Where do the contemporary Chinese ink artists stand in the art market? Most recently, twentieth century traditional ink painters such as Zhang Daqian and Qi Baishi hit their highest prices at the auction house in Hong Kong. Numerous collectors and art dealers have been amazed by the dramatic price rise of the twentieth century ink painters. In contrast, Chinese contemporary oil painters in the Political Pop and Cynical Realism idiom flourished in the Western art market in the past ten years. To some extent, they have already reached the bottleneck in this genre. Therefore, people like Michael Goedhuis are inventing the new value of Chinese contemporary ink painting in the west. Are we falling behind him in ‘real culture revolution’?
中國當代水墨藝術在當今的藝術市場居於甚麼地位呢?近期,二十世紀中國傳統水墨畫大師張大千和齊白石的作品在香港 拍賣達至最高價位。許多收藏家和畫商為之一驚,二十世紀中國水墨畫已經達到如此的高價。然而,在過去的十年里,中國 現代政治波普藝術(Political Pop)和玩世現實主義(Cynical Realism)油畫藝術家在西方藝術市場掀起了一陣熱潮,在一定 程度上,這種類型已經到了瓶頸期。所以,一些像邁克爾•高德尤斯(Michael Goedhuis)的畫廊廊主密鑼緊鼓地在西方創 造中國當代水墨藝術的新價値。在這場“文化大革命”上,我們是否已經被抛在後頭了呢?
Michael Goedhuis is clearly a prominent figure in promoting Chinese contemporary ink painting. He has spent two decades specializing in early Asian art. He founded Michael Goedhuis Ltd. in London in 1989, inaugurating the New York space in January 2002. The Gallery’s principal activities today are the promotion of the best Chinese contemporary art as well as Chinese works of art from the Neolithic Period to Modern. Their current program concentrates on directing attention to the contemporary Chinese ink painters working throughout the world today. Many of us maybe know his name by the world renowned Estella Collection. Mr Goedhuis is now amassing a new collection of Chinese ink painting. In his view, the contemporary ink painting represents the richness of Chinese past and creates the new language out of the past.
Contemporary Chinese art is at the international standard compared with other art from Asia. China is now very relevant to everything goes on in the world. Thus, the feeling of self-confidence and national essence delivered by the contemporary ink painters are reconnecting with the Chinese history and reconnecting with the world. Mr Goedhuis believes the contemporary ink painters have a very solid understanding of the Chinese literati culture, and an in-depth understanding of the great masters’ works in Song and Yuan Dynasties. They are in the similar positions as the western painters in the early twentieth century. These contemporary ink painters are also reflecting the present in terms of transforming the Chinese past into the present.
Mr Goedhuis believes that China is currently undergoing a true ‘Cultural Revolution’, which is not confined to art but is manifest in film, music, theatre, design, dance and literature and is leading to a rapid expansion of investment in art by a new generation of collectors.
高德尤斯致力於推崇中國水墨畫藝術,已成為這領域眾所周知的顯赫人 物。他用了兩年的時間專研亞洲早期藝術。1989年,在倫敦建立了邁克 爾•高德尤斯有限公司(MichaelGeodhuisLtd.),2002年在紐約開設畫 廊。畫廊目前主要推廣中國當代藝術,以及新石器時代至現代的優秀作 品,近期的項目將目光投向了世界各地的中國水墨畫作。我們許多人或許因為聞名世界的艾斯黛拉系列藏品(Estella Collection)而得知邁克爾• 高德尤斯這個名字。如今,高德尤斯在大量地收集中國水墨畫作品。他認為中國當代水墨藝術既是中國燦爛歷史的體現,同時是脫繭而出的新時代語言。
與亞洲其他藝術相比較,中國當代藝術已經到達了世界級的水平。在與時俱 進的中國,中國當代水墨藝術家展現出的自信和國家情操再次與中國歷史和 世界接軌。高德尤斯相信中國當代水墨藝術家對中國的士人文化已有鞏固的 認識,以及對宋元時期大師之作有深入的了解。他們就像二十世紀早期的西 方藝術家,這些中國現代水墨藝術家同時起著去舊迎新的代表作用。
So many great civilization fall into the obsolete history book and never come back, but China has made its back both economically and culturally in this century. What Mr Goedhuis is doing now is to promote the value and understanding of Chinese history to the western people. He states that understanding Chinese past gives you the access to the Chinese intellectual culture. What western people love about China are the whole literati culture, the gentlemen scholar and cultivated attitude.
The Gallery is presenting a series of exhibitions that highlights the importance of these artists as well as illustrates how bold and innovative their contribution to the development of cultural life in China is. The policy of the gallery is to give intensive exposure to its artists in one-person exhibitions in London, China and New York and also through its network of art fairs in America, Europe and Asia. Mr Goedhuis strongly believes that Chinese contemporary art is still at an early stage of recognition both in Asia and the West. It therefore offers exceptionally exciting and fruitful opportunities for collectors and museums. It is the objective of Michael Goedhuis Ltd. to participate fully in restoring important works to committed institutional and private collections in China, as well as continuing to stimulate interest amongst museums in the West.
Over the last 15 years, Mr Goedhuis has established himself as a pioneer in the field of modern and contemporary Chinese art, carefully identifying the best and most original artists working today. The gallery now represents 35 ink artists from different generations (from the 1930s to the 1970s). He stimulated interest among most promising and emerging artists as well as the most established masters from Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Most of the artists represented by Mr Goedhuis have a very dynamic and pluralistic background and life experience. Among these ink artists, Liu Dan, Xu Lei and Yao Jui-Chung attracted our attention for their innovative ink painting in the status quo.
