一個雕塑家的秘密花園──策展人與藝術家訪談

A Sculptor’s Secret Garden: Curator & Artist Interview 22.01.2020

策展人 Curator:陳慧君 Tan Hwee Koon

藝術家 Artist:李光裕  Lee Kuang-Yu

訪談整理 Chinese Transcript:何立心、杜綺文、陳潔 Ho Lihsin, Tu Chi-wen & Jessica Chen

內容翻譯 English Translation:Goh Ngee Hui

[藝術家的工作室暨住家與花園/開放式花園的影響]

陳:有哪些雕塑花園的經驗,啟發了李老師自己打造的雕塑花園?

李:我在西班牙念書時曾去過藝術家霍金‧索羅亞的工作室,前面有個花園。那時就已萌生雕塑花園這樣的想法。在北藝大教書時去參訪日本箱根的雕塑公園,自己從莫内的專刊上看過莫内花園的樣貌,或是雕塑家亨利‧摩爾工作室的圖片,這些都更加深我打造自己花園的想法。

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[李光裕藝術實踐之中的花園與雕塑]

陳:花園和雕塑的關係對李老師個人的創作有什麼影響?

李:我常從園藝中得到許多經驗,回饋給雕刻;也利用雕刻的經驗去處理園藝的問題。這兩者背後躲著的就是那位藝術家,所以不會有任何衝突。

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[藝術家的意圖]

陳:打造秘密雕塑花園的企圖與願景是甚麼?

李:我造園沒有為了什麼,只是如實呈現我的工作、我的生活、我的藝術、我的花園。每個人都有美好的案例,對我來說如是,在我的生活中,我一直追求一種自然性(指向內外在之間的連結)。我從沒有設定花園要變成甚麼模樣,因為我的想法會每天變化,但不管怎麼改變,本質一定是會趨向呈現一個「美好的世界」,不管廣度還是深度都是。

我的核心價值就是「為了美好」。就是我的藝術、我的愛,是我待人、待事、待物所追求的。在這個世界上,時常看到別人的醜陋,或是看到自己很醜陋,所以美好的價值便成為一種信仰。一個精神上有信仰的人,可以成就一個美好的世界,他的所作所為有一個核心的思想。我的我希望所看到、所聽到都能接觸美好。所以我的身體、我的創作,我的雕刻公園,要「美好」。

人活著有一個很大的意義,人心是恒變的,它沒有結果,靈性會不斷地轉動,讓人在生命之線上一直有新的領悟。我沒有設定花園要變成什麼樣,因為我今天跟明天一定不一樣,但不管怎麼變,我本質上一定是趨向於一個「更美好的世界。但這美好本身就有講不完的廣度跟深度。我瞭解人不能固執什麼,藝術創作也不能一直固執什麼,不論什麼構想,抑或創作時發現作品有是有非,無論如何,都該兼融是非才對,有好也同時有不好於一身。

在經濟或物質的世界裡需要競爭,但對於人文來說,並沒有「競爭」這兩個字,人文只是在呈現不同的情境探索內在的靈魂,平常要具備敏銳的心,即使是細微的東西,也藏有很大的命題。例如,如何「安靜」?或如何「跳躍」?,任何一個字,都藏有極大的觀念。若用理性回顧我想要創造的情境,那就是我要讓我的庭院讓人感到安靜這是一個極大的觀念,因為它包含我對這個花園的草木、空氣…視覺、味覺的體驗,如同我的雕刻,是感官世界的接觸。引發我在這世上美好經驗,讓我很舒服。

在做庭園拿到不同材料時,在心中會思考植物與植物如何自由調配,那是一個當下的直覺。這直覺屏除自己的經驗,屏除思考、想法,自然而然就變成如此。

然後,我內心是否能不受約束,帶有自信,相信我的本能,使我非常自由?產生心靈活動使我的靈魂不滅,因為人的靈性在動,所以永遠不滅。這幾個觀念,形成我對於安靜的看法,平常的生活中碰到任何事,我就會用這幾個觀念來反省,這屬於理性的部分。

當我在創作時,我會全部交給我的「直覺」。因為我要明白、理解第一次接觸它時的感受,我會在細微之處明白它的「特質」,這使我的藝術有個性、特色,有呈現出某種特質的情境。

