Taking / Scar

Zidian YAN 晏资典

Rust-like elements often appear in my art, like scars, negative effects, etc. My thinking in using these elements is: when we’re faced with some issues, recognising their existence and balancing their relationships with us is precisely what we should do.

我的艺术创作中经常会出现锈类元素,类似于伤痕、负面影响等等。对于这些元素的运用,我想表达的是:认可它、承认它的存在并平衡它,才是我们面对问题时所应该做的。

Biography

As a young artist in the field of contemporary art, Zidian YAN aims to consider the social situation by combining his visual language and the realisation of philosophy.

YAN hopes to break with the constraints of traditional Chinese aesthetics and explore the future context of the Art world by communicating through a combination of Western and Chinese culture.

He wants his works to build a world of “Poetic Utopia”, and his main artistic intention is to promote “poetic revolution” and “rebuilding life”. He, therefore, regards artwork as a reflection of intention and the content involved in it as evidence of his artistic concepts. He also believes that, as a medium, the form of artwork is merely about presenting meanings.

晏资典作为一名当代青年艺术家,其致力于通过视觉艺术语言与中西哲学 话语进行融合,从而表达当对下社会环境思考。并希望以东西方文化交流为手段,摆 脱中国传统审美的桎梏,并对艺术世界未来的发展语境进行探索。 他希望让作品进入到一个“更为诗意的乌托邦世界”,并以“诗性的革命”以及“重塑生 活”为创作的主要意图。他认为,艺术作品其实是一种意图的再现,作品所表达出的内 容才是艺术观念的见证,而形式仅作为传达观念的介质存在。

Interview

The names would be abbreviated as “Ifance” (Ifance FAN) and “YAN” (Zidian YAN).

(之后姓名分别写为“范惠冰”、“晏资典”)

Ifance: Could you tell us how did you organize your work and life? Like, what have you been up to lately during the pandemic? And was there any aspect of your work and life that has changed by the pandemic?

YAN: During the pandemic, I spent most of my time painting at home, and my social life was less than normal. Recently, I’m trying to change myself and breaking through some limitations, in order to explore some new views. The change might be that I had more awareness of the crisis, just as a Chinese old saying goes, “If we live with sorrow, we would die with happiness”. Therefore, being in such a serious circumstance, all of us should inspire ourselves to be more aware in order to deal with the challenge.

范惠冰:在新冠期间,你是如何组织工作和生活的?最近都在忙什么?与新冠之前有什么不同?

晏资典:在新冠期间,多数时间是居家以架上绘画为主。出门社交比以往较少。最近在尝试改变自己,突破自己,在不断探索新的自己。与疫情之前不一样的地方是更加有危机意识了,生于忧患死于安乐嘛。越是乱世越该用更好的状态去迎接挑战。

 

Ifance: Could you tell us about what kind of impact the pandemic might have on your art creation? such as the changes you‘ve experienced or discovered? or what could be taken as your Pivot during this period?

YAN: If we just talk about art creation, I have to say that actually, it might have more positive impacts. As the result of lockdown which directly caused by the pandemic, I’ve spent a quiet period at home by creating some oil paintings, or reading some poetry masterpieces and anthologies. As for my Pivot, it might be more about the new things that happened during this period, such as the process of engaging with the new stuff or new friends and understanding and accepting them as time went by. This was also presented in my paintings I’ve created with my heart.

范惠冰:这次疫情对你的艺术创作有怎样的影响?你经历过或发现的变化是什么?你认为自己在疫情下的的转折点是什么?

晏资典:其实疫情对我的艺术创作更多的是积极的影响。因为新冠直接导致户外活动都有感染的风险,所以我静心在室内创作油画为主,并且期间有阅读很多诗歌名著和文集。在创作过程中变化和转折点多为遇到新朋友,接触一些对于自己陌生的东西并且去了解和接纳。并呈现在自己赋予情感的作品画面中。

 

Ifance: Just mentioned that you read a lot of poems and anthologies at that time. Could you share them with us?

YAN: Yes, in particular, there will be more poetry anthologies recently. Like” Thus Spoke Zarathustra” by Nietzsche, and “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau. Interestingly, they were also in the stage of solitude in their lives when they wrote these masterpieces. Meanwhile, I’m reading books by Xiaobo Wang and Rainer Maria Rilke.

