夏小万的空间绘画 XIA XIAOWAN Three Dimensional
空间, 时间, 身体 本画册为夏小万个展“夏小万的空间绘画”而出版 2010年5月7日至7月24日展出于瑞士卢森麦勒画廊 北京-卢森 This catalogue was published on the occasion of Xia Xiaowan’s solo exhibition “Three Dimensional” at Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland, from May 7 to July 24, 2010
—— 海因茨-诺贝尔特·约克斯对话夏小万 文: 海因茨-诺贝尔特 · 约克斯
In Contemplation of Space, Time and Body A Conversation with Xia Xiaowan by Heinz-Norbert Jocks
致谢 Irène Christen, 箫岭, Heinz-Norbert Jocks, Jolanda Kurmann, 李建辉, 里柯, 申彤, Alexandra Skwara, 丁达韦, 苏伟, 孙建伟, 徐鑫满, 及麦勒画廊全体工作人员 谨向以上所有参与人员和其他相关朋友表示衷心感谢。 特别感谢：乌斯 · 麦勒
Irène Christen, Nataline Colonnello, Heinz-Norbert Jocks, Jolanda Kurmann, Li Jianhui, Enrico Polato, Anya Shen, Alexandra Skwara, David Spalding, Su Wei, Sun Jianwei, Xu Xinman, and the staff at Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne Special thanks to all the people who have participated or assisted in the realisation of this project. Special thanks: Urs Meile
空间, 时间, 身体 —— 海因茨-诺贝尔特·约克斯对话夏小万
In Contemplation of Space, Time and Body A Conversation with Xia Xiaowan
文：海因茨 - 诺贝尔特 · 约克斯
by Heinz-Norbert Jocks
HNJ: It seems to me that in your case, art is closely interwoven with life, isn’t it?
XXW: Yes, it is. I’ve lived in my emotional world since I was little, and therefore painting cannot be separated from my life. I have expressed all of that in my paintings.
绘画来表达。 约：你是怎样和绘画走到一起的？ 夏：我在中央美术学院学的是现实主义绘画，但从小就对欧洲的现实主义绘画感兴趣。不过我的画里面中国传统文化的元素 也是不能忽略的。因为我在美院上学的时候，公众语境中可以使用的只有中国文化语言。央美毕业后，我觉得必须找到自 己的语言和风格来表达自身世界。文革结束后，中国的意识形态发生了巨大转变，我们进入了80 年代。人们主动寻求着与 西方世界的联系，国门打开了，西方对中国的影响与日俱增。因此，有关“人”的图像得到了拓展。以前，人是集体的一部分， 现在则更为强调个人。此外，我那时候的有些作品有着强烈的风格。我放弃了现实主义的表现手法和语言，更多运用象征 的方法来进行创作。由此产生了很多非常抽象的绘画形象，他们体现的正是主体精神。
HNJ: How did you come to start painting? XXW: As you know, I studied realist painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. I was already interested in European realism when I was a child, although the elements of Chinese culture in my work can’t be overlooked. Because then, when I was studying, you could only use the language of Chinese culture in public. So it was only after my time at the Academy that I could find my own language and my own style and create my own world. The end of the Cultural Revolution in the 80s heralded a turning point within Chinese ideology. One sought access to the international world, and with this opening Western influence also increased. Thereby, the image people had of themselves underwent an expansion. Before one understood oneself as part of a collective, while now the emphasis is on the individual. Incidentally, there are some very stylized pictures by me from the time. Instead of using the methods and language of realism, I fell back on symbols. The relatively abstract figures that emerged through this embodied the spirit of subjectivity. HNJ: How did things continue?
约：这之后呢？ 夏：刚才说的是我创作发展的第一个阶段。8 年前，我开始了第二阶段的创作探索。2002 年，我的艺术世界进一步发生了转 变。那时整个中国社会处在一种国际化的语境中，思想潮流和社会意识更为紧密地结合在一起。这样的话，与社会意识相 联系的绘画语言成为了一种一般化的语言。那时候我觉得，作为平面二维媒介的绘画无法为个人性的发展提供足够的空 间。所有可以使用的表达形式都已经存在，被发现过、使用过，并且已经耗尽了。所以就要问，为什么绘画和我们的感知分 开了，无法再传达个人的体验？我们总是通过文本或者其它媒介感知这个世界，但这与真实相去甚远。二维的表现方法已 经让这种视觉感知的特定形式走到了尽头。我越思考二维性和感知的关系，思路就越来越清晰：我们要探索新的形式来 跨越这种拘囿。我问自己，哪种绘画形式可以最为直接地呼应我们的观看方式。 约：你在央美上学的时候都做了些什么？
XXW: After my first phase of artistic creation, the second followed eight years ago. In 2002, a further turning point in my life as an artist occurred. An international atmosphere dominated, which meant that thought processes coincided more strongly with social consciousness again. Consequently, the language of painting connected with social consciousness was a more general one. At the time I had the feeling that a painting as a flat, two-dimensional medium did not provide enough space for the development of individuality, because all the available forms of expression are already predetermined, discovered, used and exhausted. It prompts the question of why painting is separated from our perception and is no longer capable of transferring personal experiences. We always perceive the world through texts and other media, but apart from reality. With the two-dimensionality of its depiction, this particular form of optical perception has become outdated as well. The more I thought about the relationship between two-dimensionality and our perception, the more apparent it was to me that one had to develop a new form to overcome these limits. I asked myself which form of painting would most closely approximate our way of seeing. HNJ: Which subjects did you deal with as a student?