創作是受到外在世界的刺激,我們所作出的反應。

活動本身是綜合性的,一般而言我們的生活是綜合性的。因為純粹內心的活動,通常是針對一個命題去做練習,而得到某個答案。但也憑此經驗,我們觀察外在世界的時候,會詮釋這個世界。所以每一個人都依據他個人的知識系統,去敘述、詮釋這個世界,但這個知識系統缺乏變化,所以有時我們應該丟掉知識系統,回到嬰兒時代的那種初心,回溯第一次接觸外在世界的感受。那時我們在母親懷中,因著母親的愛而體會生命是平等的,對人事物也會多一些悲憫和謙卑。我們有這種內在能力,對外在事物就會有「反應能力」,這個能力反映一個人的品味層次,是非常細微的。你看外在有多少,就表示你的內心有多少。所謂的自然,就是在講這一回事,內外部二、矛盾不二。因為人就是處在二元世界,才發現我們的「美好」與「痛苦」兩個樂器一起交響時,就是音樂之所在

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[藝術家自述]

我從做庭院之中,看到了自己,認識了自己,我思故我在,從而看到人性;因為懂人性才能懂別人,看作品時,如同看到了我們的心,我們要一直修飾我們的心靈,從粗糙轉為細膩。若一直嫌棄自己,或讚美自己,其實都是一種陷阱。

 李光裕,2019年

藝術家回應策展人的訪談問題

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「安息,對現代人是一個很大的價值。花園能讓人舒適美好,是因為提供了安息的感受,且安息是美的。這個世界被麻痹了,什麼可以啟發讓人轉動呢?這就是藝術的力量,秘密花園的力量,作品放在那裡產生另一股力量,使得世界動了起來。」

李光裕,2019年

藝術家回應策展人的訪談問題

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「在人生中能接受破碎,才有機會學習圓滿。」

李光裕,2013-2014年

《空山—李光裕 2014 新作》

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[藝術家回應各種不同的花園文化與對雲霧森林的想法]

陳:李老師是否視各樣的花園為各樣文化和哲學的濃縮精華?從李老師的觀點來看,英國花園、中國花園、日本花園,以及新加坡的花園,這些花園的不同點在哪裡?

李:西方的文明發展,在視覺藝術裡,離不開立體的「量」。而對中國來說,在視覺藝術裡都使用「線」,讓他整體輕盈,所以才擁有此種說法:生命體都像一條線,綿延不絕、生生不息,不強調「量」感。東方色彩都較清雅、淡,如日本料理,乾淨簡潔,而西方食物就使用牛奶,像蘑菇湯、牛排等,是充滿了量感的。從量感中再發展出立體感,就像葡萄酒,從開瓶接觸空氣後,酒的層次不斷轉變,屬於立體性的變化。

因為強調立體感,英國花園使用植物花草,顏色豐富燦爛,植栽層次與質感的搭配也很多樣,看了會使人興奮,喚醒激情。而日本庭院,人進到裡頭就會安靜下來,人只要安靜下來就能思考事情,不會心煩意亂。日本美學是講究極致、安靜、乾淨的。中國庭園則會配置太湖石、流水、植栽,造景卻又不如日本的潔癖安靜,尤其石頭的造型,穿透、曲折,如同中國人性格上的多面性。

我認為花園能反映不同民族心中認為美好的東西是什麼,因為歷史傳承、他們的個人經驗,或整個國度的天然環境、人文傳承等,而形成出一種美感風格,反映出一個民族所渴望的生命動向。

這些觀看經驗都成為我配置花園時的養分,在種植時沒有特別選擇一定要何種喜愛的花,不管廠商給的是什麼品種都會接納,因為不同的植栽都會有不同的用途,不管何物必之有用,我的心情是隨遇而安的。

我從做庭院之中,看到了自己,認識了自己,我思故我在,從而看到人性;因為懂人性才能懂別人,看作品時,如同看到了我們的心,我們要一直修飾我們的心靈,從粗糙轉為細膩。若一直嫌棄自己,或讚美自己,其實都是一種陷阱。

 

李光裕的雕塑設置於濱海花園的雲霧森林,起因于策展人拜訪李光裕位於臺北的秘密花園…

陳:李老師如何看待並回應展覽地點?作品跟環境的對話?作品從汐止的花園到新加坡花園的感想?

