Space, Time, Material, and Spirituality: Form and Appearance in LEE Kuang-Yu’s Sculptural Works
文/ 王哲雄 By Joseph WANG
法國巴黎第四大學藝術史與考古學博士 PhD, Histoire de l’art et archéologie, Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV)
國立台灣師範大學美術系所前主任所長 Former Dean of the Department of Fine Arts, National Taiwan Normal University
現任實踐大學工業產品設計研究所教授 Professor, Department of Industrial Design, Shih Chien University
I. On Form and Appearance
「形」(forme, 出自拉丁文的forma) 是一種既抽象又實在的狀態或實體。它指涉的範圍包羅萬象，似乎整個宇宙涵容的一切，都無法撇開與「形」的關係。當然，筆者無意在此談論所有「形」的問題，因為這將是無底深淵錯綜複雜的探索。單就藝術創作或藝術作品涉及「形」的論述，已經有如亂麻千頭萬緒。然而，要談李光裕的雕塑藝術，不談「形」的問題是絕對不可能；再說，前人對於藝術與「形」的談論或撰述，無論如何，多少已有相當清晰的研究脈絡，可供參考和發想。
“Form”, from Latin forma, denotes an entity or state of affairs that is both abstract and concrete. So all-encompassing is it in its scope that not even the whole content of the universe can eschew some relationship with it. I will not, of course, enter into the problems of “form” tout court, because to do so would be an exploration of a bottomless abyss of complexities. Even to treat of “form” in artistic creations or works of art is already to enter a thicket of complications. However, when regarding the sculptural works of Lee Kuang-Yu, not to talk of the problems of “form” is an absolute impossibility. In any event, there is a well-developed body of past literature discussing the subject of art and form, that has laid clear paths for research and speculation.
我們不難從許多名人名言，在談論「形」和藝術的關係時，看出他們的角度與觀點是如此差異不同，或甚至相左。詩人、作家和藝術批評家波特萊爾(Charles Baudelaire 1821-1867)就說過：「包括由人類創出的一切創造的形，是永垂不朽。因為形是超脫物質而獨立的，再說形不是由分子建構起來的。」1足見波特萊爾對「形」的詮釋，是從浪漫主義精神至上的角度去論斷；相同的浪漫情懷，在文學家雨果(Victor Hugo 1802-1885 )的看法是：「形，是(內心)深處浮現於(視象)表面」2。1957年諾貝爾文學獎得主的卡繆 (Albert Camus 1913-1960)他說：「創造，同時也是對一種形賦於它的命運」3，明顯地帶著存在主義哲學的色彩，指涉創造與「形」的人格化。英國詩人格瑞福斯(Robert Graves 1895-1985)則說：「所有藝術的形式是為了合理化藝術家心靈中感情衝突的一種企圖」4，他觸及藝術家與「形」的情感關連。至於首創「想像的博物館」(Musée imaginaire)觀念的馬勒侯(André Malraux 1901-1976 )，他又有他的邏輯看法而說：「什麼是藝術呢? 就是當形變成風格」5，他點出「形」之被定義，亦即「形」變成藝術家的分身或代言者的時候，風格自然形成，也就是藝術家完成他的創作行為，其結果便是藝術。
Well-known commentators have discussed the relation between form and art from widely different perspectives and viewpoints, even contradictory ones. The poet, writer, and literary critic Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) wrote, “All created form, even that which is created by man, is immortal. For form is independent of matter: molecules do not constitute form.”1 It is clear here that Baudelaire’s interpretation of form derives from his perspective as an exponent of Romanticism. In a similar vein, the writer Victor Hugo (1802-1885) wrote, “Form is the essence brought to the surface.”2 In 1957, the Nobel Prize recipient Albert Camus (1913-1960) wrote, “To create is likewise to give a form to one’s fate,”3 bringing a markedly existentialist emphasis to the discussion, personifying creation and form. The English poet Robert Graves (1895-1985) wrote, “Art of every sort… is an attempt to rationalize some emotional conflict in the artist’s mind,”4 touching here on the emotional link between the artist and form. André Malraux (1901-1976), brought his logical perspective to bear on his unprecedented “Musée imaginaire” when he wrote, “What is art? It is that whereby form is transmuted into style.”5 He pointed out a definition of form, namely that when form becomes the proxy or representative of the artist, a style naturally emerges, and the latter thus fulfils their creative function, and the result is art.
1 “Toute forme créée, même par l’homme, est immortelle. Car la forme est indépendante de la matière, et ce ne sont pas les molécules qui constituent la forme.” (Charles Baudelaire, Journaux Intimes)
2 «La forme, c’est le fond qui remonte à la surface. » (Victor Hugo)
3 «Créer, c’est aussi donner une forme à son destin. » (Albert Camus, from Le Mythe de Sisyphe)
4 « Toute forme d’art est une tentative pour rationaliser un conflit d’émotions dans l’esprit de l’artiste. » (Robert Graves, On English Poetry, XIV “The Daffodils”.)
5 «Qu’est-ce que l’art ? Ce par quoi les formes deviennent style. » (André Malraux)
法國大文豪巴爾札克(Honoré de Balzac 1799-1850)，在他生命的最後二十年裡，還扮演一位出色的新聞觀察家和政治思想家的角色；於「論政治」的系列文章裡曾經寫道：「一切都是形，而連生活也都是一種形」6。於是，身兼美學家、藝術史學家暨藝術批評家的弗希昂(Henri Focillon 1881-1943)，就順著巴爾札克的觀點，認為人類的一切活動都有其特殊的形式，藝術活動自然也不能例外；當論及藝術作品的「形」時，在他膾炙人口的著作：《形的生命》(Vie des forms, Paris, 1934初版)一書，首先在其形的世界 (Le monde des formes)，開通明義章的總論裡，一再強調「生命是形體，而形體就是生活的模式」(La vie est forme, et la forme est le mode de la vie.)的觀念之外；他特別提出四項討論形的主軸：I. 空間裡的形 (Les formes dans l’espace)；II. 材質裡的形 (Les formes dans la matière)；III. 靈性中的形 (Les formes dans l’esprit)；IV. 時間中的形 (Les formes dans le temps)。此外，另一部分是討論藝術家心、手的緊密關係，內心的「形」需要透過「雙手」呈現；反之，靈巧的「雙手」會提升內心塑形的層次。所以有「手的頌揚」(Éloge de la main) 的篇章。
The great French man of letters Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850), in the final twenty years of his life, played the role of eminent observer of the events of the day, as well as political ideologist. In one of his political writings he wrote, “Everything is form, and life itself is a form”.6 By way of Balzac’s perspective, the art theorist, historian, and critic Henri Focillon (1881-1943) held that all human activities had their peculiar forms, and aesthetic activity was naturally no exception. He discussed form in works of art in his book Vie des formes (Paris, 1934), intended for a popular audience. His general thesis was introduced here in Le monde des formes [“The world of forms”], where he reiterated that “life is form, and form is the mode of life.” His argument revolved on four axes: 1. Forms in space (Les formes dans l’espace); 2. Material forms (Les formes dans la matière); 3. Mental forms (Les formes dans l’esprit) and 4. Temporal forms (Les formes dans le temps). In a chapter entitled Éloge de la main (In praise of the hand), he also wrote about the intimate connection between the artist’s mind and the paired hands; by contrast, dexterity of the two hands also enhances the mind’s form-shaping capacity.
6 Balzac: «Tout est forme, et la vie même est une forme, » cited in Henri Focillon, Vie des forms, 8th ed., Quadrige/ PUF, Paris, 1984, p. 2.
