Home / 美術會專欄 On the Arts / 萬物無法,始於一畫 ── 談我的藝術觀點 Rooted in One Strokes — My Thoughts on the Arts

萬物無法,始於一畫 ── 談我的藝術觀點 Rooted in One Strokes — My Thoughts on the Arts

□ 談錫永 / 原刋於談錫永個人網站 坎坎糊 (2019 年 3 月 7 日)

很多人問筆者寫畫的觀點,特別是現在有些人重洋輕中,批評中國畫不科學,沒有透視、沒有焦點,認為中國畫應該改成為用色墨來畫的水彩畫,不但要用西洋技法,還要學西洋畫的構圖原則。因此來問筆者寫畫觀點的人,實在有兩類,一類是想知道國畫的特色,那是來請教;一類是想挑戰國畫的傳統,那是來挑剔。

第二類人,三、四十年前在香港便有。那時筆者應《信報》之邀,每星期替他寫一篇三千字左右的畫評,並附上插圖,這畫評非常叫座,連台灣的兩家藝術雜誌都重視,因此一家雜誌聘筆者為客座編輯,另一家雜誌則聘筆者為特聘顧問。這樣一來,便惹起是非了,有一位在中文大學念文學系不成,改念美術系的人,以他為主結成一個小圈子,在報章上不斷針對筆者,他們的主要觀點是否定中國畫的筆墨,認為筆只有粗細、墨只有濃淡,所以粗細濃淡不同的線條便是筆墨,根本不應成為一幅畫的要素,因為美術的要素是「效果」,不講究效果,只重視筆墨,那便是過氣的「老畫人」。這個小圈子曾一度打開局面,弄到許多學畫的年青人附和他們,畫出來的畫,便只見是符號的堆砌。

那時任真漢老兄看不過眼,跟筆者商量之後,他便寫了一本《石濤畫譜今譯》(出版時署名任瑞堯),強調石濤所推崇的「一畫」。一畫,是畫人心中的境界,用筆墨將境界表達出來,便是最高的藝術效果。所以中國畫並非沒有效果,只是不重視符號效果,或者說形象效果(所以才用散點透視,並非沒有焦點),若照石濤的說法,沒有境界則無效果可言。他說「所以有是法不能了者,反為法障之也」。畫人一味強調效果,而且認為唯有效果,那便是法障,因為他不能「了」效果之理。

甚麼是石濤所說的「一畫」?

石濤是一位禪師,他由禪理貫通畫理,由是有「一畫」之說,他說「太古無法,太朴不散,太朴一散而法自立矣。法於何立,立於一畫。」那便是說,一種無形的境界(太古),當顯現而成形時(太朴),便由此而生起種種「法」(思想及形像),這些「法」即住於一畫之上。所以「一畫之法者,蓋以無法生有法」,這跟繪畫有甚麼關係呢?石濤接着說,「夫畫者,法之表也」,所謂畫便只是將「法」表現出來,因此繪畫必須立足於一畫,因為「法」立足於一畫。

這就是國畫的最高藝術觀點了。畫必須有境界,境界必須由畫者的心胸中流出,畫的效果就是能顯現畫人的心境,筆墨則是得到這種效果的工具。

或者有人會問,西畫有沒有表達畫人心境的效果呢?當然有,如果沒有這種效果,那就只是塗鴉。不防看看印像派的畫,大部份這派的畫家都能畫出心境,因此看畫的人會移情。筆者在溫哥華看莫奈畫展,有一個洋人指着一幅畫跟筆者說,他來過展覽會七次,目的只是看其中一張風景畫,他說,因為每次來看都覺得這幅畫不同,看七次等於看七幅畫。筆者對他說,這幅畫的特色在於開放,只用色光對比來表現一個融入大自然的境界,所以每個人看這幅畫都有不同的覺受。他看這幅畫七次,每次來看時一定先有一個概念,概念變動,便覺得畫的境界有變動,假如他能夠將一切美術概念放棄,像一個小孩子一樣來看這張畫,那便能夠看出畫人融入大自然的心境效果,他沒有拿着甚麼觀點來融入自然,這才是跟大自然的真實溝通,所以十分開放。他依着筆者所說再看這幅畫,半小時後他來找筆者,說感謝筆者的提示。他也是一位畫家,他拿手機給筆者看他的作品,筆者批評說:「你太落於事物的概念了,你再作畫時試試將這些概念打破,沒有山、沒有樹、沒有屋、沒有人,山樹屋人等等都只是你心境的顯現。」他聽了之後,拿着筆者的手思維很久,然後說多謝多謝。

