, “Hong Kong is developing so rapidly now; it’s copying what’s abroad or trying to appease China. It’s nonstop demolishing and rebuilding, and a lot of Hong Kong’s old architecture and history are disappearing. In terms of art and culture, it’s definitely a step back. It makes me think of how beautiful Hong Kong was when I was growing up. That’s the Hong Kong that always lingers in my memory, and now I can only express it through my art.”


香港传统文化也是她的创作灵感之一,因此,Little Thunder 的许多作品都表现出一种怀旧情绪,传达出她想要保留住这些快速消失的香港文化之愿景。她说:“香港现在发展得这么快,或在照搬国外,或在企图满足中国。到处都在拆除和重建,很多香港的老建筑和历史都正在迅速消失。在艺术和文化方面,这绝对是大退步。这让我想起了在我成长过程中所见的香港的美好,那时候的香港一直留在我的记忆里,现在我只能通过艺术来表达出来。”

In terms of how she chooses the medium for a new artwork, Little Thunder tells us, “I’ll use whatever materials I can get my hands on.” These days, she uses a lot of ink and watercolor, though she’s comfortable creating in both analog and digital mediums. Similar to her artistic approach, Little Thunder strives to maintain a fresh attitude towards life. “My inspiration comes from observation and experience in my daily life, using different perspectives to observe and avoiding the trap of viewing the familiar as ordinary or mundane. This way, I’ll naturally find inspiration everywhere.”


在艺术媒介方面,Little Thunder 表示:“一旦我开始创作的话,可能什么材料都会用上。”近期她最常用的是水墨和水彩,即使她很擅长用胶片和数媒进行创作。与之相同的是 Little Thunder 对生活一样永葆新奇的态度。“我的灵感来源于我日常生活中的观察和经验,用不同的视角来观察,避免将熟悉的事物普通或平凡化了。这样的话,我到处都能找到灵感。”

Despite the role that social media has played on her road to success, Little Thunder has mixed feelings about how our digital interconnectedness can affect creativity and artistic motivations. She says, “Drawing is a really personal thing, but now that we live in a world of social media, it makes art more complicated. The artist will be affected by other people’s opinions, how many ‘Likes’ they’ll get, or whether or not their art will really resonate, which are all things that contaminate the purity of the art. I know that it’s hard to maintain that kind of purity, but at the very least you need to understand that you are the very first viewer of any of the artwork that you create, and if it’s able to give you a positive reaction, then it’s already a success.”


Little Thunder 在网络上吸引了大批的粉丝,现在已经成为香港最著名的漫画艺术家之一。尽管社交媒体是 Little Thunder 获得成功的因素之一,但她对于数字社交对人们创造力和艺术动机的影响有着复杂的感情。她说:“绘画本是非常个人的事情。但现在我们生活在社交媒体的世界里,这让艺术变得更复杂了。艺术家会受到别人意见的影响,会关心他们能得到多少个‘赞’,或者他们的艺术是否能与观众产生共鸣?这些都会玷污艺术的纯粹。我知道,要保持这种纯粹并非易事,但至少你需要明白,你是自己的作品的第一个观众,只要你喜欢它,它就已经是一件成功的作品了。”

Instagram: @littlethunder
Facebook: ~/runthunderrun

 

Contributor: George Zhi Zhao


Instagram: @littlethunder
脸书: ~/runthunderrun

 

供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

Drama & Absurdity

Born in 1982, Tang Dixin is a Hangzhou-born multimedia artist whose creativity seems to know no bounds as he effortlessly crisscrosses between painting, performance art, installation art, and more. Despite his artistic diversity, Tang’s works are united through a similar sense of dramatic apprehension and his love for absurd metaphors. In paintings, he invokes tension through the use of bright, vibrant lines, which slice through slabs of solid colors. Seemingly abstract at first glance, a closer look at his paintings reveals recognizable human forms and hidden layers of emotion. Tang’s painted works feel quite organic with his background as a performance artist, as each painting carries a visual dynamism that makes them feel closer to staged performances rather than static pieces of work.


1982年出生于杭州的艺术家唐狄鑫,他的创作领域横跨绘画、装置和行为艺术等多种媒介,充满戏剧性的张力,亦充满荒诞的隐喻。野性的张力通过大面积颜色和高亮度的线条轮廓呈现出来,看似具有模糊抽象的含义,实则在描绘具体而现实的躯体和情感,似乎正在通过画面上演一台虚构表演

In earlier years, Tang’s projects as a performance artist often involved putting himself in dangerous situations, such as leaping onto an active train track and hopping back onto the platform right before the train pulls in. Explaining with an impish smile, he tells us, “It’s using fear to stimulate my id.” And though he’s moved on from this risky method of creative expression, Tang’s paintings still adhere to the theme of “mutual destruction” that fascinated him as a performance artist; nowadays, it’s just explored via a different approach. “As a performance artist, it’s me physically conducting a certain act. When I paint, I’ll simply depict someone performing what I might’ve originally done. The message is the same, but it’s interesting to present it in a new way.”


早些年,唐狄鑫也创作行为艺术的作品,他常常会将自己置于十分危险的境地——比如俯身跳下铁轨,再在列车来临前果断跳上站台。他俏皮地说,那是因为想把心中住的小神仙吓一跳。相比行为艺术,他的油画亦传达出背后那个“互撕互毁”的过程,他说:“一个是我跳到人群中,另一个我描绘有个人跳进人群。要表达的内容其实也没什么不同,但一点也不想同归。”

Tang Dixin’s newest works are now on display at AIKE DELLARCO in Shanghai.

 

Date: November 8, 2017 ~ December 31, 2017
Opening hoursTuesday ~ Sunday 10:00am ~ 6:00pm

Address:
AIKE DELLARCO
Building 6, No. 2555 Longteng Avenue
Xuhui District, Shanghai
People’s Republic of China

 

Contributor: Chen Yuan
Image Courtesy of AIKE DELLARCO


目前,唐狄鑫的最新作品正在艾可画廊呈现,欢迎大家前往观瞻。

 

展期: 20171108日 —— 20171231
开放时间: 周二至周日 早上10点至下午6

地址:
中国
上海市徐汇区
龙腾大道25556号楼
艾可画廊

 

供稿人: Chen Yuan
图片由艾可画廊提供

Tokyo Storefront

Polish-born and Japan-based artist Mateusz Urbanowicz is the talented illustrator and painter behind Bicycle Boy, a series we’ve previously featured on Neocha. Known for his vivid usage of watercolors and eye for detail, Urbanowicz has worked as the background artist for many anime TV shows and movies over the years, including the critically acclaimed Your Name. This year, Urbanowicz expressed hopes of shifting more of his attention towards personal projects. This reprioritization has led to a continuation of the ten-part Tokyo Storefront series that he released last year. The extension to the series comes in the form of a bilingual book that includes the original ten illustrations along with 40 new drawings.


