大设计

DESIGN

摄影 陈彦 / photos by Chen Yan

山穷水尽:“不自然”展
——中国建筑师家具“玩票”展

Unnatural: Mountain and Sea, Lost in Distance
艺术不是从肉体,而是从房屋开始的:因此,建筑艺术 为诸艺之首。最科学的建筑艺术在讲求形式的同时,总是不 停的制造面与块,把它们连接起来。所以,可以把建筑定义 为“框架”艺术,即取向各异的框架之间的衔接榫合。有人 认为,绘画的史前史是从以墙壁为框架的壁画开始,中经以 窗户为框架的彩绘玻璃,再到土地框架之内的马赛克。 哲学家德勒兹和伽塔利可以作为“不自然”展的学术顾 问,也许顺便可以给以建筑师为主的参展人利用富美家材 料创作家具找到出口——一个关于建筑师与设计师的经典问 题——榫接建筑的框架或连接平面和墙、窗、地、坡的面块 是一个充满点与对位点的复合系统,它们构成感觉的组合 体。设计也算在其中。我们才得以在这个层面上观摩参展的 作品,也可以把参展人统称为艺术家了。 “不自然”展大方的邀请 14 位建筑师与艺术家释怀中国 传统文人对自然的追求,利用富美家所提供的通常在厨房, 实验室,快餐厅中常常可见到的人造材料创造家具、玩物、 赏物,甚至从某种园景割离出来的空间。展览在北京天安时 间当代艺术中心肃穆的空间中,确与惯常的纯艺术展或设计 展有些不同,与“不自然”主题遥相呼应,也延伸出一些讨 论(这讨论也发生在貌似波澜不惊的展场)。 富美家的产品以耐用和色彩鲜明著称,艺术家们首先面 对的是材料本身的问题。德勒兹和伽塔利说,艺术作品之所 以无法摆脱相似性,是因为感觉仅与它的材料有关:感觉就 是材料本身的感知物或者情态,可以总结出例如富美家色丽 石( Surell )的温情与动态,抗倍特板( Compact )的坚忍与 内敛,彩虹芯( Colorcore )的冷傲与诚实,都在作品中有所 体现。 材料终止于何处,感觉开始于何处,其实很难断定。但 是,只要有材料,感觉在这一时间内就享受某种永恒,何谓 自然或人工呢—— 对于人工材料,祝晓峰以作品色丽石“假云”回应,意 达中国园林里的假山石。他认为材料并不重要,而我们自古 以来对自己与自然的关系的寻求没有改变,才是重要的。陈 旭东以黑白色彩虹芯与抗倍特材料的层叠造就大体量的有如 灵璧石的雕塑,造型犀利,实际上背后的逻辑是立体化的七 巧板切割。刘家琨用色丽石板营造了四色长凳,踏面凹槽中 长出草来,称为“自带庭园的长凳”。挑战物件室内外属性 之外,他表示时间不允许而“未能穿越材料的物质性做出其

Art begins not from the carnal body, but from the constructed shelter; hence, architecture stands at the fore of all the arts. The most scientific of the architectural arts stresses the importance of form even as it continually creates surfaces and bodies and links them together. Therefore we may define architecture as a “framework” art – that is to say, a form of art that acts as the mortar between a number of different such frameworks. Some believe that the prehistory of art started with murals – that is, paintings taking a wall as their framework – before progressing to (window-based) stained glass and (floor-based) mosaics. The philosophers Giles Deleuze and Felix Guattari could be considered the scholarly advisers to the “Unnatural” exhibition – and could perhaps also provide an exit – a classic problem for architects and designers – to the designers who created furniture from Formica materials. The surfaces and blocs that cement together architecture – walls, windows, floors, slopes – are a complex system of points and counterpoints forming a coherent percept. Only in this sense can we study the works in this exhibition, and consider the participants in the exhibition artists. “Unnatural” invited 14 architects and artists to explore the traditional preoccupation with the “natural” among the old Chinese literati using artificial Formica materials commonly employed in kitchens, laboratories, and fast-food restaurants to create furniture, toys, scholar’s treasures, and even spaces that look like they could have been taken from an ancient garden. The exhibit, hosted in the solemn Beijing Center for the Arts, is unlike the gallery’s usual pure-art or design exhibitions and seems at times to wander far from the theme of “unnaturalness” and to branch off into discussions (which also take place in the tranquil exhibit space). Formica’s products became known for their durability and bright colors, so the first issue the artists tackled was that of how to deal with the materials themselves. Deleuze and Guattari say that the common similarities of artworks stem from the sensations created by the materials used in the works: the sensations are the perceptions or modalities of the materials themselves and could be summarized here as, for example, the warmth and dynamism of Formica’s Surell, the durability and restraint of its Compact, and the coolness and honesty of its Colorcore – all of which are put on display in the artists’ works. Naturally enough, the sensations pick up where the materials leave off – but as long as the materials are used, there is a certain eternalness of the sensations – whether natural or artificial. Zhu Xiaofeng responds to the topic of artificial materials in his Surell piece, “Cloudery,” recalling the artificial hills of traditional Chinese gardens. Zhu believes the unceasing, unchanging, eternal search for a relationship between man and nature is more important by far than the materials used to depict it. Chen Xudong uses a folded composition of black and white Colorcore and Compact material to create a form evocative of Lingbi scholars’ stones —— an elegant form based on a three-dimensional

