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现场 | 韩冰个展:不稳定边界

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韩冰 Han Bing 

不稳定边界 A Labile Boundary at Best  

2020.01.11 - 2020.03.10




像素化、撕扯和它们的重组
文/顾虔凡
  
一、
空间关系是韩冰绘画创作的主线之一。在2013年前后,实体的、建筑性的空间承载着艺术家的视觉表达。无论是将户外的参天大树纳入现代主义建筑内部的《Bush》(2013)、将圆顶会客厅构筑成深邃枯井的《Meeting》(2013),还是风景有如戏剧置景般悬浮在粉色舞台之上的《Landscape#5》(2014),韩冰游走于虚实之间,用绘画性的思考审视并想象着一种异样的日常。
 
到作品《BallRoom》(2015),人的描绘被少见地纳入画面,一同参与空间关系的构成。但身穿礼服的人群实则无异于背景中的水晶吊灯和悬梯帷幕。韩冰用密密丛丛的铺叠勾勒出形状,形状区别出具体的物和人,可这都并非画面的主体。主体是被置顶居中的白、灰、浆红三个色块,它们短促干脆、边缘清晰,和其余那些锯齿状的、有如显示屏失真残留的影像截然不同。韩冰可能体察到了与某种僵局对峙的瞬间:在图像和符号过载以至于现实本身已经如幻似影的时代里,绘画者何以笃信自己画布上的真实?也许当时对她来说,色块是形状的提纯萃取,也是值得信赖并且能够度量现实的一个基本单位。
 
二、
韩冰很快开始与僵局进行抗衡。艺术家没有被图像过剩、有如巨兽的现实所吞噬,相反,她尽力去辨识现实的混沌,去描摹其中饱含的褶皱和颗粒。
 
在以《东浪》(2017)为代表的一组创作中,韩冰取材她在城市里随手拍下的街边招贴、地铁广告,她收集这些现成图像历经迭代后的残破,随后将图像之间的错位、撕扯和粘连都尽数转译到画面。以《东浪》为例,艺术家至少铺展出三个图层:大面积的鹅黄前景,夹杂着裂口的白边,有如一块浮出水面的冰川;其次是幽蓝暗红的魅影,模模糊糊地隐匿在后;画面最下方,边框齐整带着折痕的灰白提示着压于其下的深色背景。这是一枚有效信息已被剔除干净的图像切片。在艺术家对缝隙、孔洞和碎片的刻画中,我们得以目睹图像被抛弃后的样子。
 
系列中的其他作品,像《双屏》(2016)和《叠加》(2017)等,图像的层叠关系已经眼花缭乱到无从厘清的状态,不过视线在画面的游走却充满节奏,犹如一段旋律的起伏——顺着碎片边缘的白色边线,纸张撕扯后的残留高低错落,有些局部密如鼓点,有些涂鸦喷漆像杂糅了说唱,还有类似彗星拖尾的形状像音量渐弱的尾声。这些物质化而又失效了的图像,在韩冰的画布上重获新生,她珍视它们此前的种种经历,追溯图像与其承载信息之间的剥离,让胶水的痕迹、卷翘的边缘、不平整的隆起、被撕扯被摩挲后的破碎,去代替图像成为新的图像。
 
这是一个反符号的创作过程。也是韩冰赋予自己画布的一种真实。现实中诸多目的明确的图像被解构,它们的残像构筑出新的图案(pattern),而非新的符号(semiotics)。部分作品的标题,比如纽约的嘛街、坎街、洛杉矶的下城,提示了传统空间关系的存在,但正如图像经历撕扯从而剥离了意义那样,这些具体位置的指涉无关地缘政治的批判,更像是将地理信息作为一种归档图案的方式。
 
三、
如果说此前的韩冰是从具象出发,描摹混沌现实中的褶皱,从而达成观感抽象的画面;那么现在的韩冰更进一步,她熟知如何对褶皱进行梳理,开始用比抽象更抽象的方式重新提纯现实。像榨汁过程的第二轮,用钝器在滤网上刮擦残余的纤维,再滴出汁水。
 