夏：我创作的主题是人形，在作品中我对人形的表现总是很随意和个人化。我那时候画的东西与老师教的东西没什么关系，都 是自己想观念，探索自己的风格，重点放在如何从精神世界中创造出形象这一点上。那时候我也画风景画，把人的身体放 置在天地的维度中表现，而天与地又是象征性的。当然一开始的时候我的画中找不到人的影子，只有比如说荒漠的土地、 天穹、繁星以及地平线上的红色晚霞。后来才出现了人形，用他们来表现我的精神世界。 约：你把人与天地的关系作为绘画主题，是在走中国传统文化的路子吗？ 夏：回答这个问题以前，我还要做一些补充。我不擅长用现实主义的绘画方式来表现复杂的现实世界。所以我更愿意把所有 问题放到最基本的关系上来思考。在我眼中，人不是绝对的、从世界中孤立的人，天、地、人是互相关联的，人要在这个由 天、地、人组成的空间中追寻自身的精神向往。天穹是内心世界的象征，深远，空无，无界，无实。如果像我一样把人形作
XXW: My subject was the human figure, though its representation in my works was always spontaneous and very individual. Incidentally, what I did then had nothing to do with the subjects supplied by the teachers. I carried the idea of developing my own style within me, and it was important to me to create figures from my mind. Therefore, I painted landscapes in which I placed the human body in relation to the sky and the earth, which are used symbolically. But at the very beginning there were no people to be seen in my paintings at all, but only desert, earth, sky and stars, and the rays of red evening light on the horizon. It was only later that human figures appeared in order to express my mental world. HNJ: When you focus on the relationship of heaven and earth, you are certainly moving within the traditional realms of Chinese culture, are you not? XXW: Before I answer that, I want to add the following: I am not so good at realistic painting that I would be able to depict the complexity of reality. That’s why I tend to reduce all questions to their basic relationships. In my view, humans are not
为生命的载体来看待，那么人本身就不那么重要了。另外我也借助了不同的方法和媒介将我的这种思考付诸实践，比如说 我会握着笔，心无所挂的随意让笔触在纸面上勾画出人形，任由它调整、变异，如此等等。有人说，我那时候画的人形很像 魔鬼或者精灵。其实那些形象都是我对生命形态的表达符号，可以说是一种生命感——我认为，这种生命感完全是出于对 人性的理解产生的。 现在我来回答你提的有关我绘画中的天地主题与中国传统文化是否相关的问题。不是这样。我觉得这并不直接与中国传 统文化相关。我更关注的是我们如何用传统的方式理解这个世界。中国传统文化中，我们总是在最基本的层面上看待问 题。比如说，我们讲“退一步海阔天空”。这种回到原点的方式是典型的中国思维习惯。而说到美感，我的确受到了中国传 统文化的影响。比如说古老的壁画,还有《山海经》。三万一千字的《山海经》是用地理制的方式全面记录不同地区山川、 动物和神灵的古老文本，用直观的、不那么系统的、想象的方式表现世界。其实，我们的眼睛有时可以欺骗我们，但错觉也 可能是真实的。 约：说到魔鬼和精灵，我想到了戈雅这个你很欣赏的画家。我想就此更多了解一下——也许这样说起来有点跳跃了——有关你 绘画中的空间问题。在我看来，你在创作的初期阶段对光影的关注可以说已经迈出了对空间问题思考的第一步。 夏：首先回答你的第二个问题。我要找到一种（光）影，需要它具备一种人形可以交流的特质，而不是说模仿现实中的人来画。 我想再次强调，现在绘画中的有些形式已经完全死掉了，都变成了概念语言。对这种语言的运用很成问题，但有些画家仍 然在使用它们描摹现实。这种被描摹出来的现实还真实吗？我表示怀疑。所以我在创作中要寻找其他的形式，人形或者其 它图像。 说到戈雅，我上学的时候非常钦佩他。我关注他创造的极为生动的形象，它们对我影响很大。 约：我们回到绘画语言上，你从自己的思考中得出什么结论？ 夏：今天，为了表达自己的思想，人们重新回到了一般化的语言上。我们对这种语言不需要再进行深入探索，人人都知道它说 的是什么，想表达什么，内容大家不用看就了解。个人化的语言丧失了，无论看哪个作品，人们都不想从中读出什么内容，因 为我们可以用我们自己愿意的任何方式解读它。个体成了社会内容的负载者，我们总是试图从抽象的或者普遍的层面去理 解个人意图：那么我们艺术家就要问自己，是不是想跟着这种意识走，是不是应该不带社会属性地重塑个体的独立存在价 值？出于这种思考，我做了一些创作实验。我的艺术理解是，个人化不需要社会理由。由此我想到了米开朗基罗。他曾说，形 象不是从石头中雕刻出来的，而是它自身就有的。这是一种内心自在性的表现，很本质的东西。艺术家不能给这个世界附 加人人公认的意义。 约：你对传统绘画还有哪些不满意的地方？ 夏：传统绘画语言太概念化了。我告别了这种一般化的形式，试图创造出一种更新颖的、准确的形式，用以赋予现实自在的本 质，唤醒麻木的绘画语言。绘画语言要能感动我们的精神，震撼我们的灵魂，所以应该是具有批判性和活力的。它一旦一 般化了，就与现实脱节。所以我强调要超越人的社会属性。我并不是要把人抽象化，而是想作为一个艺术家找到一种语汇 来传达我们的精神世界。 约：你的这种对一般化语言的质疑与你在文革中的生存经历有关联吗？ 夏：我并不想把我个人的生活境遇当做创作主题。但我对这种一般化的语言的质疑确实与我在文革中的一些经历有关。你的 作为、思想和感知一定与你的生活经历和个人体验无法分开。人生活在复杂的社会关系中，面对这个社会他是惧怕的。今
absolute beings isolated from the world, but always exist in relationship to the sky and earth. They search for their own mental longings in this interspace. The sky, which symbolizes the interior realm, is something immaterially distant and deep. When, the way I see it, the human figure only functions as the bearer of life, then the person is no longer so important. By the way, I tried to represent this insight with the help of very different mediums. So, completely spontaneously and without thinking about it, I drew a human figure on paper. Some claim the figures I drew or painted at the time look like devils or ghosts. Yet in my eyes they are only my signs for humanity. Yes, the living form, which is my subject, can only be achieved through human insight. Now, to return to your question, about whether sky and earth as I use them relate to Chinese culture: no, I think they don’t refer directly to it. I am more concerned with how we people traditionally