非池中藝術網

非池中藝術網

姜錫鉉-百變玩偶的千變人生劇場

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遇到姜錫鉉(Eddie Kang),是一種意外的命運偶然,在韓國著名策展人金善姬的安排下,和一位女性藝術家見面,在飯店裡巧遇了當時剛從美國回到首爾的姜錫鉉,一位充滿自信的陽光男孩,他的母親金孝貞也是一位藝術家,於是約好去看他們母子倆共用的工作室。
在一棟大樓裡,不是太大的空間陳列的大多是姜錫鉉的作品,混合媒材為主的繪畫,有的畫面上還附加了他親手縫製的布偶,看起來童趣的內容其實包含了深刻的寓意,不同於在韓國當時畫廊裡比較常見的風格。說一口流利英語的Eddie原來是小留學生,他15歲就離鄉背井到美國求學,而且出國留學是他很小的時候就根植在心中的願望。

姜錫鉉的父親是一位喜歡閱讀和考古的牙醫師,曾經夢想要效法Indiana Jones到處去探險、遊歷。父親的博學和開明,奠定了他童年的家庭教育和知識結構的基楚。母親像韓國傳統的女性一般,金孝貞結了婚就待在家裡相夫教子,一直到Eddie和他弟弟都上了幼稚園,媽媽才在家裡一個角落弄了間畫室,重拾畫筆,創作之餘,也教兩個兒子畫畫。所以,姜錫鉉和藝術結緣的源頭,就是他的母親。

說姜錫鉉從小在畫室中長大,是一點也不為過的事實,也是一種命運安排,因此他小小心靈就一直準備好長大就是要當藝術家,而且立志要出國學習,周遊列國,成為一位名享國際的藝術家。所以十五歲那年,姜錫鉉就在父母的安排下,一人獨自到美國念寄宿中學,由於他的高中成績優異,後來如願進入羅德島藝術設計學院,主修錄影和影片藝術。

由於姜錫鉉是小留學生,還未當兵就出了國,所以大學畢業後他回到首爾服2年半的替代兵役,同時思索他的未來出路。2004至2005年姜錫鉉拍攝的MTV和動畫片頻頻獲獎,原本家裡希望他會在電影產業中從事商業電影,或從事設計的工作,其實他心裡很清楚自己更鍾情於純藝術的創作。2006年他正式向父母提出決心當藝術家而不打算就業的想法,父母允許他嘗試一、兩年,看看是否能靠藝術創作謀生,再討論他的前程。

其實姜錫鉉自小在國外獨自生活,早就養成他獨立自主的思想,不只從事多媒體創作方面,具備多方面組織和管理的能力,在經營事業方面,也多有表現,他從大學時代就懂得投資股票,大學畢業後,以拍獨立製片的理念,投資經營歐洲獨立品牌的小酒坊,進口酒的事業。因此,在他全職從事創作之際,姜錫鉉已為自己安排好可以安心於創作的經濟基楚,是一位理性與感性兼備的開創者,追求卓越,似乎是他永不知疲憊的原始動力。

1980年出生的姜錫鉉,由於他的父親熱愛漫畫書,動漫畫是他從小到大日常生活裡垂手可得,無時無刻都無法脫離的環境中最熟悉的元素。他的創作所反映的,正是他這一代人的視覺樣式的偏好,也是他們最熟悉的審美角度,在天真爛漫的表象之中,其實包涵了他們的喜怒哀樂,和他們對於人生中各種狀態的感觸和反應,並不是一種單純的童趣。

繪畫性,是姜錫鉉作品裡最重要的特質,色彩、線條、肌理和畫面的質感,都是他精益求精的追求,即使他的雕塑作品,表層也是精心繪製的繪畫成果。這一種絕不鬆懈的繪畫品質要求,顯然受到母親金孝貞的影響,她的半具象繪畫,擅長於畫面細微的肌理質感處理,姜錫鉉從小耳濡目染發展出他更加一絲不苟的自我要求,不但他在角色的背景處理上投注巨大的心力,使得主題和背景達到同樣水準的完成度,這是一般藝術家常常會忽略的。要求完美的心理也特別反映在他的雕塑系列作品裡。姜錫鉉絕對無法忍受交由他人代工的效果,所有細節必需由他自己動手,在特定的助手協助之下,精心完成每一件作品。因此他的雕塑至多只願意做出二、三個版本而己,因為他的雕塑就像他的繪畫一樣,每一件都具有完整的內容和性格,以及全心投射的情感,其實是難以複製的。

