BANK Interview 采访(下) | "颠覆与重塑"——靳山的雕塑美学

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艺术家靳山在洛杉矶首次个展刚刚开幕,位于同期他也参加了洛杉矶郡立艺术博物馆(LACMA)的大型群展物之魅力:当代中国材质艺术。该展览是第一次通过材质学术性系统回顾中国当代艺术。由巫鸿联合洛杉矶郡立艺术博物馆,Smart美术馆副策展人芝加哥大学东南亚艺术中心负责人Harrie A. Vanderstappen Smart 美术馆全球当代艺术策展人Orianna Cacchione 共同策划。该展览汇集了从80年代末至今30年的35件作品,是洛杉矶首场中国当代艺术大型展览。

The artist just opened his first solo show in Los Angeles. He was also part of a large group exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) ‘The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China’, This exhibition is accompanied by the first scholarly volume to examine Chinese art through the lens of materiality. It is co-authored by the exhibition's curators, Wu Hung, Smart Museum Adjunct Curator, Harrie A. Vanderstappen, Director of the Center for the Art of East Asia at the University of Chicago, with Orianna Cacchione, Smart Museum Curator of Global Contemporary Art. The show brings together 35 artworks in total from the late 80s until today, into the first large-scale exhibition of Chinese contemporary art in LA.

BANK 小报在两次展览之际,采访了艺术家靳山。我们回顾靳山自90年代始至今的艺术生涯,作为一名活跃的中国艺术家在海外个展筹备中所遇到的结构性或随机性的困境/问题——作为外来者的心理状况,画廊空间本身的障碍,美国观众的袒露直接等。他视作自小接触的古典雕塑美学教育为一种“被动的殖民”,“主动输出”的此次个展,而后产生自己的美学,如此种种,这致使他将这些元素作为所做工作的起点。

The BANK ZINE interviewed Chinese artist Jin Shan in occasion of his two most recent exhibitions. We reviewed his artistic journey since the 1990s, and the structural and cultural obstacles he encountered while in preparation of his solo show overseas. Jin Shan opens up about the challenges of having an American audience, art education in China and crafting his own aesthetics in response to what he calls “passive colonization” from the West.


BANK 小报由BANK团队呈现,我们将以“主动”姿态采访/回顾/研究艺术家,不定期以各种方式呈现成果。

BANK Zine is presented by BANK Young Team, we will initiatively make research/interview/review artists and present it non-scheduledly. 

BANK Zine makers/小报团队: Min, Francesco, Chen Wu, Siyan, Racheal



In your sculptures you reshape a normative aesthetic that resonates with Roman sculpture, Renaissance art and Catholic paintings. What attracts you to these elements as a starting point for your work?



When I was younger, the living conditions in China were not so good. Many times I could only read the catalogue and couldn’t see the original. The the best chance one had to actually see classical sculptures in real life was the college entrance examination. This is what I call passive colonization. Because in fact, you have no choice, the sculptures have very few styles, and they all revolve around socialism, realism, and Soviet art. In terms of pencil sketching and constructing the human body on paper, most of the elements of traditional aesthetics come from the sculptures of the Roman Renaissance or some sculptures of Greece. This is what I call passive colonization. There is no other way at that stage, one has to accept those as the basic principles of aesthetic. 

So why do I do this? I think there is an ulterior motive. I have actually had this conversation with a visitor in my solo show and I think this is a very interesting point. In response to this passive colonization, now I make work that I export to galleries in the United States. I get interactions and sales from the local audience, and I also get to output my own value here. From passive colonization to active output. After a process of manipulation, I created an aesthetic of my own.

Shedding, 2019

Plastic, Iron wire, 73*78*88 cm



How does 3D printing and other new technologies affect your creation process? How do you see your practice evolving in the future in terms of how you construct your work?



I think 3D is very interesting. I find the process extremely logical . One has to model first and after the model is built, 3D can be printed. You can't do anything you want and play around without modeling first. Modern technology has not yet developed in this regard. I think 3D modeling is often a irrational expression in my work: random and therefore conflicting. But sometimes I admire the beauty of 3D construction. It’s its own kind of beauty. I don't know if there is any possibility of integration between these two conflicts.

In the future development, I would like to incorporate more structural damage and remodeling in my work practice, and also engage in the implantation of a semi-scene. What is a semi-scene? Generally speaking it consists the partial abstraction of a scene, which makes it unrecognizable at first glance. I am going to expand this concept in my future works. I may start with some graphic works, now I am working three-dimensionally, in the future I might to do some works on flat surface.



The premise of your visual language seems revolve around mutating forms that are free of boundaries, morphing and melting into each other in constant evolution.  How do you decide as an artist that a sculpture is complete? 

这个问题每个艺术家都有自己的答案。我的这个作品本身的细节就特别多比较复杂。 当我觉得太啰嗦的时候我就停止了,我觉得就已经到顶了,我觉得这个事就差不多结束了。

Each artist has his own answer to this question. The details of my work itself are particularly complicated. When I feel it’s getting too much, I stop. When I feel that I have already reached the finish line and couldn’t bother any more.




What other career would you see yourself pursuing if you were not an artist? 


If I was not working as an artist, I would still devote myself to some idle activity. I think i would call myself a design engineer. What I mean by this is that if someone wanted to make some abstract object, and I help them build it. For example, if someone waned to do something in a space, then I would give him some advice according to his request. Help him gather different resources together. I may be doing such a profession. I don't know if this profession is a career. It may be too much. It feels like a dream.

Resurgence?, 2018






What advice would you give your younger self?


I am now a professional artist, art is my livelihood.  Even after attending art school I would not be able to advice somebody on how to achieve this profession. What is an artist? Being an artist was a ridiculous thing when I was in school. When i was a teenager in a small city where not even a phone was installed inside my house long hair and  platform shoes, were the trendiest thing. In an time when information was so limited, just dressing in such a way was enough to be considered an artist. Therefore, it is necessary to give me a suggestion in the past, that is, to comprehensively and systematically understand the artist's profession and the various problems they face. The sooner you understand this problem, the clearer you are about the profession you are engaged in. So if i wanted to give myself an advice it would be to study more about what comes with being an actual artist. 



How do you define success?


I think everyone has different standards and ideas of success. But overall, I think being able to live while doing what you want is the greatest success. 

- On View 正在展出 - 

郑皓中个展:塔剋 TAKI



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