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非池中藝術網

尊彩藝術中心:【心的遠景—讀金芬華 The Vision of the Heart – A Reading of King Fen-Hwa】

2014-04-30|撰文者:鄭乃銘 《CANS藝術新聞》總編輯


心的遠景—讀金芬華

文|鄭乃銘 《CANS藝術新聞》總編輯

紛紛墜葉飄香砌,夜寂靜,寒聲碎。….范仲淹〈御街行〉

金芬華的作品,始終瀰漫著一股柔性的倔強。

極少有藝術家是採取這般方式來作表白,如此直喇喇的告訴觀者;自己對藝術的「態度」。

現在的藝術創作者在作品表現上,多數是為了「畫」給觀者看。但是,金芬華卻不純然只是畫;她似乎也不那麼是為了服務某些觀賞的眼光。她固然也是在作品的畫面上挪置了大自然的物件,但這樣的構圖或安排感覺不像是為了自然界做某種綵排;也沒有刻意想要去暗喻自然生命的起終,她的畫;是自己內心一道道風景,一種她自我觀視之下所獲取的怡然,說與人聽;也行,但也不那麼在意你是否同不同意、認不認同她的所謂。

話雖如此,身為觀者的你;卻總還是在她的畫前,一看;就忘了時間在旁邊走動!

2014年的近作發表,有一組系列她嘗試拿掉了花及枝葉…等等物件,整個畫面因為沒有現實世界的具體物件,只留下空間;寂靜;但卻絲毫不顯淒寒。金芬華只有在畫面留下由直線與橫線所構造而成的格子,畫面的顏色約略是兩個主調:粉紅與亮橘,這兩個主色調或在上或在下、或大也或小;相互依靠,卻也各自擁護著自己的寂靜。只是,在這樣的色調主控全場之下,則夾雜著一些色彩的高音在裡面,或白、或青綠...,也許只是像格子般大小;但也會出現短橫線般的連續性格子。一種極端的簡練線性畫面演繹成為心理的無限大張力,這樣的作品,已經不能被視為一種繪畫的構圖或技巧的呈現;而應當回歸到我一開始所提到的「態度」問題。這組作品之所以令人傾心,關鍵在於金芬華賦予這組創作的「態度」。

照理講,採取規則式的構圖或比較單一性的顏色,對於觀者會是視覺上的考驗,甚至也有可能造成視覺上的被催眠,反而忽略掉作品背後或其它細節。金芬華多年來作品就出現格子,這些格子都經丈量距離、拉線、塗底;再拉掉線之後,一格格上色;經由反覆上色才算完成。假設,藝術家在如此規格化的工作過程裡面,略顯出一絲不耐或情緒上的張揚,格子與上色;就會出現無法繼續承受下去的「走精」現象。我在這組系列品裡,看到金芬華對待自己的態度,那是一份對個人心性的自我鍛鍊,而非出自一種虐心行為。她在這些極端規整而不能有所逾矩的繪畫行徑中,反覆去磨練著自己看待生命與事物的方法,色彩的本身不是一份複製,卻出落得自有一份體溫,那如范仲淹〈御街行〉所言『年年今夜,月華如練,長是人千里….都來此事,眉間心上,無計相迴避』的沉靜與篤定。

我其實並不認為這類創作風格是較具抽象化。原因在於這樣的作品,更深沉是去細細描繪藝術家內在心繫所在,它屬於一種內化情感的傳導,而不是對於大自然或現實世界的寫生或生命綵排。整個作品煥發出一股自我整理之後的排序感,顯現出情感的初處;已經不再張狂、粗糙,而是沉澱之後,不再為格子所堆砌出來的曾經給惹惱。所謂『眉間心上,無計相迴避』,是淡定、是豁然,而不是心虛的蠢動。

花若離枝隨蓮去,擱開已離無同時;葉若離土隨黃去,擱發已經無同位。

….蔡振南〈花若離枝〉

「情感」,在金芬華的藝術裡是隱性的。

水瓶座的金芬華,崇尚自由;但她卻喜歡在作品裡面規範自己的自由。這,有點矛盾,可是卻成為探究她與作品最有趣的點。

金芬華告訴我,她脾氣不好,如果沒有在面對作品的時候,透過畫格子來安定自己的情緒,大概會更一發不可收拾。因此,畫格子;無疑也就成為她創作過程對於自我鍛鍊或者對於自我成全的一種入徑。她自認是一位不喜歡受到拘束的人。可是,她卻甘於在線的拉扯之間,讓自己耽溺在一格格的空格裡…填色,而且不容有一點閃失!