艺术家Mateusz Urbanowicz生于波兰,目前居住在日本。他也是我们先前报道的另一个水彩画系列《自行车男孩》Bicycle Boy)的作者。才华横溢的他以细腻精致且清新生动的画风而闻名,更曾为许多动漫和电影创作背景插画,包括广受好评的电影《你的名字》(Your Name)。今年,Mateusz表达了他专注创作自己的艺术作品的希望。他将去年已有10张作品的《东京店面》(Tokyo Storefront)系列进行了增补,并将以双语书的形式面向大众,其中将包括最初的10幅插图以及40幅新创作的作品。

“When I moved to Tokyo more than three years ago, I was really surprised that on my walks I encountered so many shops still in business inside really old buildings. Differently to Kobe, where the earthquake wiped out a lot of these old downtown houses and shops, in Tokyo they still survive,” Urbanowicz recalls, and inspired by their beauty, Tokyo Storefront is his attempt to document these charming buildings.


我搬到东京的前3年,连散步时都会很惊讶,因为一直会偶遇在那些已经很老旧的建筑中仍在营业的商店。在日本神户,地震摧毁了许多老城区的房子和商店,但在东京它们还屹立不倒。”Mateusz的《东京店面》系列正是想要记录下这些风景。

The majority of the storefronts featured in the book comes from Urbanowicz’s exploration of Tokyo. However, his approach is more than a mere recreation of his observations. In the illustration above, Urbanowicz shares that the signage was already torn down when he showed up in his location hunt. Disappointed, he took a few photos of the shop in its current state and went home to scour the internet for old images of the store. In his final illustration, the original signage has been restored in its retro glory, and as a master of details, a small chair he observed in one of the old photos was also included.


这系列的大多数店铺,Mateusz都是在东京闲逛时偶然发现的,但画中不仅仅只是纪实正如这张画上方的圆形标志,在Mateusz前去这家店之前,商标就已经不幸被拆了,当Mateusz到达那里的时候只能拍一些照片,再不得不用互联网上找到的旧照片,在画中把商标加上去。而其中一张照片里,商店门前放着一把小椅子,细节如它,当然不能被忽视,Mateusz把它也画了上去。

Commenting on the series, Urbanowicz shares, “I didn’t want to copy all the retro guides that already exist for Tokyo. Because of that we, of course, had to go again to those places, take more photos, and look more closely at the details of the shops. But that also gave us a chance to talk with the owners to learn more about the interesting history behind each of the shops.”


Mateusz表示,我不想照着市面上已有的怀旧导游册拷贝,因此在创作过程中我们不得不再次走访这些地方,拍下更多照片,关注更多细节。这也给了我们和店主交流的机会,深入了解到店铺背后有趣的历史。

In the upcoming book, Urbanowicz not only explores Tokyo shop facades but will also include historical details presented in both English and Japanese as well as sketches of shop interiors.

Tokyo Storefronts – The Artworks of Mateusz Urbanowicz is now available for pre-order on Amazon.


在以纸质版面世时,《东京店面》将并不仅仅包含东京的店铺店面,也会有一些店铺的内部插画和文字介绍。

目前,《东京店面——Mateusz Urbanowicz绘作》(Tokyo Storefronts – The Artworks of Mateusz Urbanowicz)系列已经可以在Amazon上预售

Websitemateuszurbanowicz.com
Facebook~/urbanowiczmateusz
Instagram@mateusz_urbanowicz


Contributor: Chen Yuan


网站mateuszurbanowicz.com
脸书~/urbanowiczmateusz
Instagram@mateusz_urbanowicz


供稿人: Chen Yuan

Soap Operas as Inspiration

A snippet from Episode 3 of Hello, Finale!  《你好,尽头!》第三集 片段

无法观看?前往优酷

Chinese multimedia artist Tao Hui’s newest series, Hello Finale!follows nine different individuals making a phone call to close acquaintances. Inspired by film, soap operas, and even local news, the series explores topics of love, life, and death through the overarching theme of “all things must end.”


这是艺术家陶辉的作品。他的新作系列《你好,尽头!》讲的是9个不同的人分别给各自亲友或他人打电话,这些灵感来源于对电影、电视剧,甚至市井新闻报道内容的再创作,内容则讲述的都是一些和尽头相关的主题,爱、生命、死亡等等

For Tao Hui, who grew up during the peak era of cable television, TV has been central in his creative growth. Observing his mother, an avid fan of Taiwanese writer Qiong Yao, cry when watching Yao’s shows, led Tao to propose the questions of “What is the relationship between reality, television shows, and films” and “What role can art play in exploring their dynamic?”


对陶辉来说,他成长在电视媒体的发展和顶峰时期,从小的媒体启蒙就是电视。陶辉曾说自己的妈妈特别爱看琼瑶剧,看得入戏时常常会边看边哭。这让陶辉不禁反思起现实和影视剧之间的关系究竟是怎样的?艺术创作又将以怎样的身份介入?

Tao Hui’s goal is to clearly define the often blurry line between TV shows and reality. In Hello, Finale!, Tao intentionally cherry-picked footage with minor acting slip-ups. “I don’t want the audience to fully believe what I’m showing them. I want them to see the flaws and understand this is what a performance is. There are parts that are real and parts that are fake.”


那根模糊于戏里戏外的分界线,陶辉想把它挑出来。在这次《你好,尽头!》的制作过程中,陶辉故意选了一些没那么完美的成片,“我希望观众不要完全相信我提供的内容,就是想让观众看到出错的部分,意识到这就是表演,有真实有虚假。”

With thoughtfully produced television shows and movies becoming increasingly difficult to find in China, the general public has grown accustomed to the visually grandiose films that are made for fast profit. “This is to be expected in our modern life. The pursuit of beauty has always been a large driving force behind human motivation, and as our society develops, people have more money to spend on their pursuit of beautiful things. Hence, it’s even more important to separate works that are made for profit and works with artistic intentions.”