范惠冰:刚刚有提到当时读了很多诗歌和文集,可以跟大家分享一下吗?

晏资典:是的,特别是近期阅读的诗歌文集会比较多。比如尼采的查拉图斯特拉如是说, 比如卢梭的瓦尔登湖。有趣的是,他们写出这些神作之时也是处于人生中独处的阶段。还有在看王小波和里尔克的文字等等。

 

Ifance: During this special time, what has impressed you the most? does it have any connection with your intention of the artwork?

YAN: The thing that impressed me most was our attitude toward the pandemic. After the outbreak, we instantly implemented the lockdown strategy to control its spread. This attitude also could be found in the process of art creating similar: when we discovered a problem, the thing we need to do is not avoiding it, but to recognize it and solve it, I also express this opinion in my works.

范惠冰:在疫情这段特殊的时间里,令你感到印象最深刻的事是什么?这件事与你这次的创作初衷有什么联系吗?

晏资典:印象最深刻的是中国国内对疫情的控制严格且高效。和作品创作的联系有一点是相通的:我在画面中经常会出现锈类元素,类似伤痕、负面影响、病毒、污点等等。我们发现问题不去回避它,而是正视它、认可它、承认它的存在,并平衡它治理它。这点我在作品画面中也是如此表现的。

 

Ifance: What was the source of inspiration for these works? And when did you start two conceive it? What kind of relationships are involved among them?

YAN: The idea of the artworks mainly came from the phenomenon of the pandemic, my mood state, and the poems and articles I’d read at that time. Ideas could emerge in every moment of living a life. When these artworks were finished, virtually, it was not the same as its conception at first, because it’s varying with my feeling and thinking during my process of creation.

范惠冰:这些作品的灵感来源是?是从什么时候开始构思的?它们之间有什么联系?

晏资典:作品的灵感主要来源于疫情本身和当时的情绪状态和所读的诗歌和文章。构思会一直存在在生活的每一刻。作品完成时其实并不是构思时最初的样子,而是会随着自己情绪想法和思考的不断改变而改变。

 

Ifance: From the bonus scene in the video, it can be seen that you’ve changed to another idea just before creating. Why does this happen? What kind of information do you want to express by this?

YAN: The idea appeared after Easter. At first, I was focusing on experimenting with new materials to make a breakthrough of the scenes, and after attempts, I found that it was quite good. Therefore, this bonus scene was created and wasn’t public until one year after the outbreak. What I wanted to depict was not only that we were all affected by the time and the destiny, but also the clear moonshine, the bright sky, the endless sea, and the stars covered the sky, they were all in my mind.

范惠冰:从视频的彩蛋可以看出你在创作时提前有了不一样的构思,这个想法是在什么时候出现的呢?你想从中传递怎样的信息?

晏资典:想法出现在复活节之后。最开始是想着是实验新的材料让画面有所突破,但不断的尝试后发现效果不错。就因此埋下了这个彩蛋,直到疫情一年之后才公开。我想描绘的不止我们都被岁月和命运感染,还有记录我心中的皓月明空与星辰大海。

 

Ifance: Have you ever counted how many artworks were created during that time? Which one do you like best? What do you think should be the most difficult part during the whole creating process?

YAN: There were nearly 30 artworks, not just paintings, but also performed with the form of conceptual art and installation art. My favourite work is The sunshine is falling like dust when we are breathing quietly.

The most difficult part of the whole creating course was my mental issue. This was due to the fact of my standard of taking an artwork as completed because I wouldn’t think an artwork as finished unless I’ve passed the hurdle that emerged in my mind during its creation.

范惠冰:在疫情期间有没有统计过一共制作了多少件作品?你最喜欢的是哪一件?你觉得整个过程中最难的部分是?

晏资典:在疫情期间有创作大约近30件作品,不全是架上绘画,也有实验性的观念和装置。最喜欢的是《阳光如粉尘跌落 我们安静地呼吸》,整个过程中最难的一部分是在自己的心理问题。比如如何才能判定这幅作品已经画完,当心里没有过那道坎就会一直没有画完。

 

Ifance: Did these works capture or record the changes or influences that appeared during the pandemic? Could you tell me which one gave you the deepest feeling during the creation? and what its story was like?

