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如果山河可以诉说:大都会的诗意中国山水

更新时间:2017-9-15 12:41:24 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Chinese Landscapes at the Met: If Those Mountains Could Talk
如果山河可以诉说:大都会的诗意中国山水

If you’ve seen only ash-aired Beijing, or that architectural Oz, Shanghai, you haven’t seen China. Most of the country is wide-open space, green and blue: hills, plains, water. And it was an escape to that openness that some Chinese urbanites — clerks pinned to desks, scholar-officials swimming in a shark-tank imperial court — yearned for in centuries past. Their dream was to sit in on a terrace halfway up a mountain, with tea steeping, an ink-brush at hand, a friend at the door and a waterfall splashing nearby. Not just for vacation. Forever.

如果你只见过灰尘漫天的北京,或者建筑幻境上海,你就不算见过中国。这个国家的大部分地方是青山绿水的开阔空间。几个世纪以来,中国的城里人——被拴在办公桌前的职员,混迹于勾心斗角的朝廷的文人官员——一心向往着世外桃源的生活。他们的梦想是坐在山中的亭台饮茶作画,听着瀑布飞泉的鸣响,款待来访的友人。不只是度个假那么简单。要的是长久如此。

One way they could live the dream was through images of the kind seen in “Streams and Mountains Without End: Landscape Traditions of China” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The show, in the Chinese paintings and calligraphy galleries, is technically a collection reinstallation spiced with a few loans. But the Met’s China holdings are so broad and deep that some of the pictures here are resurfacing for the first time in almost a decade; one is finally making its debut a century after it was acquired. And there’s more than just painting on view.

要畅想这样的梦幻生活,其中一个办法是通过“溪山无尽——中国传统山水”(Streams and Mountains Without End: Landscape Traditions of China)中展出的这种画面。大都会艺术博物馆(Metropolitan Museum of Art)在其中国书画厅举办的这场展览,严格意义上讲只是对馆藏的重新布置,另外点缀了几件租借展品。然而大都会拥有广博而深厚的中国收藏,以至于其中一些作品已有近十年没有出现在公众面前;有一件作品更是在一个世纪前收入馆中,直到这一次才得到展出。此外本展收入的作品不只是绘画。

A longing for the natural world, or some version of it, real or ideal, saturated Chinese elite culture. Images of it turned up everywhere — on porcelain vases, cloisonné bowls, silk robes and jade sculptures. The most effective medium for imaginatively entering a landscape, though, was painting, and specifically in two forms, the hanging scroll and the hand scroll, both traditionally done in ink on silk.

对大自然的向往——或某一种形式的大自然,无论是源自真实还是空想——深深浸透在中国精英文化之中。自然的图景可见于陶瓷花瓶、掐丝珐琅碗、丝绸袍服和玉石雕塑等等一切地方。然而要让自己的想象力徜徉于风景之中,最有效的媒介莫过于绘画,具体来说有两种形式——立轴与手卷,两者传统上都会采用绢本水墨作为媒介。

The show opens with a hanging scroll: vertical, monumental, as tall as a door; you can see it, and read it, from a long gallery away. Titled “Viewing a Waterfall From a Mountain Pavilion” and dated 1700, it’s by Li Yin, a talented jobber who supplied art for the Qing dynasty equivalent of McMansions. The scene depicted is a narrow rocky gorge in which we, as viewers, are positioned low and looking up. A bit above us is a peaked-roof pavilion on a rock. Two men stand on its terrace taking in the scene.

本展中首先看到的是一幅挂轴:竖向的大幅作品,有一扇门那么高;观众站在展厅另一头,远远地就能看到它,读到上面的字。这幅作于1700年的《高阁观瀑图》出自李寅之手,他是一位极具才华的清代职业画家,画了许多用来当大宅装饰品的画作,类似于美国人的麦克豪宅(McMansion)。画中描绘了一道狭长的山谷,作为观众的我们被放置在景观的下方,要抬头仰望。一块岩石上有一座尖顶的楼阁。两个男人站在亭台上观赏景色。

And quite a scene it is. Cliffs soar skyward; torrents stream down. This is a nature as a theater of big, dwarfing effects. And it’s charged with a weird, creaturely energy. Trees claw the air like dragons. The rock the pavilion rests on looks like some giant pachyderm. The world isn’t just alive here; it’s sentient, reactive. The men on the terrace appear unperturbed, but surely inwardly, like us, they’re thrilled.

而那景色又是何其壮美。高耸的悬崖;溪水在山涧奔流而下。自然景象制造了一种宏大的、令人自觉渺小的效果。其中充满了一股怪异而鲜活的能量。树的枝杈像龙爪在空中伸展。楼阁下的岩石像某种巨大的厚皮动物。这一切不仅是有生命的,还是有知觉与反应的。亭台上的男人看上去气定神闲,然而在他们的内心,想必和我们一样目瞪口呆。

Hanging scrolls deliver their basic image fast — pow! — then leave you to sort out details. A second form of landscape painting, the hand scroll, operates on a different dynamic. When viewed as intended, slowly unrolled on a tabletop, one section at a time, it’s a cinematic experience, about anticipation, suspense, what’s coming next.