understand the world. We always reduce the question to something basic. I think of the well-known Chinese expression: “A step back, you see more then.” This tendency to reduce things to the basics is typical of Chinese thinking. When it comes to aesthetics, then I have surely been formed by Chinese culture. Here I think above all of the old wall paintings in the evening as well as an ancient, mythological, 31,000 word encyclopaedic “Collection of the Mountains and Seas” by Shan Hai Jing. It contains revered, not necessarily systematic, but very clear and detailed descriptions of mountains, rivers and animals. Our eyes can sometimes deceive us, and the deception can also sometimes be true. HNJ: Apropos devils and ghosts, they make me think of Goya, whose art you esteem. I would like to know more about that, and maybe subsequently, even if this is an enormous mental leap, the question of the significance of space in your painting. It seems to me as if the preoccupation with light and shadow at the very beginning was already a first step towards occupying yourself with the question of space. XXW: First, relating to your last question: I search for a shadow which communicates with the human figure, while it is by no means the case that I paint figures from reality. I want to emphasise again that certain forms in painting have completely exhausted themselves. Thus, I also find their use very problematic. Nevertheless, painters still employ this already worn-out language to illustrate reality. However, I have great doubts whether such illustrations of reality are actually true. Therefore, I search for another form in my work, which has something to do with the human figure as well as with that which the picture creates. Then, briefly, about Goya: he is the painter who I admired as a student. His figures made a great impression on me. It is their vitality that I find the most important thing. HNJ: To return to the language of painting, which conclusions did you draw from your insights? XXW: Today, in order to formulate one’s own thoughts, one resorts to a language which is so generalized, it is not necessary to be very deep, because everyone already knows anyway what it is about and what is meant. The contents are familiar to everyone. There is no individualized language. No matter what work one singles out, it’s a moot point to want to read the contents, because we can interpret it how we want. As soon as we try to understand the individual intention on an abstract or general level – because the individual is a bearer of societal subject matters – we artists have to ask ourselves whether we want to affiliate ourselves with this consciousness, or whether we shouldn’t place more weight on an autonomous existence, beyond any social definition. In light of this question, I carried out numerous experiments. My appreciation of art assumes that individuation doesn’t need any societal reasons. In this regard, I think of several Renaissance artists like Michelangelo. He said once that he creates his figures out of the stone. Their fundamental inner calm arises from this. As an artist one can’t introduce a meaning into the world which everyone agrees with. HNJ: What else bothers you about the traditional language of painting? XXW: It is too conceptual. By taking leave of the general forms and creating new ones, I want to give reality its own character and free language from its powerlessness. For language to move our mind and our soul it should be something critical and dynamic. As soon as it is general, it distances itself from reality. That is why it is important to me to overcome the societal definitions of people. For me, the issue is not an abstraction, but rather, whether, as a painter, one can find a language through which the mental world can be communicated. HNJ: Does your distrust of the general language also have to do with your existential experiences, during the Cultural Revolution for example?