這位出生在法國迪戎市(Dijon)的弗希昂，雖然逝世至今已超過七十年以上，然而他身為理論家和藝術史學家的思考邏輯和研究方法，其重要性卻是越來越被關注。他的《形式論》(Formalisme)，儘管當時引來某些討論，卻造就不少後來的學者，諸如法國藝術史學家波尼(Jean Bony 1908-1995)與美國藝術史學者布朗內(Robert Branner 1927-1973)，他們對歌德式建築研究的卓越成就；即使深受德國哲學家卡希瑞爾(Ernst Cassirer 1874-1945)，特別是在藝術語言的象徵作用影響下的美國學術界，依然還是有如凱布勒(George Kubler 1912-1996)、塞穆爾(Charles Seymour Jr. 1912-1977)、漢米爾頓(George H. Hamilton 1875-1948)等諸位名藝術史學者，堅持篤信弗希昂的觀點，並且更從他對藝術品本身，博大精深的歷史視野去發揚光大。弗希昂在西方藝術領域裡，論形方面的專家中，確實是一位具有獨到見解的學者；他的研究領域，甚至還延伸至東方的宗教藝術7。
Focillon was born in Dijon, France, and although he died when he was already past seventy, as theorist and art historian his style of reasoning and his research methods won him increasing recognition. His brand of formalism, even if little discussed at the time, nevertheless attracted many followers later on, such as the French art historian Jean Brony (1908-1995) and the American art historian Robert Branner (1927-1973), both of whom contributed outstanding work in the study of German architecture. However steeped in the German philosophy of Ernst Cassirer (1874-1945), which was a feature of American academia at the time with its focus on symbols in artistic idioms, there continued to be scholars who were devoted to Focillon’s work, such as George Kubler (1912-1996), Charles Seymour, Jr. (1912-1977), and George H. Hamilton (1875-1948). The continued his focus on the work of art itself, widening historical horizons in a far-reaching and profound way. Focillon was indeed an original scholar, and with his specialized treatment of form he occupies a special place in Western art, and the research field he opened up has extended to Asian religious art as well.7
7 Henri Focillon, L’Art bouddhique (Buddhist art), Paris: H. Laurens, 1921.
筆者發現李光裕(Lee Kuang-Yu)對形的概念所抱持的態度和觀點，在許多方面與弗希昂的觀點非常相近；儘管兩人時空背景完全是南轅北轍，一點關係都沒有，但思想如此交集神會，大概只有一句諺語：「心有靈犀一點通」可以解釋得了。其實，筆者認識李光裕算是滿早的，雖然我的年齡比他大十五歲，但是我們是同一年(1984)進入國立藝術學院美術系(即現今國立台北藝術大學美術系的前身)任教的老同事，他從西班牙馬德里大學(Universidad Complutense de Madrid)攻讀雕塑創作回國，而我則從法國巴黎第四大學研究西洋美術史應國科會之邀返抵國門。雖然我是在國立台灣師範大學美術系所專任，而在國立台北藝術大學是兼任，每星期只去一次，但從蘆洲僑大先修班的舊校址，直到1991年遷到關渡現址，筆者還在那兒教了一年(後因台北關渡通車有點遠而辭去兼職)；八年當中，我們常有機會在系辦公室或校車上交談；之後也經常在各種校外的會議、評審場合聊過，在他汐止的工作室和雕塑園區初創階段，還曾上山參觀，對他的作品和人生觀都不陌生。
This writer discovered that the attitudes and views held by Lee Kuang-Yu toward the concept of “form” closely approximated those of Focillon’s in many respects. The two may have been poles apart in terms of their times and their backgrounds, with not a single point of contact, but in their ways of thinking, there was a meeting of minds, a kind of “telepathic communion” would be one way to explain it. I had, in fact, been acquainted with Lee Kuang-Yu quite early on. Although I was fifteen years older than he, we had both begun teaching in the Fine Arts department of National University of the Arts in the same year, in 1984 (this was the predecessor of the present-day National Taipei University of the Arts, Department of Fine Arts). He had returned home to Taiwan after studying sculpture at the Complutense University of Madrid, and I had returned, at the request of the National Science Council, from the Sorbonne in Paris where I was researching Western art history. Although I had a full-time faculty position in the Fine Arts department of National Taiwan Normal University, I taught part-time at the National Taipei University of the Arts, teaching there once a week. But this was at its former location at the Luzhou National University Preparatory School, until it was moved to its new location in 1991 in Guandu (I later resigned that position due to the long commute between Taipei and Guandu). In the eight years that I was there, I often had occasion to have discussions with him in the faculty rooms or on the bus, and later as well, speaking with him at various extracurricular meetings or reviews. I also visited his studio in Xizhi and his sculpture park when it was only just beginning, so I was no stranger to his works or to his views on life.
For the present article, I again went to Lee Kuang-yu’s studio to exchange views with him, in order to gain an understanding of his new works, and of the relationship between their forms and the developments in his creative thinking. With his assistance I produced a simple “Notebook” out of this.8 His sculptural production is essentially the manifestation of a concrete mode of living. In his own words, he says, “I seldom go down from here. My life is very simple. It just consists of making sculpture, and landscaping and planting trees in the sculpture garden. I apply my thought process and reasoning about sculpture to the creation of the garden, and the concepts of space in the garden reflect back into my sculptural work. The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is take a walk in the garden, through the greenery, and while I am relaxing I can see the distant mountain opposite. The mountain is an existence that is eternally stable, and yet is as fleeting as a cloud, and in that way the mountain’s entire form can transform. When I am out in nature, I experience the mountain’s changes, and experience the reason behind change itself. And I have a special sense of the change within myself. The original śūnyatā or void changes the mind into a plenitude, and this is what the artist is engaged in.”9
8 On August 24, 2014, accompanied by the ceramic artist Lillian Tseng, I went to interview Lee Kuang-yu’s at his studio and sculpture garden. The original interview was recorded, but due to the less-than-optimal recording quality, I had to rely on the notes of my assistant Lu Yahui to remember, so there may be slight discrepancies.
9 同上註；並參閱 李光裕 空山個展影片，采泥藝術。
9 See the above note, and cf. Lee Kuang-yu: Mountain Emptiness, video of solo show, Cini Gallery.
以上李光裕的一段表述不正是弗希昂「生命是形體，而形體就是生活的模式」最貼切的註腳和實證！? 對李光裕而言，雕塑的「形」或「造型」是生活中，個人心靈智慧自然發展的認同感，藉物質或材料去表達它在空間和時間範疇的張力，它本身是創作也是理念。法國自然主義的文學家福婁拜赫(Gustave Flaubert 1821-1880) 說得一點也不錯：「形催生了理念」(« De la forme naît l’idée. »)；弗希昂衍伸得更徹底更深入，在「手的頌揚」(Éloge de la main)篇章裡，是如此寫著：「不過在靈性與巧手之間的關係，並非如同主、僕之間的尊、從那般單純。靈性出巧手，巧手造靈性。無實質創造的動作、未能開花結果的姿態，是可以誘發與界定意識的狀態。創造性的動作與姿態則對內在生命進行一種持續性的影響作用。手使動作與姿態跳脫其被動接受的情境，手將動作姿態組織起來成為經驗和行動。手讓人學會擁有廣度、重量、密度、數量。在創造一個全新的宇宙當中，處處留下它的印記。它和它要轉化的材質較量，也與它要變形的形體交鋒。手是人的導師，它使人在空間和時間裡擴大繁衍。」10所以，「靈性」與「巧手」的關係，對弗希昂和李光裕而言，是一體兩面而非從屬，是相互激勵互相成長。
As an interpretation and instantiation of Focillon’s “life is form, and form is the mode of life,” nothing could be closer than Lee Kuang-Yu remarks here! For Lee Kuang-Yu, “form” or “creating form” is an identification with the natural development of the individual mind and intelligence that takes place in life itself, and, by means of matter or materials, it is expressed within the tension between spatiotemporal categories. In itself it is both creative activity and philosophy. Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), the French exponent of Naturalism, was correct in his statement that “Form gives birth to the idea” (« De la forme naît l’idée. ») and Focillon pursued this vein more deeply in the chapter “Éloge de la main,” where he writes: “But the relations between the spirit and the hand are not a simple as that between a master and a docile servant. The spirit makes the hand, and the hand makes the mind. The non-creative gesture, the gesture without issue provokes and defines the state of consciousness. The creative gesture exerts a continuous activity on the inner life. The hand arrogates the sense of touch to its receptive passivity, and organizes it for the purpose of experience and action. It teaches man to possess extensibility, weight, density, number. Creating an unprecedented universe, it leaves its mark everywhere. It measures itself with respect to the matter that it transforms, with the form that it transfigures. As the teacher of man, it multiplies him in space and time.”10 Thus, for both Focillon and for Lee Kuang-Yu, “spirit” and “hand” are coterminous and not subordinate the one to the other. Each fosters the other, each grows the other.