挂轴山水会以迅猛之势将它们的基本意象传达给你——嘭!——然后让你自己去梳理其细节。另一种山水画形式——手卷则有着不同的内在机制。画作被置于桌面上,缓慢地转动画轴,每次只能看到一部分,这是一种电影式的体验,关键在于期待、悬念,接下来会看到什么。
There’s a classic 15th-century example in the show’s opening gallery called “The Four Seasons,” by an unidentified artist. If “Viewing a Waterfall From a Mountain Pavilion” is a dramatic ascent, “The Four Seasons” is a cross-country hike. Over its horizontal length of almost 36 feet it takes you countless miles and through a full year. At the Met, it’s displayed unrolled, so you get the idea of a panorama right away. But the real pleasures lie in walking the walk.

在本展的开幕展厅里就有一件十五世纪的典范之作,出自佚名画家的《四时山水卷》。如果说《高阁观瀑图》是一次震撼人心的登顶,那么《四时山水卷》就是一场徒步越野。全画长近36英尺,呈现的是时间跨度为整整一年的景色。在大都会的展览上,画作是完全打开的,因此你可以将全画尽收眼底。然而真正的乐趣是沿着画作行走。

The journey starts from the far right. It’s spring, and sights come fast — a tiny waterfall, budding trees, a curl of smoke. Then you see summer workers hauling a boat by a whisker-fine rope. Mountains loom, contoured like muscles; they’re worth a pause. Then openness. Sky, sky, sky, until its whiteness shades into autumn mist, which shades into what may be an iced-over lake. Winter: scratchy trees; hunkered-down houses; lamps in windows. And all the way to left, at the scroll’s edge, a bridge ends mid-arch, leading where? Back to Spring.

旅程的起点是画作右端。此时是春天,看点有很多——一个小小的瀑布,几棵新生的树,一缕烟雾。然后到了夏天,纤夫用细细的绳索拖着船前行。巍然屹立的高山有着肌肉般的轮廓,足以令你驻足。接下来是一片空旷地带。辽阔的天空白蒙蒙的,一眼望不到头,直到渐渐被秋日的雾霭盖过,而取代那雾霭的,则似乎是一个冰封的湖泊。冬天来了:枯瘦的树木;低矮的房屋;窗前的灯火。到了卷轴左端的边缘,有一座只有一半的拱桥,它通往何方?春天。

The stylistic variations possible within these two formats are practically endless. So are the thematic uses — personal, historical, political and practical — to which landscape images can be put. Joseph Scheier-Dolberg, an assistant curator in the museum’s Asian art department, has designed the show to give a sense of all this.

这两种形式带来的风格变化是无穷的。山水的题材用途也有无限可能性——可以是个人的、历史的、政治的、实用的。大都会亚洲艺术部助理主任史耀华(Joseph Scheier-Dolberg)就是希望通过这场展览的策划,让人们领略到这些。

In a section called “The Poetic Landscape,” he links nature painting to Chinese literary tradition. Common to both was a goal of making mood — existential atmosphere — primary content. A 14th-century hanging scroll by the Yuan painter Tang Di is based on a couplet by the famed poet Wang Wei (A.D. 699-759). Wang’s poem is telegraphically stark:

在“诗意山水”部分,他将山水画与中国文学传统联系起来。二者的共同之处在于以“意”——一种关乎存在的氛围——作为主要内容。展中的一幅14世纪挂轴是元代画家唐棣根据著名诗人王维(公元699–759)的诗句创作的。王维的诗歌是简练的白描:

I walk to where the water ends

行到水穷处,

And sit and watch as clouds arise.

坐看云起时。

Tang’s landscape, gnarly, dark and Gothic, catches the couplet’s depressive tread.

唐棣的山水画粗犷、幽暗、阴森,将诗句的颓丧步态呈现了出来。

Some poem-picture pairings play with contrasts. Another great early poet, Li Bo (701-762), wrote about a journey he took to Sichuan, anciently known as Shu. The trip, as he described it, was a killer, up hellish mountains, along terrifying, sheer-drop paths. But a painted response to his poem by the 18th-century artist Gu Fuzhen makes the experience feel festive, fun. In Gu’s hand scroll “The Road to Shu,” the mountains are toasty brown and shaped like scones, sweet enough to eat.

