透過小克個展思考藝術價值 | Jasmine Chau

跨越2018到2019年,藝術界絕不可能錯過小克,香港著名漫畫家的展覽。其展覽作品帶動全城的熱烈討論,讓我們反思藝術的價值和本質。展覽標題「Affordable Art Like」中的「Affordable」,有著實惠的意思,好讓觀眾去思考作品的價值,自行判斷是否多麼的實惠。一直以漫畫為名的小克,現在亦能賦予他多一個藝術家的身分。以「聾貓」為漫畫和此作品系列的主題,小克特意採用它來喚起香港人的共鳴。聾貓乃是小克的最經典的主題。在此系列裡,聾貓仍然擁有圓潤的特徵,以生氣蓬勃的姿態來模仿人類性格與特徵,正正描述和反映香港人的縮影。

透過這次展覽,小克帶著聾貓,特意安排一個適合的場地來給予大芬村的匿名藝術家一點關注,一絲光芒。展覽於「海港城. 美術館」,此系列觸動觀眾們去思考藝術的本質。其中的作品也包含著電子及網絡的足跡,以符號的形式象徵一個無形的個體,從中鼓勵我們去批判社交媒體對我們的深遠影響。為這個展覽創作的過程,小克特意到大芬村,一個位於深圳的活潑藝術區,來購買匿名藝術家多幅經典作品。得確,從大芬村流出的藝術品聲明鵲起,經常被宣傳為假冒、遊客級,甚至是陳舊。接著,小克便會增添聾貓的圖像到這些作品,藉此把傳統和電子藝術媒體聯繫在一起。雖然電子世界是一種無形的個體,可是在這個年代已經能被圖像所表達。不過,圖像依然是要以傳統藝術媒體,如帆布,一種平坦方法來傳達深厚的意思。

《雁字回時》是一個優秀的例子來表達圖像的重要性。一幅用塑膠彩和油畫結合的作品,以風景畫作為背景。這幅從大芬村購買的作品擁有印象派大師的影子。作品右下方呈現兩個藍色的勾,作為「已閱讀」的表示。可是,當我們刻意撇除畫作的視覺象徵和用意,觀眾便真正能欣賞背後匿名藝術家的精湛畫作和技巧。同時,此畫也能夠引申電子世界背後的實境。當我們每天也在拍照時,也許有人會提出,說每個人其實也是在創作自己的作品。所以,匿名者不再歸於大芬村的藝術家,更可以給予電子網絡的創作者。這個小小的展覽場地也可以被視為香港與大芬村的一個重要結合,讓匿名藝術家擁有屬於他們的場地去分享作品,重拾應有的權利和尊嚴。要不是小克的眼光和欣賞,我敢肯定他們應該餘生也不會被發掘。這也是大芬村藝術家可悲的事實和命運。

在「Affordable Art Like」展覽中的二次作品確能促使我們去敏銳思考畫作的重要性和藝術市場價值。當然,匿名藝術家的作品沒有正規的歷史背景,但仔細研究便會發現每幅畫都擁有高度的靈氣和質量,同時,亦應該能通過一般評核藝術價值的幾個要素。那幾個要素包括:起源、狀況、真實性,曝光時間及質量。經典紀錄片《中國梵高》便是一個貼切的例子來呈現大芬村匿名藝術家多年沈澱的傑出技巧。這系列是以油畫展出,而作為傳統藝術媒體的一種,也是經常與畫廊及拍賣行等場地掛勾的。話雖如此,有這樣的批判思考都是源於這個展覽來激發的,讓觀眾去思索誰才有這個權力去判斷這些畫的價值。

桑塔格曾說:「真正的藝術是擁有著一股讓人害怕的能量。當我們只觀看作品的內容,再作解釋,才會有能力去制服這股能量。能夠解釋一幅畫會讓畫作變得容易、舒服。」(引述芬德利《藝術的價值》,118頁)我們是否該開始嘗試單看藝術品本身的內容,而不讓藝術家高尚名字矇蔽?也許這樣,才能公平地評核其作品的藝術價值和技巧。