10 Henri Focillon, Vie des forms (Paris: Quadrige/PUF, 1984, 8th ed.), p. 128: “Mais entre esprit et main les relations ne sont pas aussi simples que celles d’un chef obéi et d’un docile serviteur. L’esprit fait la main, la main fait l’esprit. Le geste qui ne crée pas, le geste sans lendemain provoque et définit l’état de conscience. Le geste qui crée exerce une action continue sur la vie intérieure. La main arrache le toucher à sa passivité réceptive, elle l’organise pour l’expérience et pour l’action. Elle apprend à l’homme à posséder l’étendue, le poids, la densité, le nombre. Créant un univers inédit, elle y laisse partout son empreinte. Elle se mesure avec la matière qu’elle métamorphose, avec la forme qu’elle transfigure. Educatrice de l’homme, elle le multiplie dans l’espace et dans le temps.”
至於「象」， 即所謂的「影像」或「形象」 (image, 出自拉丁文的imago, imaginis)，事實上和「形」是分不開的。它是透過視覺或心理的管道，呈現某些物件之類的東西、生物、人物，或是心理思維與觀念。「影像」可以是自然形成的，例如影子、倒影…；也可以是人為產生的，比如繪畫、雕塑、照片…等；不論是可見的或不能見的、可觸摸的實體或觀念性的隱喻，「影像」能保持和母題全然相同的關係，或相反地維繫一種更象徵性的關係。但對「符號學」(sémiologie)或它已發展成視覺符號區塊的「符號學」而言，「影像」是一種被特殊語言設定的產物。對「影像」的界定，最古老說法之一是來自古希臘的柏拉圖 ：「我稱為影像的首推影子，然後便是我們在水中所看到的倒影，或者是不透明、光滑的人體外觀輪廓。」11這種對「影像」概念的解釋，已經明顯呈現無法涵蓋當今對它賦與的意義，但唯一不變的概念就是「形」與「象」永遠一體的，不管是在具體的，或是不可見也觸摸不到的內心觀念的狀況下；換句話說，「形」必須靠「象」來顯示或感知，而「象」必須賴「形」來界定或指涉。
With regard to the “image”, and what is called the “phenomenal image” or “formal image” (“image” coming from the Latin imago, imaginis), it is actually inseparable from “image”. It manifests some type of material thing, animal, person, or mental thought or concept through the conduit of visual perception or mental activity. “Phenomenal image” may arise naturally, as with a shadow or a reflection. It can also be manmade, as with a painting, sculpture, or photograph. Whether said entity is visible or invisible, tangible reality or conceptual metaphor, the “phenomenal image” can preserve a relationship of full identity to its originating motif, or contrariwise, maintain a more symbolic relationship with it. However, “phenomenal image” is a specialized term in semiology, or the semiology of blocks of visual symbols that it has developed into. Plato has given one of the most ancient definitions of this “image”: “By ‘image’ I mean first the shadows, then the reflections seen in water or on the surface of opaque bodies, polished and shining.”11 From this explanation of the concept of “phenomenal image” it already clearly emerges that the meaning that has been assigned it is insufficient. However, the sole unchanging concept here is that “form” and “image” are always integral; regardless of whether concrete or invisible, it does not achieve the status of a mental concept. In other words, “form” necessarily depends upon “image” to manifest itself or be perceived, and “image” relies on “form” to become defined or registered.
11 Plato: “j’appelle image d’abord les ombres ensuite les reflets qu’on voit dans les eaux, ou à la surface des corps opaques, polis et brillants.”
II. Space is the rhythm of sculpture’s life-breath
雕塑屬於空間藝術的說法，應該是不會有人反對，因為它和建築藝術一樣，本身是具有三次元體積，而且實質佔有空間的「造型」。但是，李光裕的雕塑空間觀念，即便是他早期具古典風采，幾近平面的「淺浮雕」(bas-relief)：〈夜〉，他都不會讓空間的界定僅僅維繫在平面的長、寬、高，這種「亞爾伯提透視法」(Perspective albertienne)12當中發酵，更不會拘泥或停滯在具體的「形」與「象」 和周邊環境空間的單純對應關係上打轉。當李光裕開始探討「虛」、「實」造型概念的建構時，他對「形」與「象」跟空間的關係，就鎖定在作品內在與外在的互動效應。更進一步說，他對雕塑與空間的關係，不是替作品找到最理想、最合適、最協調的展示與座落的環境，而是當「形」成為生命體的時候，它會使物質能量不時地改變，連帶地會促進「形」在轉化的意識，所以，最理想、最合適、最協調的環境空間，也會自動重新洗牌；反過來說，外在的空間場域，它有明暗、陰晴、季節、時間的變化，會影響作品「形象」的恆常狀態，進而轉變作品的原始張力並修正其生命流動的向度。舉例來說，李光裕2013所創作的〈在水一方〉，與早期作品「圓雕」(ronde-bosse)的創作思維，有非常不一樣的概念。早期的「圓雕」通常是以相對寫實的手法，呈現雕塑家對「形」的掌握應有的功力和想像力，那怕是在變形的狀態下，他都願意留下一個能和傳統連結的窗口。座落於捷運「台大醫院站」月台的〈蓮花持〉，圍繞著唯一的主題：拿著含苞待放蓮花的佛手，象徵著醫生濟世救人的菩薩精神；雖然在佛手的無名指及尾指和手掌之間，李光裕的造型巧思留下一處斷層缺口，渾厚的體積感和構成的邏輯，還是依然可以連結到傳統「圓雕」的概念。
That sculpture is an art of spatiality should meet with no objection. Like architecture, it possesses three-dimensional volume, and substantially occupies a “shape” in material space. However, in Lee Kuang-Yu’s conception of sculptural space, he does not admit a definition of space as merely composed of the planes of length, breadth, and height, and approaches the planar quality of bas-relief, as in his Night, that ferments in an Albertian perspective.12Nor does he allow himself to be constrained or bogged down by whether the specific “form” and “image” will revolve around each other in a purely correspondent relationship with the surrounding space. When Lee Kuang-Yu began to investigate the structure of formal concepts of emptiness and concreteness, he looked at the relationship of “form” and “image” to space, and focused attention on the interplay between internal and external aspects of the work. Furthermore, when Lee approaches the relation between sculpture and spatiality, it is not a question to him of finding the most ideal, most appropriate, most harmonious place to locate and display the work, but rather of taking the work’s “form” as a living body, which will, from time to time, change in its material capabilities, and in doing so valorize the consciousness of change of this “form”. Thus the most ideal, most appropriate, most harmonious space will also automatically reshuffle these elements. On the other hand, external spatial fields are subject to changes in light and shade, the seasons, and time, which influence the durable state of the work’s “formal image”, thereby transforming the original tensions in the work, altering the scale of its life flow. For example, Lee Kuang-Yu’s 2013 work Across the Water use of the ronde‑bosse enameling of his early works. His early ronde‑bosse works were realist in their tenor, and revealed the skill and imagination of the sculptor’s in his grasp of “form”. Even though it showed deformity, he wanted to leave open a door open to tradition. Located on the platform of the National Taiwan University Hospital MRT station, Lotus Grip, it revolves around one theme: the Buddha’s hand grasping a budding lotus flower, symbolizing the Bodhisattva spirit within the medical profession of saving humanity. Lee Kuang-Yu’s inspired design leaves a gap in the Buddha’s third finger, imparting a deep feeling of volume and compositional logic, and preserving a connection with the traditional round Yuandiao sculpture.
