Metamorphosis Photo by Kuo Cheng-Chang3

In every life there is an economy of reception and provision. Reception, in terms of learning and accumulation; provision, in terms of reflection and creation. The tension of the two illumines Wu Hsing-kuo’s arts.

Before 1986, the first three decades of Wu Hsing-kuo’s life is occupied by reception.

每個人的一生中都存在著接納與給予的動態平 衡。接納指的是學習和積累,給予指的是反思和 創造。在吳興國身上,這二者間的分別體現得格 外鮮明。

到1986年為止,吳興國的前三十三年人生可以 說是一段以接納為主的人生階段。

Wu’s father died when he was little. His mother sent him and his older brother to a nursery school when he was three. He describes his childhood as a time of endurance and clenching. His mother was advised that Wu had a good voice and should study singing abroad, but it was impossible for his family. Instead, when he was eleven, his mother sent him to Fu-Hsing Chinese Opera School, a boarding school of traditional theatre arts. “Even if you are not good at studying, at least you are to pick up a skill there.”

吳興國父親早逝,他三歲時,媽媽就把他和哥哥 送進國軍先烈子弟教養院。他形容自己小時候 的印象通通是在“撐”,是“握著拳頭過日子”的。據 說,旁人向他母親稱贊吳興國有副好嗓音,不如 送出國去學聲樂,但家裡經濟不可能,母親就送 他進復興劇校,管吃管住又可學唱戲,“書讀不 進去,學個專長”也好。此時的吳興國十一歲。

In the school, the reputed actor Lee Jin-tang changed Wu’s name from Wu Kuo-chiu, to Wu Hsing-kuo (literally, “raise the nation”), expecting him to revive the national theatre arts. Although the school was a welcoming environment, the training was harsh and somewhat brutal. Wu was a diligent student; he would wake up very early for training, and would treasure any role, no matter the importance. In the third year in the school, tutors recognized his performance and since then he started playing important, leading roles.

吳興國本名吳興秋,在劇校時,臺灣當時四大 老生之一李金棠老師將他改名為吳興國,似乎 是預言要他“振興國劇”。劇校雖然管吃管住兼 學習,但打罵既兇練功又苦。吳興國是個肯下 苦功的學生,他舍棄睡眠時間提早爬起來練 功,從努力跑龍套做起,在第三年,他得到老師 的注意之後一直能得到飾演主角的機會。

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