天我们对艺术的理解变得越来越间接化，是时候让艺术与感知再建紧密的关联。这就是我所做的，我的方法是展开对形 式和空间的探讨。我要让人形生动起来，让它尽量具有生命感。 约：说到现实主义以及它如今无力表达真实的弱点，你怎么看刘小东的绘画？ 夏：刘小东是把社会现象直接记录下来的艺术家，当然，也是从自己的角度。我和他完全不同。我常问自己，绘画语言是否真的 能传达意义，它可以在何种程度上展现真实？我更多反思的是绘画语言系统的美学问题。由此联想到，照相艺术不过一百 年的历史，但美学的历史可以追溯到人类社会的源头。作为艺术家，我把人性当做标本，展现他在复杂而艰难的社会中的 弱小。我是个弱者，不是强势的人，要表达这一点，就要寻找一种相应的表达方式。 约：但你不仅仅只画人形，也画风景。 夏：我在风景画中探讨了空间的问题，与中国绘画艺术史上的作品进行了对话，把这些作品放到新的空间中，赋予它们新的感 知方式。早期创作中借助一点西方元素的帮助，把以天地为维度的风景画引入到了学术话语的讨论中。那个时候西方的 浪漫主义理论以及人文主义的东西涌进了中国，我们开始更关注人本身，不是人的权力或者尊严，而是人作为人本身的东
HNJ: Apropos realism and its inability to approach truth, how do you view the painting of Liu Xiaodong in this context? XXW: Liu Xiaodong is an artist who makes societal occurrences very indirectly visible, and of course from his perspective, but mine is completely different. I ask myself whether the language of painting can really transfer meaning and on which level the truth is shown. I myself reflect more about aesthetics in painting’s system of language. In this context it struck me that the medium of photography may not be much more than 100 years old, but its aesthetics can be traced back to the beginnings of humankind. As an artist, I view humanity as a model through which the weakness of people, especially in complicated or difficult societies, can be shown. I am searching for an appropriate form of representation in order to express that I am weak, not a strong man.
HNJ: Now, you didn’t just paint the human figure, but also landscapes.
XXW: In landscape painting, where I engage myself with space, I refer to works from Chinese art history. In doing so, I wanted to integrate the works into a new space in order to allow for a new perception, and introduce my early landscape paintings, situated between sky and earth, into the academic discourse together with their Western elements. At the time, in the 1980s, the theories of the Romantics as well as western humanism were just being received here. However, we concentrated on people. In doing so, their power was less important than their dignity. In contrast to the painting of Liu Xiaodong, who has in mind the life of groups on the edges of society, I think more about how individuation can be directly perceived and analysis can be avoided. What we lack is a descriptive, instantly understandable, intuitive language. I tried to associate painting with space so that one can understand the language in and of itself. When the content of painting is too societal, it leads to formulations which have nothing to do with art. I repeat it again, I am a weak man, and therefore, in my work one either sees people in trouble, or those who suffer from something or experience pain. In my opinion, there are far too many social statements in China nowadays. I ask myself whether there is still a form which is able to be expressed more directly. That is the origin of my creation, which is distinctly different from that of artists like Liu Xiaodong. He illustrates what he has seen, and in doing so always demonstrates positions. That doesn’t interest me.
会造成一种与艺术无关的表达。我想再次重复一下，我是个弱者，所以我的画中经常出现窘迫的或者承受着痛苦的人形。 现在的中国，社会性表态太多了。我问自己，有没有哪种形式可以直接表现一些东西？这是我创作的出发点，与刘小东的创 作有很大区别。他把他看到的表现出来，总是表明出立场。我对此不感兴趣。 约：你是如何从二维绘画创作过渡到三维绘画的？你开始学画时学到的光影知识不是你开始探讨空间的原点吗？ 夏：你提到的那个教我光影知识的老师所做的，实际上是系统地把学生引入到现实主义绘画中的一位老师。但我的创作和他的 影响关系不大。他是第一个让我接触艺术的老师，教我们的方法也很特别。他不是让我们去临摹一幅画，而是专注于每个 绘画技术细节，也就是说，把绘画过程分解开来分析。比如说他很着重地教我们怎么画线。说到对我的影响，应该说是他这 种解构绘画的教学方式，成为我解构一切的习惯方式。我对光影的理解是上了央美以后才形成的。那时候是跟着老师的要 求做。我的知识系统开始在那时形成，但不是受益于具体哪门课，而是从很多老师以及艺术史书籍的阅读中得到。 约：你怎么看时间、空间和身体的关系? 夏：这是一个很哲学的问题。但你说的这三个元素确实是我创作中最重要的东西。我把三者分开来说。首先是时间：传统绘画 有一个生产过程，一幅画需要一定时间来完成。但是在画中我们看不到创作它所需要的时间。最终看到的就是一副画，时 间消失了，没有留下任何线索可寻。我现在创作的空间绘画却是要求观众移动着观看，所谓移步换景。这样，绘画就被赋予 了时间的层面。空间：传统绘画由点、线、面组成，形式不具有物质性。但当我把形式放置到空间中去，每个部分共同构造 出一个有机的结构，形式就拥有了质量感，与传统形式区别开来，并获得了存在的意义。形式变得有生命了，具有了现实关 联，传达了创作者自身的生命感悟。最后，身体：我看身体不是从社会的或者理论史的角度，而是从我自身感悟出发。用人 形创作的艺术家，总是希望他们创作出来的形式具有生命。这也是我的目标。 约：对这个问题没有什么要补充的吗？ 夏：我还要补充有关时间的一些想法。我创作过一个7米高、5米长的作品，观众可以走进到作品里去观看。传统绘画只需观众 在某一时刻把握整个作品，而我的空间作品要求观众走进来，他的移动决定了观看效果。这与传统的中国绘画理论相关。
XXW: For me, it is not about making my own life situation the subject. But of course my distrust of the general language has to do with the experience of the Cultural Revolution. And of course you can’t separate what you do, and also your thinking and views from your life story and your experiences and your personal situation. Yet, a person who lives in complicated social relationships does always have a certain dread of society. Nowadays, as our understanding of art has become ever more indirect, it is time to give it a stronger connection with perception again, and that is exactly why I make an effort, when for example I engage myself with form and space. My purpose is to make the human form appear as alive as possible.