筆者的說法,其實就是石濤的「一畫」,他說:「古今造物之陶冶也,陰陽氣度之流行也,借筆墨以寫天地萬物,而陶流乎我也。」所謂「陶流乎我」,便是將我的心境發而為筆墨,一如大自然造物之陶冶。因為「我之為我,自有我在」,所以每個畫家都有不同的風格,所謂風格,便是表達自己心境變化的筆墨效果。筆者寫畫,常常是在茶局中冥想(不敢說是入定),忽然生起一種心境,便立即放下茶杯,走過畫桌去寫畫(不是「畫」畫)。寫畫時心境會變,那就隨着變化來寫。筆者的畫未必受人歡迎,所以只是自娛,人能夠自娛就夠了。

Rooted in One Stroke

by Tam Shek-Wing

Many ask me about my views on painting. These days, many value the Western aesthetics over the Chinese one. They claim that Chinese art is unscientific, that it lacks perspective, it lacks a focal point. They believe that Chinese painting should adopt the use of Chinese ink for watercolour paintings. Not only should one adopt the Western technique, but also the Western composition. Therefore, there are two types of people who ask me this question, those who are genuinely interested in what Chinese painting is about, and those whose sole purpose is to debunk and criticize the Chinese tradition.

The second type has long existed in Hong Kong as far back as thirty, forty years ago. At the time, Shun Po (Hong Kong Economic Journal) asked me to write a 3,000-word art column every week. With illustrations, the column became so popular that the two art magazines in Taiwan took note of it. Later I became a guest editor for one, and a consultant for the other. This way, a flurry of gossip and criticisms came a flying. One person who began his career in literature ended up in Fine Arts at Chinese University in Hong Kong. Along with him, a clique of writers began attacking me on a number of newspaper and magazine columns. Their point was to reject the use of ink and brush in Chinese painting. According to them, the Chinese brush can only be thick and thin, the Chinese ink can only be in gradients of shades. Thick and thin lines, in shades bold and light, became the meaning of brush and ink to them, which could not possibly be the defining element of a painting; to them, art is all about “impact.” If there is no impact, with only brush and ink, it is something outdated that old painters insisted upon. At once, the group became the standard among young artists; many agreed with them. Their paintings, though, were none other than a disarray of symbolism.

At the time, a Chinese painter friend of mine, Ren Zhenhan (1907-1990) couldn’t tolerate no more. After a long discussion with me, he decided to write Modern Perspective on the Paintings of Shi Tao (the book was published under the name Ren Ruiyao). In it, he emphasized Shi Tao’s notion of “one stroke.” One stroke represents the state-of-mind of a painter, expressed with the use of brush and ink is the epitome of artistic impact. It is not that Chinese paintings have no impact, it is just that the emphasis is not on the symbolism and the formalism. Just because the so-called perspective is dispersed doesn’t mean there is no focus. On the other hand, according to Shi Tao, without an artistic state-of-mind, one cannot even speak of impact. He said, “If there exists only the surface appearance, it becomes an obstruction.” So if an artist only cares about the visual impact, if one believes that art is all about the impact, it is an obstacle to the true and authentic impact.

What is “one stroke” according to Shi Tao?

Shi Tao (1642-1707) was a Chan Buddhist monk. His practice of Chan was one with his artistic practice, which became the saying of “one stroke.” He said, “The primordial is formless. When it manifests itself, it gives rise to all dharma. What is the basis of dharma? One stroke.” This is to say, there exists a realm that is formless (“the primordial”). When it manifests itself is also the arising of all “dharma” (thoughts and phenomena). Dharma is rooted in one stroke, for the non-arising gives rise all arisings. Then, what does this have to with painting? Shi said, “The painting is the expression of these arisings.” Paintings merely give them shapes and forms and therefore, the basis of painting must be one stroke, for the basis of dharma is one stroke.

This is the epitome of Chinese art. There has to be a soul to a painting, and this soul must a sincere outpour of the painter. The outcome becomes the authentic expression of a painter’s state-of-mind. Brushes and ink happen to be the tool for such impact.

