耿畫廊-離垢地─姚瑞中個展|10.12-11.17|耿畫廊

  • 展期|2019/10/12 – 2019/11/17
  • 開幕|2019/10/12 (六) 4:30 p.m.
  • 地點|耿畫廊 (台北市11492內湖區瑞光路548巷15號1樓)



時隔二年,姚瑞中再度於耿畫廊舉辦大型繪畫個展「離垢地」。兩次個展期間,姚瑞中經歷了許多意料之外,各種與藝術無關的人生大事。而伴隨而來諸多或重或輕的斷、捨、離,隨著五十知天命之年沓至的心境轉折,在姚瑞中特異於正典的佛教經文解讀中,面對的一切貪、嗔、癡戀,已然轉化為束束離垢而未絕塵的灑脫目光——彷彿應和著語出佛教經典《華嚴經》中,「十地品」修行第二境「離垢地」的修行體悟,於斷思惑,除毀犯之非後,心身清淨離一切垢而成的一分智慧。

姚瑞中幼年經常住在台中樂成宮旁的外婆老家,閒暇無事便去擦拭神桌塵埃——宮廟中那玄奇出世而又欲力瀰漫的畫梁雕棟總令他嘖嘖稱奇,自此對傳統信仰美學的現世變體產生濃厚興趣,開始涉獵各類宗教源流。這不同於一般信眾大德的「佛緣」,成為姚瑞中藝術語彙深層伏流的血脈,蛻變為各式符碼出現在不同創作系列中。十年前出版的「人外人」攝影集,姚瑞中正式開啟對台灣宮廟地景的地毯式踏查,收錄分散各處,信眾廣立山頭的巨神佛像——而後更將遍地神佛集結為2017年發表的大作「巨神連線」,以連結玄界法相、苦界人相乃至欲界魔相的欲力奇觀,全境觀伺台灣解嚴後的新時代產物。

為免入魔著相,姚瑞中開始於創作時聆聽《心經》,滾瓜爛熟之後改聽《金剛經》,畫風也顯得較以往內斂——而後更自學研讀《達摩血脈論》、《悟性論》及《六祖壇經》等饒富深意的佛理哲學。儘管自陳「登武當金頂而空手而回、聽經唸佛但無緣戒持三寶、走逛教堂卻從未受洗禱告——更未被喚拜齋戒沐浴得見阿拉」,姚瑞中仍依稀感應有股未知力量冥冥主宰著有情眾生,雖無法確切指出具體形式,對「不可知論者」而言,精妙的佛法智慧、聖經的內涵哲學,在其隱知天命而灑脫叛逆的獨到解讀下,化生為一方諦觀浮世人情的迥異視角,繚繞其筆下離垢絕景於姚瑞中獨到的「金碧山水」繪畫體裁現身——臨摹再製的繪卷經典,依「姚氏六法」而脫逸出傳統水墨文本結構,全然逆反地將筆墨山水轉為「非墨無硯」的硬筆繪畫;錯節繚繞的針筆皴法,為粗糙厚紙上的巖壑山林裹上一層有機而又節制的人造生命力;而原應悠然寫意的留白之處,更嬗變為金箔滿佈的輝煌空間——姚瑞中巨型卷軸中金碧殊勝的離世仙境,彷彿呼應其一直以來奠基於台灣廟宇中朱甍碧瓦、金碧浮雕的浮誇美學,以畫筆繪寫一境離垢而又無比入世的「金場域」(Golden Field)。

貼金造境的離垢絕景,滿載著諧擬轉譯後的傳統文化符碼,似戲謔,也似反叛地映對著俗塵繚繞的浮世人間;而混雜於極樂仙境中的現世人跡,隱然透出一種舉重若輕的批判力道——這人工造景的離垢仙境,彷彿姚瑞中人生點滴歷練的迴返印證,也是藝術之於人生的繾綣眷戀——離垢,何須絕塵?

關於姚瑞中|

1969年生於台北,曾代表台灣參加威尼斯雙年展、威尼斯建築雙年展、澳洲亞太三年展、曼徹斯特亞洲藝術三年展、橫濱三年展、雪梨雙年展、上海双年展等國際展出。並為新加坡「亞太藝術獎公眾獎」、香港「集群藝術獎」及台灣「台新藝術獎」等獎項得主。

其作品涉獵層面廣泛,橫跨攝影、裝置及繪畫等類型創作;其中繪畫與攝影一直是姚瑞中主要的藝術語彙。繪畫方面,姚瑞中以自創的「姚氏六法」,呈現逆轉水墨傳統文本的繪畫實踐。臨摹再製的山水繪卷在「粗棉代宣」、「非墨無硯」的轉置下於印度手工紙上勾勒出熟悉而又陌生的國畫體裁;並透過「硬筆吐絲」以針筆油水錯落的茂密線條生成剛硬而錯節繚繞的皴法;「遇白按金」更將原作寫意留白處轉置為黃金滿佈的輝煌空間——隱然以金箔自身所承載的文化意象作出批判指涉;而「陽鋼浮印」和「題款勿揚」兩項反向準則,以及穿插畫中的當代社會情境、錯置引入的消費文化符碼,令其「金碧山水」得以跳脫出元朝以降經典臨摹的範疇。解構各類載體所傳承的文化符碼,姚瑞中輕柔地挑釁著代表正統的經典水墨——突顯出的荒謬與超脫,為文人山水畫於當代創作已然不合時宜的出世意寫,進行一場「重新入世」的補遺。



Exhibition Dates | 10.12–11.17.2019
Reception | 10.12.2019 (Sat.) 4:30 p.m.
Venue | Tina Keng Gallery (1F, No. 15, Ln. 548, Ruiguang Rd., Neihu Dist., Taipei, Taiwan 114)