姜錫鉉藝術創作是一個延續性說故事的過程,既有角色設定,也有內容腳本,他以虛擬的各種角色來描寫都會人生各種況味,過程就像他在拍一部動畫片一樣。目前已經發展出的角色有:一頭叫做「無愛(Loveless)」的狗,一個叫做「巫(Voo)」的巫術娃娃,一個叫做「抹布(Rag) 」娃娃,一頭長了尖牙的黃色兔子叫「凱比特(Cabbit) 」,一頭叫「呆呆(Moony) 」的白色兔子,一頭叫做「泡泡(Bubble) 」的粉紅熊,一頭叫做「極地(Polar) 」的紫色熊,一頭叫做「歐尼B(Oni-B) 」的怪熊,一個叫做「說書人(Storyteller)」的小丑,一個叫做「力量(Force)」的機器人,一個叫做「魯莽(Reckless)」的氣球,一頭叫做「迷失(Loss)」的貓,一頭叫做「龐斯(Pams) 」的貓熊,一頭叫做「果凍(Jelly)」的水母,然後那一頭叫做「Eddie」的猴子,其實是就是影射他自己。

在姜錫鉉的繪畫和雕塑裡,這些有趣的角色排列組合演出人生中各式各樣的遭遇,而且不斷有新的角色加入故事衍生的新陣容,好像是一場永無結局的人生劇院,千變萬化,是對於未來無法預測的無盡想像。他所設定的各種角色看起來像玩具娃娃,仔細去觀察它們都具有人的情感的表現,各種喜怒哀樂的表情,憂愁或驚恐,都不是玩偶世界所能體會的。姜錫鉉以擬人化的玩偶來隱喻人生中無可奈何的被動性,自以為是主人翁的生活,實際上處處受到包圍、牽連、掣肘,往往是無法獨立自主的現實人生。
最新完成的《Karma》系列畫作排成一列的玩偶似乎是在排演千手觀音的舞劇,《生活就像一場激戰的遊戲》用到光柵板的特色,可以從不同的角度看到圖像的變換,似乎姜錫鉉漸漸回歸他早期的動畫創作時代,朝向動力美學發展是他下一階段的目標。
姜錫鉉年輕而早慧,懂得資源整合,而且本身就是一位跨領域的經營者,不論在那一個領域,他都努力做到最高品管的要求。近期,他和韓國紡織品牌KOLON合作的服裝系列即將上市,他從2007年崛起藝壇的全方位發展,繼村上隆之後,是80後新一代全方位創作者的代表性人物,也是本人對新世紀動漫美學(Animamix) 研究的重要範例。
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Shifting Life show of Changeable dolls
Victoria

Encountered Eddie Kang was a kind of accidental fortune by chance. I met a female artist at the hotel through the arrangement of Sunhee Kim, a famous Korean curator, and happened to meet Eddie Kang there, a sunshine boy with full confidence, just coming back in Seoul from U.S then. His mother Kim, Hyo-Jung is an artist as well, and we promised to visit their shared studio thus.

In a building, not a large space, displayed mostly Eddie’s works. The main material of his paintings was mixed media and some of them were added his hand-made dolls. The contents looked fun and childlike but really involved the profound implications. This way was different from the common styles in Korea at the time. At the age of fifteen, Eddie left his hometown to U.S. for study so he can speak fluent English. To study abroad was his inner wish and which had been rooting in his very young heart.

Eddie’s father is a dentist who loves reading and archaeology; ever dreamed to explore and travel in every place just like Indiana Jones. His father’s erudition and liberality has laid the foundations of Eddie’s childhood family education and knowledge structure. Eddie’s mother, just like the Korean traditional female got married and then took care of her husband and sons. She settled a studio at a house corner right after Eddie and his younger brother went to the kindergarten; picked up her paint brushes again and taught her two sons to paint at her spare time from creating. The source of Eddie Kang’s affinity to art is from her mother for that reason.

It’s true to say Eddie grew up from the studio and this was his destiny also. Therefore, his little mind was preparing well to be an artist as soon as he became a grown-up. He was determined to study overseas and travel all over to become a famous international artist. Thus, at his fifteen, through his parents’ arrangement, Eddie set off alone to America to attend Boarding School. Due to his excellent results in high school, Eddie entered Rhode Island School of Design as his wish and took Video and Film art as his major.