12 此透視法是由義大利文藝復興時期，建築師、畫家暨數學家，亞爾伯提(Leon Battista Alberti 1404-1472)於1435年左右創立，至今仍然在平面繪畫用於表現人或物占有周圍空間的立體幻象。
12 The Italian Renaissance architect, painter, and mathematician Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472) invented this method of perspective viewing in around 1435, and it is still in use today to render illusionistic three-dimensional images on a planar surface.
The work Across the Water obviously makes traditional Yuandiao carvings into a formal structural concept. It is a renewed search for a broad freedom to set structural “form” in a dialogue with new concepts of space. We are initially encountered with the works stylistic diversity: figurative and non-traditional Yuandiao round carvings of human heads, hollowed out and drilled, and simulacra of bodies standing in for the abstract entities “emptiness,” “concreteness.” In an even more Surrealist mode there appears the “phenomenal image” of the palm of the hand. Lee Kuang-Yu is in control of his formal aesthetics, which is to say he does not incorporate fixed principles; sometimes his images will represent classic Yuandiao of a typical sculptor giving consideration to a sense of bulk and fullness. He will make the form of the head very full, but in portraying the structure of the hair, the face, eyebrows, eyes, and eyelashes, he will adopt linear, “painterly” techniques, mixing them in a “sculptural” volume. With this freedom he can liberate the inherent Yuandiao that is in the formal sculptural concept, and he can also impart a rich vitality to the form of the work.
至於該作品鏤空穿透的「虛」象和「實」形之間的互動，是李光裕新近作品不可等閒視之的新空間觀念。現代雕塑在實體鏤空的概念，始於烏克蘭血統美國籍的亞奇邊可(Alexander Archipenko, 或譯為阿基彭科,1887-1964)，他在1908年抵達巴黎時，正好是立體主義創立的第二年，造型觀念傾向幾何形體化；復與「絕對主義」(Suprématisme)的倡導者，馬勒維奇(Kazimir Malevich 1879-1935)及其學生利西茨基(El Lissitzky 1890-1941)過從甚密，所以他在1912年便創生鏤空造型的觀念，對雕塑空間的新詮釋，絕不是無的放矢；他說：「在藝術裡，虛空間之形，其重要性絕不亞於實體形的意義」13。接著有蘇俄人法國籍的雕塑家查德金(Ossip Zadkine 1890-1967)，以及英國雕塑家摩爾(Henry Moore 1898-1986)；他們鏤空穿透的「虛」象和「實」形，是建立在表裡關係和互相依存的空間共體上。查德金的作品《詩人，向保羅‧耶律亞赫致敬》(Le poète ou hommage à Paul Eluard, 1954, Jardin du Luxembourg)，是藝術家在超現實主義的法國詩人，耶律亞赫逝世後兩年完成的紀念雕塑。首先觀察到藝術家的造型，受立體主義以面呈現體積的觀念影響，其次是上半身胸部到肚臍之間以鏤空穿透的手法，留出一個跟實體造型互動較勁的「虛」象，換句話說，這種「虛」象的形體考量是和實體造型的構思是同時進行的，它們的重要性絕無孰輕孰重的預設立場，沒有主從關係之分也無賓主之別，這種「虛象空間」(negative space) 當它變成和「具體空間」(positive space) 等同層次的具體意義時，就像是太極的陰陽，宇宙大觀的晝夜，有時是互相吻合仰賴的協調，有時是相互對峙的競爭力量。再說，摩爾在1930年代開始積極推動「穿透的造型」(piercing forms)和「開放空間」(open space)，而後來的作品，更是直接就具象造型(figurative forms)體中，鏤空穿透出開放空間，展開「凹凸空間」 (convex and concave spaces)的大探索。更正確地說，摩爾對實體造型的完成是以「虛象空間」的考量為優先，或至少同步進行的思維是堅定的。
The interpenetration of the image of “emptiness” and “concreteness” in this open work by Lee Kuang-Yu is a new concept of space that cannot be taken lightly. The idea of using negative spaces in solid forms in modern sculpture was initiated by Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964), a US citizen who was born in the Ukraine. At the end of 1908 he went to Paris, where the Cubist movement was in its second year, and his concepts of the plastic arts tended toward geometrized forms. He then became close associates of the main advocate for Suprematism, Kazimir Malevich (1879-1935) and his student El Lissitzky (1890-1941). In 1912 he then invented the concept of empty, negative space within an artwork, and a new interpretation for the empty space within a sculpture that was no idle formulation. He wrote, “In art the shape of the empty space should be no less significant than the meaning of the shape of the solid matter.”13After him, there were the Russian-born French sculptor Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967) and the American Henry Moore (1989-1986). By using the image of emptiness and form of concreteness, they established the relationship between the inner and outer, and the interdependence of empty space and material substance. Zadkine’s Le poète ou hommage à Paul Éluard (“The poet, or homage to Paul Éluard,” 1954, Jardin du Luxembourg) is the artist’s work on the Surrealist French poet, completed two years after Éluard’s death. A first inspection of the work shows the influence of Cubism in the way surfaces reveal volume, but then the upper half of the body, from the chest to the navel, is penetrated by a hollow, producing an image of competition between the solid portion and the empty space. In other words, the figural image of emptiness is executed simultaneously with the concrete form of the composition; neither has priority, and there is no primary/secondary or guest/host relationship by which to distinguish them. Here negative space and positive space occupy the same level of concrete significance, just as the alternating cosmological Yin and Yang and the cycling of the universe, sometimes there is mutual coordination, and other times there is strife. In the 1930s, Henry Moore began to actively explore “piercing forms” and “open space,” and in his later works featured convex and concave spaces opening directly within his figurative forms. More precisely, “negative space” had priority within his finished concrete forms, or at least was firmly synchronized with them.
13 Rachel Adler, Archipenko, Rachel Adler Gallery, New York, 1993.
“In art the shape of the empty space should be no less significant than the meaning of the shape of the solid matter.”
李光裕的作品，集結、融合、轉化三位西方雕塑家的「虛象空間」和「具體空間」的論述與辯證，延伸出一個「虛中有實」的「超度空間」(Transcendimensional Space)，這是全然屬於他新創的空間「語境」。我們可以從〈丘壑〉(Refuge)(2013, 銅, 39 x 31 x 73 cm)作品的中間鏤空處，發現一種無法以「虛象空間」含混帶過的空間思維，明確地劃開李光裕與稍前所提的西方雕塑家，對虛實空間的論述範疇。筆者之所以將李光裕的「虛中有實」稱為「超度空間」的理由，是因為這凹空間裡確實保留一個高低起伏，形如綿延的山石風景；在人體的實體中出現如此的凹空間，不僅僅是離奇的超現實，它是超越宇宙的宇宙，它是天外有天的「另空間」，它是李光裕雕塑生命的心臟，透過它的視覺影像，我們聽到的是脈動和呼吸的節奏。
Lee Kuang-Yu’s works combine, integrate, and transform the discussions and dialectics of negative and positive space in the three sculptors mentioned above. Extending this, a “transcendimensional space”, or positive-within-the-empty, is added. This is part of a new concept of space that he calls “context”. From the empty spaces seen within his work Refuge (2013, bronze, 39×31×73 cm) we can discover an ambiguous idea of spatiality in its “negative space,” clearly delineating Lee Kuang-Yu from the Western sculptors of the previous years in its treatment of the category of interpenetrating emptiness and concreteness. My reason for calling Lee Kuang-Yu’s concreteness-within-emptiness “transcendimensional space” is due to the fact that this concave space actually retains an oscillating contour, in form like the rippling of a mountain landscape. This topology also occurs in the human figure, and is not a bizarre oddity; it is an “alternate space” that is a cosmos that transcends the cosmos, a heaven beyond heaven. This is at the heart of the vitality of Lee Kuang-Yu’s sculpture, and in attending to this visual image, we hear its rhythmic pulse and breath.