(i) L2 瀑布區(The Water Fall)

(ii) L2 包含前蘭花區的區域(area including former Orchid Enclosure)

(iii) L7 遺失的世界(Lost World)

(iv) L1 秘密花園(Secret Garden)

李:第一次到濱海灣花園的時候,我感到很親切,因為它是個美好世界,與我的核心價值一致,讓我覺得回家了,回到一個美好的地方。我來到濱海灣花園的時候,會根據此處的特色、特質,觀察什麼作品適合放在什麼位置,讓他們形成一個「情境」。我很珍惜這一次機會,因為我的展覽時常在美術館,但這次是在一個充滿自然美感的世界,很多顏色與植栽。

這個世界非常的慌忙且呆版,而花園可供休息進而可以享受美的感動。如果這個花園再加入雕塑,它就會更為豐富。所以第一次來濱海灣花園的時候,我就很感動,因為知道自己的雕塑放在這邊,會有什麼樣的效果。當花園結合我的雕刻,花園「轉」了!許多事情要有活力,不管是思想或是心態,都靠這個「轉」字。我的雕塑使花園轉變到另外一個世界去了,這讓我興奮,因為我的作品從來沒有放在這樣的一個環境。轉變會讓生命產生欣喜若狂的感受。

以《思惟》這件作品為例,如果瀑布沒有這件作品,它就只是在動態流動中的一個雄偉瀑布,思維一放上去它轉到另一個世界──我們如何在動態環境中,安靜地思惟?這兩者是很好的匹配,動靜之間,生命不單一。可以享受、也可思惟。就作品來說,在一個靜謐的世界裡,抖掉人間瑣碎、細雜的麻煩與焦慮,使人得安寧。

[Artists Studio-Residence-Garden/ Open-Air Sculpture Museum Influences]:

TAN: What are the sculpture garden experiences that have inspired Lee’s own sculpture garden?

LEE: When I was studying in Spain, I had the opportunity to visit the studio of the artist Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (Valencia, 1863 – Cercedilla, 1923). There was a garden in front of the studio, which inspired me to create my own sculpture garden. During the time I was teaching at the Taipei National University of the Arts, I visited the sculpture garden at the Hakone Open-Air Museum in Japan. I have also seen pictures of Monet’s garden in catalogues on the artist and the photographs of sculptor Henry Moore’s studio. All these experiences strengthened my desire to create my own garden.

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[Garden & Sculpture in  Lee’s Art Practice]:

TAN: What is the relationship between Garden and Sculpture in his art practice?

LEE: The lessons I often draw from gardening are applied in my sculptures; likewise, the experiences I gain from sculpture are used in gardening matters. It is the same artist that is behind the garden and the sculptures. Hence, there is no conflict.

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[Artistic Intent]:

TAN: What is the artist’s intent and vision for creating his Secret Sculpture Garden?

LEE: There is no specific agenda behind my intention to create a garden.  I just want to present my work, my life, my art and my garden with all sincerity. Everyone has a beautiful vision in mind. The same goes for me as well. I have always pursued a kind of naturalness (that is, the connection between the inner world and the external). I don’t have a fixed plan of how my garden will look like, because my ideas change from day to day. But no matter how they fluctuate, my aim of presenting a ‘beautiful world’ that has both depth and breadth remains unchanged.

The core value in my art is ‘beauty for its own sake’. It is what I pursue in my art, it is what I love, and what I strive for in my interactions with people, issues and things. In this world, we often see the ugly side of others or ourselves. Hence, the value of something beautiful becomes a kind of belief. A person with a spiritual belief will be able to forge a beautiful world, because his actions and deeds spring from a core belief. I aspire to see or hear beauty. Therefore, my body, my art, and of course my sculpture garden would be ‘beautiful’.

There is an important purpose behind human living.  The human heart is forever changing, with no end in sight; the spiritual nature is constantly transformed, enabling one to gain new insights into life. I do not have a fixed idea of how my garden will look like, because what’s on my mind today will certainly change by tomorrow. No matter how it changes, my fundamental goal is to create a better world. But the breadth and depth of this beauty that we can explore is boundless. I know for a fact that we shouldn’t be uncompromising or inflexible in life and in making art. We should embrace both the good and the bad in the concepts and ideas we come across and accept what went right or wrong in a work.