For Eddie was a young overseas student, not serving in the military yet, he was back to do substitute service for two and a half years after graduating from the university, and meantime he was pondering his future. During 2004 and 2005, Eddie was awarded prizes frequently for his MTV-filming. His family originally hoped he would make commercial movies in film industry or went into designing. However, he knew very clearly in mind that he was more in love with fine art creation. In 2006, Eddie formally told his parents his decision to be an artist instead of going in employment. He was allowed to try one or two years to see if he could make a living by art or not, and then his parents could get back to discuss his future accordingly.

Living abroad all alone while he was very young, Eddie has developed his independent thinking already. Not only did he have multi-aspect capacities for management and organization in doing multimedia creation, but had many representations in running a business. He knew and invested stocks in his university period. After finishing the education, he used the concept of individual production to invest in operating bars by European individual brand mark as well as importing wine career. As a result, Eddie has settled well the economic base for him to do art creation at ease during his full-time creating. Being an initiator with both sense and sensibility, to pursue outstanding seems to be Eddie’s motive power that keeps him never burn out.

As Eddie’s father had a fondness for comic books, animations and cartoons were easy for Eddie to get in his growing days. And those became his most familiar element in his surroundings where he couldn’t escape at all times. The expression of his creation is just the preference of his generation for visional form and also their most familiar appreciation aspect. Under the naïve and innocent appearance, his creation actually contains their sweetness, bitterness, happiness, sadness and their feeling and reaction in every life status. It’s not just a simple fun and pleasure rendered.

Painting mode is the most important characteristic in Eddie Kang’s works. Colors, lines, texture and the quality of the painting surface are all his pursuit steadily for excellence. Even in his sculpture works, the surface layer is also the painting result of elaborate picturing. This demand of “never being slack” for painting quality is absolutely influenced by his mother. She is skilled in handling the subtle texture in her semi-objective paintings. Influenced imperceptibly by his mother from his childhood, Eddie develops his self-discipline more scrupulously. He puts in great effort to take care of the background of the characters so that the motif and the background could achieve equal-standard completion. And this was often ignored by general artists. Perfect-requesting mind reflects particularly on his sculpture works as well. Eddie absolutely can’t stand the effect of others’ replacement, so all the details have to get started by himself. Under certain assistants’ help, he finishes every single piece of works to the best. Therefore, he only wants to create at most two or three editions sculptures. The reason is that his sculpture is just like his painting. Every piece has its complete content and characteristic as well as his projective feelings wholeheartedly. Indeed, each creation is hard to make a copy.
Eddie’s creation is a process of continual story telling. The story has both character setting and content script. He uses various virtual characters to depict diverse tastes of urban life and this process is just like he is making an animation film. So far, he has developed the characters--a dog” Loveless”, a voodoo baby” Voo”, a doll ”Rag’, a yellow rabbit with sharp teeth “Cabbit”, a white rabbit “ Moony”, a pink bear “Bubble”, a purple bear “Polar”, a weird bear “Oni-B”, a clown “Storyteller”, a robot “Force”, a balloon “Reckless”, a cat “Loss”, a panda “Pams”, a jellyfish “Jelly” and a monkey named “Eddie”, who in fact projects himself.

In Eddie’s paintings and sculptures, these interesting characters arrange and combine to act out every kind of life episode. Moreover, there will be more new characters joining constantly in the new cast of derivational story. Then, it seems to be an endless and ever-changing life theater; be the infinite imagination towards unpredictable future. All kinds of designed characters look like toy dolls, but they actually have humanlike emotion expressions if we look at them carefully. All the expressions of delight, anger, sorrow, joy, gloom and fear can’t be comprehended in a doll’s world. Eddie metaphors helpless passivity in life with personified dolls who think they are living a master-like life, but in reality they are besieged, involved and hindered everywhere. It’s usually a fact of life that they can’t live independently.

His latest creation is “Karma” series in which the dolls are arranged in line as if they are rehearsing the dance of thousand hands Bodisattva. He uses the feature of lenticular print in the work “Life is like an intense game” so that we can see the changes of the images from different angles. It seems that Eddie gradually goes back to his early animation creation period and to develop animamix aesthetics is his goal of next stage.


Young but clever, Eddie Kang knows the resource integration. Being an interdisciplinary operator, he always does his best to reach the highest quality control in each kind of fields. Lately, the clothing series that he cooperates with Korean textile brand “KOLON” is about to enter the market. From 2007, Eddie rises from art field to omni-directional development and following Takashi Murakami becomes a representative artist of new all-round creators in 80’s. In addition, Eddie Kang is my important example of doing Animamix research as well.

Translated by Angie Chen