现在耗时长且制作精良的影视剧越来越少,公众视线似乎更容易聚集在美色创造的商业电影之中。陶辉说,这是这个时代的必经之路啊,美色一直都是一股强大的生产驱动力,而且社会的发展导致消费力大增。但是我们还是要把这种类型的影视剧和有艺术追求的影视作品做个区分。

Discussing favorite directors, Tao Hui names Abdellatif Kechicheall, Asghar Farhadiof, and Michael Haneke to be his current picks. And even though the three don’t share any stylistic similarities, the common denominator is that their films are far more thoughtful than typical Hollywood blockbusters. “I feel like for-profit movies are made for the average consumer, created for mass appeal and satisfying the public,” Tao says with a shrug. “For-profit films and video art should be differentiated. The former is a product; it’s something for people to consume. The latter is created with the goal of provoking discussion and making people think.”


他谈起喜欢的电影导演:柯西胥,法哈蒂,哈内克——很难一以概括的风格,但可以肯定的是,三者都绝非商业大片的导演。“我认为商业电影是为了消费观众情绪、满足观众情感。我们还是要把商业影视剧和有艺术追求的影视作品做个区分,一种是商品,只是为了消费;而另一种却是为了引发思考。”

 

无法观看?前往腾讯视频

More of Tao Hui’s work is currently on display at Shanghai’s Rockbound Art Museum as part of HUGO BOSS ASIA ART 2017. Click here to find out more.


在近期上海外滩美术馆举办的“HUGO BOSS 2017亚洲新锐艺术家大奖中可以看到更多陶辉的作品。点击这里可以购买展览门票。

EventHUGO BOSS 2017亚洲新锐艺术家大奖
Exhibition Dates: 10/27/2017 ~ 2/11/2018

Address:
Rockbund Art Museum
Huqiu Road 20
Huangpu District, Shanghai
People’s Republic of China

 

Website: ~/TaoHui

 

Contributor: Chen Yuan
Image Courtesy of Tao Hui and Rockbund Art Museum


活动HUGO BOSS 2017亚洲新锐艺术家大奖
展期: 2017年10月27日——2018年2月11日

地点:
中国
上海黄浦区
虎丘路20号
外滩美术馆

 

网站: ~/TaoHui

 

供稿人: Chen Yuan
图片由陶辉与上海外滩美术馆提供

In the Studio with Orkhontuul

Orkhontuul Banzragch is a visual artist whose surrealist paintings have attracted increasing attention in the Mongolian art scene. Since the induction of his Face of painting into Mongolia’s State Treasury in 2014, Orkhontuul’s work has been heralded as the new wave of Mongolian art. His style is distinct and doesn’t fit the mold of traditional Mongolian art, which might include predictable imagery of horses, wolves, nomadic warriors, and the great wilderness. Instead, Orkhontuul prefers portraits, which, more often than not, are based on himself or people in his life. He wields his art as a vessel in which he can share his commentary on the struggles of modern-day Mongolians – touching on modern issues such as the national identity crisis, the population’s collective nostalgia for a supposedly glorious past, among other sociopolitical topics. As such, despite his nonconformist style, Orkhontuul is widely regarded as an artist who creates authentic Mongolian art.


Orkhontuul Banzragch是近年来蒙古艺术界中崭露头角的视觉艺术家。2014年,他的《Face of》一画被选入蒙古国库(Mongolia’s State Treasury),其作品也被标榜为蒙古族的艺术新浪潮。他的作品的特别之处,在于它偏离了蒙古族的传统艺术模式,譬如大多数蒙古艺术作品都会出现马、狼、游牧战士和大荒原等形象。相反,他的作品多为超现实主义的肖像画,这些肖像画往往是以他自己或他身边的人为原型创作的。通过自己的艺术,他展现出自己对现代蒙古人所经历的挣扎的看法,譬如是民族认同问题危机,或是蒙古人民对这个民族过去辉煌历史的集体缅怀。因此,尽管他的风格不拘于传统,他仍被蒙古人们视为是创作正宗蒙古艺术的艺术家。

A recent visit to his studio took us to the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar city and into the basement of a newly built apartment complex. The space, sparsely decorated and dimly lit, is split into two rooms. The second room belongs to Lkhagvadorj, a local artist who’s sharing the space. Orkhontuul tells us that the primary reason for choosing this location was because of affordability – the two artists have a rather unorthodox arrangement with the landlord where they’re allowed to pay rent with their paintings. The secondary reason is because of its remoteness; it’s even an hour-long commute for Orkhontuul himself to get there, but this was a deliberate decision, as he wants to discourage frequent visitors and focus on his work without distractions. Undeterred by Orkhontuul wishes of being left alone to his art, we sat down with him and had a long chat about the challenges of being an artist in Mongolia and breaking free from “generic Mongolian art.”


我们最近拜访了他的工作室,那是乌兰巴托市郊区一幢新建公寓大楼的地下室。工作室内没什么装饰,光线暗淡,被分成了两个房间,这是他与另一名当地艺术家Lkhagvadorj共享的工作室。Orkhontuul告诉我们,之所以选择这里作为工作室,最主要的原因是因为它价格便宜。其次是因为它位置偏远——Orkhontuul自己每天也要花一个小时才能到工作室——这是他深思熟虑后作出的决定:因为他不想工作室有太多的访客,这样才能专注于自己的创作。虽然Orkhontuul更享受一个人的时间,但我们还是和与Orkhontuul坐了下来长谈,跟他聊聊关于蒙古艺术家所面临的挑战,以及突破挑战“传统蒙古艺术风格”的困难。

Neocha: Did you choose art or did art choose you?

Orkhontuul: It’s not that I wanted or chose to be an artist like you would choose a profession. I think some people can choose their profession, but for example, artists like painters, musicians, singers and composers are not privy to that because they can’t choose their talent. I believe talent is something predestined. Unlike other artists, I would say I’m lucky, in that none of my family members have expressed disapproval in me drawing or painting. My father is a composer, so I think him being an artist probably helped me continue down this path. Either way, my family probably had no way to stop a kid who started painting before he could even crawl.


Neocha: 你觉得是你选择了艺术这条路,还是艺术它选择了你?

