在空間深處的螺旋階梯背後，安放了一幅扣人心弦的暖色系畫作。明豔的橙紅色及金絲雀黃厚涂在畫布上，層次細膩分明。顏料在畫布上奔放滑翔，靛藍色乃是要從暖色系裡突圍而出。其外，藝術家彷如無視尺寸和顏料限制，毫無保留地往畫面的邊緣前進，把流質的顏料逐漸加厚，接著隨意固定在畫布表面，達致波濤洶湧的視覺效果。二零一九年完成的《孔明燈 No.2》尺寸較小，只有90 x 120釐米, 可是此因素卻沒有限制藝術家展露他對現實與象徵的研究成果。故此，我希望將要欣賞的你能夠以開懷的心態去感受呂山川系列所告訴你的話。
ARTCIPE: COULD ABSTRACTION BE A TYPE OF REALITY?
Last week, upon a visit to Contemporary by Angela Li, I was utterly surprised by Lv Shanchuan’s Simulacra series, his fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. As I entered, I was attracted by a particular daring impasto painting by the staircase. Exuberant colour sprawls across the canvas and rifles by the edge. Its dense and interwoven layers of colour rises upon the canvas, as if to defy the law of physics. Hues of crimson red, tangerine and canary yellow cascades in all directions, while the deep blue attempts to find an opening just to state its existence. Completed in 2019, the particular small scale painting titled Kongming Lanterns No.2 measures at 90 by 120cm. Despite small in size, the sheer presentation of the abstract work wholly captures my attention, as I am certain it will capture yours just as much.
Indeed, Lv’s latest series Simulacra unequivocally encompasses the beauty of abstraction. As a collective, the series is inspired by news media, and Lv invites viewers to reflect their understanding of reality versus the imaginative. While it is nearly impossible to see a direct correlation with the topic of news media through its surface, but Lv’s abstract oeuvre does evokes an exciting dialogue between reality versus the imaginative. By intentionally distorting the image into almost pure abstraction, he blurs the line between reality and representation, as what we perceive as truth could be unequal to its represented meaning, known as a symbol. As Gilbert Harman explained “there is no ordinary sense of the word ‘mean’ in which a picture of a man means a man or means that man. This suggests that Perice’s theory of signs would comprise at least three rather difference subjects: a theory of intended meaning, a theory of evidence, and a theory of pictorial depiction.” (Harman, 1977, 214)1.
As we live in a digital centric society, it certainly explains Lv’s dedication in redefining reality and representation. With the amount of news on our digital screens, each footage is merely presenting one perspective. Interestingly, as opinions begin to surface, the certainty on whether the footage is an absolute truth decreases. Speculations and fabrication appears, which diminishes credibility. Thus, Simulacra is undoubtedly a synthesis of reality and representation. Strikingly, the series conveys the artist’s response to Jean Baudrillard’s ideology of representation. It invites us to question how much reality is infiltrated into an art. Additionally, it echoes how we engage and understand news media through the age of digital technology. The boundless digital world can amplify clarity, or enhance obscurity and skepticism, making it more difficult to fully identify reality from any representation that proclaims reality.
Simulacra is a term used since the 16th Century to describe any form of representation that emulates a person or an object.
Blumson Ben, Symbol Systems, “Resemblance and Representation: An Essay in the Philosophy of Pictures”, 2014, pp.85
Image courtesy of Contemporary by Angela Li and the artist