一些诗与画的搭配则是在对比上做文章。另一位古代大诗人李白(701-762)曾在诗中描写自己前往四川(古称蜀)的旅行。在他笔下,这段旅行难于上青天,要攀登高山,走过险峻的道路。但是,18世纪画家顾符稹为这首诗创作的画让这一过程显得如同节庆,充满乐趣。在顾符稹的手卷《蜀道图》中,群山呈现吐司片般的棕色,形状则像是司康饼,堪称秀色可餐。

No culture has ever been more history-obsessed than China’s. And as time went on, landscape images were less and less based on nature observed and more and more on old paintings. The Ming dynasty artist and theorist Dong Qichang (1555-1636) systemized a practice of simultaneously channeling and customizing the work of past masters. And in a section of the show, “The Art-Historical Landscape,” Dong presides over a star-studded echo chamber of acolytes, who emulate him emulating earlier art.

没有任何一种文化比中国文化更加痴迷于历史。随着时间推移,山水画渐渐摆脱了对自然的观察,更多地转向对古画的仿作。明代画家和理论家董其昌(1555-1636)将临摹过去大师作品的做法进行了系统化总结。在展出的“艺术史山水”环节中,董其昌的理论引出众多大名鼎鼎的追随者,他们都效仿他对古人的作品进行模仿。

As cities grew larger and more crowded, and a socially aspiring merchant class came to power, the age-old custom of building private formal gardens — enclosed, compressed, designer landscapes — gained popularity. Such gardens became frequent subjects of paintings, and two examples in the show are notable.

随着城市规模越来越大,人口越来越多,商人阶层开始崛起,建造私家园林的习惯日益兴盛。这些封闭、浓缩的设计师景观也日益成为绘画题材,本展中有两个范例值得留意。

One, a small, crinkly hand scroll by a 19th-century artist named Yang Tianbi is on first-time view at the Met, though it’s been in the vaults for ages. It was the first Chinese painting the museum ever acquired, though it did so almost by accident. The painting made an inconspicuous arrival in 1902, rolled up and stuck in a brush holder that had come with a cache of jade carvings. Now, 115 years later, it takes a public bow.

一幅是19世纪画家杨天璧的手卷,这幅发皱的小画已由大都会收藏多年,此次却是头一回展出。它是博物馆收藏的第一幅中国画,不过几乎纯属意外。1902年,它被卷着塞在一个笔筒里,悄无声息地和一批玉雕一起来到这里。如今,115年后,它终于重见天日。

A second, much larger hand scroll, by the contemporary Beijing painter Hao Liang (born 1983), came to the collection just this year, and it’s an arresting sight. An extended, ghostly-gray, almost anime-style vision of mythical gardens past — including Wang Wei’s — it ends with a garish 21st-century development: a garden as an amusement park, with an immense, robotic Ferris wheel spewing riders off into space.

另一幅手卷要大得多,是来自北京当代画家郝量(1983年出生)的一幅引人入胜的作品,于今年加入馆藏。画面上是绵延的、如同幽灵般的灰色,一个个动漫风格的神秘花园出现在眼前——其中也包括王维的花园——卷轴最后是花哨俗气的21世纪风情:被用作玩乐之用的花园里,一个巨型机器人般的摩天轮把游客送往太空。

The art in the show’s concluding section, “The Riverscape,” is historical but feels familiar, like recently heard news. No more poetry, or, not much. Here the image of nature is a political tool: a survey map, a surveillance device, a deed of ownership. In a supersized 18th-century hand scroll, one of a set of 12 titled “The Qianlong Emperor’s Southern Inspection Tour,” documents a real event, an imperial tour that took place in 1751.

展览结尾部分名为“河景”,其中的展品虽年代久远,却又令人感觉熟悉,就像前不久听到的新闻一样。不再有诗歌,至多只有寥寥几句。自然的意象在这里成了一种政治工具:一份测绘地图、一件监视装置,一份所有权契据。展品中还有一件18世纪巨幅手卷,属于一套由12幅画组成的《乾隆南巡图》的一部分,记载了1751年皇帝出巡的真实历史事件。

In the painting, the great ruler shows up in the provinces, somewhere along a rain-swollen Yellow River, to ceremonially review a flood prevention project. The visit draws a strangely dutiful, cheerless local crowd. It’s as if everyone knows what’s really happening — a leader is reasserting a claim to his realm; to his own, personal streams and mountains without end. And yet, as everywhere in this lovely show, nature has a final word. The emperor, doing his emperor thing, is little more than a dot against the river behind him, which rolls on.

在这幅画中,这位伟大的统治者出现在遭受涝灾的黄河流域各个省份,仪式性地视察了防洪工程。一群顺从得有些古怪、神情黯淡的百姓前来围观。好像所有人都知道真正发生的事情是什么——一个领导者正在重申对疆土的所有权;这些广袤无垠的山川河流都是他一个人的。然而,和其他地方的这类可爱作秀一样,最终还是由大自然说了算。皇帝做着皇帝该做的事情,然而同身后奔腾不息的河流相比,他只不过是一个小小的点。

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