Bridging 2018 to 2019 certainly includes an outstanding, controversial and popular exhibition by Siu Hak, a reputable Hong Kong based comic artist. Titled “Affordable Art Like”, it entails a vivid conversation and dialogue that questions the value of art. Respected and widely known for his comic works, this exhibition certainly adds a new identity, an artist, for the comic illustrator. While “Panda-a-Panda” is an ubiquitous character and signature of Siu Hak’s work, he intentionally incorporates such rich character to evoke a deeper resonance with his viewers. Panda-a-Panda continues to be an essential part of his oeuvre, as the highly animated and illustrated panda possess humanistic quality and personality. Composed of rounded features with distinctive comic brushstrokes, Panda-a-Panda emulates humanistic gestures in daily mundane and stressful situations, an animated epitome of Hong Kong citizens.

In his recent exhibition, Siu Hak carefully moulded a platform that gives attention to anonymous painters from Dafen Oil Painting Village, as well as Panda-a-Panda. Presented at the 海港城。美術館 Gallery By the Harbour, the series evokes our initiative to question the nature of art. In particular, a few of the paintings contains symbolism of the digital world, which in turn asks us to evaluate the inclusion and impact of social media in relationship with art creation. As part of his creating process, Siu Hak brought a lot of paintings from the infamous Dafen Oil Painting Village, an active community in Shenzhen with artists that can easily paint requested paintings that buyers consider fake, touristy and cliche. With these paintings, Siu Hak then painted the panda as an add on. Together, the appropriated version of the oil painting collapses with the concept of the digital world. The digital, something that is intangible has since been well represented using visual symbols, such as two blue ticks that translates as well received. Yet, it still takes the form of the traditional, a canvas, a two-dimensional medium to express profound messages.

“Sealed with a Bit”, an acrylic and oil painting is a fine example that translates the impact of symbols. Composed of a landscape background, with artistic style similar of the Impressionist, the bottom right corner shows an ubiquitous symbol of the “read” status. Look beyond the visual representation, the oil painting celebrates the dexterity of the anonymous painter. Simultaneously, the painting extends the reality of the digital world. As we take multiple photos daily, one can suggests we are creating art by the second. Anonymity not only applies to painters from Dafen Village, but also creators from the digital platforms. Intentionally exhibited at the Gallery by the Harbour in Hong Kong, the location of the series can be interpreted as a chance to bridge Hong Kong with the world of Dafen Village. It alludes an opportunity to offer proper ownership, respect and honour for the thousands of artistic painters who may likely be unrecognised for the rest of their lives.

While some may argue ownership and authority of these recreated classical works, upon close inspection, they do maintain a certain degree of spirituality and quality. Despite a lack in historical ownership, these works of art would likely pass 3 of the 5 main factors that determines the value of art. The factors includes provenance, condition, authenticity, exposure and quality. The infamous documentary on the “Chinese Van Gogh” is an excellent example that shows their gifted talent, accompanied by the years of practice and commissions.

With Affordable Art Like, the exposure of these recreated works critically questions the significance and market value of these works. While the value of art is often associated with the represented of galleries and auction houses, this series evokes our critical thinking in determining who has the actual authority to state the actual value of these works.

As Susan Sontag states, “real art has the capacity to make us nervous. By reducing the work of art to its content and then interpreting that, one tames the work of art. Interpretation makes art manageable, comfortable” (Findlay, The Value of Art, 118). Should we try and attempt to look beyond the artist of the piece, and truly evaluate its artistic value based on the skills and pictorial results?

#小克 #聾貓 #漫畫家 #大芬村 #藝術家 #SiuHak #comicartist #Panda-a-Panda #AffordableArtLike #anonymousartist

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