如果，擾動不安的山勢和鄧氏「搓點皴」所造就的硬礫粗糙山質，讓山的外層給出戲劇而強烈的張力，那麼它的內層，則訴諸於一段絕對的距離感之置入。平順的內層山體和煙嵐輕動的飛瀑，被外層形勢詭奇的巨大山壑推隔開來，遠遠地退縮在那一層層深厚的墨黑山坳深處。誇張的動勢、戲劇性的氛圍、繁茂過剩的細節、華麗壯觀、高反差對比，這些不正是巴洛克藝術的特徵嗎？但鄧卜君汲取的北宋山水養分以及十七世紀巴洛克美學表現，終究是為了將觀者帶入一個心靈內在空間。面對著這樣的一座山，觀者時而被怪異、難以定向的巉岩所吸引與推拒；時而迷惑於那只能窺見局部，卻永遠不可能獲知那深秘山坳內之真正光景為何。這一探究理的欲望，不斷地被那段不可跨越的距離所擊挫。進一步觀看的欲望，一再被誘引，一再受到懸置。然而，這懸置或擊挫，卻背謬地成為那唯一能將作為主體的觀者，與作為客體的繪畫之間原本存在的距離，聯而為一的「不可見的內空間」的發生條件。這個「不可見的內空間」，也就是「一幅畫」真正「發生」的「處所」。米歇爾‧亨利（Michel Henry）的「不可見的揭顯」（révélation invisible）或者梅洛龐蒂（Maurice Merleau-Ponty）的「內在驅動」（animation intérieure），所探究的，都是這樣的內空間。
鄧卜君的作品創造出的內空間除了訴諸翻動的情感，它同時連向概念。依舊是山水雲石，但這次，〈有海藍宝的石窗〉（2020）取用的是馬格利特著名的「畫中畫」結構。馬格利特的畫作〈人類境況〉（La Condtion Humaine）（1933）的影響，可以輕易地從作品中辨認出。但就如同鄧卜君與北宋山水的關係，這些來自於過去的藝術史、或甚至藝術家個人的古董接觸經驗的外部參照， 往往不必然是種單純的承續。這裡的「畫中畫」，更多是一位當代水墨畫家所即將著手創造的變相物的引註法。〈有海藍宝的石窗〉的石窗外，環繞著一片以青綠山水描繪出的無邊蓊鬱山巔，群峰簇擁，綿延相連。石窗內的窗景，準確地接合著石窗外的山景，成為窗外空間的向內延伸。只是，一進到石窗內，原本蔥翠蓬軟的山頭，瞬間轉為峰面銳利、石表枯乾的土黃嶙峋怪石群。疊置於青綠山水前的石窗內圖像，像極了一張直立於青綠山水前方的X光片，但給出某種前世今生的恍忽：這窗內的前景，是這生意盎然的青綠山水的萬年過去或是千年未來？這石窗是否正是一道異時空穿越門？疑問並未就此打住，窗框中，堆立著十數顆黑色乾墨畫成的圓石。石與石之間，以危如絲髮的平衡懸繫著。窗框上，數顆圓石散置。以細緻的素描技法畫成的圓石，擁有完美的量體感及重量感。置於無厚度的平面窗框內的它們，與石窗的強烈扁面感，形成無法調和的空間維度分歧矛盾。至於石窗中那顆直豎而立的海藍寶石，以近於呼吸燈的悠緩頻率，如謎般地微微閃爍，成為畫中另一道沒有解答的問句。
 關於亂流與系統，參見米榭．塞荷（Michel Serres）, 《寄食者》（Le Parasite），伍啟鴻、陳榮泰譯，新店：群學，2018，頁132-134。
 參見白居易，〈太湖石記〉，843年。「[…] 撮要而言：則三山五嶽，百洞千壑，覼縷簇縮，盡在其中。百仞一拳，千里一瞬，坐而得之。[…] 」。
 參見米榭．塞荷（Michel Serres）, 《寄食者》，同前註。
Teng Pu-Chun’s “Landscape of Turbulence”
Director & Associate Professor of the Institute of Plastic Arts, Tainan National University of the Arts
Looking back on the tradition of ink landscape, from circumspective observation of nature to literati’s expression of thoughts and feelings, ink landscape paintings, despite the long-lasting and evolving history, are rarely baffling. However, Teng Pu-Chun’s ink landscape painting is often so. “Surreal” is a label frequently attributed to Teng’s work. Nevertheless, can we really so easily and conveniently use the term to contain the “unthinkable” in the ink landscapes of this contemporary artist? What are the key elements that constitute this “invisible inner space”? Why are the viewer’s perception and awareness consistently challenged by Teng’s work while being endlessly drawn to it?