III. Time is the chronicle of the event and the liberation of form
以常理而言，藝術品應該是超越任何時代的一種「永恆」，也就是說，「時間」不是視覺造型藝術家最重要的考量，那怕自古就有藝術家把春、夏、秋、冬四季的概念，以繪畫的形式或透過雕塑等的立體造型的模式表現出來，他們的創作活動探討的主要問題還是在「空間」。在藝術史上唯一強調時間因素的是「未來主義」 (Futurisme) : 例如波契歐尼（Umberto Boccioni 1882-1916）的《在空間裡持續行走的獨特形體》(Forme Unique de Continuité dans l’Espace, 1913, Bronze, 126.4 x 89 x 40.6 cm, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan.)。「未來主義」的誕生是有其歷史背景，因為「文藝復興」燦爛的光環，讓義大利藝術家過度陶醉在古希臘文化的優雅與理想美，而長久養成一種不關心時代的變化，甚至執迷不悟的「嗜古主義」(passéisme)，所以義大利詩人馬利內提(Filippo Tommaso Marinetti 1876-1944) 於1909年2月20日的 «費迦羅報»(Le Figaro)，發表「未來主義的宣言」(Manifeste du Futurisme)；「宣言」的第四條款是如此寫著 ：「我們肯定地認為這個變化萬千的光燦世界，已廣闊地孕育出一種新形式的美：那就是『速度』的美。一部配置著有如蛇狀蜿蜒粗大排氣管的車箱而蓄勢待發的跑車…一部咆哮、急馳如子彈飛奔的車子，比薩摩塔斯勝利女神雕像還要美。」14因此「未來主義」的形成一方面是二十世紀工業文明激發出來的動力美學的「事件」(événement)，同時也是義大利長久以來，歷史累積出來的「歷史事件」(événement historique)。
Conventional wisdom holds that the work of art should transcend its times in a kind of “eternity,” which means that for the visual artist, time is not the primary consideration. Regardless of the fact that since time immemorial, painters and sculptors have taken the changing seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter as their subject matter, and have embodied this in three-dimensional form, the principal question in their creative exploration has been that of “spatiality”. The only art-historical movement to emphasize the factor of temporality has been futurism, for example Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916), in his Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913, bronze, 126.4×89×40.6 cm, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan). Futurism arose from a specific historical background. The glittering halo of the Italian Renaissance made Italy’s artists over infatuated with the grace and ideal beauty of ancient Greek culture, with the result that they eventually became indifferent to their own times and obstinately held to a kind of passéism. Thus, poet Filippo Tommasso Marinetti (1876-1944) published, in the February 20, 1909 issue of Le Figaro, his Futurist Manifesto, the fourth paragraph of which states: “We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing automobile with its hood adorned with great tubes like serpents with explosive breath … a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.”14The emergence of Futurism can thus be described, on the one hand, as an “event” arising from an aesthetics of force triggered by twentieth century civilization. On the other hand, it was also a “historical event” arising from particularities hat had accumulated for a long time within Italian history.
14 Le Figaro, February 20: “4. Nous déclarons que la splendeur du monde s’est enrichie d’une beauté nouvelle : la beauté de la vitesse. Une automobile de course avec son coffre orné de gros tuyaux tells des serpents à l’haleine explosive…une automobile rugissante, qui a l’air de courir sur de la mitraille, est plus belle que la Victoire de Samothrace.”
Focillon wrote, “To speak of the life of forms is inevitably to invoke the idea of succession.” He continued: “But the very idea of succession presupposes different concepts of time. Time may be interpreted in turn as a fixed norm of measurement or as a mere general movement, as a series of immobile happenings or as a continuous mobility.”15Historical disciplines dissolve this contradiction by means of definite structurations. History is research and investigation into past events, and if no framework of “time” has been adopted as a benchmark, historical research degenerates into meaninglessness, with no consensus about its proper task. As everyone knows, the three principal elements of history are persons, places, and times, and so the concept of time, for the historian, is an important means of research. Chronology, a basic framework for structuring history, is arranged according to decade, and in the investigation of peoples in their geographic locations, there are further subdivisions into particular events happening in every key moment in every year. Historians impose temporal boundaries of centuries for incidents accumulated across generations, and over the interval of one hundred years, observing their development and evolution, summing up the distinctive features of each century, and bestowing on each a particular formal appearance.
15 Henri Focillon, op. cit. p. 83: “Parler de la vie des formes, c’est évoquer nécessairement l’idée de succession…Mais l’idée de succession suppose des conceptions divers du temps. Il peut être interprété tour à tour comme une norme de mesure et comme un mouvement, comme une série d’immobilités et comme une mouvement mobilité sans arrêt.”
乍看之下，藝術史的發展似乎也是循著歷史發展的軌跡，實際上藝術創作的活動不必然是在締造歷史「事件」，藝術品的產生即便是多麼有創意，多麼具革命性，可能那只是藝術家個人，單純內在省思的結果，不一定是反應與外在環境相同的「時態」(時代性)，甚至經常還以逆向思考的形式來詮釋外在的「時代性」，那是因為藝術家不認為藝術創作的思維行徑，必須受歷史文明「進步論」(Progressivism)的綁架。所謂「進步論」就是以時間的前後來定調社會文化的先進和落後；也就是說時代越新進，意味著社會體制更完美文化更優質。這種以時間軸論定社會文化進步與否的「進化論」(Evolutionism)，事實上隱藏著種族優越感的成分，當然經不起某些專門研究種族與文化的學者，如雷威-史特豪斯(Claude Lévi-Strauss 1908-2009)的批判，這位擁有法國院士銜的資深人類學家(anthropologue)、民族語言學家(ethnologue)暨哲學家的大學者，曾在1971年應邀於巴黎聯合國教科文組織(UNESCO)演講，講題是「種族與文化」(Race et Culture)，除了贏得滿堂彩和熱烈的迴響外，文稿也完整地被刊登於聯合國教科文組織的《社會科學國際期刊》(la Revue internationale des sciences sociales, UNESCO, 1971/12)；這篇文章可以算是，他在1952年就已經刊載於同一刊物的《種族與歷史》(Race et Histoire)之增訂加強版。雷威-史特豪斯認同並尊重不同種族與不同歷史的差異，否定「進步論」或「進化論」的優劣比較；堅決主張以文化的多元性，來救援某些面臨邊緣化甚至絕跡的文化。
At first glance, art-historical developments would seem to follow the trajectory of historical ones. but artistic creativity is not a foundational historical event. However creative or revolutionary a work of art may be, its origin may be due solely to the individual artist and the fruits of his or her private reflections. It is not necessarily a reflection of the contingencies of its historical context (historicity), so that frequently, explanation will proceed in the reverse direction, and forms of thought be adduced to explain the historicity that is external to the work. This is because artists do not consider the thought processes behind artistic creation to be subject to any “progressivist ideology” in cultural history. This progressivist ideology adjudicates whether a society and culture is backwards or advanced according to directionality in time. So a more advanced epoch implies a social organization that is culturally more excellent and more complete. This “evolutionism,” adjudicating whether or not a society and culture is advanced in accordance with a timeline, actually contains an element of ethnocentrism, which has prompted the criticism of anthropologists and scholars in the human sciences such as Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009). Anthropologist, ethnologist, and philosopher, he was a seasoned academic and member of the Académie française. In 1971, on the invitation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) he gave a lecture entitled “Race et culture” (“Race and culture”) that earned a resounding standing ovation. The text of the lecture was published in the Revue internationale des sciences sociales (UNESCO, 1971/12). This text may be regarded as an amplification of a text he wrote in 1952 published under the title Race et histoire (“Race and history”). Levi-Strauss both acknowledges and applauds the ethnic differences that exist and have existed across different historical periods, denying the primacy of any evolutionism or progressive ideology. He steadfastly advocated cultural relativism, and the support of cultures that have been marginalized and face extinction.