含义明确的指代被滤走。于是描摹消失了,以FKATwigs专辑海报的残像为素材的作品《I am not unaware of my reputation for self-seriousness》(2019),只能在一片红棕和深紫间依稀看到女歌手金属耳环的吊坠。图像碎片的边框、折痕和卷曲也统统消失了。像素化和撕扯的观感全部融进画面,在重组后形成新的视觉语言。
 
在描摹和图像碎片被滤走清空之处,韩冰引入了对记忆和文化的串联。以《Angels in America》(2019)为例,天使羽翼的形状是艺术家在大都会博物馆拍下的一尊雕塑背影,画面构图让人联想起LucTuymans的《Angel》(2004),标题则直接出自美国剧作家TonyKushner创作于90年代的同名作品。不过韩冰的画仍旧是反符号的,天使有违纯洁白色的传统,羽翼和形象的种种细节都被按下不表,艺术家把雕塑抽象成二维布面的基本轮廓,仿佛只有这样才能让大都会、Tuymans和Kushner的三个天使共存于此。
 
这种对记忆和文化的引入,或可对应韩冰对湿壁画日渐增长的兴趣。艺术家从文艺复兴的残垣断片中看到了时间对图像的塑造力,残破与缺失在岁月的打磨下已经纳入图像,而留白正是记忆与文化的形状。韩冰还对自己的创作习惯做出了改变,她的材料从丙烯转向油彩。与前者速干轻盈的质地相比,油画颜料浓稠有韧性,艺术家将之比喻为“肉”,相应地,作画过程就好似一场接一场的肉搏,是画家的手和颜料互相驯服的过程。这些力的施加有如时间对画面的锤炼,让作品萌发生命。
 
空间关系仍旧重要,甚至更重要了。在《Cards on Cords》(2019)中,韩冰还原了她在一处工地看到的景象:建筑物在外力作用下复归成砖块、钢筋、网格的溃散状态,大门倾倒,墙皮脱落,木屑满地,这是比弃用的图像更破败的场面,符号及其载体、框架连同结构都失去了原本的效用。韩冰用两米多高的画幅将观看者置身于废墟的洞口,画面右上角星星点点的笔触甚至让人感到碎石砸落的危险,与此同时,整个场景神奇地显出一种秩序感,尽管濒临崩塌,支撑杆件仍旧维持着垂直结构的外观,杂乱似乎不以破坏为目的,而只是袒露了内里的层次。作品像个隐喻般,用抽象与具象杂糅的视觉语言,将艺术家所见的现实逼仄地直陈于观者眼前。她的绘画重组了一团囫囵之下那些还未消散的基本结构。可以说,韩冰的空间关系,正是我们与现实之关系的一重镜像。
 
艺术家或许知道,废墟是僵局的终点。在她像素化和撕扯的真实表达之后,韩冰已经展开了它们的重组,并且通过绘画将这些视觉经验转达给我们。



Pixelating, Tearing Apart, and Regrouping

Written and Translated by Qianfan Gu

Proofread by Janna Taylor


I.

Spatial relationship has been a continuous thread in Han Bing’s painting practice. In works c. 2013, physical and architectural spaces bear the weight of the artist’s visual expression. In Bush (2013), an outdoor tree is inserted into the interior of a modernist house; Meeting (2013) depicts a domed room converted into a deep dry well; and, in Landscape #5 (2014), a floating billboard of landscape, like the backdrop for a play, is suspended above a pink stage. With these works, Han Bing wanders along the fine line between fiction and nonfiction. She examines and imagines an unusual quotidian reality using painterly thoughts.

 

In Ball Room (2015), muted depiction of human figures contributes to Han Bing’s exploration of spatial relationships. The crowd in, presumably, tuxedos and gowns appear no different than the crystal chandeliers, stairs, or curtains in the background. Thick layers outline shapes, conveying specific objects and figures; but none of this is the subject of this work. The subject is encapsulated in the three bars of colors - white, gray, and deep red - placed high and centered in the painting. The bars are short and clear-cut, and contrast with the rest of the jagged images that resemble visuals from a distorted television screen. With this work, Han Bing seems to be confronting a contemporary dilemma: In an era during which images and symbols saturate reality, how can a painter trust their authenticity on the canvas? Perhaps, at the time she created this piece, for her, the straight-forward bars of color served as a refined extraction of shapes, but also a basic unit she could trust to measure reality.



