Place of Making Interview with Ben Johnson
造物之所 專訪藝術家本·約翰遜


TRANSLATED BY 撰文 x BOWEN LI 李博文
IMAGE COURTESY BY 圖片提供 x BEN JOHNSON 本·約翰遜

ND7_6394 copy


Ben Johnson plays, instead of chess as one might guess, ping-pong in his studio. Though he admits that it is sometimes difficult to work with others around, the well-established British painter uses his studio as a friendly environment and welcomes interested visitors from all walks of life – he even thought about putting holes in the wall so that passersby can stop and take a look at his paintings. To Johnson, who is at once beautifully clam and most passionate, life very much identifies with work, and studio is a space that resembles a silent chapel or monk’s cell, a crowded, friendly workshop, the second home and “the place where the war cabinet decides on the next battle.”

年近古稀的英國畫家本·約翰遜喜歡在他的工作室中打乒乓球,他以大型都市景觀繪畫而聞名。雖然約翰遜經常以各種不同的公共空間為題材進行創作,但對於自己私人空間的保護他卻是極為看重的──確保自己在創作時不被打擾。另一方面,約翰遜也在工作室中友善地歡迎每一位訪客──他甚至曾經想要在工作室牆面上開孔,以便讓路過的人們駐足欣賞他的作品。對於無比沈靜而又充滿激情的約翰遜來說,藝術創作幾乎就是生活的全部,而工作室則是一個如教堂或禪室一般的冥想空間、一個熱鬧的作坊、第二个家,以及“戰時內閣決定下一場戰役的地方。”


ART.ZIP: In China at the moment artists have very big studios but the space is not really relevant to their work, for example, some painters have three hundred or five hundred square meter studios.How do you treat your space and what is the relationship between your works and your life and your studio?

ART.ZIP: 在中國,許多藝術家擁有巨大的工作室,但這些工作室與他們的創作沒有太多關係。一些畫家使用著三百到五百平方米的工作室。你是怎樣利用你的工作室空間的?你是怎樣看待創作、生活以及工作室空間的關係的?

BJ: I think it is more about how the European artist works. Mostly English artists cope with the studio differently. You mentioned that artists in China have massive studios but they don’t really produce big work, but here we have, well this is a big space, but if you compare it to other artists who work in the UK they usually have quite small studios. Some artists live in their studios whilst some artists come and work and then go home. There was a big book published a few years ago just interviewing artists and showing their studios. I have about four people a year approach me to say they are doing a book on artists’ studios. One of the most interesting ones was when I was approached by a seventeen year old. He first came a year ago and he was still at school but he had photographed three major studios, I don’t know how.

BJ: 我想,這與歐洲藝術家的創作習慣有關。具體來說,英國藝術家有着獨特的創作習慣。你說中國藝術家的工作室規模與創作規模不成比例,而普遍來說,英國藝術家的工作室比較小--相對來說,我的這個工作室已經算是大型的了。有的藝術家住在工作室里,有的藝術家則把工作和生活空間分開。幾年前有一本關於藝術家工作室的書,邀請藝術家們展示各自的工作室。我最有趣的一次經歷是與一位十七歲小伙子的會面。大約在一年前他為對工作室進行拍攝聯繫到我,那時他仍是一名學生,但已對三個大型藝術家工作室完成了拍攝,我不知道他是怎麼做到的。

ART.ZIP: It’s Josh Wright – he is our guest editor.

ART.ZIP: 那是喬希·萊特(Josh Wright),我們的特約編輯。

BJ: Ah – well he is amazing. He visited me quite near the beginning. I then introduced him to Paul Huxley and Paul, being Treasurer of the Royal Academy, was able to write a letter and say please take him seriously. He’s an amazing character.

BJ: 對,他真是一個有趣的人物。他最初找到了我,我又把他介紹給了保羅·赫胥黎(Paul Huxley)。作為皇家美術學會(Royal Academy of Arts)的財務主管,保羅為他寫了一封介紹信。他是一個有趣的人。

ART.ZIP: His photographs will be published in the magazine and he has helped with this issue. So it’s a network!

ART.ZIP: 在這一期雜誌中萊特也將呈現他的藝術家工作室系列攝影作品以及文章。世界真小!

BJ: Yes, that is how life has to be. If somebody said to me, get out of this studio, I would have to say I need a month’s notice. I have a basement downstairs full of things, which can become a burden instead of being liberating – it depends. Artists such as Michael Craig Martin are also interesting because he had a fire in one of his studios and I think nearly all his works were destroyed, years ago. He said it was very liberating, because all of a sudden he hadn’t got a past. He no longer had to base things on the last painting because the last painting was gone.

BJ: 是的。如果有甚麼人對我說,請離開這個工作室,我會回答:“請提前一個月通知我。”這個工作室的地下室里堆滿了雜物,而那些雜物可能是負擔,而不是解脫。邁克爾·克雷格·馬丁(Michael Craig Martin)是一個有趣的例子:在許多年前,他的工作室失火,幾乎所有作品都被毀了。他說那是一個解脫,因為這突如其來的事件讓他沒有了過去。他不再需要以過往的作品為基礎進行創作,因為過往的作品已經消失了。


1 2 3 4 5 6 >>>