There is indeed a sequentiality to history; different ethnic groups create their own history, accumulating their own culture. There is only difference; there is no precedence by age, nor any distinction between backward and advanced cultures. Of works that bear the weight of this macroanalysis, there are none more apposite than the sculptural creations of Lee Kuang-Yu. His Mouth goes from the Chinese pictograph to the story of Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis in the western holy scriptures, covering the expanse of time that has passed since the origins of humankind in its diversity of history and cultures. By assuming the burden of temporal memory in this way, Lee Kuang-Yu is also responding simultaneously to postmodern thought. For him, “time” is “chronology,” the accumulated events of different epochs; the “form” is synthetic, it is open, free, liberated. Newer works, such as Intoxication is even freer and more untrammeled with respect to “form”. Like a Sui-Tang period figure, it resembles a human body wrapped in a lotus leaf, or more aptly, one that is formed from a lotus leaf. But the natural and dynamic movement that the human form should have is also of a piece with the natural form of the lotus leaf, and is vivid and lifelike in its taking on of both interdependent roles. It is both human figure and lotus leaf. This doubling of the body into non-homogeneous surfaces recalls the anachronistic illogic of Surrealism, a stark contrast with Cubism’s logic of simultaneity, where disparate components of homogeneous surfaces are presented at the same time.
Of necessity, the two elements of space and time must be bound together, and in Lee Kuang-Yu’s aesthetic concept of doubling of the body is the transformation of the speed of time into “pull” and “the symbolic,” but it is also a new extension of time into “conductor” and “carrier”. Wandering in the Misty Mountains (2013) is basically the palm of a hand, and in principle the hollow of the palm and the back of the hand form two surfaces of one body. This is not, however, the normal palm of a human body: both visual image and haptic texture of the hollow of the palm and the back of the hand degenerate, each allowing a qualitative change in the other, forming two heterogeneous surfaces in the one body. The hollow of the palm goes from bearing an abstract haptic surface to penetrating the “negative space” of the back of the hand. A new space is extended, and within this “negative space” appear symbolic clouds that lead the imagination of the viewer to a vivid image personified, of the ramifying peaks of a mountain range stretching to the end of the extended fingers. This hand thus becomes a “carrier” of Eastern philosophy, a mode of cultural thinking, and space-time conversion. Moreover, the form and image of this “carrier” wanders in the “indeterminacy” between abstract and concrete, and in the “deconstruction and construction” of space-time. This releases Lee Kuang-Yu’s works from the spirit of “postmodernity.”
In Flying (2013), admittedly, we are reminded of the Futurist artists alluded to above, because of the feeling of speed engendered by the figure’s seeming to throw itself at us, as Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space. The spatiotemporal concepts in Lee Kuang-Yu’s works are expressed in his method of doubling of the body. Taking as theme the intimate embrace of heterosexual passion, the body is formed of several parts, constructed largely along the lines of the Yuandiao concept, and the forms of the limbs turn and intertwine somewhat like planes. This intentional deviation from the rational norms of anatomy and physiology ratchets up the tension of the work and constructs a random displacement to sustain the image and energy of movement and incessant transformation. Here, the flattening of the conjoined male and female heads is indeed a “carrier” of true “time”: One side of this surface is scored to reveal a man’s eye and cheek, which corresponds on the other side to a surface molded into a woman’s facial features. What is expressed here are not two different styles, but a symbol of the interchange of time and space, and figural form freed from logical constraints.
IV. Material is the flesh and blood of sculpture, and form is its activation
所謂「材質」(la matière)，就是材料物質。「形」的生命無所不在，然而一旦「形」未能藉助材料物質具體現身的話，「形」就只是停置於內心靈性的想法而已，正如弗希昂所言：「只要形未能藉材料物質活現，它就只是一種心裡情境的看法、一種對範圍減縮到幾何形體清楚易懂的思考而已。」16藝術創作，特別是立體造形藝術，跟材料物質的關係更為緊密；沒有材料物質，就不可能有藝術品，沒有材料物質，更無法得知藝術本身將會以何種適切的形式呈現。所以自古以來，雖有強調精神凌駕物質之上的「唯心論」，也有強調精神再高依舊還是要仰賴物質的所謂「唯物論」；平心而論，精神—物質(esprit- matière)或物質—造形(matière-forme )是某種程度的對立，也是某種程度的互為依存，但材料物質變成藝術家的藝術品，絕不是二元對立或相依如此單純的邏輯可以解釋，這過程必須經過藝術家對材料物質選擇的思維判斷，揣測材料物質的色彩、密度、肌理和紋路等材料的性質，是否和藝術家期待的形式語言同調；再說，材質本身也有它原本天然的造形，它也一樣會對藝術家的造形思維或形式造成一定程度的影響。另外創作者的專業技法、處理與應用材質的能力…都告訴我們，從材料物質轉變成藝術品是極端複雜和微妙的過程。而且，經過這個過程之後，材質已經不再是原來的屬性。做成雕像的木頭不再是樹林中的木頭；雕刻成人物的大理石不再是建造產業的大理石；鎔鑄成雕塑的金、銀、銅或其他金屬，已經成為未知的金屬而不再是原本礦層的金屬；從窯燒出來的磚頭或陶瓷已經和原本的黏土沒有關連。因此，材質雖然來自天然，但經過藝術家的手和靈性的冶煉過程後，已經蛻化為藝術家心靈所期待的「形」與「象」，它不再是代表自然物。
What goes by the name of material is simply material substance? The life of form is ubiquitous, and yet once form is unable to instantiate itself with the aid of matter, it remains a mere mental form. As Focillon writes, “To the extent that it is divorced from material, form is but a view of the mind, a speculation on extensibility reduced to geometric intelligibility.”16Artistic creations, particularly three-dimensional ones, are even more intimately linked with material substance. Without it there can be no work of art, and without material substance, there can be no way to know the appropriate form in which art will manifest. Thus, since ancient times, the spirit has been valorized over material substance in a philosophy of idealism, as well one that emphasized the dependence of the spirit on matter in a philosophy of materialism. On balance, spirit-matter, or matter-form, are antitheses, to some degree, but they are also interdependent to some degree. The transformation of material substance into an artist’s work of art is not something that logic can explain with its binary oppositions, however. Selection of materials and reflective judgment must take place in this artistic process. There must be speculation on the color of the materials, their density, texture, and patterns, and whether the artist can expect that these materials are adaptable to his or her formal language. Moreover, material substance is essentially the natural form, and this will influence the artist’s aesthetics and specific formal process. The creator’s abilities with respect to specialized techniques, ways of handling and applying the materials, and so on, are all factors that indicate the extreme complexity and subtlety of the processes by which material substances are transformed into works of art. Once this process has been completed, the material will never have the attributes it originally had. The wooden statue will never again be the wood of the tree; a large stone cut into a human figure will never be marble for the construction industry; gold, silver, copper, or other metals, once cast into statues, are already unknown metals and will never again be metal or in the seam of mine. The brick or pottery fired from the kiln no longer has a relation with their original clay. Material substances, although originally natural, are processed by the artist and afterward are transmuted into the artist’s expectation of “form” and “image” and no longer represent natural materials.