II.

Han Bing soon started to fight against this dilemma, and fortunately, she was not devoured by this beast-like reality that is so occupied with an excess of images. On the contrary, she strove to identify its chaotic nature and portray the folds and particles within it.


In a group of works represented by East Wave (2017), Han Bing used photos she took of street posters and subway advertisements in various cities. She noticed these ready-made images that had been torn apart in many iterations, and then translated the misplaced, ripped-apart, and then adhered parts onto her canvas. In East Wave, the artist created at least three layers of images: first, a large area of yellow with white-edge slices sits in the foreground, almost appearing as a yellow iceberg; next, a layer of faint blue and red creates a haze, haunting the background behind the bold yellow shards; at the bottom, a plain grayish-white with creases and neat borderline suggests a darker background lurks below the whitish surface. It seems as if the image’s most relevant parts have been sliced off in large chunks. The gaps, holes, and fragments give off the feeling of an abandoned image as an object.  


Other works in the series, such as Double Screen (2016) and Overlap (2017), include complex layers of images, dazzling the eye to the extent that it is difficult to clarify the elements. The eye experiences a journey full of rhythms while moving around these images, just like a melody with peaks and valleys - along the white edges lie the staggered residuals of fragmented images; some parts are dense like drum beats, some graffiti sprays a line of rap, and some comet-tail-shapes the ending notes with a gradual-weakening effect. The materialized and invalidated images are reborn on Han Bing’s canvas. She cherishes the previous life of these images, tracing back the process of separation between an image and the information it carried, and keeps the glue marks, curly edges, uneven wrinkles, and torn and broken remains. She replaces the original images to allow a new one to emerge. 


For Han Bing, the creation process is an anti-symbolic one. It is also the reality that Han Bing gives to her painting. She deconstructs all sorts of purposeful images in real life, and these resulting images construct new patterns, rather than new semiotics. In the titles of some works, places like New York City’s Mott Street, Canal Street, and Downtown LA are mentioned. They hint at the existence of spatial relationships in a traditional sense. But just as the images are stripped of meaning, the reference to specific locations has nothing to do with geopolitical critiques; rather, the geographical information is an archiving method for the newborn patterns.



III.

If it is presumed that Han Bing started off figuratively depicting images and her portrayals of the folds and particles of reality led to abstract images, then we could argue she is taking it one step further: She knows how to comb a chaotic reality and re-purify it in a more abstract way than an abstraction. It is as if she starts the second round of a juice squeezing process by using a spoon or a blunt tool to scrape fibers remaining on the squeezer’s filter. She gets more drips.


She first filters out specific references, thus erasing any portrayal of reality. In I am not unaware of my reputation for self-seriousness (2019), a work based on a broken poster of FKA Twigs’ new album, the singer’s metal earrings could be recognized faintly in the fields of reddish-brown and dark purple. The borders, edges, curls, and wrinkles are all removed. The effects of pixelating and tearing-apart have merged into her recent works, forming a new visual language through their amalgamation.


By banishing the portrayal of reality in her work, Han Bing opens up space in her practice to explore intertwined memories and cultures. Taking Angels in America (2019) as an example, the shape of the angel’s double wings is based on a photo of a miniature sculpture the artist took at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Its composition recalls Luc Tuymans’ painting Angel (2004), while its title makes direct reference to the eponymous play written by the acclaimed playwright Tony Kushner. Yet, Han Bing’s painting remains anti-symbolic, as the angel in her work does not appear in traditional white, nor does the artist go deep into any of the details of the image of an angel. The artist abstracts the sculpture into two-dimensional outlines on her canvas, as if this is the only way that all three angels - from the Met, Tuymans, and Kushner - could coexist as one.


