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


ART.ZIP: And you also have quite an amazing place at home.

ART.ZIP: 而你在家裡也有着一個很不錯的工作室。

BJ: Yes, I’ve got two studios because I also have one at home. In fact that is quite an interesting example of people’s attitude to artists’ studios. Where I live now, these studios were built in the late sixties and they were built for artists, so each house has either one studio or two studios. The way that they were designed was that the kitchen was tiny, the bathroom was small, just a shower room – everything is given over to art. There was nice sitting room, but basically a studio on the top floor, a studio on the ground floor, one bedroom, a small bedroom and a very small kitchen. I spend more time here than I do at home. I arrive at about eight thirty and I leave normally at about eight.

BJ: 是的,我有兩個工作室,因為我在家裡也需要一個用以創作的空間。事實上,關於人們對於藝術家工作室的態度,我的這個選擇是一個有趣的例子。我現在居住的社區在上个世紀六十年代末建成,是專門為了藝術家們建造的房屋,所以每一幢房屋中都有一個或兩個工作室空間。這些房屋的設計是這樣的,一點點的廚房,只有一間淋浴室的小洗手間,所有其他空間都貢獻給了藝術。起居室很漂亮,但總的來說,基本空間設計包括頂層的一個工作室、地面的一個工作室、兩個臥室以及一個非常小的廚房。我花在這個工作室里的時間比花在家里的要多。我每天早上八點三十分來到工作室,一般晚上八點左右離開。

ART.ZIP: That’s a very long day.

ART.ZIP: 那真是很長的工作時間。

BJ: Yes, the paintings take a long time but also – and this is answering another of your questions – what do you call the studio, which is, it’s almost home. It’s my second home. It’s also probably the one thing that has kept me sane throughout my life – working.

BJ: 是的,因為繪畫需要大量的時間,同時也因為-這也在回答你的另一个問題--工作室幾乎是一個家。這是我的第二个家。這幾乎是我生命中最能夠讓我保持清醒的事情--創作。

ART.ZIP: Your ideas are everywhere in this space, are you happy when you shut the door, are you released?

ART.ZIP: 這個工作室里充滿了你的各種理念。每天在關門離開時,你感覺到輕鬆嗎?

BJ: I go home, I have a meal and I watch half an hour’s television, I go to bed and after an hour I wake up and think about the painting for three hours!

I work with assistants. I didn’t for years, it’s only in the last few years there is even a chair in the studio because I thought, well, I don’t sit down – if I need to sit down I can sit on the floor and look at the paintings. I worked really long hours then, I used to be in at eight in the morning and I would never leave until eight or eight thirty and I would also work seven days a week. I would have been listening to Radio Four all day and not talking to anyone and then I would go home to my wife who had been at work all day and she would want silence. I would want to talk, talk, talk and I would just see her eyes glaze over and I would say, you aren’t listening are you? She would say, no, I’m not, I need the quiet and of course I needed the energy of talking to somebody else, but now I love it. I try to make sure everybody leaves at about five thirty because then I can get quiet time in front of the painting. I will often turn the lights down so it is not such a cold light, and then just sit and look.

You can plan the next day and you see the work differently. During the day I am just so busy, people are asking me do you need more colours here or could you come and look at this or how can we plan that. It’s more to do with the process but it also means that I need to have some management skills – which I don’t have. I am useless, I ask someone to do something and they spend three days doing it and then I think, I don’t really need that, and I still have to pay them for those three days – so that’s bad management.

BJ: 每天晚上我回到家里,享用晚餐,看半個小時的電視,上床睡覺,一個小時後起床,思考三个小時應當如何創作!

現在,有幾位助手在幫助我創作。許多年來,我沒有雇傭助手,甚至沒有一把椅子,因為我不用坐下。如果我真的需要坐下的話,我就坐在地板上打量我的畫作。那時我每日長時間工作,早上八點鐘來到工作室,一直工作到晚上八點或八點三十分,每日如此,一週工作七天。那時,在工作室中我不與任何人交流,只聽廣播。晚上回到家以後我對我的妻子不停地說話,而同樣工作了一天的她只想要靜一靜。看到她的目光開始呆滯,我就問她,你沒有在聽我說話,對不對?她會說,抱歉,我沒在聽,我需要安靜!與人溝通當然需要花費精力,但是我現在很享受與助手們一起工作。我試圖確保大家在下午五點三十分左右離開工作室,這樣我就可以有一些安靜的時間與我的作品獨處。我經常會把冷冷的燈光關掉,坐在畫前,靜靜地審視我的作品。

這樣,你就可以以另一種角度來看你的作品,為明天的工作作準備。在白天的時候我通常會非常繁忙,助手們會因為各種事情徵詢我的意見,比如,這裡是否需要多一些色彩,你是否可以看看這裡,或我們應當怎樣處理某個事情等等。這與整個創作過程有關,但同時也意味著我需要一些管理技能,但其實我一點都不懂得如何去管理。完全沒有管理技巧的我會要求某個助手去花三天時間完成一件事情,而三天後我意識到我並不需要這件事情。而我仍然要為了這三天的工作付給他們薪水,所以我真的不懂如何去有效地管理一個團隊。


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