Zhong Biao, new work

 

Zhong Biao has opened up some new vistas in his work, something which in itself is not surprising as he’s been developing and changing at least since I began following his work in 2005. This time, though, I think he’s moved in a notably new direction, call it a lateral rather than vertical innovation. Gone (at least for the moment) is the restless do-more-different style of change that drove the 2009 video installation of the Embrace! exhibition in Denver, or the 2013 ground-to-ceiling and all points in between Tailoring Clouds 裁云剪水 installation in Suzhou Art Museum. This time he has returned to oil painting, and with heightened attention, in his own words, “to the painting process itself.” This is manifest in a number of ways, including a heightened fragmentation of the image, giving his juxtapositions, both on the figural/content and abstract/figural axis, a new level of poignancy. His abstract components in particular find better ways to reside on the canvas, echoing pneuma that seem to both situate and alienate the figures they surround. The “transmigration” image is particularly deft, both building on a kind of pixelation theme which I’ve mentioned previously in this blog, but adding a watery glass-like texture at once supple and explosive. And as usual the Tibetan monastery at the center gestures towards some political content, just as it pushes that idea completely out of the image.

 

Back Lake 后海

Back Lake 后海

 

 

In the Now 当下

In the Now 当下

 

 

Transmigration 轮回

Transmigration 轮回

Yan Li in Yangzi Jiang poetry journal–seriously great photos

Some great photos in the 8/19 Yangzi Jiang 扬子江诗刊 poetry journal’s spread of Yan’s poetry and painting. The 1985 East Village one, which I’ve seen circulating before, is a fine enough specimen, but I’d never seen the 1990 Brooklyn Bridge nor the 1975 Shenyang image. Follow this LINK for complete view of post coupled with paintings.

艺事 | 诗与画·严力

 2015-08-19 严力 扬子江诗刊

严 力 1985 年 于 纽 约 东 村

严力诗人、画家、作家1954年生于北京。1973年开始诗歌创作,1979年开始绘画创作。是1979年北京先锋艺术团体“星星画会”和文学团体“今天”的成员。1984年在上海人民公园展览厅举办了国内最早的先锋艺术的个人画展。1985年从北京留学纽约并于1987年在纽约创立“一行”诗刊,任主编。作品被翻译成多种文字,目前定居上海、北京和纽约。

严力“构思系列”

材料:画布、丙烯

2014.8—2015.7

猫的联想,2014,78×100cm

马戏团,2015,82×110cm
这样的处境怎么办?2015,76×124cm
心的向往,2015,78×100cm
接地气也接香气,2015,80×100cm
画家的春情,2015,80×100cm
我的饮酒历史,2015,120×170cm
幸福总是相似的,2015,120×170cm
无论富裕还是贫穷,2015,64×100cm
秋恋,2015,88×120cm

严 力 诗 选

清明感怀

在清明感怀生命时

发现死亡没带走任何东西

种族、宗教、战争、礼帽、雨伞…….

也没带走悼词和碑文

它仅仅带走了每个人独特的指纹

而手段全都留在了人间

2015.4.5
严 力 , 2012 年 10 月

巧遇

初春去了公园的河畔

因为先辈们早就发现

语言从柳枝上刚刚垂下来时

最适合朗诵

这天还巧遇了世界诗歌日

尽管它并不比其他的节日更出彩

但它被春光勾着手臂的出场像个王

恍惚中我看见

来不及回避的黑暗

都在原地跪了下来

2015.3.21.(献给世界诗歌日)

严 力 , 纽 约 布 鲁 克 林 大 桥 , 1990

负10

以文革为主题的

诉苦大会变成了小会

小会变成了几个人聊天

聊天变成了沉默的回忆

回忆变成了寂寞的文字

文字变成了一行数字

1966—1976

老张的孙女说等于负10

2009.10


严 力 ,“ 我 和 我 的 秘 书 ”, 1991

纽约

没到过纽约就等于没到过美国

但美国人对纽约抱有戒心

到过纽约就等于延长了生命

一年就可以经历其他地方十年的经验

集中了人类社会所有种族经验的那个人

名叫纽约

在纽约可以深入地发现

自己被自己的恶毒扭曲成弹簧

世界上许多有名的弹簧

都出自纽约的压力

与犯罪和股票每分钟都有关的新闻节奏

百老汇的闪烁与警车的嘀鸣

街上的即兴表演

纽约这个巨大的音响设备

让你的肌肉在皮肤底下情不自禁地跳舞

纽约的司机

好象要带领世界的潮流去闯所有传统的红灯

但是

别忘了小费

到过纽约这个社会大学的学生们都知道

这是一个充满了犯罪学老师的地方

学生中间混杂着不少将要一夜成名的

最新的老师

其中

法律的漏洞是律师们最喜欢表现其智力的靶心

住在纽约的蜜蜂们

甚至学会了从塑料的花朵里面吸出蜂蜜

绰号”大苹果”的纽约

这苹果并非仅仅在夏娃和亚当之间传递

而是夏娃递给了夏娃

亚当递给了亚当

大声咀嚼的权力掀起了许多不繁殖后代的高潮

入夜的纽约啊

在吞噬了白天繁忙的阳光之后

早就迫不及待地解开了灯光的纽扣

坦率的欲望

就像所有的广告都擦过口红

妓女

妓女虽然是纽约非法的药

但生活常常为男人开出的药方是:

