Era of Lacquer Language
Source:Artintern Author:Chen Qinqun Date: 2016-07-11 Size:
As an important center of lacquer art in modern and contemporary times of China……

III. Space (Nature of things/Nature of mind)  

Lacquer art is the media material with biggest ability to create space. From the Warring States Period to Qin and Han Dynasties in China, the ancient philosophers, Emperor Qin and Emperor Wu of Han all lived in the prosperous period of lacquer wares which lasted for nearly five hundred years. Tens of thousands of lacquer wares can be named and described. It is imaginable that people, living in the living space with lacquer furniture, cultivated the most creative thoughts of hundreds of schools in ancient China. Will the engaged people in modern times still have the interests to look back on China in ancient times: a splendid era of lacquer wares? From food container painted with flow ink and lacquer mentioned in Ten Faults by Han Feizi to Tao Yuanming's no-stringed lyre, from the idiom "keep the glittering casket and give back the pearls to the seller" and "a wife lifts the tray to a level with her eyebrows to show great respect for her husband" to "flow winding and wineglasses drifting" in Preface of Lanting and etc., lacquer wares bear the national etiquette, stories, thoughts and feelings. With the disappearance of classical lacquer wares in daily life, the accompanying classical situations have crashed into cultural fragments that cannot be restored completely. It is the special shapes, colors and texture created by traditional materials that cultivate unique feelings, emotions and realm of Chinese people. Therefore, we should stick to the traditional material techniques and relive the rich and delicate feelings of lacquer art that has been lost by the present Chinese. Through handcraft, we connect and integrate the soul and media material of lacquer, and pay attention to the presentation and recreation of oriental culture. Besides, we should be devoted to using uniqueness of lacquer to create spiritual space and make it a direction of contemporary molding of lacquer art. The space created by lacquer is multidimensional, and it can be an area for ceremony, a deduction of concept and a space for spiritual production.

This exhibition pays more attention to the cross-material and cross-border attempts, and it focuses on the spiritual space of works and the breadth and depth of topics. There are few ready-made lacquer wares in this exhibition. The biggest confusion of lacquer in the old wares is to erase the wrapped slurry of time, while the beautiful new wares usually become a part of landscape or props. Therefore, even from the perspective of design, the lacquer space should also transcend design or be a paradox. It should be able to provide space for thinking and imagination; otherwise it will be degraded to an exhibition of lacquer furniture. Space is an experimental display. It may contain extremely intelligent devices with visual tension, or maybe a self-talking exploration, and even a brave attempt like wearing the Emperor's new clothes. The form, in its initial stage of exploration, will definitely get great achievement in time.

IV. Lacquer art of foreign countries

As with the previous international lacquer exhibition, artists from Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, America, European countries and Chinese Taipei have shown their consistent level and characteristics, especially artists from Japan and Vietnam. The tradition of learning and teaching is conducted uninterruptedly by dozens of generations of descendants in the field of lacquer art in Japan. They absorb the context of western modernism and post-modernism, and remain the expression and confidence of oriental media material at the same time. It may be the most vivid reflection of "Japanese spirits, but Western materials" proposed by Japanese ideologist Fukuzawa Yukichi in the field of lacquer art in Japan where greatly stresses classic inheritance. Lacking uninterrupted accumulation by dozens of generations, Chinese lacquer art ushers in the beauty of western style in the background of deep cultural fault of lacquer, which is the context of weak culture facing the modernity of Chinese lacquer art home and abroad. At the beginning of last century, Shen Fuwen and Li Zhiqing successively learned in Japan, which marks the end of cultural fault of lacquer.

If Japan lacquer art is a mirror, Vietnam lacquer painting is another good example for China's lacquer painting. There are a dozen of lacquer painters who was born in 1900 or 1910s, and they are Ruan Jiazhi's contemporaries, such as Fan Hou (1903—1995), Chen Wenjin, Ruan Wengui and Chen Tingshou. However, there are only two or three lacquer painters in the same period of China, such as Shen Fuwen. It is noticeable that the first generation of lacquer painters in Vietnam has completed the important process of finding themselves by learning from the West in the 1930s, while leaders of lacquer painting in various regions of China are still in their childhood or juvenile period in 1930s. The work describing great scene of national temple fair was completed by Ruan Wengui at 19 years old. They own instinct premature wisdom in materials, techniques and national awareness of patterns of lacquer paintings. The invited three generations of Vietnamese lacquer painters are representatives to keep national characteristics in the influence of western paintings.

To varying degrees, Japan and Vietnam both present national confidence in lacquer art. It should be said that if people are more confident to their culture with educated quality and accumulation, they will be more comfortable in art creation.

As an important center of lacquer art in modern and contemporary times, Fuzhou owns a good tradition of lacquer culture. Studies on lacquer language in different stage all present different thinking models: from "Studying the nature of things" proposed by folk workshops represented by the Shen family, to "Information aggregation and problems tackling" of lacquer art research institutes after the foundation of the People's Republic of China, to "Point-line-surface creativity" of lacquer art studios after the reform and opening up, until the model of "from technology form to subject form" of colleges and universities in the new century. With rich lacquer techniques and lacquer language and wide and various platforms for lacquer exchanges, Fuzhou will absolutely keep its proper height and spirit in the era of lacquer language, and continue to promote the prosperity and development of China's lacquer art.

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[Editor] 张艳