這份玩味的糾結,在她的作品顯影得極為清晰。例如,觀者能夠從她一系列的作品裡,看到她是如何極盡「工整」地讓自己的心緒不至於越軌,每條線與色彩都在她的充分掌控之下,恪守孤獨但不能顯露出寂寞的本質。但,身為觀眾的你;萬萬不要被這樣的構圖給矇了。

金芬華習慣在她的作品裡,架設出空間的景序,底景是一大片井然有序的方格,但是前方則是那仿若處於失重狀態下的花、枝枒、葉子、蝴蝶…等等生命。她讓畫面處在一個時空的罅隙,這個罅隙的空間感極端自我、隱密;但卻富於想像,且與外界形成一種不接觸的對立。不過,卻也彰顯出一開始所提到她的藝術哲學;那是她內心的一道道風景,說與不說,無關風月。

我在金芬華的藝術當中,讀到一位現代女性不願揹俗卻也不致於讓自己陷入過於悖俗的性格。

傳統畫家在面對諸如像風景或者靜物題材的時候,不論性別;始終迫不及待想要示人的點,就是希望呈現那份豐碩的飽滿生命。同時,這類的作品總會讓畫面緊緊咬住物或景與土地(環境)間的親暱。

可是,金芬華卻完全不來這一套。

她畫花,碩大豐美的花(尤其酷愛畫富貴的牡丹或芍藥),盡是離枝且離葉,但卻依舊固執地護守著風華。如果說,蔡振南所寫的〈花若離枝〉這首歌詞:『花若離枝隨蓮去』,明白指出花離開了枝葉就會迅即凋零、斷落了生命的供養,那麼這樣的說法無疑是比較傾向保守;屬於油蔴菜籽那種極為宿命觀的舊時代女性思維。金芬華非常喜歡這首歌的歌詞,但如此思維換到自己手中,則生成另外一道迥然不同的風景。她擷取花體的這個題旨,引喻出傳統性別的處境,但卻大力撇除傳統概念裡;一旦少了土地的呵護、缺乏樹身的照蔭,則就毫無立身之處。她在畫面裡面,首先對空間本身的既定約俗徹底抽乾,她讓空間呈現一股全然失重的飄浮感,接著則讓花體與其它的生命細節彼此都沒有相互依靠、牽扯,但卻保有自己生命的獨立感與丰采。金芬華在這個地方的處置,絕對是屬於那種完全的反骨。但,她所採取的語言一點也不激昂,甚至也沒有特別在作品裡去強烈指責傳統慣性是不妥。她,不疾不徐地說出自己的心念、自己的觀視。

不過,我在前面所講的糾結之處,就在於她既然能夠讓生命在一個失重狀態煥發丰采,且又不失豐實,卻讓畫面空間的背景都被架構在一格格「框框」當中,這鋪天蓋地的格子,總是沉默;一如金芬華性格底層那份喜愛不受拘束,但也不會讓自己因為自由而少了規範。金芬華一方面陳述對於生命可望不受束縛的崇尚之餘,卻也始終行走在軌道的鋪陳之上,這就好像她開了臉書帳戶,但卻不全然開放,而是有選擇性開放、去接觸、去面對外界訊息進出的衝撞。印度詩人泰戈爾有首詩說『壓迫著我的,到底是我想要外出的靈魂呢?還是那世界的靈魂,敲著我心的門,想要進來呢』?而對金芬華來說,出與進;她心中的那把尺,顯然都沒有放下過!

果的事業是尊貴的、花的事業是甜美的,但是;讓我做葉的事業吧!

葉是謙遜的,專心地垂著綠蔭的。 ….泰戈爾〈飛鳥集〉

態度、情感,金芬華的藝術裡,更有一份對生命的「豁達」。

但我堅信這份「豁達」,應當也是源自金芬華在一路的創作過程裡,對生命觀視的一份訓練。

台大商學系畢業的她,被教育出一定的組織邏輯能力,擅長在規矩裡面運轉,可是又喜歡略微地挑釁規矩。她覺得自己是一個容易焦慮的人。每每遭遇到這個情況,最好是選擇一些重複性、不需要太動腦但又需要專注的事情來讓自己安定下來。幸虧在面對畫布的時候,能夠以畫格子來讓焦慮的心情得以回復平靜。

但我倒想從另外一個角度來解釋這層關係。從心理層面來說,畫面上顯著用心經營的格子,多少也能被拿來意味著金芬華內心某種不安全感,格子;就是一種屏障、一道能夠讓她能杜絕外界干擾;且能滿足自己自閉性格的圍籬。因此,在這道圍牆裡面,金芬華就好像處在一個時間能夠暫停的失重狀態,繁花、枝幹…自然生命的種種,能夠不再需要墨守常規,就算離枝又離葉也得以繁榮燦爛。

金芬華在作品架構裡面,設置了「心障」;卻也放置了她渴求不被現實所役的「自我解放」,在糾結的對峙之中,她逐漸爬梳出來自生活本質性的簡單與豐厚,原是對於自我的充分依賴;而不是建立在與他體間的相互糾纏,才稱得上圓滿。因此,她筆下的花體與自然界生命細節,形單影隻;但卻不流於寂寞。這就好像換另外個方式探觸內心,睜眼看到玫瑰;也能看到它身上的刺。心界;底定,視界;自然走得更遠。

The Vision of the Heart – A Reading of King Fen-Hwa

Written by Cheng Nai-Ming

Withered leaves fall o’er fragrant steps shower by shower;

In night so still, the shivering sound’s chill.