妓女一名

繁荣就是纽约骄傲的毒品

撩起你的袖子

让繁荣再为你打上一针吧

凶杀虽然很够刺激

但纽约不眨眼睛

纽约纽约

纽约是用自由编织的翅膀

胜利者雇佣了许多人替他们飞翔

多少种人生的汽车在纽约的大街上奔驰啊

不管你是什么牌子的创造发明者

或者你使用了最大的历史的轮胎

但纽约的商人已经在未来的路上设立了加油站

纽约纽约

纽约在自己的心脏里面洗血

把血洗成流向世界各地的可口可乐

1996

严 力 , 1975 年 于 沈 阳

还给我

还给我

请还给我那扇没有装过锁的门

哪怕没有房间也请还给我

还给我

请还给我早上叫醒我的那只雄鸡

哪怕被你吃掉了也请把骨头还给我

请还给我半山坡上的那曲牧歌

哪怕已经被你录在了磁带上

也请把笛子还给我

还给我

请还给我爱的空间

哪怕已经被你污染了

也请把环保的权利还给我

请还给我我与我兄弟姐妹的关系

哪怕只有半年也请还给我

请还给我整个地球

哪怕已经被你分割成

一千个国家

一亿个村庄

也请你还给我

1986


《扬子江》诗刊

大型原创汉语诗歌双月刊

江苏省作家协会主办

秉承“经典、气质、多元”的办刊宗旨

力求全方位展现当代文学作品和汉语诗歌面貌

给不同流派的诗人提供广阔的舞台

见证一线写作的探索与成果

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Seattle Art Fair




Seattle Art Fair Scene 2 Milan at Seattle Art Fair Yan Li at Seattle Art Fair Seattle Art Fair Scene 1

“I’ve been going to the Venice Biennale for at least a decade and always enjoy the stimulation of seeing the work of new and up-and-coming artists” … “In 2013 I started thinking, ‘what’s keeping us from doing this in Seattle?’”

-Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft)

 

Spent part of this past weekend with Yan Li and Seattle-based Chinese artist ZZ Wei at Seattle Art Fair.

Question, as Jen Graves observes in her piece in the Stranger on the subject from over 6 months ago, is whether or not this event is “of and for Seattle,” or, to put it her way, is this a “mother ship” landing for four days in late summer and then just evaporating like the prospect of real rain on the West coast? (to use a regional metaphor).

The answer remains to be seen, I suppose, particularly in terms of impact on the many local galleries and art outfits that were not actually involved in the event. Meantime, many art writers seem to take the position that even the fact that it happened here at all matters. One important note is that some major dealers (referred to as the “triumvirate” Gagosian, Pace, and David Zwirner) have selected Seattle over other notable cities who have had art fairs running now for the better part of a decade (Los Angeles, Dallas, for instance). Seattle has drawn attention as a worthy endeavor, which is a mark of accomplishment of sorts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ai Weiwei’s visa rejected for criminal conviction?

d0fb6a3c47cc4a089473c7f509f88c44_18

In a splendidly ironic turn, Ai Weiwei’s British visa is refused due to “criminal conviction.” This is a rare moment when authorities in the UK and in China suddenly have the same view of the man who until now could do no wrong in the eyes of Western media. Proof positive that bureaucracy is amazingly consistently mindless no matter where its in effect.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/uk-grants-ai-weiwei-6-month-visa-apologizes-for-mixup/ar-BBlgNoK

The UK has since apologized.

 

Two more recent poems by Yan Li

56 cm x 78 cm

Patching Stars with Me 从我开始修补

Yan Li is in the Seattle area for the summer. He usually spends such time in New York, but is trying this side of the US mainland for a change of pace. Its slower than he used to, I believe, and this seems to have led to a more contemplative tone in some of his work, as is in evidence from these two poems, graciously translated by Denis Mair, below. I’ve added a few of Yan Li’s more subdued, though also contrasting images to fill out the picture:

严力  21:11

2 New Poems by Yan Li, Tr.by Denis Mair
严力最新诗歌一组(2首)英文翻译:梅丹理

请安静

在一个请安静到
针也不敢掉下来的地方
我把几声质疑声扔了出去
结果连我也被安静吞了进去

如初的安静
假设我重新站在那里
不再乱扔东西
同时向卧在道德里的针学习
可我还是怀疑自己
能否成为一个被安静所邀请的人

2015.6.