Orkhontuul: 关于这一点,我觉得不是像平时人们选择职业那样的,不是说是我想要成为或者说选择了成为一名艺术家。有些人是可以选择自己的职业,但是像画家、音乐家、歌手和作曲家这些艺术家是不同的,才华不是一件可以选择的事情。我相信才华是命中注定的。我会说自己很幸运,因为不像其他艺术家,我的家人都没有反对我画画。我的父亲是一名作曲家,我觉得有一位艺术家父亲让我更加坚定地走艺术创作这条道路。但不管怎样,我的家人可能也没有办法阻止我,毕竟在我还没学会爬的时候,我就先会画画了。

Face of... (2014)
Road (2009)
It Flies (2017)

Neocha: Your paintings capture the hardships and struggles of modern Mongolians. Why are these issues so important to you?

Orkhontuul: I think everyone in Mongolia has their own feelings on the current state of things. But as an artist I just see and feel it as images so I express it in that way. There are people, like journalists, who can explain whats happening today with their writing, but someone like me just can’t explain it with words. My art is just what I have seen and experienced in our society, which at times, might be what I feel to be injustices. These things just come out as a painting for me. I’m not trying to advocate for any cause or use my art as like a banner or an ad for something. I am just painting what I see, but I don’t strictly paint images focused on social commentary.


Neocha: 很多人说你的画作展示出了现代蒙古人的艰辛和挣扎。为什么这些主题对你来说如此重要?

Orkhontuul: 我想每个人对当下的事物都会有自己的感受。但是,作为一名艺术家,我的所见所感对我来说都是一个个画面,所以我还是以画画的方式表达出来。有些人,譬如记者,他们可以用文字来解释当下发生的事情,而我可能无法用语言来做到这一点。我的艺术正是我在社会上的见闻和经历,无论它是否不公正。只是我会通过画画来表达出这些东西。我并没有想通过自己的艺术作品来倡议任何事情或是用它作为一面旗帜或广告去宣传任何东西。我只是在画我所见到的事物。我并非只专注创作有关社会问题的画像。

What was I Saying (2014)

Neocha: Are you actively searching for inspiration or do you just have spontaneous “lightbulb” moments?

Orkhontuul: It varies. Sometimes inspiration just comes to me when I’m walking down the street. It comes from things I hear or see. I think artists should be very acute and peckish. Since my student days, I’ve constantly searched for things that can inspire me, and because of that tendency, I’ve learned a lot and am even more eager to search out the next thing that can inspire me. If something sparks my interest then I’ll try to make something out if it.


Neocha: 你画画的灵感从何而来?你平时会不断去搜寻灵感,还是就灵光一闪,下笔如神?

Orkhontuul: 不一定。有时,我在街上走着走着,灵感就出现了。可能是来自我听到或看到的事物。我觉得艺术家应该保持敏锐,并始终充满渴求。从学生时期开始,我就会不断去寻找能激发灵感的事物。这样也更能提升我的敏锐度和求知欲。如果有什么东西引起了我的兴趣,我就会努力尝试从中创作些什么。

Neocha: Most Mongolian art is littered with generic subjects like horses, wolves, beautiful woman, and so on. What are your thoughts on the prevalence of these subject matters in Mongolian art?

Orkhontuul: I think some of these paintings have a different purpose from art. Some artists draw these things not because they want to, but they have to make a living. These types of paintings should not be considered art in my opinion. I, for one, would never paint a wolf just for the purpose of making money. I might use an image of a wolf if I’m trying to express something specific in my paintings, but I’ll never think that I should incorporate a certain element because it’s the norm.


Neocha: 大部分蒙古族艺术作品中都充满了像马、狼、美丽女性等形象。对于蒙古艺术中这些题材的流行泛滥你有什么看法?

Orkhontuul: 我觉得这些画不是以艺术为目的创作的。有些画家画这些画并非出于自己的意愿,而是为了谋生而画。在我看来,这样的画不应该被视为艺术。拿我来说,我永远也不会为了赚钱而去画一匹狼。只有当我觉得狼可以用来表达某种具体意义时,我才会去画,但我从来不会因为某种元素或形象很流行,就把它加入到自己的作品中。

Mother (2012)

Neocha: Can you tell us about this piece named “Mother”? It’s quite different from some of your other work, and there’s quite a lot to digest in the frame.

Orkhontuul: This painting is actually based on a real person that I met. I don’t have many interests or hobbies in life except for painting and traveling. I love to travel. There were times just on a whim I would just hitch a ride to the countryside. One time, when I was on a train, an old lady barged into my cabin holding a bottle of vodka, and with a growly voice, she said “Let’s share a drink.” She was one of those ladies that goes to China to buy cheap goods and sell it here at the local market. And maybe because of her profession and stress, she looked more like a man than a woman. All the joy she had seemed to have faded away. She told me she does to support her family. And that is why in the painting she has four breasts – every breast represents one of her children. Her missing face represents the losing her feminine identity, and the pigeons are her stressful thoughts of feeding her hungry children. The missing puzzle pieces are things that left her life – husband and love. She has a penis because she had to essentially “become a man” to live, but the silhouette of the many arms that surround her is meant to represent that she is still a goddess. That’s what I wanted to portray but other people might look at it and see something different.


Neocha: 你能跟我们介绍一下这幅名为《母亲》(Mother)的作品吗?它和你的其它作品有很大的不同,整个画面有相当多值得注意的元素。

Orkhontuul: 这幅画其实是以我认识的一个人为原型创作的。除了画画和旅游,我在生活中没有太多的兴趣爱好。我喜欢旅行。有几次,只是一时兴起,我就去了搭顺风车到农村。有一次,我坐在火车上,一位老太太闯进我的车厢,拿着一瓶伏特加酒,对我吼着说:“让我们一起来喝一杯吧。”她和很多妇女一样,都是去中国买些便宜货,然后拿回当地市场转卖。也许是因为她的职业和压力,她看起来更像一个男人。她曾经的快乐似乎已经消磨殆尽。她告诉我,她要支撑起整个家。这就是为什么在画里,她有四个乳房,因为每一个乳房都代表了她的一个孩子。她所缺少的面部,代表了她所失去的女性身份,而鸽子则是她忙于喂养饥饿的孩子们所承受的压力。缺少的拼图是指她的生活中所缺少的丈夫和爱。她之所以有男性的生殖器,是因为她被迫“作为男性”来生活,但“千手观音”的轮廓又表示她仍然是一名女神。这就是我想表达的意义。当然,其他人看到这幅画时可能会有不同的看法。

Life. (2011)
Tongue Without a Body (2012)

Neocha: It sounds there’s a lot of contemplation involved in how you want to present your messages. How long does it usually take you to complete a painting from start to finish?