Teng’s work is filled with “noise” and “turbulence.” Perhaps, “the landscape of turbulence” can be used to generally describe his work, which is woven with turbulent flows and occupied by visual noise. However, the term turbulence here does not denote chaos and mess. Turbulence refers to the infiltrating and penetrating flow. In this process, there might be a contingent moment when the flow assumes some temporarily stabilized forms and stays unchanged for a brief moment, but it will eventually continue to deviate from the equilibrium. Turbulence does not simply refer to the form of painting adopted by this contemporary ink painter. Upon the encounter between his work and the viewer, an invisible inner space engendered by such encounter is also entwined with turbulence.
Clear Stream in a Cold Ravine (2020) depicts a monolithic rocky mountain that uprightly rises from the ground and soars into the sky in a seemingly endless manner, filling and even overbrimming the image in our imagination. Although the mountain’s contour is delineated with dense ink and the rocky surface is covered with “rolled wrinkle strokes,” a texturizing technique created by Teng, this mountain is entirely different from the majestically craggy mountains that directly face the viewer and exude a masculine quality in Fan Kuan’s painting. On the contrarily, this mountain created by Teng reveals a complicated, entangled structure – it is a colossal ravine that has a structure comprising an interior layer and an exterior layer. The exterior stands as two separated parts on both sides of the image and leaves a narrow crevice in the middle, resembling “two panels of a door.” Oval boulders that might fall at any moment are precariously wedged in between “the door panels” in the upper and middle sections. The entire ravine is layered and curls inwardly, and reminds us of boiling, bubbling lava at the beginning of the earth that is not yet cooled down and might flow towards any possible direction. Within the ravine, there are about nineteen smooth-looking layers of mountains and more than twenty waterfalls cascading down the mountains amidst delightful, ethereal mountain mist.
If the disturbing mountain terrain and the rough mountain texture created with Teng’s “rolled wrinkle strokes” produce the dramatic, intense tension of the mountain’s exterior layer, its inner layer exudes an absolute feeling of distance. The smooth inner mountain, with the misty, streaming waterfalls becomes secluded by the treacherously formed outer layer of the enormous mountain, receding further into the dark, layered recess of the ravine. Are the exaggerated momentum, the dramatic atmosphere, the elaborately excessive details, the ostensibly impressive view, and the vivid contrast not the characteristics of the Baroque art? Yet, Teng’s purpose of absorbing the features of ink landscape painting from the Northern Song dynasty as well as the aesthetic expression of the 17th-century Baroque art has always been to transport his viewers into an inner, spiritual space. Facing such a mountain, the viewer is sometimes drawn and resisted by the bizarre-looking, hazardous rocks sprawling towards all directions, and sometimes becomes baffled by the partial view of the ravine, whose real visage within the mysterious depth can never be known. The longing to explore the depth is constantly denied by the unsurpassable distance, yet the desire to see more is repeatedly aroused and suspended. Nonetheless, the suspension or denial paradoxically serves as the sole prerequisite to “the invisible inner space,” which bridges the distance between the viewer as the only subject and the painting as the object – this “invisible inner space” is precisely the “site” where “a painting” really “takes place.” Both Michel Henry’s discussion about the “révélation invisible” (revelation of the invisible) and Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s idea of the “animation intérieure” (internal animation) are about the exploration of such an inner space.
The inner space created by Teng’s work not only stirs emotions, it also creates conceptual links. Although still depicting landscape, clouds and rocks, Stone Window with an Aquamarine (2020) employs the structure of “a painting within a painting” notably used by René Magritte. One can easily detect the influence of René Magritte’s La Condition Humaine (The Human Condition, 1933) in this painting. Yet, just like Teng’s relationship with the ink landscape from the Northern Song dynasty, these external references to art history and even the artist’s experience of dealing antiques are not necessarily simple continuation of past tradition.  In this work, the form of “a painting within a painting” is revealed as a form of annotation for the metamorphosis of things by this contemporary ink painter. Outside the stone window in Stone Window with an Aquamarine is a seemingly vast and lush mountainous vista comprising endless, rolling peaks. The view within the stone window precisely links with the mountain view outside the stone window, allowing the external space to extend into the window. However, once within the window frame, the verdant, soft mountain peaks suddenly transform into a sharp-edged, dry-surfaced cluster of earthy rocks in peculiar shapes. Stacked within the stone window frame in front of the green landscape, the image of the rock clusters resembles an X-ray set up in front of the greenery but conveys a confusion between past and present: Is the foreground in the window the remote past or the distant future of the lush landscape? Is this stone window a portal between different temporal dimensions? The questions do not stop here. A dozen of round boulders delineated with black dry ink are erected within the window frame. The balance between these boulders seems to be delicately hanging on a thread. Just above the window pane, there are also several boulders. These round boulders, drawn with fine sketching techniques, possess a perfect sense of volume and weight. Placed within the two-dimensional window frame, they create an intense contrast with the flatness of the stone window, producing an irreconcilable contradiction in the spatial dimension. The aquamarine standing upright in the stone window, mysteriously glimmering in a slow-paced rate like that of a breathing light, becomes another unanswered question in the painting.