Such an introduction of memories and cultures may correspond to Han Bing’s growing interests in frescoes. From the fresco fragments, which had been traced back to the Renaissance and had been shaped by the power by time, the artist realizes that, through the centuries, the broken and missing parts of a fresco have all become its flesh - it is as if the fragments have taken on an organic quality - changing with the passing of time. They are the shape of memory and culture in themselves. In the meantime, Han Bing switches her medium from acrylic to oil paint. Compared with the former’s quick-drying lightness, oil paints are thick and tough, an almost “meat-like texture,” as described by the artist. Accordingly, painting becomes a battling process that requires physical wrestling, in which a painter’s hand tames her paint, and vice versa. Again, it is as if the work has its own life that shifts and revises as time and forces act upon it. 


Spatial relationships remain an important element in her work, and perhaps even more important than ever. In Cards on Cords (2019), Han Bing restages a scene she captured from a construction site. The interior of a building has returned to the collapsed state where all bricks, steel bars, grids are not functioning at all. The doors have fallen down, the walls peeled off, and the sawdust is scattered around everywhere. It is a scene ten times worse than an abandoned image. Symbols and their carriers, frameworks with structures have all lost use. Adopting a large format canvas with a height of more than two meters, Han Bing positions her viewers right in front of the hole of the ruins. In its upper right corner, the sketchy brushstrokes evoke a feeling of potential danger from falling stones. However, despite the fact that it’s falling apart, the entire scene also inexplicably displays a sense of order, in which pillars stand firm to support vertical structures. It seems that the purpose of the chaos here is not to destroy, but to reveal its inner layers. Like a metaphor, the work combines abstract and figurative visual languages to push the viewers to confront what the artist has seen and felt, as her painting has regrouped those fundamental things that are not taken away by the chaos. One could argue that the spatial relationships manifested in Han Bing’s works mirror our relationship with reality.


Perhaps the artist knows well that ruins are the dead-end of dilemmas. Through pixelation and tearing-apart, Han Bing has developed a process of regrouping, and through painting, she conveys these visual experiences to us.




韩冰, 生于1986,毕业于中央美术学院及纽约帕森设计学院,现工作和生活于洛杉矶。
近期个展: “Territory to be tamed-------if not later then when” ,Night Gallery, 洛杉矶,2018;“路径,节点和飞地” ,天线空间,上海,2017;Facades And Waves,Night Gallery, 洛杉矶,2016;Best Least Worst Option, 天线空间(场地支持:D Space),北京,2015;韩冰个展,天线空间,上海,2013。部分群展:野蛮生长, Make Room, 洛杉矶, 2019;渡, Gallery Exit, 香港, 2018;第四届三亚艺术季“华宇青年奖”入围群展“青年的尺度”,海南三亚,2015;韩冰与Luka Rayski:界,否画廊,纽约,2014。
Born in 1986, graduated from Parsons the New School and Central Academy of Fine Arts, Han Bing currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
Solo exhibitions include: territory to be tamed-------if not later then when, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, United States, 2018; Neighborhood Institutions, ANTENNA SPACE , Shanghai, China, 2017; Facades And Waves, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, United States, 2016; Han Bing’s Solo Exhibition: Best Least Worst Option, ANTENNA SPACE(Venue Supported by D-Space), Beijing, China, 2015; HanBing’s Solo Exhibition , ANTENNA SPACE , Shanghai, China, 2013. Her recent group exhibitions include: They Rise When Vernal Breezes Blow, Make Room, Los Angeles, United States,2019;The Crossing, Gallery Exit, Hong Kong,2018;The Fourth ART-SANYA “The Scale of the Youth”, San Ya, Hai Nan, China, 2015; Han Bing and Luka Rayski: Frame, Fou Gallery, New York, United States, 2014; Homeward Found: Wassaic Project Summer Exhibition, Wassaic, New York, United States, 2013; The Intelligence of Things: Parsons Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition, The Kitchen, New York, United States(Catalogue) , 2013; Art Cycle Discovers Prize: The MFA Finalists, Gallery Brooklyn, New York, United States, 2013; Global Projects—Artists at Home and Abroad, Broadway Gallery, New York, United States, 2012.

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联系我们 | Contact us

Tel: 8621-6256 0182

E-mail: info@antenna-space.com

Web: www.antenna-space.com

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