HNJ: How did the transition between two-dimensional and three-dimensional painting occur? Weren’t your first studies in painting, which concerned light and shadow, the beginnings of your engagement with space? XXW: The teacher, to whom you refer regarding my light-shadow studies, gave us a very systematic introduction into realist painting. But my art has only little to do with that. He was the first person who brought me to art, and he had a very specific teaching method. That is, he fragmented the painting process. So he placed great emphasis on teaching us how to make lines. He influenced me insofar that, based on his way of teaching, which was basically a deconstruction of painting, I made it a habit to fragment everything. I only received my understanding of light at the Central Academy. There, I did what the teacher asked for. I obtained my knowledge, which I began to systematize then, as a student at the CAFA, from the classes of not just one, but several, teachers and additionally, from art history books. HNJ: How do you see the relationship between time, space and body? XXW: That is a philosophical question, which touches on the three most important pillars of my art. Now, I would like to deal with the three elements separately from each other. First of all, time. Traditional painting has a production process; it takes some time until the painter has finished a picture. But through the painting, the time needed by him is forgotten. What we see at the end is a finished painting, in which time has disappeared. Time leaves no traces. But the current works about space can only be adequately viewed when one moves. Because the work changes with every movement
这个作品画的实际上是模仿宋代郭熙的一幅名作《早春图》。他的那个时代，全景绘画风靡一时，他自己也致力于这方面 的创作。他有一本专门论述绘画理论的书，叫做《林泉高志》，里面讲到观众需要设身处地地观看一幅画，像在真实空间中 一样移步换景。我们对一座山的直观方式可以随着我们的行走变化，因为我们的视角不断在变化。在我的作品里，目标是 达到对整体的感知。 约：你觉得西方的风景画和中国的山水画区别在哪里？ 夏：西方传统风景画以中心透视为出发点，看的是瞬间，而中国山水画更具有叙事性的特点，将不同的观看角度统一到一幅画 里面。一幅画里有平远、高远，俯视、仰视，以及远看、近看等多种视角。作品有时候是横轴的，有时候又是纵轴的。在中国 传统绘画语境中，看一幅画意味着理解它的绘画过程。 约：你能不能具体说说从二维绘画到三维绘画的创作转变过程？ 夏：2003年之前的两年，我一直在用铅笔画素描。当时就觉得不能再有所发展了，绘画媒介本身有局限。然后北京的今日美术 馆做了一个我的展览，展览空间有 900 平方米，与这么大的延展的空间相比，作品显得非常小。看到作品和展览空间无法 发生联系，我就在思考探索出一种新的形式，一种不仅仅局限在平面上的形式。这个想法其实文革的时候就有，当时我做 了一些手工实验。先把画切割，比如说画的近景是毛主席的形象，把它剪下来，贴到一个玻璃片上，然后再剪后面的云彩， 贴到另一个玻璃片上。如此制作出五六层玻璃片，画作因此被分解成5、6个层面。每个层面之间都有一定距离，形成了空间 关系。这个分解过程让人想到医学中的切片或者X光。这些想法都是在我脑海中灵光一现产生的，作品中的虚拟空间由此 被现实空间取代。与传统绘画中受限制的空间相反，三维绘画中空间成为了内容的延伸。 约：你是在说空间绘画，它的具体含义是什么？
of the viewer. In this way, the work assumes a temporal level. Now space: painting in the traditional sense consists of points, lines and surfaces. At the same time, the form has no materiality. But I transform the form in the space, and in doing so, the individual elements create an organic structure, and thus the form becomes a qualitative one, which is different from the old form and receives an existential meaning. The form which comes alive through this has its own references to reality and conveys its own life spirit. And finally the body: I want to show from my own perspective and not that of a social or an historical-theoretical one. The artists who usually deal with the human body always hope that the created forms radiate vitality. This is also my goal. HNJ: Is there nothing more to add to that? XXW: I would like to add something more on the subject of “time”. There is a work of mine which is seven metres high and five metres wide, which one can tread on. In contrast to traditional paintings, which one can understand in a single moment, the performed movement decides the impact of the work the instant one enters it. Of course, what is at issue here also has to do with classic Chinese theories of painting. But above all, the picture is an emulation of a very well-known painting of Guo Xi, an artist from the time of the Song Dynasty. Panorama painting happened to be in fashion in the 10th century and so he dedicated himself to it. He was also the author of the treatise “Lofty Records of Forests and Streams”, in which he argued that the viewer of a painting must have the feeling of being present in the place, of moving in the painted landscape as in reality. He assumed that our view of the mountain changes as we walk, because in doing so our perspective is constantly altered. My work aims to capture the perception of the whole. HNJ: What do you see as the differences between Western and Chinese landscape painting? XXW: Western landscape painting, which originates from a central perspective, always captures the moment, while Chinese painting is more strongly narrative-oriented and always unites several perspectives in one. It shows not only the bird’s eye view, but also the view from the bottom in addition to distant and near views. These paintings were sometimes presented horizontally as well as vertically. With us in China, to see a picture also means following the painting process. HNJ: Can you pinpoint the transition from two-dimensional to three-dimensional painting a bit more exactly?