Speaking of turbulence, Tribute to Ni Zan (2019) could be considered the best example. Viewing this landscape, the first question would perhaps be about the objecthood of the work: Is it a painting or an object? The artist copied Ni Zan’s Six Gentlemen in the painting, drawing the viewer’s vision to the depth of the image. The viewer’s line of sight glides above the expansive lake as he or she imagines the desolateness and calmness of the “one river, two banks” composition. However, Teng rather smoothly joins the lake with the peculiar rocky terrain of the entire Taihu Lake with the bank in the foreground. The viewer’s line of sight is therefore guided out from the image of Six Gentlemen and unknowingly follows the somewhat corporeal and multilayered stone mountain. The viewer’s line of sight wanders between the summit and the water edge until it reaches a pane of transparent glass! The realistic materiality of the glass is deliberately emphasized, and its cold, sharp edges make people want to keep at a safe distance. When the viewer becomes aware of the glass, the mountainous landscape above the glass instantly becomes a small artificial landscape of a mountain rock in his or her mind. Even though the viewer was imaginatively traveling through three mountains and five pinnacles or a hundred caves and a thousand ravines, “the mountain peak that is hundreds of meters high” is restored to “a tiny rock” and “the scenic landscape that is thousands of miles away” can be “viewed in an instant.” As the viewer’s line of sight moves through the glass, it is clear that the Taihu Lake stone extends to below the glass. Yet, different from the realistic delineation of the mountain rock with dense ink and rolled strokes above the glass, the rocky view at the lower bottom of the image is portrayed in a lighter shade, with more wrinkled strokes than rolled strokes. As a result, the rocky landscape below the glass seems closer to the imaginary image of the painted subject. Finally, the viewer’s line of sight extends to the top of the painting, where some extremely unreal white clouds float as if they were taken out of the video game of the Super Mario Bros. As for the extensively layered background with a blue color usually found in thang-ka, is it an azure sky that is overly blue? Closely examining its texture, one can see that the artist intentionally creates varying shades of ink texture by applying the color with rolling strokes that cover the entire background. For a very long time, the material that painting is created on has been concealed to make the painted image prominent. In this case, nevertheless, the interactive effect between paper and ink texture vividly highlights the two-dimensionality of painting and its material limitation. By and large, although this painting is titled Tribute to Ni Zan, it is in fact a stage of continuous changes, with interlacing images of objects, both realistic and imaginary.
Unquestionably, Teng’s work is epistemological. To confine his paintings with the label of “surreal” is too overlook the many questions that they pose to the viewer. From referencing the external world by depicting sceneries to Tung Chi-Chang’s notion of treating ink and brush as an aesthetic object, ink landscape now finally enters the realm of epistemology. Teng’s landscape consistently poses questions, which remove the comfortable, safe cognitive preconception that people are familiar with and interrogate people’s understanding and perception of things. All the seductive anomalies and discomfort mean to open the viewer’s vision. While the viewer is entrapped with the fantastical uncertainties and repeatedly confirms and decodes, the entire system is nonetheless deviating again and again. Perhaps, the viewer will eventually become aware that the so-called equilibrium and stability of any system in the cosmos is a pure myth and idealization that can never be realized. Furthermore, one should say that the only way to resist death is through constant deviation – the constant deviation to refuse being concealed and frozen in time.
 Regarding the concept of the turbulence and system, see Michel Serres’s Le Parasite. Trans. Wu Chi-Hung and Chen Jung-Tai. Hsintien: Socio Publishing, 2018, pp. 132-4.
 Teng once pointed out the connection between the square window and some antiques that have square openings in an interview with Emerson Wang.
 See Pai Chu-Yi’s “Taihu Lake Stone” (843 AD): “in short, the three great mountains and five famous pinnacles, and hundreds of caves and thousands of ravines, brought together in clusters and minimized, are all found in the stones. The mountain peak that is hundreds of meters high is epitomized by a tiny rock and the scenic landscape that is thousands of miles away can be viewed in an instant while sitting at home.”
 See Michel Serres’s Le Parasite. Same as note 1.