PLEASE QUIET DOWN

In a place so quiet
Not even a needle dares to drop
I throw around skeptical remarks
Yet in the end I get swallowed by the quiet

Ah, quietness as if at the origin!
If I could stand there once again
I would stop throwing things recklessly
And learn from the needle hidden in my conscience
But I still doubt whether I could be
Someone whom quietness would invite

一天

我拥有
先天与后天纠缠成一天的日子
每拦下自己的一次笑脸
就会吞下一片后悔药
每删除一个动作
必源于排练过的修养
这一天的每一秒早都写入了
文学经典
每分钟有三十秒的温差一如冬夏
每小时有几场分针追击时针的战争
每半天要发生几次上下午颠倒的错觉
这一天有几百种对太阳的称呼
这一天的半夜
醒来与睡去的人一样多

2015.7.

All in a Day [1]

Within the days I have been given
Innate heaven and latter heaven are entangled
Each time I hold back a grin
I have to swallow a pill of regret
Each deletion of an impulsive act
Derives from rehearsals of self-improvement
The classics of literature have already written
About each second of this day
Each minute has a thirty-degree temperature difference
Just like summer and winter…
Each hour the minute hand chases down the hour hand
Each evening up and down get upturned again and again
This day the sun will be addressed in a few hundred ways
This day in the middle of the night
People will wake and fall asleep in equal numbers

[1] This poem is untranslatable because the word “day” and the word “heaven” are the same word in Chinese.

 

80cm x 100cm

Chinese Dream 中国梦

Yan Li, Recent Works

Zhuanzi With Bird

Yan Li’s poetry and art has been receiving a lot of attention of late in China. Among others, the online poetry portal New Poetry Canon 新诗经started in 2012 by Gao Shixian, ran a lengthy piece (#067 May 15) containing many new poems. The opening introduction to Yan’s work also includes his recent work on the Autumn Moon festival, running annually in Beijing. That introduction as follows:

严力

严力:(1954—)祖籍浙江宁海,出生于北京,旅美画家、纽约一行诗社社长、朦胧诗代表诗人之一。1973年开始诗歌创作,1979年开始绘画创作。是1979年北京先锋艺术团体“星星画会”和文学团体“今天”的成员。1984年在上海人民公园展览厅举办了国内最早的先锋艺术的个人画展。1985年从北京留学纽约并于1987年在纽约创立《一行》诗刊,任主编。2009开始主持每年一次的北京中华世纪坛中秋国际诗歌会。严力出版的有:诗集、中短篇小说集、长篇小说、散文集、画集等二十多本。画作被上海美术馆、日本福冈亚洲美术馆、以及私人收藏家收藏.作品被翻译成多种文字,目前定居上海、北京和纽约。

Yan Li: (1954-) native of Ninghai, was born in Beijing and has had long residences in New York, Shanghai and other cities. He began composing poetry in 1973, and in 1979 also joined both the avant-garde Stars artist and Today writers and artists collectives. In 1984 in Shanghai People’s Park Hall he held his first one-man show, in fact the first one-man show of avant-garde art in contemporary China. In 1985 he moved from Beijing to study in New York, and in New York in 1987 founded One Line. In 2009 he began hosting the annual Mid-Autumn Festival China Millennium Monument in Beijing international poetry meeting. Yan Li has published over 20 collections of poetry, short stories, novels, essays and other arts-related works. His paintings have been collected by Shanghai Art Museum, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, and private collectors. Works have been translated into many languages, currently we live in Shanghai, Beijing and New York.

 

Here, as well, the first poem, a short, 2-poem sequence, actually, with my translation:

 

1

对简单的形象

我一直很有亲近感

比如板凳和鞋拔子

唯有对门一直不敢轻信

主要是门后太复杂了

我还听说

为此有人在制作门的时候

特意往里面加进了敲门声

那是干什么用的呢

几十年过去了

我觉得真的很管用

门要时常敲敲自己的内心

 

DOOR 

1.

I’ve always felt close to

Those simple shapes

Like benches or shoe-horns

Only doors I don’t approach lightly

Mostly for the complexity of what lies behind them

I’ve heard that

When doormakers make doors

They often have to add a couple of knocks inside

What can that be for?

After a few decades

I discover they’re really useful

Because doors too need to knock now and again

on the doors to their own hearts

 

 

2。

关在门里的门

是卧室的门

关在门外的门

是家的大门

而从来不用关的那扇门

还没诞生

 

The door in the door

Is the bedroom door

The door outside the door

Is the front door

And the door that never needs closing

Has yet to be born