In the financial or material world, it is all about the survival of the fittest. However, the concept of ‘competition’ does not apply in the humanistic world. In the humanistic world, the concern is about presenting different scenarios and exploring the inner soul. It requires a sensitive spirit and a sharp mind to detect a potentially great proposition hidden in the finest detail. For example, how do you remain ‘still and quiet’, or how do you ‘leap and bounce’? In any given word, there will be a hidden potential for a great plan. If we look at the scenario that I would like to create in a rational manner, then I would say that I want people to find tranquillity in my garden. This is a colossal concept, because it embodies the multi-sensory experiences of sight and smell that come from encountering the plants, trees and air in the garden. It is a sensorial encounter in synergy with my sculptures.  It inspires my experience of beauty in this world, and puts me at ease with myself.

I will rely on my intuitive response to mix and match the different types of plants I receive for my garden. This intuitive approach excludes personal experiences, thoughts and ideas. Everything just comes together naturally.

Perhaps it’s a question of whether I have confidence in my intuition, and in my ability to free my mind of any restraint. My soul is indestructible as I am spiritually inspired. When I am spiritually active, my soul is indestructible. These concepts shaped my perception of tranquillity. Whenever I encounter any issues in daily life, I will reflect upon these concepts as part of my rational thinking process.

When I am making art, I rely completely on my intuition, because I want to grasp and make sense of that encounter of the first touch. I will understand its characteristics from examining the details. As a result, my art has personality, characteristics and presents a unique scenario.

Art making is our response to a stimulus from the external world.

Just as activity itself is integrated, so is our life. An activity of the inner mind is usually a focused practice in search of an answer. But if we use this experience in our observation of the external world, then we would tend to interpret what we see in this world. Therefore, everyone will describe and interpret this world according to his personal knowledge system. But this knowledge system lacks change, which is why we should abandon it and return to the initial state of mind we have as babies, return to that feeling we have when we first encounter the external world. At the stage in life when we nestle in our mothers’ embrace, we experience our mothers’ love and the truth that every life is equal. Because of this, we are able to display a greater compassion and humility toward people and things. Since we have this inner ability – one that is very delicate and reflects the sophistication of one’s taste – we are able to respond to external matters. The extent of your inner mind is reflected by how broad your vision of the external world is. This is what being natural is all about. There is harmony between the external and the internal, and there is no conflict between the two. As human beings, we exist in a world of duality. When the sounds of ‘beauty’ and ‘pain’ come together, music is made.

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[Artistic Statement]:

“In the process of creating a garden, I see myself more clearly and understand myself better. ‘I think; therefore, I am’. It enables me to understand human nature; because one can only understand others by understanding human nature. When we look at an artwork, we see a reflection of our hearts. Hence we need to keep pruning our minds and spirits in order to transform from crudeness to refinement. Looking down on ourselves or singing praises of ourselves are actually traps we should avoid.”

Lee Kuang-Yu 2019

Artist’s Response to Curator’s Interview Questions

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 “Rest is of significant value to the modern man. Gardens can make one feel wonderfully at ease because it provides rest and respite and it is beautiful… In a world that has become paralyzed by numbness, what can inspire one to move again? It is the power of art and the power of the secret garden. Situating the artwork on site creates an energy that makes the world move again.”

Lee Kuang-Yu 2019

Artist’s Response to Curator’s Interview Questions

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In life, it is in accepting brokenness that we have the chance to learn about wholeness.

“In Life, people who are willing to accept “shattered/ broken pieces” (or “imperfection”) would have the opportunity to learn about “completion” or “perfection”

Lee Kuang-Yu 2013-2014

Mountain·Emptiness: Lee Kuang-Yu 2014 New Artworks

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[Artist’s Reponse to Different Garden Cultures & Cloud Forest]:

TAN: Does Lee view different types of Gardens as a distillation of the essence of various cultures and philosophies? What is the difference in his view between an English Garden, Chinese Garden, Japanese Garden, Garden in Singapore?