── Fan Zhongyan, Song of the Royal Street

King Fen-Hwa’s artworks are always filled with a soft stubbornness.

Not too many artists make a confession like this, directly telling viewers their “attitude” toward art.

Most of the artists nowadays are “paintings” for viewers in their artistic practice. However, what King Fen-Hwa does is more than painting. It seems that she does not serve some viewers’ perspective. Although she appropriates natural scenes in the images of her works, she never attempts to make the composition as some rehearsal for Nature or to intentionally imply the beginning and the termination of natural life. Her paintings are the landscape in her heart. It is a relieved inner peace achieved from her self-examination. It is fine to share it with others, but whether you agree with her or not does not really matter.

Nevertheless, a viewer like you still stands in front of her painting, forgetting the passing of time. In this year’s exhibits of her recent works, there is a series works where she attempts to remove the flowers, branches, and the leaves, leaving the images without any traces of the real world but the space only. In the silence, no miserable loneliness is felt. King Fen-Hwa leaves the grids, constituted by the vertical and horizontal lines, in the images, while the main colors of the images are pink and bright orange. The two main colors are either big or small. Sometimes it is on the top of the other, while sometimes it is the other way around. They mutually lean on to each other, but they also hold on to their own solitude. However, while the two main colors dominate the whole images, there are still some penetrating colors scattered around, such as white or light green. They might be as small as the grid, but sometimes they are like the continuous grids placed as short horizontal lines. An extremely simple image is transformed into the extremely strong intensity of one’s psychology. Such an artwork can no longer be regarded as the demonstration of the composition or the skill of painting, but the issue of “attitude” as I have mentioned it in the very beginning. The reason why this series works are impressive and fascinating is the “attitude” given by King Fen-Hwa.

According to our pre-existing understanding, a standardized composition or the relatively monotonous color might be a visual challenge to viewer. Sometimes, it might bring viewers to a state of hypnosis that other details or the context of the work are ignored. Since many years ago, grids have become a reoccurring pattern in King Fen-Hwa’s works. All these grids are measured, lined up with a supporting thread, and painted on bottom layer. After the supporting thread is removed, the artist colors each grid. The work is not completed after it is repeatedly colored. If the artist experienced any emotional impatience during such a standardized process, she would have made several unexpected mistakes when painting and coloring the grids. In the series works, I see King Fen-Hwa’s attitude toward herself. It is the self-practice of one’s mind instead of a psychological torture. In the extremely regular painting process where no variation is allowed, she repetitively polishes the way she sees herself and the world around her. Color might be the imitation of Nature, but it indeed has its warmth. Her artistic practice shows the poise as how Fan Zhongyan describes in his Song of the Royal Street: “Each night this night, in bright moonlight, we are a thousand miles apart. Such deep grief as appears on the brows or the heart cannot be put apart.”

In fact, I do not consider such an artistic style abstract. My reason is that a work like this requires a more profound understanding to savor what the artist desires in her heart. It is the transmission of the inner emotions instead of the imitation of Nature or the rehearsal of real life. The whole works reveal a sense of order belonging to an organized self and the initiation of emotions. It is not an unrestrained and roughly-made expression, but an inner poise after all the turbulence has been quieted down and one will no longer be irritated by the repetitive process of painting grids. When “such deep grief as appears on the brows or the heart cannot be put apart,” it shows an undisturbed inner peace rather than the pretended restlessness.

When flowers fall off the branch, soon withers she.
Re-blooms, but the time varies.
When leaves fall to the ground, soon pales he.
Re-sprouts, but the place varies.

── Tsai Chen-Nan, Lyrics of When Flowers Fall off the Branch

“Emotions” are unapparent in King Fen-Hwa’s art.
As a pisces, King Fen-Hwa celebrates liberty, but she likes restrain her own liberty in her works. It seems to be contradictory, but it is indeed the most interesting point to discuss the artist and her artworks. King Fen-Hwa has once told me that she is a short-tempered person. If she does not pacify her own emotions by painting grids when facing her works, she will be totally out of control. Therefore, painting grids become a means of self-training and self-fulfillment in her artistic practice. She considers herself to be a person who does not like to be regulated. However, she is willing to let herself indulged in coloring the grids, being stuck between the pulling and the dragging threads, and she does not allow herself to make any mistake.