Tina Keng Gallery is pleased to present Vimalā-bhūmi — Yao Jui-chung solo exhibition, where the artist will be presenting his latest series of monumental paintings titled “Jinbi Landscape.” In the two years that have elapsed since his last solo exhibition, Yao has encountered a series of unexpected events—separations, withdrawals, and departures—in his personal life, and having just celebrated his 50th birthday, he faces the greed, jealousy, and ignorance in the world around him with a renewed perspective. For this series, Yao Jui-chung continues his signature reinterpretations of Buddhist aesthetics, but he sheds a renewed light upon his creations. It is written in the canonical Buddhist scripture Avatamsaka Sutra, in a chapter called “The Ten Stages,” that one must reach the second stage, Vimalā-bhūmi, or “Stainless Ground.” Amidst chaos and confusion, one must clear the mind of all distractions; once impure thoughts have been dismissed, one can begin the act of creation with renewed inspiration and pure vision.

During his childhood, Yao Jui-chung often stayed in his grandmother’s home in Taichung, next to Leh Cherng Temple. In his spare time, he would wipe the dust off the altar. He has always been fascinated by the extravagant carvings and sculptures inside the temple which, to Yao, indicate that religious devotion is ultimately a demonstration of personal desire. This experience inspired Yao’s ongoing interest in contemporary variants of traditional belief aesthetics, and he has since diligently explored various sources of religion. The artist’s beliefs deviate from traditional Buddhist doctrine, and they form the core of his artistic philosophy, manifesting throughout his many series via symbols and allegories. Over 10 years ago, with his photographic series “Beyond Humanity” (1998), Yao Jui-chung began his long-term examination of the landscape of temples and religious relics in Taiwan, including the giant statues of the gods scattered throughout the mountains. He later assembled the photos in his 2017 solo exhibition, “Incarnation,” a stunning spectacle of which connects the mysteries, desires, and perversions of the world in an era of consumerism following the end of Taiwanese martial law.

To temper his manic phases, Yao Jui-chung began following the “Heart Sutra” as he created his artworks. After studying the “Diamond Sutra,” his painting style became more balanced and controlled than ever before. He went on to study several major works of Buddhist literature, such as the “Dharma Blood Theory,” the “Perception Theory,” the “Platform Sutra,” and many other profound philosophical texts. Despite claiming that “We reach the Golden Summit of the Wudang Mountains and return empty-handed, we listen to Buddhist scriptures but don’t hold the Three Treasures, we go to church but are never baptized—not even so much as a fast bath to see Allah,” Yao still senses that there exists a mysterious force which governs and guides sentient beings. The artist has imbued his works with allusions to Buddhist wisdom and other religious philosophies, offering a uniquely altered and subtly rebellious perspective of the world. Yao created the works in the “Jinbi Landscape” series according to his “Six Principles of Painting,” which the artist devised to systematically subvert the authority of traditional Chinese literati ink painting practices. He rejects the use of ink stones, soft bristled brushes, and rice paper, instead opting for modern ink tools (like ballpoint pens) and thick handmade Indian paper. He further transforms what is typically empty white space into brilliant fields of gold leaf. In these monumental scrolls, Yao illustrates a land of pure fantasy which seems to echo the resplendent aesthetics of Buddhist temples in Taiwan, providing access to the “Golden Field” through illustration.

The mesmerizing glow of the gold leaf remains replete with cultural connotations, even as it has been re-interpreted by Yao. Here, it serves a satirical function. Defying the ordinance of the floating world, the artist’s playful rebellion holds great critical power. The secular and spiritual collide in Yao’s imagined utopia, and from it, one can detect the impacts of his personal life experiences and his complex devotion to art. To reach Vimalā-bhūmi, is it necessary to leave the earthly realm?

About Yao Jui-chung|

Born in Taipei in 1969, Yao Jui-chung has represented Taiwan at the Venice Biennale, the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Asia Pacific Triennial in Brisbane, the Asia Triennial in Manchester, the Yokohama Trienniale, the Sydney Biennale, and the Shanghai Biennale. He is also a recipient of the Asia Pacific Art Prize (Singapore), the Multitude Art Prize (Hong Kong), and the Taishin Arts Award (Taiwan).

Yao’s works cover a wide range of mediums, including painting, photography, and installation, although the first two have always been the main tenets of his artistic production. With reference to Xie He’s canonical 6th-century text “Six Principles of Painting,” Yao devised his own six criteria of painting to subvert the traditional ink painting practice. His unique landscape paintings conflate traditional Chinese aesthetics with contemporary materials and motifs, creating a genre that is strange yet familiar. Following his principles “Coarse Cotton in Place of Rice” and “No Stick, No Stone,” Yao paints on thick handmade Indian paper using modern tools like ballpoint pens and markers instead of traditional inkstick and inkstone on rice paper. Because the ink he uses is all the same shade, he uses his “Weaving Silk with Hard Pens” principle to combine different strokes and produce the illusion of shading. With his “Replace White with Gold” principle, Yao transforms blank space into brilliant fields of gold, offering tacit criticisms of the cultural imagery carried within gold foil itself. The final two principles, “Low-Profile Signature” and “Steel-Stamped Floating Seal” speak to Yao’s aversion to ostentation both art and wider consumer culture. By ensuring that neither his signature nor seal occupies too much of the painting, Yao allows the “Jinbi Landscape” to take center stage. By deconstructing cultural codes that have been passed down through generations, Yao Jui-chung gently provokes the orthodox methods of classical ink paintings. The absurdism and detachment emphasized by contemporary reconfigurations of literati landscape paintings have become outdated, and the urgent call for renewal has been answered.


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