Some may ask, are there not paintings in the West doing exactly that? Of course, there are. Art that is devoid of such expressions is only a form of doodling. Consider the impressionist paintings. Most impressionists were capable of such expressions and in turn, the viewers tend to be moved by them. Once I was at a Monet exhibit in Vancouver. A Westerner pointed out a painting to me and told me that he had come to the exhibit seven times already, each time he aimed to look one landscape. He said, every time he looked at the same painting, he found that there was always something different. Seven times meant seven paintings to him. I said to him, what was special about the landscape was its openness, its vastness, that with only the light radiated off of the colours expressed the state-of-mind of how one has become one with nature. This way, everyone comes away with a different feeling with the same painting. This man who saw the painting seven times. Every time he might come with some preconceived notion. When the conceptual state-of-mind changed, the change was also reflected as  changed feelings for the painting. I told him that if he could put aside all concepts about the arts and look at the painting afresh like a child, he should be able to get a sense of a painter reintegrated with nature, for Monet wasn’t attached to any particular perspective. This is the true communication, which is very liberating. Then he went off and tried again. Half an hour later he came back and thanked me, for he himself was a painter. When he showed me his paintings on his phone, I told him, “You are too conscious with the concepts of things. Consider putting them aside. Consider that there are no mountains, no trees, no houses, no people. All these things are none other than a reflection of your mind.” He held my hand and thought for a long time, then he said, thank you, thank you.

What I just said is exactly Shi Tao’s “one stroke.” He said, “How matters are sculpted in nature through time, it is the flowing vital force of yin and yang. With the use of brush and ink to express matters heaven and earth, through me, it is nature, the flow of the vital force.” Speaking of “nature, the flow of the vital force,” it is an expression of one’s realm with the brush and ink, like the sculpting of all matters in nature. The self is a self, because it is a natural existence, which is why every artist has their own style. By style, it is simply the outcome of expression of the movement of one’s state-of-mind. When I paint, it is often from in the midst of meditation during tea, something simply arises. I would put aside my teacup and walk over to the studio to begin “expressing” (not “painting”). Sometimes in the midst of a painting, my realm would change, so I go along with the change in the expression. My paintings are not always popular, so it only serves to entertain myself. If one can entertain oneself, what more can one ask for?

 

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□荔岐 /《視覺藝術》雜誌專欄作家      畫家、評論家和作家徐傳鑫先生,祖籍天津,1942年生於西安。少年時期先後在徐州、杭州、南京、蕭山、上海短住,後在天津讀書、生活三十年,畢業於天津美術學院彫塑系。祖父徐萬清北洋機器製造局出身,隨詹天佑修建隴海鐡路,出任西安站首任站長。父親徐寳林為鐡路物資局主任職員,天津法漢學校畢業,翻譯法國小說,發表於天津《大公報》、《益世報》。兄長徐培明、徐傳明於國共內戰時期先後移居台灣。     先生自少年仿寫柳帖,塗畫街景,顯露美術天份。小學時期初涉漫畫創作,中學時期專注寫生素描訓練,泛讀中外文學名著。大學時期應《河北畫報》約寫藝術評論,應邀主持暑期少年美術課程,創作獨幕話劇《大師卜勞恩》劇本,并於校園成功演出。「文革」時期,因兄長的「台灣問題」被禁止發表作品,先後從事搬運、送貨、裝訂、修堤、挖河、鉗工等工作。曾受大字報圍攻, 被視為暗藏的「階級敵人」。1968 年被入戶通宵搜查「反動罪証」,作品大部損毀或丟失。但始終不為所屈,反而加倍堅持書畫、文學創作,與畫友結伴寫生,研究西方現代藝術。      1974年,「文革」結束,加入中國美術家協會天津分會和中國作家協會天津分會。參與天津美協版畫創作組活動,黑白木刻《嚴師》於《天津文學》雜誌和《人民日報》發表。繼而黑白木刻《求索》在《天津文學》雜誌發表,並刊於該刊全國徵訂廣告單張,為《人民日報》發現並轉載。同期創作木刻品《出鋼》、《初雪》、《女焊工》、《交班之前》等。創作《智鬥鬼子士兵》、《春來牽牛》、《飛虹》、《小游擊隊員》、《草地門巴》、《意大利姑娘》、《法官和劊子手》等十一部連環畫,由河北、山東、江蘇、吉林諸省市出版社發表出版, 並為各大報刊和出版社創作大量文學插圖。   …