16 Henri Focillon, op. cit. p. 50: “La forme n’est qu’une vue de l’esprit, une spéculation sur l’étendue réduite à l’intelligibilité géométrique, tant qu’elle ne vit pas dans la matière.”
當我們看到李光裕2013到2014年的作品，在「形」與「象」的創新，已到隨心所欲而又無往不利之境的時候，已經可以斷言他對材質的瞭解、掌控、選擇與開發的用心。讓我們分兩個階段來討論他對材質問題的探索，首先談他「翻鑄」前「塑模」的階段：他深深體認到泥塑絕不是現代雕塑唯一造形「塑模」的方法，泥塑甚至無法滿足和解決他內心所期待的形體的實現，要有大立就得先要有大破，任何「現成物」(Ready-made)或「協助現成物」(Ready-made aidé)，只要它能協助李光裕完成他新的造形語境，他都勇於嘗試，勇於公開分享。很多藝術家都不太願意透露創作的過程，李光裕務實而大方，向筆者解釋他「塑模」的方法和如何使用材料物質；他說有時因造形的需要，會以塑膠板彎折成各種弧度波折的形狀，然後在其上敷塗0.2至0.3公分的燒石膏，凝固後將塑膠板抽離拿開，並且在石膏上做好各種表面肌理的處理。17正是這一段過程，李光裕找到他個人獨特的「自由造形」，當然這種「自由造形」是依據他整體「塑模」的需要來決定它的形狀，來做增或減的組構與拼接，所以他在「塑模」的的過程中不斷的增或減(他寧可以減代替增)，不斷的使用可以讓他借力的各種材質，是無法預先知道最後完成的造形，當他精準的審美直覺讓他的手停下來，認為他內心期待的「形」已然成「象」，「塑模」的階段完成，最後完成的造形才誕生。整個過程充滿「隨機性」，後現代的「偶發性」思維，無時無刻不在扮演創新的要角。另外，特別要強調的是表面肌理的處理部分，也是李光裕心裡的「形」，透過材質的「載體」：刮、擦、斷、裂、凹、凸、坑、洞…形塑得極其自然，好像堆積了多少萬年的時光與歷史記憶的縮影，這種材質的處理方式，讓筆者不得不聯想到三年前才過世的西班牙當代藝術巨匠：塔畢耶斯(Antoni Tàpies1923-2012)的表面肌理的處理手法，兩者有著異曲同功之妙。
When we look at Lee Kuang-Yu’s works from 2013 until 2014, we see casual mastery and effortless success in his innovations in form and image. He shows attentive understanding, control, selection, and development of his materials. His investigations into the question of materials can be divided into two areas: casting and molding. To begin with the latter: At a deep level he recognizes that clay sculpture is not the sole method of molding. It is not even sufficient to realize or solve the problems of the forms he intends to realize. Radical transformation requires the destruction of the old. As for “ready-mades” or “assisted ready-mades,” Lee Kuang-Yu would gladly try them and publicly share them if they could assist his new aesthetic language. Many artists are unwilling to disclose their creative processes, but Lee Kuang-Yu is pragmatic and generous in this regard, and explained to this author his method of molding, and how he uses his materials. He said that often, because of requirements of a shape, he would bend a plastic backing into various shapes and forms, and then apply from 0.2 to 0.3 cm of gypsum paste, and after it had set he would remove the plastic backing, and thereupon apply surface texture to the gypsum.17It is exactly this process that is Lee Kuang-Yu’s unique “free-form creation”. Of course the forms he makes in this free-form creation is subordinate to the overall needs of his molding, in augmenting or lessening his structures and articulations. His process of molding involves incessant addition and subtraction (he prefers that subtraction should replace augmentation), and this lets him take advantage of a variety of materials. In this method it is impossible to know in advance the final form of the work. When a precise aesthetic intuition lets him know when to stop, having arrived at the form and image he was expecting, the molding process is complete. It is only at this point that the form is finished and born. The entire process is full of randomness, a postmodern notion of the sporadic, with innovation playing an intermittent role. Moreover, it is important to emphasize that the part played by the processing of surface textures also belongs to Lee Kuang-Yu’s concept of form, and is enabled by the material “carrier”: materials are scraped, rubbed, broken, cracked, made concave or convex, pitted, bored. The molding acquires an extremely natural character, as if tens of thousands of years had left their mark, and the signs of a historical memory. This way of processing material reminds this author of a Spanish artist who passed away only three years ago, Antoni Tàpies (1923-2012), whose way of processing textured surfaces was very much attuned to Lee’s.
17 Personal communication of Lee Kuang-yu on February 21, 2015.
The second area of Lee Kuang-Yu’s concern with materials centers around the bronze casting. After a mold has been completed, it is taken to a foundry where a bronze work is created from the cast through the lost-wax process. After cleaning, the surface is dyed and treated with verdigris, the main ingredient of which is basic copper carbonate. Using carbon dioxide or acetic acid gives the surface a green corroded layer, composed of the elements of copper, oxygen, and carbon, also called a patina. For a bronze to achieve this verdigris patina naturally would take a long time, at least 20 to 50 years. Once the verdigris is produced, it acts as an extremely high-density protective film, and also lends a historical aura or the flavor of a cultural artifact. The patina is not dissolved in water, but it can be using acid, so Lee Kuang-Yu uses acid to process the patina and change the color. This procedure is extremely important, as it can change the visual effect, the feel of the material, as well as the original texture of the material. It can intensify time, historical memory, and the cultural aura of the piece. Thus, having undergone this processing, the material is no longer a natural substance, the bronze having achieved the status of an animate, non-natural thing. To enrich the dialogue between materials, the artist may apply different metallic casts. For example, Setting Sun, is a sculpture in the round assembling a main figure with a decomposing surface, a construction that simultaneously enacts a human figure with drapery. The texture of the surface on which the figure reclines is multivariate, and is finished in a bronze cast. Elsewhere in the piece there are smooth curves that resemble a magic mirror reflecting deformations of the body, producing an illusory form of a block-like body. This portion is of stainless steel, while the bronze material is a dark brown, juxtaposed with the shining flashes from the stainless steel. This produces a visual contrast, a formal correspondence and interaction. For Lee Kuang-Yu, materials are the eternal flesh and blood of sculpture, and the key to vital forms.
V. Spirituality issues from the skilled artificer, the artificer creates spirituality
A pastoral-themed work full of western and traditional Asian religious stories, Calling Birds (2013) is both infatuating and thought-provoking. A shepherd, sitting on the back of an ox, one foot dangling to the ground and the other astride the ox’s back, is delineated in lines of movement that are flowing and graceful. He plays the reed pipe excitedly, a familiar sight, yet there is a hint of desolation and sadness. The form of the ox is even more dreamlike compared to the shepherd, having become a massive block, and from some angles its head is askew, revealing a crooked horn. In a conceptualized twining of bodies and limbs, it seems to be attentively listening to the main figure’s melody, like an Asian version of the god of music, Orpheus, with his temple on Mount Parnassus, surrounded by beasts and songbirds, charming the world with his music. How could Lee Kuang-Yu have created a fresh and unique sculpture with such aphrodisiac qualities? It impels the observer to sing with him in its spirituality.