左页:徐甜甜《为富美家而作的家具》 Opposite page: Xu Tiantian “FFF FFF (FurnitureForFormica)”

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上图:张轲《不自然生长》 右页:马清运《柔东西》 Above: Zhang Ke“Un-natural Growing” Opposite page: Ma Qingyun “Object Manipulation”

精神”,意犹未尽。还有张轲的大型石笋装置,它们舒展化 身为桂林山水,或者暗指其它,其实他的用意之一在于“挑 战材料的不可塑造性”。马清运的“柔东西”更像魔比斯 环让人不能找到确定的安坐方向,以沉默提出可能的问题: 有了方向,是不是就有了位置?有了位置,是不是就有了身 份?…… 艺术家们对材料性质的探究也引来参展人之外的质问:家 具本是如何产生的,同人的关系以及同材料的关系如何等等。 徐甜甜的回应是,“我们是在测试这些材料的可能性”,她的 作品FFF(Furniture for Formica,为富美家而做的家具)的确挑战 了材料限度,用液体模制出张狂的四不像。设计乃至建筑的形 态(form)之争由来已久,也许必须摒弃观看单独形态而以流动 系统中的点、奇点(Singularities)、力、环境中交织的线与平面来 审察——正如ABITARE CHINA呈现空间的照片必定是有人在其 中使用它的。 追问者继续,参展艺术家是否掉入了品牌的陷阱,能否 在此过程中批判或提升命题的板材?富美家是精品品牌,却

不热衷于把自己包装成奢侈品牌,其动机确实单纯。至于依 凭品牌的旗号与组织来讨论些本该讨论的问题,以期声音更 洪亮,才是新现象。这也需要真正思索问题的人来实现。 参展人面临的另外一个大象无形的问题是中国传统的人 文趣味——孰有,孰无,孰是,孰非。中国先贤以心观物, 天人合一,在诗赋与书画中体现;明代董其昌开始从自然万 物中收回目光,讲求追摹古人古画,建立了一种传承关系, 也算不失风流。但当下的人们岂不与自然与古人双双割离? 德勒兹和伽塔利又说,有必要研究一下,不论在鸡毛蒜 皮的事物上还是面临最严重考验的时候,每一种人如何给自 己寻找领土,如何忍受并从事脱离领土,如何利用几乎任何 东西为自己重建领土——回忆,辟邪物,梦幻……社会领域 是一些难以理清的疙瘩,拥有、脱离和重建领土三种运动纠 缠在一起。如果我们要找出高古的中国与众不同之处,那么 就应当自问:先贤建立了什么样的领土?他们是如何脱离领 土的?又在哪里重建了领土?并为此找出纯属中国的典型。 华黎的“岩石椅”脱离了岩石生成的机理,成为一个岩

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tangram assembly. Liu Jiakun used Surell to create the “Bench with Garden,” a quadrochromatic bench whose convex base sprouts grass. Liu said he intended to challenge notions of the “indoor” or “outdoor” nature of objects, but that owing to time constraints he was “unable to surpass the physicality of the materials to express their spirit.” The stalagmites of Zhang Ke’s stalagmite installation recall the scenery of Guilin – or perhaps allude to other things. One of Zhang’s aims with his piece was “to challenge the implasticity of the materials.” Ma Qingyun’s “Object Manipulation,” like a Möbius strip, leaves the viewer unsure of its direction, and subtly raises the question of whether direction implies position, and whether position implies identity. The artists’ exploration of the nature of their materials also leads to questions extending beyond merely the participants in the exhibition – such as how furniture is produced, and what relationship it bears to the people who use it and the materials of which it is made. Xu Tiantian says she and the other artists were “testing the possibilities of these materials;” her work FFF (Furniture for Formica – pieces of home furniture she created for the company) does indeed challenge the limitations of the materials, using liquid casting to create strange, mischevious forms. The dispute over form in design and architecture has raged for a long time, and