高德尤斯在過去的十五年里將自己塑造成為中國現當代藝術的領軍人 物,精心挑選現今最優秀的原創藝術家。畫廊現有三十五位不同時代 (1930年代至1970年代)的水墨藝術家,包括許多潛力無限的新生代藝術家和已經揚名的中國大陸、臺灣和香港的藝術大師。邁克爾•高德尤斯 旗下的藝術家有着多元化的背景和經歷,其中,劉丹、徐累和姚瑞中以其 創新的水墨藝術吸引了我們的眼球。
Liu Dan was born in Nanjing in 1953. He studied the Confucian classics, poetry, painting and calligraphy from his grandfather at an early age. After the Cultural Revolution, he studied traditional painting under Ya Ming at the newly reopened Jiangsu Traditional Chinese Painting Institute from 1978 to 1981. He moved to Hawaii in 1981 where he studied western art and matured as an artist before moving to New York in 1992 and returning to China in 2006. Both his early years training in traditional Chinese art and philosophy and his later twenty-five years in the United States have greatly contributed to his very personal and sophisticated style. Especially his Scholar’s Rock series, imitate both physical and spiritual meaning of the rocks. In China, rocks have been collected and appreciated by connoisseurs for millennia. It represents an intrinsic connection between the nature and the landscape. By viewing a rock, it may suggest its viewers to explore the external landscape. The artist created this series in order to transcendence the limitation between the spiritual and metaphysical space and the psychical world. In general, Liu Dan’s ink paintings are all fastidiously conceived complex works that highlight his concern to emphasize underlying compositional structure over virtuoso expressions of showy brushwork.
Xu Lei (born in Jiangsu in 1963) has established himself as one of the most distinguished contemporary artists in classics fine-line (Gongbi) style. Xu Lei was involved in the development of experimental art in China, and was part of the so-called 85 New Wave Art Movement. He returned to the ink painting in the 1990s. His classics fine-line style not only refers to the Song court painting but also initiates a touch of Surrealism and conceptual art. His style has been regarded as noble and passive in which most of his paintings were painted in blue and white colour and seldom have human figures. One may argue that his painting represents a sense of loneliness and isolation, perhaps indicating the fate of the individual in the contemporary world.
劉丹,1953年生於南京,自幼跟隨祖父學習儒家典故 、詩詞、繪畫和書 法。1978至1981,文化大革命以後,他就讀於當時新創建的江蘇省國畫院,在亞明的指導下學習傳統繪畫。1981年 劉丹移居夏威夷,學習西方藝術,之後步入藝術 界,於1992年移居紐約,2006年返回中國。劉丹早期對中國傳統藝術和哲理的學習,以及之後在美國二十五年的藝術專研,促成了他個人高雅的藝術風格,尤其是他的“文人石”系列,栩栩如生地揣摩了景觀石的形態和意境。在中國, 鑒賞家收藏、鑒定岩石的歷史可追溯至千年之久。岩石是自然規律和形態的體現,通過專研岩石能够考究地表形態。劉丹的“文人石”系列 逾越了心靈與意境的界限。劉丹的水墨作品是其認真考量之後而創作出的一種復合型藝術作品,他以繪畫的方式來表達他對於組織結構下的思考。
Last but not least, Yao Jui-Chung is a Taiwanese artist born in 1969. His works on ‘Small Landscape’ series is now exhibited at the Michael Goedhuis Contemporary Gallery. This is the most recent works by the artist using ink on paper. Although he did not use a brush, but his paintings incorporate direct references to the traditional canon but break away and refresh themselves by the free use of colour and gold and the rejection of ink painting’s pictorial conventions. Yao’s professional life has made him a very interesting figure in the art world. He is also a curator, art-critic and art historian and has been dedicated to evaluating and promoting Taiwanese contemporary art both in Taiwan and internationally. He graduated from Taipei National University of the Arts and continues to teach at the University. His works also express a sense of humor, such as the horn portrayed on the scholarly dressed figure in the ‘Butterfly Diagram’ (2011). Michael Goedhuis states, “Yao Jui-Chung’s aesthetic trajectory is profoundly original in its choice of technique and subject matter but deals with the ever-present tension in Chinese art between the past and the present. With an elegance and simplicity that have added significantly to the contemporary repertoire.”
In general, Mr Goedhuis believes the ink painting is the next big thing in the contemporary art world. It is interesting intellectually, culturally, aesthetically, and also from a commercial point view. Our editorial team deems that we will definitely see more and more intriguing contemporary ink paintings coming up in the museums, galleries and auction houses in the near future around the world.
最後一位是1969年生於臺灣的藝術家姚瑞中。邁克爾•高德尤斯畫廊最近展出了這位藝術家 的“小山水(Small Landscape)”系列,這是他最新的水墨作品。這次創作他並沒有用畫筆作畫,在傳統畫藝的基礎上,摒棄了水墨畫的常規藝法,自如地採用色彩和金箔進行創新突破。姚瑞中在藝術領域扮演着十分有趣的角色,他既是策展人,也是藝術評論家和藝術史學家,在臺灣和全世界評鑑和推廣臺灣當代藝術。從國立臺灣藝術大學畢業後,姚瑞中任教於該大學。他的作品常帶着絲絲幽默感,譬如“甜蜜蜜:賞蝶圖(Honeymoon:Butterfly Diagram)”頭上長角的但文人穿著的人物。高德尤斯說:“姚瑞中擁有獨特的藝術造詣,運用原創的技法和題材,論述中國藝術現今與過去 的融合,為現代藝術增添了簡約的雅致。”
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