Orkhontuul: I can’t truly say. I usually start on a painting, and I’ll stop and comeback to it later. I usually don’t think about it when I start on a certain painting. Sometimes, a piece might take me more than a year to finish, but the actual time I spend putting my brush to canvas probably isn’t longer than a month. I am one of those people who will get frustrated or hate what I am painting if I force myself to finish a painting when the inspiration isn’t there. For some artists, there are paintings that might’ve taken them more than ten years to finish. If the painter paints without stopping, he or she would have produced hundreds of paintings like that. It takes them that long because something will go wrong – they might have gone into a rut, they might have to do research, maybe they’re just not feeling it, or maybe the painting turns into something they did not want or expect. Sometimes, they might just want to scrap it altogether.


Neocha: 听起来,对于画面所传递的内容,你需要经过很多思考。那么通常来说,你需要花多长时间完成一幅画?

Orkhontuul: 不好说。我常常开始画一幅画,画到中间就停下来,过后又回头继续画。每次开始创作一幅画时,我都不会去想要花多长时间。有时候,一幅画我可能要画一年多才能完成,但实际上真正下笔画的时间可能不超过一个月。我是那种如果没有灵感还要强迫自己作画时,就会对在画的东西感到很失望、甚至产生厌恶的人。有一些艺术家可能会用十几年的时间才能完成一幅画作。但其实,如果画家不间断地画,这么长的时间足以创作出数百幅画作。之所以需要这么长的时间,是因为创作的过程不是一帆风顺的,画家可能突然感到枯燥乏味,或是需要去进行更多研究,也可能觉得不想画了,或者是画着画着,发现画跟他们预期和期待的不一样。或者有时,他们可能只是想要毁掉了重新再画。

Neocha: You seem quite empathetic towards the hardships of other people, but what are some of the challenges that you yourself face as an artist in Mongolia?

Orkhontuul: You do have to pick up odd jobs and work on commissions to earn money and make a living. It’s impossible to just work on your own art and make a living off of that. But, the way I see it is that whenever I’m working these odd jobs, I’m buying time for myself to pursue what I want to paint.


Neocha: 你在作品中充满了对他人艰辛生活的同情,那你自己作为一名蒙古艺术家,又面临怎样的挑战?

Orkhontuul: 你必须做零工,接受客人委托的画画工作来挣钱谋生。想单纯靠自己的画来谋生几乎是不可能的。但我的想法是,我做这些零活,就是为了让自己有更多的时间去追求我真正想要的创作理想。

Facebook: ~/B.Orkhontuul

 

Contributor: Anand Tumurtogoo


脸书: ~/B.Orkhontuul

 

供稿人: Anand Tumurtogoo

Unconventional Fairy Tales

Using fairy tales as the foundation of her work, Taiwanese artist Chang Chia-ying creates colorful oil paintings steeped in a wondrous sense of mystery and innocence. Many of Chang’s paintings are unexpectedly large, with some being more than two meters tall, a surprise for people who assume her delicate brushwork is done on a smaller canvas. The size of her paintings help accentuate one of the most prominent features of her works – her doe-eyed characters. With penetrating gazes that demand a viewer’s full attention, these characters invite viewers to immerse themselves into Chang’s surreal world. Chang beckons viewers to use their own imagination to fill in the blanks, form their own interpretation of her work, and essentially create a fairy tale of their very own. Describing her art, she says, “Like Moebius’ illustrations, my paintings are a fairy-tale paradise without an entrance or exit, a fantasy that goes on infinitely, stories without a beginning or end.”


来自台北的80后艺术家张嘉颖,创作了许多以童话为画本的油画作品,看起来绚丽多彩、天真烂漫的画面背后,仿佛蕴含着隐隐超现实的神秘感。

张嘉颖笔下的这些画看起来玲珑精致,但其实有很多尺寸不小,甚至有些高达2米,接近半面墙。凝神细看,画中的每一个形象似乎都有一双“会说话的大眼睛”:而当你被这种深邃的魅力牢牢攫获时,想象力便会将你儿时的童话故事串联起来,自行补充上画面中断层的联系,从而人人都可以谱出各不相同的故事。那是迷你微观世界里的大故事,用张嘉颖自己的话来说,就是“如同一处既无入口也没出口的童话天堂,无穷尽地运行着,永无终点或结局的莫比斯童话。”

To see Chang Chiaying’s paintings in person, the Project Fulfill Art Space in Taipei, Taiwan is currently showcasing her solo exhibition.

 

EventMini Me
Exhibition Dates: October 20, 2017 ~ November 25, 2017
Opening Hours: Tuesday ~ Saturday 11am~7pm (Sunday by appointment only)

Address:
Project Fulfill Art Space
1F., No.2, Alley 45, Lane 147, Sec. 3, Xinyi Rd.
Da’an District, Taipei
Taiwan


现在,张嘉颖的作品正在台湾“就在艺术空间”展出,欢迎大家前往观瞻。

 
 

活动: 迷你谜
展期: 2017年10月20日——2017年11月25日
时间: 周二至周日 早上11点至晚上7点(周日仅供预约)

地址:
台湾
台北市大安区
信义路三段 147 巷 45 弄 2 号一楼
就在艺术空间

Websitewww.changchiaying.com
Facebook: ~/Changchiaying

 

Contributor: Chen Yuan
Images Courtesy of Project Fulfill Art SpaceChang Chiaying


网站www.changchiaying.com
脸书: ~/Changchiaying

 

供稿人: Chen Yuan
图片由就在艺术空间Chang Chiaying提供

Inkee Wang’s Strange, Quirky World

A master’s graduate from the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Inkee Wang is a Shanghai-based illustrator with a lovable and colorful style. Her quirky sense of humor shines through in her characters and their strange, elongated limbs. In recent years alone, she’s collaborated with notable publications and brands such as Bloomberg, Art Bazaar, and ONE.