夏：现实条件下找不到相应的媒介去真正实现空间绘画，这还是一种幻想。习惯上一幅画中的空间想象是通过视角、光和影体 现的，但我的空间绘画借助玻璃切片成为了一种绘画行为。 约：这次在北京麦勒画廊的展览看起来是一段创作时间美学主题的总结。 夏：是的，这次展览中展示了不同形式的人形作品。有的作品中是以一个人物为主题，也有像《北京猿人》这样的作品，以八十 万年前的原始人为主题。人形要展现出自身的生命形式，它们和我们人类一样，有自己的精神世界，有自己的情绪以及一切 东西。但是他们的形象与现实中的人类形象不同，与社会没有关联。它们都是我自己的想象。这次展览作品中人形都是直 接展现自身的。有时候以一个人形为中心，有时候是两个。看传统二维绘画，由于我们的美学经验先在的缘故，作品从构图 上就让我们觉得不陌生；空间绘画则让人感到眼前却确实发生了什么。它如同魂灵一般显现着，真真假假，虚虚实实。 约：什么叫做主体，什么又叫做客体？ 夏：我们不能认识事物本身，我们的知性基本上都建立在认识系统和社会系统上，因此主体自身可能会陷入虚无。我的艺术创 作中体现了新旧时代创作的不同。人形就是以人造人。我们人类都有这种情结，一旦意识到自己的软弱和渺小，就想找到 一个想象中的、强大的替身来承担。不同的历史阶段中这些替身有不同的叫法，比如神和上帝。而当今社会中我们以制造
HNJ: You also speak of painting in the air. What do you mean by that? XXW: Insofar as there is no medium which allows one to paint in the air, this is a fantasy. Painting in the air is different from painting in space. Usually, a painting creates an illusion of space through the use of perspective, shadow and light. But my painting in the air is an act of painting which is only possible through the aid of glass shards.
HNJ: The works which you show in the exhibition appear like a resume of a creative phase about an aesthetic subject.
XXW: Yes, that’s what it is. I show very different forms of the human figure there. There are paintings where it plays a dominant role, but also a work titled “Peking Man”, who lived 800 thousand years ago. It is important to me that these forms of people demonstrate their own forms of life. Like people, the human figures have their own emotional constitutions and
XXW: During the two years leading up to 2003 I only drew with pencil on paper. Yet I had the feeling I wasn’t achieving much with it, because the medium is too limited. At this time I was exhibiting works in a 900 square metre space in the Today Art Museum in Beijing, which appeared relatively small in relation to the dimensions of the space. Because no relation between the exhibition space and my works could be established, I began to think of a new form, which did not restrict itself to a flat plane. By the way, this idea came from the time of the Cultural Revolution, when I experimented artistically with diverse things. Then, I broke a painting into shards. On it you can see a close-up of Mao Zedong. I glued a figure which I had cut out beforehand onto a shard of glass and, in addition, cut out clouds which I attached to another glass shard. In total, there were five or six glass shards, and therefore accordingly many planes. Due to the distance between the shards a space and also a spatial relationship were established. The segmentation into levels was reminiscent of tissue samples such as those carried out in medicine, or also of x-rays. Such references certainly flitted through my mind. Thereby, in my work I replaced the fictional space with an actual one. In contrast to the limitations regarding space which are inherent to traditional painting, in this three-dimensional painting there is an expansion of substance.
夏：上美院的时候我读过他。我觉得他表达的是抽空主体和剔除意义。我们只有把人放回到零点去看，才能发现和认识这个 世界。 约：这听起来是很中国的方式？ 夏：是的，从原点观察事物，抽离于具体经验，这和道家的学说如出一辙。一切从“无”中产生，但“无”又不是没有的意
also their own temperament. They have everything. But their appearance is not copied from reality and it has nothing to do with societal conditions. It originates solely from the depths of my imagination. In this exhibition the human figure is directly shown. In contrast to a two-dimensional painting, which immediately appears familiar due to its composition and by taking advantage of our pre-existing aesthetic experiences, painting in the air conveys the impression that something is really taking place before our eyes. Painting in the air is like a ghost which appears to you. Perhaps it is about illusion and reality, about emptiness and depth.
思。 “无”是世界的起源，你肯定知道《道德经》中那句著名的话： “道生一，一生二，二生三，三生万物。”对如何感知真实
HNJ: What does subjective mean, what does objective mean?
XXW: As we cannot grasp the thing itself, as our understanding is generally based on our systems of knowledge and society, the subject always sees himself confronted with emptiness. Regarding my artistic works, it could be that there is a difference between the process of creation in olden times, and that in the new time. The painting of human figures is nothing different than a human invention. We people suffer from a complex. As soon as we become aware that we are weak and small, we search for a fictional figure who personifies strength and size. There are different phases of history and also concepts for this such as god or the gods. On the other hand, in contemporary society we produce superstars, yet these are not individuals, but rather creations of our mind. The human as a social being is pretty functional, adapted in a certain way, and he fulfils a social role.
