在喬爾西藝術設計學院(Chelsea College of Art and Design)遇到了我的恩師之一──Amanda，她開啟了我不一樣的思考邏輯，我們之間無話不談，終將目前創作的風格統稱為「非空間」(None-Space)，也為我的功課題訂了「非空間」的名字。在喬爾西藝術學院時，我每天都是愉悅的，因為這種自由的學習風氣才是我一直想要的。而之後在皇家藝術學院(Royal College of Art)則有幸地遇到Sir.Tim Mara及Sir. Jonathan，我和他們及Amanda不斷的交換心得，相互溝通。
我個人對藍色有極深的偏愛，總覺得藍色會講話，好神秘、不可思議，透明卻又很深邃……，就像聽著瑪麗亞．卡拉斯(Maria Callas, 1923~1977)的聲音般被環抱著，很近卻又遠遠地。回想起1997年時，一個人坐在開往西班牙的火車上，望向窗外看到滿天的藍，清澈的河水倒映著各種不同的藍，那樣的光、影、色，打從心底深處的激動，如此的純粹……，自那時起，藍更深深的烙印在我心底最深的那一塊兒。
我篤信有這麼一個空間的存在，「非空間」是存在於每一個人的心中，「非空間」是非物質的，就像空氣。它，並沒有任何的條規來充滿對應，沒有開始，也沒有結束。它，不只是精神的！所以，得藉由各種不同的語言將它翻譯出、表達出，或許它是一幅畫，一段舞蹈，一曲音樂，一首詩歌，亦或是哲學、心理學……。即便如此，我會使用藝術表現出我所想、所見，畢竟我只擅長此一表現工具，以禪宗的一個公案「十牛圖」為例，倒不失一個好方式。莫札特(W.A. Mozart, 1756-1791)曾說：「我不會寫詩，我也不是畫家不能用圖畫來表現，我更不是舞蹈家，但我可以用聲音來表達我想表達，我所能表達，因為我是個音樂家」。
Blue and All Its Creations: None-Space
Jo Hsieh Artist
I clearly remember, when I was about four years old my mother bought me poster paints in red, yellow and blue to play with. In addition, she taught me the magic of transformation: red + yellow = orange, blue + yellow = green, red + blue = purple, a world of ever-changing richness and diversity surrounding me. I don’t know why that made me fall in love with art, or why it was that my artistic awakening all came from my mother teaching me what ‘colour’ is.
On my 18th birthday, I asked myself, what I really wanted to achieve in this life? Whilst a full life contains several eighteens of years, the candles lit for an eighteenth birthday burn just once, thus, I set myself to completing the necessary formalities, and made straight for my long-desired British Royal College of Art.
It was at Chelsea College of Art and Design that I encountered one of my most respected teachers – Amanda. She opened my mind to new manners of thought and reflection, and together we talked of anything and everything. All the ideas which have collectively become None-Space were derived from a homework assignment entitled‘None-Space’. Whilst at Chelsea, every day was a delight to me, as the liberated atmosphere of study was exactly what I had always sought. Afterwards, at the Royal College of Art, I was fortunate enough to meet Sir Tim Mara and Sir Jonathan. They, Amanda and I continuously communicate and exchange ideas and knowledge.
I personally have a profound attachment to the colour blue. I have always felt that blue is a colour that can speak, that is mysterious, unfathomable, transparent yet deep… Like the experience of listening to the voice of Maria Callas (1923-1977) it encompasses all, and is at once close and immeasurably distant. I remember in 1997, sitting alone on a train bound for Spain, looking out of the window on a perfect blue sky. The limpid waters of the river below reflected back a myriad of different blues: light, shadow and color so utterly pure they stirred the very abysses of the soul. Starting from that moment, blue branded itself onto the deepest corners of my heart.
I believe firmly in the existence of both‘space’and‘None-Space’which exists within the heart of each and every person.‘None-space’is immaterial. Like air, it corresponds to no rules, it has no beginning and no end, and is not merely spiritual! Thus, it can be translated and expressed in all languages, or through painting, dancing, music, or poetry, or else it is expressed in philosophy, psychology… Even so, I use art to make manifest all I imagine, all I see – after all, these are the only tools I know how to use. The Zen Buddhist koan Ten Bulls (a series of portraits showing the path to enlightenment) is a good example. W.A. Mozart (1756-1791) once said‘I cannot write in verse, for I am no poet. I cannot arrange the parts of speech with such art as to produce effects of light and shade, for I am no painter. Even by signs and gestures I cannot express my thoughts and feelings, for I am no dancer. But I can do so by means of sounds, for I am a musician.’
None-Space is beginning and also ending, but the ending is also a beginning. If you were to carefully compare these two points – that is the present points of‘beginning’and‘ending’ – you would discover that the space between those points is infinite, and so‘None-Space’ emerges.
None-Space is interior, it is thought, it is consciousness, it is completeness and it is also nothingness. It is intuitive, it is happiness, it has no shape, it has no body. It is limpid, and, like fog, it never makes demands. It is natural, it flies, it is timeless, it is abstract and has neither laws nor limits, it is infinite, and it is beauty!
It exists in the depths of the soul!
It is pure, and simple!
Ego: non-ego; self: selflessness; for many people, this is a problem that can never be untangled. In truth, it is not irresolvable, but is among the most restrictive and profound of issues. It is the esoteric nature of the problem which means many do not have the penetrating insight to resolve it. Explaining‘ego; non-ego’is not hard, as it is the essence of None-Space. Through painting I have gradually come to realize that explaining what I understand is better than no explanation.
Ego; non-ego is a philosophical problem, yet in parts it is also a problem concerning mystical experience. It can be taken as a philosophical problem because, on a purely theoretical level,‘non-ego’(anatta, non-self) encompasses realms of consciousness, serenity and joy; many people believe that having ego/self is to reach a state of eternal happiness. However, the‘self ’they speak of is the self of physical existence. Clearly these individuals exist in None-Space, but they are not purely self/ego, as some are illusory and the ones that are not illusory are natural. They should not be clung to and regarded as ego as it is our own wisdom, minute, unconscious‘collective age’that makes us cling to them.
Non-ego is thus careful and profound, intangible in nature. If we had the ability to see through‘non-ego’, we would be able to see the truth of all things with wide and penetrating insight, no matter be they material or immaterial, wordly, or transcendent. We would be able to comprehend the extraordinariness inherent in all things, free from attachment and infatuation, uncontrolled by anything, with a life and mind that is truly free and with the purity of being completely liberated and happy. It only needs that care is taken so that the soul does not reattach itself to the concept of‘self ’or indeed to any other time or thing. This is the state of calm and of purity. If there is a spiritual awareness and consciousness of ego, self and material existence, then the soul will reattach itself to ego and self, and the heart will be smothered, unhappy, imprisoned, and thus unable to achieve contentment.
Set amid the tides of modern art, I wondered how I could develop my ideas of None-Space without removing myself from the sphere of modern art. To testify to my own existence, I chose to combine my creative freedom with a desire to explore and verify philosophical propositions about consciousness and spirituality. As stated by psychologists, philosophers and others:‘The world of the subconscious is free, pure, primitive, but is suppressed by the conscious mind. It is only subconscious activity that can approach ego (self).’As for how I can realise my own creative assignment, I can only let nature take its course. I must allow the None-Space Jo Hsieh to fully express herself, without fear of the consequences, as None-Space is transparent, flexible and in its depths is reflected everything!