从伦敦皇家艺术学院硕士毕业的Inkee Wang(王颖琦)目前居住于上海。她的插画风格很受欢迎,活泼欢乐的主题、长手长脚的画中人,怎么看都有一种奇妙的幽默感。近年来,她与Bloomberg、Art Bazaar、“一个”及其他各大商业或文艺媒体都有过合作。

With regard to her unique style, Inkee tells us that it developed almost accidentally. “My older works were more rigid because I was just learning how to use the Path tool in After Effects and creating twisting motions was the best way to express this tool’s features so I created a dancing black cat. The long limbs came about because I thought they were aesthetically pleasing.” Inkee has always enjoyed sharing the untold stories of different individuals. While the characters in her works are not necessarily direct portrayals of people in real life, they’re nevertheless subtly inspired by the mannerisms and personality traits of the people that surround her.


对于这样的诙谐画风,Inkee表示它来自偶然,“我之前的画比较僵直,因为那时候我刚学会在 After Effect 里面用 Path 做动画,扭动比较能体现这个工具的特征,所以就创作了一只舞动的黑猫。而长手长脚是因为我觉得相对有美感。” Inkee一直想要展现人物背后的小故事,画中的人们在现实生活中虽然没有一对一的参照,但其性格特征、说话方式,都会受到长期生活的身边人所影响,所以也都会在她的画中潜移默化地展露出个性。

For Inkee, inspiration comes mostly from people and plants. Even in a piece that was clearly themed around music, Inkee is able to find a way to incorporate her favorite subject matter. “I wanted to use the boiling of of my four favorite vegetables to depict the rhythmic qualities of music – together, they become a healthy and tasty quartet.” (QUARTET was featured in the Soft Candy manga series published by ONE)


对她来说,画画的灵感来自人,也来自草木。比如明明主题是音乐的作品,Inkee却“希望能通过烹煮最喜欢的4个蔬菜来提现音乐的节奏感,他们是很健康美味的四重奏组合。”(《四重奏》系列插画刊登于一个App工作室旗下软糖漫画的条漫)

From attending school to working full-time, Inkee has persevered with her illustrations. “The most simple reason is that I like it,” she says. Inkee describes herself as “still having a lot of questions about the world” and plans to improve on her visual storytelling, learn more about 3D art, and create more works by hand. But for now, Inkee says that her most important task at hand is to read more books so that she can satisfy her sense of curiosity.


从学业到工作,Inkee一直坚持在画画,最直接的理由,是因为喜欢Inkee说自己对世界还抱有很多疑问,接下去还会继续尝试画故事、学学3D、做一些立体的手工,重要的还得多读书解疑

Website: cargocollective.com/inkeewang
Behance
: ~/InkeeWang
Weibo~/InkeeWang

 

Contributor: Chen Yuan


网站: cargocollective.com/inkeewang
Behance
: ~/InkeeWang
微博~/InkeeWang

 

供稿人: Chen Yuan

Femininity, Vectorized

Yuschav Arly is a graphic designer and digital illustrator from Bali, Indonesia. After half a decade in the graphic design world, he now primarily focuses on digital illustration. His stunning, vector portraits of women are minimalistic and clean, yet elegant and full of restrained emotion.


Yuschav Arly是来自印度尼西亚巴厘岛的平面设计师和数码插画家。他曾在平面设计行业工作5年,现在主要专注于插画创作。他所创作的女性矢量肖像画令人赞叹,风格简约利落又优雅,更蕴含着饱满的情绪。

Arly’s creative process is simple – it involves a lot of procrastination along with some coffee and music in a comfortable place. “Daydreaming is always my first step,” he says. “It’s basically making a finished artwork but just in my head. Once I get a full picture, I grab my pen and do a rough sketch in my notebook, but with a little description just so I don’t forget about the initial idea. And after that, it’s just long, fun hours with a pen tool and eraser.”


Arly的创作过程很简单——大量的拖延、咖啡、音乐和一个舒适的地方。他说,“第一步,是做白日梦。基本上,做白日梦就是在完成这件作品,但只是在我的脑海里完成。一旦有完整的画面后,我就会拿起笔,在笔记本上画一个草图,加上一点备注描述,以防我忘记了自己最初的想法。在这之后,就是用笔刷工具和橡皮擦进行数小时的创作。”

Drawing from diverse sources such as illustration, photography, modeling, architecture, and design, Arly’s images make use of clean shapes and lines to frame his subjects and their surroundings. With elegant women, symmetrical compositions, and muted tones being the common denominators throughout his work, Arly humbly describes his creative process as simply piecing all of these different elements together. “It’s all connected somehow in a mysterious way when I start to visualize an image,” he says. “It’s like playing a game of Connect the Dots.”


Arly的创作灵感来源很丰富,包括插画、摄影、模特、建筑、设计等,他通过极简的形状和线条来构设人物主题和周遭环境。优雅的女性、对称的构图、柔和的色调,成为他作品的共同特征。Arly谦虚地描述了他的创作过程就是简单地将所有这些不同的元素拼凑在一起。“当我要将这些灵感变成一幅插画时,它们会以某种神秘的方式连接在一起,这就好像是一个连点成画的游戏一样。”

Instagram: @yuschav
Behance: ~/yuschav

 

Contributor: George Zhi Zhao


Instagram@yuschav
Behance~/yuschav

 

供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

Searching for the Self

Yuqing Zhu is a Chinese American artist, writer, and Ph.D. student in neuroscience at the University of Chicago. Using materials including pencil, chiyogami paper, origami paper, and magazine cut-outs, Zhu creates colorful self-portraits that examine the nature of identity and culture. Neocha spoke with Zhu to learn more about her life, art, and studies. Check out the conversation below.


朱禹清(Yuqing Zhu)是一名美籍华裔艺术家和作家,目前在芝加哥大学攻读神经学博士学位。通过铅笔、千代纸(Chiyogami)、折纸、杂志上剪下的图片等材料,她创作了一系列彩色自画像,以此对自我身份和文化本质进行审视。Neocha和朱禹清聊了一下,进一步去了解她的生活、艺术和学业。一起来看下这段对话吧。

Neocha: As a neuroscience student, how do you balance your art with your academic studies?

Zhu: Before beginning my program, someone told me that finding a hobby as soon as possible is the best way to keep sane. Luckily for me, I already had something. I think the key to finding balance was by assigning equal importance to both art and science. It’s truly a matter of mindset. I’m serious enough about neuroscience to be part of a five-year-plus Ph.D. program, so it’s quite a struggle to match that level of dedication in my art! I may need to spend more time in lab or in lecture, simply due to the nature of the work, but I try to think about and create art consistently as well.