HNJ: Schopenhauer lurks behind your statements, doesn’t he? XXW: I read him as a student. All in all, what matters to me is the emptying of the subject and the extinction of meaning. Only when we people have returned completely to zero are we capable of rediscovering and recognizing the world. HNJ: This sounds like a very Chinese approach? XXW: Yes, to view everything from zero, but uncoupled from every experience, that corresponds to Taoist teachings. Everything originates from nothing, yet the nothing is not “nothing”. Because it is the origin of the world. Do you know the famous quote from Lao Zi: “From one grows two and from two three, and from three grows the world.” The perception of reality has granted me this outlook. In view of the fact that reality is so difficult to explain, it makes sense to view it from its origins...
Translator: Alexandra Skwara
《第一号动作》2009 玻璃铅笔, 15片 (6mm玻璃) 66 x 40 x 29 cm
“The Number One Movement” 2009 glass pencil, 15 tinted glass panels, each 6 mm thick 66 x 40 x 29 cm
《人形之五》2009 玻璃铅笔, 17片 (6mm玻璃) 65 x 41 x 33 cm
“Human Body #5” 2009 glass pencil, 17 tinted glass panels, each 6 mm thick 65 x 41 x 33 cm
《头形之一》2009 玻璃铅笔, 15片 (6mm玻璃) 89 x 61 x 57 cm
“Head #1” 2009 glass pencil, 15 tinted glass panels, each 6 mm thick 89 x 61 x 57 cm
《双人形》2009 玻璃铅笔, 14片 (6mm玻璃) 174 x 122 x 85 cm
“Double Human Figure” 2009 glass pencil, 14 tinted glass panels, each 6 mm thick 174 x 122 x 85 cm
《窥》2009 玻璃铅笔, 14片 (6mm玻璃) 89 x 61 x 54 cm
“Peep” 2009 glass pencil, 14 tinted glass panels, each 6 mm thick 89 x 61 x 54 cm
《北京猿人》2009 玻璃铅笔, 20片 (6mm玻璃) 89 x 60 x 59 cm
“Peking Man” 2009 glass pencil, 20 tinted glass panels, each 6 mm thick 89 x 60 x 59 cm
《奔》2009 玻璃铅笔, 14片 (6mm玻璃) 128 x 82 x 86 cm
“Run” 2009 glass pencil, 14 tinted glass panels, each 6 mm thick 128 x 82 x 86 cm
《素描手稿之一》2009 玻璃铅笔, 14片 (6mm玻璃) 175 x 122 x 82 cm
“Sketches #1” 2009 glass pencil, 14 tinted glass panels, each 6 mm thick 175 x 122 x 82 cm
《爆》2009 玻璃铅笔, 17片 (6mm玻璃) 89 x 61 x 51 cm
“Burst” 2009 glass pencil, 17 tinted glass panels, each 6 mm thick 89 x 61 x 51 cm
个展 “在画里”，麦勒画廊 北京-卢森，中国北京
“夏小万：有灵魂的风景”，Dolores de Sierra Gallery，西 班牙马德里
“早春图：夏小万新作展”，今日美术馆，中国北京 话剧《明》大型舞台艺术装置，中国国家大剧院，中国 北京
“身体”，尚东当代艺术中心，中国南京 “事物状态——中比当代艺术交流展”，比利时皇家美 术宫，比利时布鲁塞尔；中国美术馆，中国北京
“2007中国当代艺术文献展”，雍和美术馆；墙美术馆， 中国北京 “2008年度马爹利非凡艺术人物”，中国广东、上海、北京 “二维/三维：视觉语言的协商”，PKM画廊，中国北京 “移花接木/中国当代艺术中的后现代方式”，华美术馆， 中国深圳 “演变——中国当代艺术展”，路德维希博物馆，德国科 布伦茨
“Appropriation and Pastiche – Pittura, fotografia e video dalla Cina”，第七届帕尔马艺术博览会特别项目 展，意大利帕尔马
“世纪风骨——中国当代艺术50家”，中华世纪坛，中国 北京 “焦虑素描形象展”，澳大利亚新南威尔士大学美术学 院，新南威尔士 2001成都双年展，中国成都 “二十世纪中国油画展”，中国美术馆，中国北京
“想像成为真实”，ZKM 博物馆，德国卡尔斯鲁厄 “Vanguardias Chinas”，Dolores de Sierra画廊，西班牙 马德里
The Mediawave Festival，匈牙利杰尔 “重复开始画展”，故宫，中国北京
“后 ’89中国新艺术展”，英国伦敦；澳大利亚悉尼 “'91三月画展”，中央美术学院，中国北京
“Brush Hour 2”，联画廊，中国北京；阳光当代画廊，韩国 2005
“麻将——希客中国当代艺术收藏展”，伯恩美术馆，瑞 士伯恩 “平遥国际摄影展”，中国平遥 “柏林艺术博览会”，德国柏林
“Three Dimensional”, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland “Landscapes with Soul”, Dolores de Sierra Gallery, Madrid, Spain “Early Spring – Xia Xiaowan’s New Art”, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China “Ming” Installation Project, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing, China
2006 2004 2003 1998
“Painting From the Inside”, Galerie Urs Meile, BeijingLucerne, Beijing, China “Art of Xiaowan”, Time Gallery, Qingdao, China “How do you see with your mind & body? Xia Xiaowan’s works on paper”, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China “Looking Up”, Schoeni Gallery, Hong Kong, China
Selected Group Exhibitions
“85新潮：中国第一次当代艺术运动”，尤伦斯当代艺术 中心，中国北京 2006
“携手新世纪” 第三届中国油画展，中国美术馆，中国 北京
born in Beijing, China lives and works in Beijing