The proverb “appearance arises from the heart” comes from a story in which the Tang Dynasty minister Pei Du (known as Zhong Li) encountered a Buddhist monk as a young boy, and is also a Buddhist saying, and in both uses it refers to the relation between one’s inner cultivation and one’s outer appearance. Over the past several years, Lee Kuang-Yu has been engaged with Buddhism, which has given him insight into various philosophies of life. He once told this writer, “I encountered Buddhism through reading Buddhist scriptures, which was not like in-depth academic study and interpretation, but rather was an inner experience of philosophy that I had not known about up to that point, or knew about only indistinctly.”18Over the years we have seen the Buddha’s gestures, sayings, statues appearing within Lee Kuang-Yu’s works in various different artistic contexts, enough to realize that the artist sees an overall, recurrent cycling from spirit to matter, from matter to creation of form, and from creation of form to spirituality. While it is true that “appearance arises from the heart” is a proverb that relates to human nature, it has a mysterious connection with the link between creating forms and spirituality. Reaching a mature understanding after a period of mental gestation, until the moment its ripeness is achieved, form will naturally and ingeniously appear if it has appropriate materials and when it is processed by the hand that is following the heart. When that period of mental gestation has reached a state of unalloyed maturity, creation of form is realized through the hands of the skilled artificer. The hands of the artificer constantly manifest the inner creation of forms, using the materials they encounter, with which they are familiar and which they understand through accumulated knowledge and experience. And this in turn purifies the mind again of the artificer. The proverb “spirituality issues from the skilled artificer, the artificer creates spirituality” expresses what Focillon, as described above in this essay, has said about the “life of forms.” I will therefore not go into too much detail, but simply analyze Lee Kuang-Yu’s recent work, to explain his new aesthetic, and the links between his spirituality and human relations.
18 Cf. note 8
2014年的〈思惟〉，李光裕全然打破圓雕的傳統量體觀念，他以解構的「片」、「面」，構築藝術家前所未有的「虛象空間」和「具體空間」，而創造一個「體」的新意象：是具象也是抽象；是現實也是超現實；這種造形語境其實從2008與2009之間就已經開始萌芽，2013孕育成形，2014全然脫胎換骨進入李光裕雕塑經歷的新紀元。當我們沿著作品周圍環視，它所顯現每一角度的造形都是完整的獨立個體，不必然要成為同一人體的各個組成部分；但合起來卻又是一個完整統一的〈思惟〉造形。〈思惟〉的造形，與羅丹(Auguste Rodin 1840-1917)的「沈思者」載負著完全不一樣的歷史與文化意涵，前者的造形想必從東方靜坐冥想的「單盤」盤起單腳而坐發想19，這種不拘形式的用心，隨遇而安的靈性鬆綁，釋放思維的上法。李光裕的造形語境，刷新「空間」、「時間」、「材質」的既有概念。
In his 2014 work Thinker, Lee Kuang-Yu achieved a complete breakthrough from the Yuandiao sculpture-in-the-round tradition, deconstructing the fragmentary and the surface, and constructing an unprecedented negative space and positive space, creating a new image of the body: one that is both concrete and abstract, both real and surreal. This artistic context actually first began to take shape between 2008 and 2009, coming to fruition in 2013 and 2014, when Lee Kuang-Yu fully came into his own in a new era in his career as a sculptor. In the works we have sketched here, each individual work stands complete and independent, each manifesting a unique perspective without necessarily having to form into the various components of one person. But taken as a whole, there is a unifying thread in Thinker. Compared with August Rodin’s Le penseur (The Thinker,1840-1917), Lee Kuang-Yu’s work has a completely different history and cultural import. His is rooted in the seated meditation posture typical in Asia, being attentive and not confining oneself to formalities, flexible in letting go of restrictions on one’s spiritual nature, letting go of thought in favor of the Dharma.19Lee Kuang-Yu’s artistic context involves a renovation of existing conceptions of space, time, and materials.
19 In seated meditation, both legs are crossed, and this is called shuangpan, and also the Lotus position. Sitting with one leg withdrawn is called danpan.
Subduing（2014) interprets a serious metaphor in a free and leisurely way. The metaphor comes from Asian philosophy: “Using softness to conquer strength.” Lee Kuang-Yu play with surface and body reveals an upside-down body with both legs in the air, both hands grasping the back of a heroic tiger. The tiger and lion are kings of the animal kingdom; how can such ferocious creatures be so easily subdued by ordinary people? Combat with the mind is superior than fighting with the body. It is compassion, and not violence, that subdues the wild tiger. Whether man or tiger, Lee Kuang-Yu adopts satire and humor in his work, with the spiritual qualities of the sayings “overcoming the mind is harder than defeating a tiger,” or “using softness to conquer strength.” Subduing also alludes to the Buddha’s attaining enlightenment by overcoming the heart, in the proverb “cutting off worry and subduing the mind”. The important thing is that Subduing is an unconstrained and apt presentation, with a unique style that arises from a perspicacious mind, and practiced hands. In other words, “spirituality issues from the skilled artificer, the artificer creates spirituality,” in a virtuous cycle that bears positive fruit.
Empty Procession (2014) is a work inspired by the traditional Tibetan Buddhist dakini. Dakini signifies a female supernatural being with powers enabling her to travel through the sky, and represents wisdom and compassion. She also represents the female energy of sudden illumination. Lee Kuang-Yu had a clear spiritual understanding from religion, and naturally developed Buddhist wisdom and knowledge. This turned his hands into precise instruments creating the Dakini from his own heart-wisdom. With one foot standing lightly on tiptoe representing the masculine tortoise-deity, symbolizing harmony of yin and yang. The other foot is in mid-air and forms the lotus meditation posture with one leg. Both arms are spread wide to the wind in a splendid posture that possesses both spirit and contemporaneity, rich with rhythm and dynamism.
“Form” is living. “Form” is a mode of life. Whatever is extant, whatever exists, exists for us in the mind, exists in the manifold of things. It lives contemporaneously with us, lives within historicity, and lives within the space of our imagination and our futurity. Lee Kuang-yu’s art shapes plenitude from the incomplete, and he has refreshed rigid definitions in the history of sculpture of carving and shaping. In Structuralist terms, out of fragmentary surfaces or levels of ineffability and indeterminacy, a postmodern Yuandiao sculpture is constructed both conceptually and formally. Tension and Surrealist imagery are his concerns, and with a constant dialogue between “negative space” and “positive space,” another “alternative space” is opened, an extracosmic cosmos, a heaven beyond heaven (Transcendimensional Space), at the heart of Lee Kuang-yu’s sculptural practice, through which we can hear its beating pulse and the rhythm of its breath.
In his concept of time, Lee Kuang-yu does not acknowledge any one-sided ideology of progressivism or evolutionism, but juxtaposes, in an anachronism of heterogeneous historical elements, different histories and cultures, mythologies and religions, traditions, proverbs. He thereby creates an image of a surrealism of categories, and a formal doubling of the body in changing time.
Material is the lifeblood of sculpture and is its corporeal form. Lee Kuang-yu attempts to create material juxtapositions in his works, seeking for different sculptural methods to transform the material textures and haptic qualities, and allowing Lee to instantiate his mental forms by processing surface textures: they are scraped, rubbed, broken, cracked, made concave or convex, pitted, bored, achieving an extremely natural appearance of having aged through history, a technique resembling that of the Spanish sculpture Antoni Tàpies.
In sum, Lee Kuang-yu’s sees technique and concept as two sides of one body. He continually cultivates an active spirituality, seeking knowledge and aiming at lofty spiritual goals, and his artistic practice follows suit. On the other hand, continual spiritual practice can become a substitute for the practice of creative art and the accumulation of experience of technique, and this makes the creative ideal ever loftier. Considered from this panoramic survey, this author can only offer Focillon’s statement that “spirituality issues from the skilled artificer, the artificer creates spirituality,” in tribute to the achievements and approbation he has earned from his assiduous efforts.