Some days I recognize that I’ve been neglecting creating art for too long. On those days I simply put down my science and draw. This usually rejuvenates my work on the science side as well. Scientific research can devolve into a lot of drudgery and grunt work but doing something creative reminds me to think broadly and reassess where I’m at. My most inspired periods in the lab usually match up with my most productive periods at the easel.


Neocha: 作为一名神经科学的学生,你如何平衡自己的艺术创作与学业?

Zhu: 在我开始修读学位之前,有人劝我尽快找个爱好,这是让自己保持理智的最佳方式。幸运的是,我早就有这样的爱好。我觉得,找到平衡的关键是对艺术和科学赋予同等的重要性。这确实就是心态的问题。我对于学神经科学是很认真的,所以才会决心读一个5年多的博士学位课程,所以要在艺术方面也投入同等的专注,确实不容易。我可能会花更多的时间在实验室或上课,主要是因为这个专业本身的需要,但我会尽量保持不断地去思考和创造艺术。

有些时候当我发现自己太长时间没有进行艺术创作时,我会先把学习放在一边,去画画。这样一来,我在科学学习时也会有更多新的能量。科学研究常常需要做很多苦差事和繁重的体力劳动,所以进行一些创意创作可以提醒自己想得更广,重新评估自己的位置。我在实验室受启发最多的时候,往往也是我艺术创作最多产的时期。

Neocha: What are some of the parallels between art and neuroscience?

Zhu: I’ve had a lot of people ask me this question, and I’m not sure if I can give a satisfactory answer even to myself! Here’s my shot at it: art and science are both part of an abstract search for the balance between beauty and complexity. Self-portraiture and neuroscience are both part of an abstract search of the core of one’s identity beyond one’s own biases.

I adore complexity. It wasn’t always obvious that the complex system I wanted to study was the brain. I used to, and still do actually, love things like M. C. Escher’s prints and delight in the extremely dense inkwork of Edward Gorey and more recently of Manabu Ikeda. Complex interactions in anything from ecology to musical scores are still fascinating to me.

A lot of times neurobiology gives you extremely elegant solutions to complex problems. How do we hear? How do entire nervous systems develop from embryonic stages into adulthood? How can we sense things like temperature, and how do we perceive things like colors? When systems like these come to be understood and explained, we realize how logically elegant they are! That doesn’t mean the solutions are simple or straightforward or even the most efficient, but nonetheless, they work, and I find them beautiful! A large part of the time we don’t know the full answer yet. For me, the process for finishing a work of art is the same as for finding a piece of evidence in the framework of a scientific theory.


Neocha: 艺术与神经科学之间有什么相似之处?

Zhu: 已经有很多人问过我这个问题,即使是回答自己,我也不确定可不可以给出一个满意的答复!不过我可以试一下。艺术和科学都属于为寻找美丽和复杂性之间的平衡而作出的一种抽象性探索。自画像与神经科学都属于为寻找一种超越自己偏见、核心的自我身份认知而作出的一种抽象性探索。

我崇拜复杂性。以前我没搞清楚原来自己一直想研究的复杂系统就是大脑。我以前(现在也仍然)很喜欢M. C. Escher的版画,Edward Gorey以及最近很喜欢的池田学(Manabu Ikeda)他们那些极其细腻的钢笔画。从生态学到乐谱,任何事物间复杂的相互作用对我来说都充满魅力。

很多时候,神经生物学可以给你一个极其优雅的答案,来回答复杂的问题。我们是怎么听声音的?整个中枢神经系统如何从胚胎阶段发展到成年期?我们如何能感觉到温度,或者我们如何感知色彩?当我们能够理解和解释这些系统时,我们会意识到,它们有着多么优雅的逻辑!这并不意味着它们所提供的答案是简单的、直接的,也不是最有效率的,但它们是行得通的,而且我觉得很有美感!大部分的时间,我们还未知道全部的答案。对我来说,完成一件艺术品的过程与在某个科学理论的框架里又找到一块证据是一样的。

Neocha: Expanding on that, are there any other similarities between the creative process for art versus science?

Zhu: I think the creative process is crucial for good science. You can’t create good art or do good science by being dogmatic about it. Scientific research is all about finding something new that’s never been known before. Art is about creating something that has not existed in the world before. Paradigm shifts occur in science as well as in art! New movements emerge when individuals dare to look at things in vastly different ways. The move from geocentrism to heliocentrism, from Lamarckian inheritance to Darwinian evolution (and now to a complex epigenetics that is beyond me), all happened because scientists dared to think differently!


Neocha: 进一步说,科学与艺术创作的过程之间有其它的相似之处吗?

Zhu: 艺术创作的过程对于进行科学研究也是关键。如果太过于教条主义,你不能创作出好的艺术,也不能进行很好的科学研究。科学研究就是要寻找人们未知的新事物。而艺术是要创造出世界上之前并不存在的事物。范式转变在科学和艺术上都会发生!当个体敢以截然不同的方式看待事情时,就会催生新的运动出现。从地心说到日心说的转变,从拉马克获得性遗传到达尔文的进化论(再到现在超越我理解的复杂的表观遗传学)的发展,都是因为有科学家敢于从不同角色思考而发生的!

Neocha: What does your personal creative process usually look like?

Zhu: The process of creating a portrait is very straightforward. I can pull up a piece of paper and simply start drawing. Sometimes I’ll draw myself without much thought. Those are usually sketches to be filed away. Other times a specific idea will come to mind, and I’ll act on it. I like to finish pieces in one long breath – I’ll think of something as I eat breakfast and by the time I go to sleep that night it’ll be finished. Of course, I usually don’t spend that whole stretch of time literally drawing. Almost every portrait involves a little bit of research about the historical period I’m assuming in my clothing or looser web browsing for inspiration and references.

I’m terrible about finishing something that I started on a different day. I guess it’s possibly because when I wake up the next morning I feel like a brand new self and the half-finished piece no longer has power as a part of me. I rarely sit and ponder or actively brainstorm for a portrait. The pieces fall together as I work.


Neocha:你艺术创作的过程一般是怎样的?