“Body”, Shangdong Contemporary Art Center, Nanjing, China “The State of Things. Brussels/Beijing”, BOZAR, Brussels, Belgium “The Origin”, The First Annual Moon River Sculpture Festival, Moon River Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing, China “Hypallage – the Post-Modern Mode of Chinese Contemporary Art”, the OCT & Design Gallery, Shenzhen, China “The Power of the Universe – the Exhibition of Frontier Contemporary Chinese Art”, Asia Art Centre, Beijing, China “2007 Chinese Contemporary Art Document Exhibition”, Yonghe Museum; The Wall Art Museum, Beijing, China “Martell Artists of the Year 2008”, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou; Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai; Today Art Museum, Beijing, China “2D-3D – Negotiating Visual Languages”, PKM Gallery, Beijing China “China’s Revision”, Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, Germany “Pursuing Source and Doctrine– Oil Painting Research Exhibition”, The National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China “Imagination Becomes Reality”, ZKM, Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe, Germany “85 New Wave – The Birth of Chinese Contemporary Art”, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China “Living in Songzhuang”, Songzhuang Art Museum, Beijing, China “The First Today’s Documents 2007”, The Today Art Museum, Beijing, China “The Portrait of Zero Degree”, Aye Gallery, Beijing, China “Art Breakthrough – Art Beijing 2007”, Beijing, China “Vanguardias Chinas”, Dolores de Sierra Gallery, Madrid, Spain “Mahjong – Chinesische Gegenwartskunst aus der Sammlung Sigg”, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany “Hyper Design – the 6th Shanghai Biennale”, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China “The 2nd Biennale of Austria 2006”, Klagenfurt, Austria “Brush Hour 2”, Space ieum, Beijing, China; Korea “Art Breakthrough – Art Beijing 2006”, Beijing, China “Mahjong – Chinesische Gegenwartskunst aus der Sammlung Sigg”, Kunstmuseum Bern, Berne, Switzerland
2004 2002 2001 2000 1998 1996 1995 1994 1992 1991 1989 1988 1987 1985
“Yellow River – A Review of New Chinese Oil Painting”, National Museum of China, Beijing, China “Hand in Hand with the New Century – The Third Exhibition of Chinese Oil Painting”, National Museum of China, Beijing, China “2005 – Pingyao International Photography Art Exhibition”, Pingyao, China “Posers – Group Exhibition of Courtyard Gallery Artists”, Courtyard Gallery, Beijing, China “2004 Asia Contemporary Art Exhibition”, Gwangju, Korea “Appropriation and Pastiche – Pittura, fotografia e video dalla Cina. Special Project in Gotha VII”, Parma, Italy “Vigor of the Century – Contemporary Art of Chinese 50 Artists”, China Millennium Monument, Beijing, China “Anxiety: The Drawn Figure”, The University of New South Wales College of Fine Arts, New South Wales, Australia Chengdu Biennale, Chengdu, China “20th Century Chinese Oil Painting Exhibition”, National Museum of Art, Beijing, China The Mediawave Festival, Györ, Hungary “Restarting”, The Palace Museum, Beijing, China Chinese Oil Painting Annual Exhibition, Beijing Museum of Art, Beijing, China “Group Exhibition in Düsseldorf”, Düsseldorf, Germany “The April Exhibition”, The Gallery of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China “The Annual Exhibition of Works of the Artists Nominated by Art Critics”, Beijing Museum of Art, Beijing, China “Chinese New Art Post 1989”, London, UK; Marlborough Gallery, Sydney, Australia, England and Australia “91 March Exhibition”, the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China “Chinese New Art Post 1989“, Hong Kong Arts Center, Hong Kong, China; Marlborough Gallery, England and Australia “Modern Art from China”, Beijing Museum of Art, Beijing, China “An Exhibition of Modern Chinese Art”, National Museum of China, Beijing, China “Towards the Future”, Beijing Museum of Art, Beijing, China “The November Exhibtion”, the Palace Museum, Beijing, China
出版：麦勒画廊 北京-卢森 编辑：麦勒画廊 北京-卢森 文章：Heinz-Norbert Jocks 翻译：Alexandra Skwara (英), 苏伟 (中) 校对：申彤（中） 设计：李建辉 摄影：孙建伟 © 2010 麦勒画廊 北京-卢森, 夏小万 未经出版人的书面许可, 本书所有内容不可用于任何形式及目的, 包括但不限于图片复印、抄录或其他信息存储及文字转换的复制及传播。 印刷：中国, 北京
Publisher: Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne Editor: Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne Text: Heinz-Norbert Jocks Translators: Alexandra Skwara (E), Su Wei (C) Copy Editor: Anya Shen (C) Designer: Li Jianhui Photography: Sun Jianwei © 2010 Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Xia Xiaowan All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including but not limited to photocopying, transcribing or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. ISBN: 978-3-9523342-7-0 Printed in China
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