Wang Yabin: Reflections in Time

As with early portrait photography, perhaps the fictional places that Wang depicts, connect his abstract feelings between what is real and unreal. In the painting ‘Road of Pine Shadow’ we see an aerial view of ramblers walking through a forest, on a path made of something that cannot be grasped; the shadow in the title suggests to us a sense of ‘otherness’. A geometric outline hovers above the walkers, crowns the landscape, and converts the outdoor image into an interior one – this Origami transformation draws us into Wang’s representation, where exterior and interior are both visible and artificial. The painting ‘Pavilion’ brings us to an isolated male figure, who stands within a hut surrounded by forest, and we watch him as he returns our gaze. This is a temporal space for contemplation, perhaps the one that Michel Foucault describes when he speaks of the mental and physical spaces of ‘otherness’ that exist, and how we might be in two places at once, as during a phone call conversation, or when reflected in a mirror. ‘The mirror is, after all, a utopia, since it is a placeless place. In the mirror, I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface; but it is also a heterotopia….it makes this place that I occupy at the moment when I look at myself in the glass at once absolutely real, connected with all the space that surrounds it, and absolutely unreal, since in order to be perceived it has to pass through this virtual point which is over there.’ If this is true, then Wang’s solitary figure suggests a portal for our own reflection.

Wang Yabin’s subliminal gateways are inspired by his own existence, in both the physical and historical realm of his native land. Are we being invited to gaze into a parallel world of representation, or are we inside the room itself looking back at our reflected selves? The artist’s ‘Little Goddess’ renders such manifold existences. The painting portrays, through an oval shaped aperture, a figure holding a small statue. Is the statue a representation of the man himself, his alter ego, or the essance of his very being? Such layered construct recalls Velasquez’s ‘Las Meninas’. Here we see the King and Queen of Spain’s image reflected in a mirror on the back wall, and although they are not formally posing for the painting, they are included in the pictorial space; this suggests a connection between illusion and reality. Wang’s tender depiction of a resting couple ‘Lover Stone’ creates just such a displacement, and consequent opening for the viewer. Against a blood red haze, amidst tall pine trees, the lovers seem to be part of the rock beneath them. The title subscribes itself to the traditional language of local folklore. How many other couples have been subsumed in such a place of beauty? Our role as spectator is not only to observe their intimacy but also to bear witness to a transformation; the lovers have become part of nature itself.

就像早期的肖像攝影,王亞彬所描繪的虛構地點,連接著他亦真亦假的抽象感覺。在《松影道》這幅畫裡,我們能俯瞰林中的漫遊者,他們的道路是由難以辨明的東西組成的。標題中的“影”字暗示著某種“他者”;幾何形的輪廓浮現在漫遊者周圍,環抱著風景,將室外的景色折回室內。這種類似折紙的轉變顯現了王亞彬的再現方式:內部與外部均是可見的,並且是人為的。《涼亭》那幅畫裡有一個孤獨的男子形象,站在樹木環繞的木亭裡,當觀眾望向他時,他也報以回望。這是一處暫時的冥思空間,也許就是福柯(Michel Foucault)所談論的,“他者”所存在的心理空間。福柯認為一個人可以同時身處兩地,比如在打電話的時候,或者照鏡子的時候。“鏡子,說到底,是一個烏托邦,因為那裡是一個無處之處。我看見自己在鏡子裡,但我不在那裡。那裡是一個不真實的虛擬空間,展開於表面之後。它也是一個異位的烏托邦(異托邦)…當我在鏡子裡看見自己所處的空間時,這個空間就變得絕對真實了,因為我看見它與周圍的空間相連接;但它又變得絕對不真實,因為想要感知這一點,我必須通過那面鏡子裡的虛擬之處來確認。”[註8]如果此言不虛,那麽王亞彬畫中那個孤獨的形象,就為我們自己的映像打開了一扇門。

畫中這扇潛意識的大門源自王亞彬自己的存在——他存在於故鄉真實的,以及歷史的緯度中。那麽,我們究竟是被邀請,去騁目於一個被再現的平行世界;還是原本就在那裡,回望著我們自己的映像?《小女神》這幅畫就呈現出這種存在的多樣性。透過一個卵形的小孔,畫家描繪了一個手捧小雕像的形象。這座雕像究竟是畫中人自己,還是他的另一個自我,抑或他核心的“存在”本身?這種多層次的結構讓人想起維拉斯奎茨(Diego Velasquez)的《宮娥(Las Meninas)》[註9]。在那幅畫裡,西班牙國王和王後的影像在背景墻上的一面鏡子裡顯現出來;雖然他們不是那幅畫的正式模特,卻出現在畫裡,暗示真實與虛幻相連。在《映心石》這幅畫裡,王亞彬用柔和的方式描繪了一對休息的情侶,展現了這種真假之間的位移感,並讓它隨之面向觀者。在血紅色的薄霧和高聳的松樹林裡,那對情侶似乎成為了身下岩石的一部分。畫的標題追隨了地方民俗;有多少對情侶曾經置身這個美麗的地方呢?作為觀眾,我們不僅在觀看他們的親密,還在見證一種轉換:情侶成為了自然的一部分。

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