YAN: It is true that these works recorded the changes in my thoughts. Cutting off the prosperous moon on the earth and my thought of never contacting initiatively was the most impressive one for me because I am not an active person in life and relationships, I always miss some of my friends, but wouldn’t contact them on my own. I can only miss them deeply in my mind.

范惠冰:这些作品中是否捕捉记录了在疫情期间内心所产生的变化或影响?哪件作品是在创作中给你感受最深的,能否再多讲讲这些作品背后的故事呢?

晏资典:是确实有记录疫情期间内心所产生的变化,《割下大地繁华的月亮 与我从不主动联系的惦记》是感受最深的,因为我在生活和感情中并不是一个很主动的人,常常会想起一些思念着的朋友,但不会去主动联系。只能放心里淡淡地惦记。

 

Ifance: Who are your favourite artists?

YAN: There are four artists. The first one is Anselm Kiefer, and then Joseph Beuys, Olafur Eliasson and Anish Kapoor.

范惠冰:你比较欣赏的艺术家是?

晏资典:一共有四位艺术家。基弗、博伊斯、埃利亚松、安尼施卡布尔。

 

Ifance: I have noticed that you’ve used the creating methods of paintings, installations, sculptures to reflect on the difficulties and considerations in your life. Is this the focus of your art creation? What are you thinking of when you selecting different methods to perform creation? What is the relationship between these artworks and your other works?

YAN: There are many ways of expressing my thoughts, and my focus is to purely express and vocalize my mind through those works. The perception that emerged from the dilemma is the most inspirational for creation. There are different creative methods but the purpose is the same.

范惠冰:我有注意到你的作品有通过绘画,装置,雕塑这些艺术创作方式来反思生活中的困境和感想,这是你的创作的关注点吗?你在进行不同的创作方式时是怎么思考的呢?这些作品和你的其他作品又有什么样的关系呢?

晏资典:创作的表达方式有很多种,关注点是想纯粹地表达和发声做作品。困境感悟是最能激发创作灵感的。有不同的创作方式但目的都是一样的。

 

Ifance: I’ve noticed that you held a solo exhibition online last year. Is there anything you want to share with the audience from this experience? What made you want to hold this exhibition? What do you think is the relationship between curation and creation?

YAN: Well, I’d like to share but I feel that I am still not good enough, I should put more energy into my creation to present better works. Haha, the reason for holding this online exhibition was because I had nothing to do during the epidemic, so I thought that I should make an annual summary for my whole-year creations. Maybe I would hold such an online exhibition every year in the future. Art creating is like the arm, and curatorial work is more of overall planning, summing up, like joints.

范惠冰:留意到你去年在线上做了个人作品展览,从这次经历中是有什么想与观众分享吗?是什么原因促使你想办这次的展览?你觉得策展和创作之间的关系是什么呢?

晏资典:想分享的是觉得自己还不够好,应该投入更多精力在创作中,呈现出更好的作品。哈哈哈哈办这次线上展的原因是因为疫情这一年什么其他事都没有做,创作总应该给自己做一个年度总结吧。可能以后每一年都会做一次这样的线上展吧。创作是生产像是手臂,策展的工作更多在于统筹总结归纳,像是关节。

 

Ifance: Since your first exposure to art, or before the special period, has your perception of art been changed? Is there anything you want to say to the artists? Especially the ones who are still in school.

YAN: My ultimate goal hasn’t been changed for more than ten years, what changed was my attitude towards the “rules of the game”. I want to say that, “This road might not be as easy as you imagined, so if you’re taking Art as a pure belief, just try your best to live your life.”

范惠冰:从第一次接触艺术开始,或者在新冠之前,你对艺术的感觉现在是否发生了变化?有没有什么话是想对其他艺术家说的?特别是还在校的艺术学者。

晏资典:最终的目标十几年了都没有改变,改变的看待这场“游戏规则”的态度。想对其他艺术家说:这条路可能没有想象中轻松,如果艺术也是你纯粹的信仰,那就努力生活吧。

Staff

Host: Ifance FAN
Contact Person: Ifance FAN
Planner: Ifance FAN
Text: Ifance FAN
Translator: Jiaqi GAO
Proofreading: Calum BAIRD

 

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