requires people to do away with the tendency to focus on individual forms in favor of a fluid system encompassing the lines and planes formed from the interactions between points, singularities, forces, and environment -just as necessarily applied in the spaces photographed in Abitare. The questioner continues: did the artists participating in this show fall into the trap of branding? Were they able to decide for themselves as part of this process whether to criticize or praise the materials they were given? Formica, though a top brand, has never sought to package itself as a luxury brand – for a very simple reason. The reliance on the brand and its organization in discussing questions that ought to have been discussed to begin with, in the hopes that the discussion will be louder and clearer, is a new phenomenon, and it will require people who think long and hard about the matter. Another elephant in the room for the participants in the show is the question of traditional Chinese aesthetics: who possesses them; who doesn’t? The sages of Chinese antiquity believed that mankind was an integral part of nature, and expressed this belief in their poetry and arts; the Ming dynasty painter Dong Qichang (1555-1636) was one of the first to turn his gaze away from nature and to emulate the ancient masters and imitate ancient paintings to establish a continuous tradition. But aren’t the
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石的表象。他认为文人赏石其实是趣味问题,石头曾经是 一个符号。而他的岩石椅远看沉重,其险峻却在色丽石翩翩 展开中消融。张永和以独石结构替代传统中国屏风的木框纸 屏,通过变化色丽石的厚度(从 4 毫米至 40 毫米)达到渐变 的透明度,在角度和不同光照下变化多端,在重建屏风的过 程中用形式取代了形状。同样有形式理想的是孟岩的书架、 博古架、 CD 架合一的“书山”,虽然它既能以一幅平远画 卷不太甘心的切片存在,又能被认读为城市侵蚀山野(或农 村包围城市)的图景。取名“书山”便是为文人士族的理想 与现实铺路,让时间某一角落、空间某一时刻碰巧经过的读 书人内观自己的高远理想。另外,“书山”本来设计有可拆 卸组合的隔断,是一个变化成长的山。这令人感动: 一个对建筑师或艺术家的挑战是如何让我们感受过程的 存在,比如塞尚在他的风景中展示了它们的形成:“看那座 山,曾经是火。”( Look at the mountain, once it was fire. ) 回到展览空间,这些有很强内在性的作品在空间里分散

people of today cut off from nature and from the ancients? Deleuze and Guattari say deeper consideration is required: whether dealing with trivialities or facing the ultimate trials of their existence, how do people find a territory for themselves; how do they endure and then finally reach deterritorialization; how do they make use of whatever is to hand -memories, talismans, dreams -- in establishing another territory? The social realm is comprised of such seemingly intractable problems -- the ownership, flight from, and re-establishment of territory are inextricably linked. If we aim to find the differences between the high ancients of China and today, then we must ask ourselves what sort of territory the ancients established, how they came upon de-territorialization, and where they next moved on to -- and to this end, we must find a purely Chinese archetype. Zhang Yonghe uses monolithic slabs to replace the traditional Chinese wood-and-paper screens, varying the thickness of the Surell of which his work is made from between 4 mm and 4 cm to achieve gradations of transparency that shift and mutate depending on angle and illumination, replacing form with shape in his reimagining of the traditional screen. Meng Yan’s “Mountain Library,” combining bookshelves, antique cases, and CD racks, has a similar concept; although it could fit – albeit uneasily

左页:大舍建筑《桌-椅》 下图:祝晓峰《假云》 Opposite page: Deshaus “Table-Chair” Blow: Zhu Xiaofeng “Cloudery”

上图:张斌 / 周蔚《理石案》 右页:孟岩《书山》 Above: Zhang Bin / Zhou Wei “Table Landscape” Opposite page: Meng Yan “Mountain Library”

着,倒有些像日本的枯山水庭园——几块石头点缀在白沙 之中是为山,白沙耙出直线和曲线的条纹是为水,也默默诉 说和尚的世界一无所有,别无所求。空间给人带来环境的思 考。一个物件生于特定环境,它的内部与外围也都存在不同 的环境,旧环境被它们赋予重生。所以不能只看到它们的元 素(横坐标),还要看到它们的影响(纵坐标)。那么在山 穷水尽之处,这些家具、物件和空间何去何从,又产生什么 样的影响呢? 北京天安时间画廊会代理联系设计收藏家,之后为我们 解答。 2009,4 北京

感谢于格丽曼小朋友的自然参与 Special thanks to Geliman’s natural performance

– on a horizontal painting scroll, and could be read as an image of the city corroding the countryside (or the countryside surrounding the city). The choice of the name “Book Mountain” is intended to pave the way for the ideals and realities of the scholarly classes, and to reflect the aspirations of any literary people who might be passing by. In addition, “Book Mountain” was initially designed as an assembly of switchable modules, making it a mutable mountain. The challenge of any architect or artist is how to impress upon us the process inherent in the creation of a work – as in the way Cezanne laid bare the formation of his landscapes in their depiction: “Look at the mountain; once it was fire.” Back in the exhibition space, one finds these strongly internal works scattered around the hall, recalling somewhat traditional Japanese Zen gardens: stones scattered as mountains on a bed of white sand raked into straight or curved lines to represent water -- and reaffirming the spareness and austerity of the monks’ lives. Spaces bring thoughts of environment: objects are products of a given environment, within and without which exist other environments by which old environments are reinvigorated. One can’t simply look at the elements of environments - their abcissa or X-coordinates; one must also consider their affects - their ordinates or Y-coordinates. In the end, then, what is one to make of this furniture, these objects and spaces, and what affects do they produce? The Beijing Center for the Arts will serve to connect the designers with collectors, and will answer these questions in the future. April 2009, Beijing

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张永和《厚薄折》/ Zhang Yonghe “Thick Thin Fold”

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