Zhu:创作画像的过程很简单。拿出一张纸,我就开始画画。有时我会画自己,也不会想太多。那些一般只是一些蓝图,很快就放在一边去了。其它时候,如果突然想到一个特定的想法,我就会将这个想法画下来。我喜欢一口气完成几幅画,可能我吃早餐的时候有了一些想法,然后到我那天晚上去睡觉前就可能已经创作出来。当然,我不会真的一整天一直画个不停。在画每一张画像前,我几乎都会先对画像中预想的服装造型所涉及到的年代进行一点研究,或是随意地上网浏览,来找灵感和参考。

我很怕要去画完我前一天开始的作品!可能是因为,当我第二天醒来的时候,会感觉自己已经是一个全新的自我,之前创作了一半的画已经不再是我的一部分,也失去了它原本的力量。我很少会特意坐下来去思考,或进行头脑风暴,来想如何创作一幅肖像画。通常我一边工作的时候就一边想好了应该怎样进行创作。

Neocha: How does heritage influence your work?

Zhu: I try to learn as much as I can about something before I incorporate it as a facet of my portraits. This is especially important for Chinese history – if I don’t understand something sufficiently (it’s the science researcher’s mindset), I feel like a fraud, like I’m wearing a “Chinese Halloween costume.” Sometimes I feel very far removed from China and its peoples and their rich history. Creating these self-portraits is a way to look at myself and see who I may be inside or the ancestors I contain.

The color palettes that I use are definitely inspired by the colors of modern metropolitan China as well as the dynastic past. Sometimes I have misgivings about using chiyogami. I try to pick patterns that are in common with traditional Chinese textiles and not ones that are uniquely Japanese since that culture is not part of my heritage. I got the idea of dressing my self-portraits from my paternal grandmother. She used to cut out patterned paper to decorate or altogether recreate scenes from children’s books, creating beautiful, intricate collages. Right now, I use a similar technique to what she did with tracing paper. I draw myself, get a rough sense of which collage elements I will need to overlay, and then use tracing paper in order to get the outlines exactly right. Then I use that as a stencil to cut shapes out of patterned paper.


Neocha: 你自身的文化背景如何影响你的作品?

Zhu: 在我将某种元素融入我的肖像画时,我都会先尽可能多地去了解它。尤其是关于中国的历史,如果我不能充分地了解某种事物(这是一种科学研究者的心态),我会感觉自己像个骗子,仿佛我披了一件“中国的万圣节服装”。有时,我会觉得自己与中国、中国人和他们丰富的历史隔得非常遥远。而创作这些自画像就变成一种审视自己的方式,让我去了解自己的内心,了解我所来自的文化。

我的色彩灵感来自现代中国的大都市和过去的王朝历史。有时,对于使用千代纸我也会有一些顾虑。我会尽量选用一些图案更贴近中国传统纺织品,而不是那些一看就是日本风格的千代纸,因为日本文化不属于我的文化背景。我后来想到了按照奶奶的打扮来画自画像。她以前常常用来剪出的图案纸装饰或重新设计儿童书籍中的场景,打造出错综复杂的美丽拼贴画。现在,我按照她的手法,在描图纸上创作。我通常先画出自画像,大概感觉下我可能需要怎样的拼贴元素,然后使用描图纸,获得正确的轮廓。然后用它作为模具,从图案纸上剪出形状。

Neocha: How have art and science changed your perception of self and identity?

Zhu: We are so, so biased in our conception of our brains because our thoughts can never escape them. Oftentimes, we fall into the trap of “this is so obvious,” when actually our firsthand experience is quite wrong. For example, our visual perception of the world is just a useful approximation of what is truly there. The perception of color – a biological representation of the electromagnetic spectrum across animal species – is the most fascinating thing to me (not to mention the phenomenon of consciousness, a taboo topic for most neuroscientists still). Working past, and sometimes outright rejecting the ideas that we hold based on our own brainy experiences is central to the practice of good neuroscience.

Self-portraiture is the exact same. We as individuals don’t, in fact, have an accurate idea of what we look like, much less of who we truly are. Someone once told me that, while I was pretty accurate at drawing other people, my own portraits were lacking. This was perhaps a year ago. That’s the point at which I began to draw myself in earnest and to strive for self-understanding and representational accuracy. I try to portray different aspects of what I understand as my actual self in my self-portraits. More and more, these are buried aspects – split open my face and what would you find? An octopus – an organism that is remarkably intelligent yet with an altogether alien nervous system. Do they operate at similar levels of cognition as humans? What would that mean in practice? Put my past in front of me, dress me in Qing Dynasty robes, and what do we have? The truth or still a self-distortion? As a young Chinese American, when I assume the attire of Communist-era China, am I connecting to my parents’ generation, or am I romanticizing a past that I do not have any true ownership of? These are questions I can’t yet answer.


Neocha: 艺术和科学如何改变你对自我和身份的看法?

Zhu: 我们大脑里的观念充满了偏见,因为我们的思想离不开大脑。很多时候我们掉进一些所谓“显而易见”的陷阱,但实际上,我们的亲身经验却是错的。例如,我们对世界的视觉感知只不过是真实世界的近似值。对色彩的感知——电磁频谱在动物物种间的生物表述——是对我来说最有趣的事情(更不用提“意识”这个在大多数神经科学家中仍然是禁忌话题的现象)。要进行有效的神经科学实践,我们要抛开,甚至直接否定这种我们根据自己自以为是的经验所得出的想法。

自画像也一样。作为个人,我们事实上并知道自己真实的样子,更不知道我们到底是谁。有人曾告诉我,虽然我画其他人的时候画得很像,但画自己就不是那么准确了。那大概是一年前的事情了。但从那时起,我才开始认真画自己,努力去理解自己,准确地描绘出自己。我试着从不同侧面,在我的自画像中描绘出我所理解的真正自我。慢慢地,我的笔下出现了越来越多那些曾被掩埋的一面,撕开我的脸,你会找到什么?章鱼是一种非常聪明的有机体,却有着人类完全陌生的中枢神经系统。它们的认知水平是不是跟人类类似?在实践中,这将意味着什么?将我的过去放在我的面前,让我穿上清朝的长袍,又会产生什么呢?是真相,还是依然只是扭曲的自我?作为一名年轻的美籍华人,当我穿上共产主义时代的中国装束时,我是让自己回到了我父母那个年代,还是在美化这种我并未真正拥有过的过去?这些都是我还无法回答的问题。

Website: yqzhu.com
Instagram: @yq_z

 

Contributor: George Zhi Zhao


网站: yqzhu.com
Instagram: @yq_z

 

供稿人: George Zhi Zhao