The interesting conflict is clearly visualized in her artworks. For example, in her series works, viewers can see how she “carefully and neatly” controls her mind from any trespass. Every line and every color are completely under her control, strictly remaining in the state of solitude without showing the essence of loneliness. However, a viewer like you should not be deceived by such a composition.

It is King Fen-Hwa’s habit to arrange the layers of the space. The background is grids in well-organized order. The foreground is the images of “life” such as flowers, branches, leaves, and butterflies, which are like in a state of weightlessness. She creates a space-time gap in her paintings. The gap is extremely personal and private while it is also full of imagination, establishing an opposite position which is completely secluded from the outer world. However, it also echoes the philosophy of her artistic practice – it is the landscape in her heart. Whether she shares it or not does not really matter.

In King Fen-Hwa’s artworks, I see a modern woman who does not want to carry the burden of the past but does not want to be too rebellious either.

When traditional painters deal with landscape paintings or still life, no matter they are male or female, they will always make every effort to show off the prosperity of life. Meanwhile, an artwork like this will be closely related to the intimacy between the scene/objects/landscape and the land.

However, it is not King Fen-Hwa’s idea about art.

She paints flowers – large flowers, especially peonies or Chinese peonies which often symbolize wealth in the Chinese culture. The flowers in her painting are detached from the branches and the leaves, but they still hang on to their beauty. In the song of When Flowers Fall off the Branch, the lyricist Tsai Chen-Nan writes that “when flowers fall off the branch, soon withers she.” It clearly points out that flowers will immediately wither once they are cut off from their support of life as “they fall off the branch.” Such a description is relatively conservative – an old-fashioned belief in fatalism that women should accept their fate like how a seed accepts where it is planted. King Fen-Hwa likes the lyrics very much, but she transforms the meaning of it into a totally different spirit. She borrows the theme of “flowers” as a metaphor of traditional gender status, but she attempts to get rid of the traditional idea that flowers cannot find its own place when they are detached from the protection of trees and land. In her paintings, she removes the pre-existing conventions of the space, visualizing the space in a weightless sense of floating. Later, she does not connect flowers with other symbols of life but maintains the vitality and the independent prosperity of the flowers. How King Fen-Hwa deals with this detail is totally against the tradition. However, she does not adopt an outrageous vocabulary while she does not strongly accuse improper convention of the tradition. Instead, she slowly and patiently speaks out her mind and her vision.

However, the conflict I have mentioned above is how she captures the prosperity of life while she also keeps it in a weightless situation, confining the background of the images into the grids. The grids which fill the whole space are always silent. It is like how King Fen-Hwa loves the unrestrained freedom in the depth of her heart but she will never trespass the frame out of her desire for freedom. On the one hand, King Fen-Hwa praises the unrestrained freedom of life; on the other hand, she always walks within the tracks. It is like that she creates a facebook account but she does not completely make it open to the public. Instead, she selects the way how she should approach the transmission of the information from the outer society. The great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore writes about it in one of his poems that “that which oppresses me, is it my soul trying to come out in the open, or the soul of the world knocking at my heart for its entrance?” For King Fen-Hwa, she never lets go of the ruler which tells her how to measure when to come out or when to enter.

The service of the fruit is precious, the service of the flower is sweet, but let my service be the service of the leaves in its shade of humble devotion.

── Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds.

Apart from the attitude and the emotions, there is a sense of “undisturbed calmness” about life in her works.

However, I believe that such the “undisturbed calmness” should originate from the vision of life through her artistic practice


Graduating from the College of Management at National Taiwan University, King Fen-Hwa was trained with logical thinking and organizing ability. She is good at following rules, but she also likes to challenge a small part of it. She considers herself to be an easily-panicked person. Every time when she feels anxious, she will try to do something repetitive – something she needs to be concentrative but she does not have to use her brain.. Therefore, when she stands in front of the canvas, painting grids helps calm her anxious mind.


However, I would like to explain it from a different angle. From the psychological perspective, the well-organized and carefully-arranged grids somehow symbolize King Fen-Hwa’s insecurity buried inside. Grids become a protection screen, protecting her from the external disturbance. Meanwhile, the longing for one’s solitude is secured inside the fence. Inside the fence, King Fen-Hwa is like in a state of weightless where time temporary stops. Flowers, branches, and other things from Nature do not have to follow the conventions. They can maintain their prosperity of life even though they fall off from the branch or leaves. King Fen-Hwa places a “barrier of the heart” in the composition of her works, while she also reveals the “liberation of the self” – her desire to be freed from the reality. In the complicated conflict, she gradually sorts out the simplicity and the richness of the essence of life. The key point is to completely trust the self rather than the mutual entanglement with others. Therefore, the flowers and other details of Nature seem so alone but they are not lonely at all. It is another way to touch the heart. You open your eyes to look at the rose, while you also see its thorns. Once the mind is secured, the vision will bring you to somewhere far away.