LEE: The concept of ‘volume’ in three-dimensional representation is an integral part of visual arts in the west. But in China, it is the ‘line’ that dominates the visual arts, which create an overall lightness in the work. Hence, we have this saying: a life form is like a limitless, everlasting line that does not focus on the sense of volume. In Eastern culture, we use simple, elegant colours. For example, Japanese cuisine embodies a pristine simplicity. In contrast, western food is full of volume, from the use of milk in the cooking, to dishes like mushroom soup, beef steak and so on. A three-dimensional feel is developed from a sense of volume. We see this in the three-dimensional changes in wine: from the moment the bottle is opened, it comes into contact with air, releasing its flavours in layers that transform over time.

Because of its emphasis on a three-dimensional experience, the plants and flowers in an English garden tend to be vibrant and colourful. You see myriad ways in which the tiers and textures of plants are created by mixing and matching various species. It excites you and arouses your passion. In contrast, you feel a sense of tranquillity once you enter a Japanese garden which allows you to quieten your mind and think with clarity. In Japanese aesthetics, there is great emphasis on refinement, serenity and pristineness. On the other hand, the Chinese garden is decorated with Taihu stones, flowing water, and plants. Hence, the garden setting is not as pristine and tranquil as that of its Japanese counterpart. In particular, the shape of the rocks, which appear porous and contorted, reflects the multifaceted nature of the Chinese personality.

To me, gardens reflect the aesthetic values of different cultures. Their historical legacies, personal experiences and even the entire country’s natural environment, culture and heritage and so forth are the basis upon which an aesthetic expression is created, reflecting the direction in life that a particular people desires to pursue.

These observations have become food for thought when I design my gardens. I don’t have any special requests or specific demands for a favourite type of flower or plant. I will accept any species that my local supplier provides. To me, different plants come with different usages, and everything has a purpose of its own. My approach has always been to take it as it comes.

 “In the process of gardening, I see myself and get to know myself. ‘I think; therefore, I am’. It enables me to understand human nature; because one can only understand others by understanding human nature. When we look at an artwork, we see a reflection of our hearts. Hence we need to keep pruning our minds and spirits in order to transform from crudeness to refinement. Looking down on ourselves or singing praises of ourselves are actually traps we should avoid.”

The siting of Lee’s sculptures at Cloud Forest, Gardens by the Bay was inspired by the Curator Tan’s visit to artist Lee’s secret Garden in Taipei…

TAN: What is Lee’s response to the exhibition sites at Cloud Forest, Gardens by the Bay?

 (i) L2 The Water Fall

(ii) L2 area including Former Orchid Enclosure

(iii) L7 Lost World

(iv) L1 Secret Garden

LEE: When I first visited the Gardens by the Bay, I felt a strong affinity to the place. It is a beautiful place, aligned with my core values. I felt as though I have come home, returning to a beautiful place. During my visit to the Gardens, I think about how to situate my sculptures based on the characteristics and conditions of the site. I am used to displaying my works in the museum, but this is the first time that I am exhibiting them in a naturally beautiful environment with many colours and textures.

In the hustle and bustle of our mundane life, the garden provides a place of rest and respite, where one can also enjoy something beautiful and be moved by it. If sculptures are added to this garden, it will enhance what it has to offer. When I first visited the Gardens by the Bay, I was very moved by what I saw. I already knew the effect on the plants once I place my sculptures there. They will transform the Cloud Forest, bringing about an energetic vigour that will rejuvenate the mind and soul. It all depends on this word – transformation. My sculptures will transform the Cloud Forest into a different world. I am truly excited, as my works have never been placed in such an environment before. Indeed, by embracing this transformation, one can experience so much joy and wonder in life.

If The Falls site is without the “Thinker” one would just experience a magnificent waterfall in constant dynamic flow… Once the sculpture is placed, the site is transformed into a whole new world… At the same time, it raises the question of how one should contemplate quietly in an environment in constant flux. These two form a perfect match, for it is between movement and rest that we find that life is not one-dimensional. We can enjoy the things in life, and we can also contemplate about them. The work is about immersing in a tranquil world, where one can abandon the mundane triviality, complex issues, worries and anxieties in life to find peace and solace.