Unreturned Wanderer?Works by Leong Chi Mou – Perface
奈何未歸者? 梁子毛個人作品展- 前言


Leong Chi Mou’s solo exhibition organised by the Macau Art For All Society is part of the “Urban Identity”- New Immigrant Artists Exhibition Series. “New immigrant” suggests an external view of locality. In other words, it shows a certain built-in heterogeneity in the social field. In this context (Macau) where regional identity is inherently multi-layered, as roots and nomadism are the standard norms concerned, Leong uses the following methods of work in his creative process: 1. Transplanting contexts of images. 2. Explaining the reasonability of the ambiguous interpretations within a specific statement in a certain context. 3. The appropriateness of misplaced identity. He especially uses the inverted Said doctrine* (See note). With Leong, the “other” not only compromises with a confrontational attitude, but also highlights its own differences in a proactively welcoming manner. During this process it has gradually grown to form a new autonomous force. Under the “aesthetic” mask, new voice is emerged. In addition, Leong’s studio has also been arranged into an heterogeneous space.

Chi Mou is a person with a story, and the story leads to creation. In this world where nothing is new, the story is as the ancient poet has written, “not supposed to be the same yet ought to be the same from the ancient ones; not supposed to be different yet ought to be different from the ancient ones.” We might as well make a comparison between Chi Mou’s stories and the ancient tales:

Chi Mou’s first motivation for using images to discuss and narrate is the dilemma when he desires to integrate into the mainstream values ​​of the consumer society: On one hand is his desires to get along with his friends who are moving further and further, yet he cannot accept the individual’s alienation that pan-capitalisation society is bringing about. On the other hand is the extravagant desire to maintain independent values. A long time ago Leo Strauss wrote about Spinoza’s personal training notes. Spinoza’s writing had been a suspension of values, paradoxical yet tolerant, in which he corrected himself in a circuitous discourse. In order to find a balance between the consistency of his own view of truth and the necessity of integrating the mainstream values ​​of society, he had tried tirelessly to repeat, and to accurately grasp the possibility of multiple interpretations coexisting in a system, yet retaining the position of interesting prejudices. Comparing to the story of Chi Mou, it is an experience of painting and decorating the surface of a gold watch, leading to paintings called “Kun” and “Peng”. In “Kun”, his recognition of the social decency showed-off by the gold watch is an admission ticket that he can hold on, and the content of the picture also uses factors that are popular in the current society (auspicious ornamental fish, canned food representing the breath of consumer daily life and the eye of Horus representing the mysterious). The language of expressions also adopts the techniques that are popular in the contemporary art industry (dislocation, collage, paintings made on an easel yet beyond the rules of the rectangular shape, marked as “Made in Macau”). Then he mournfully named the painting “Kun”- which suggests an unbearable spirit of humiliation. This work has repeatedly led to mild criticisms and adopted a tension state of mind that both opposes and agrees, so that the reserved paraphrase dimension is no longer inappropriate. In this way, viewers are led to a space where they can judge by themselves and are free to extract any imaginations they need from Chi Mou’s works.

However, Chi Mou still feels the depression and the boredom in the air, so he made the long-screen painting “Maha Bharata” and replaced “salvation” with “free will”. Back to the story of the ancient, the gentry of the Six Dynasties discovered (invented) the aesthetics of scenery. Landscape was a balancing mechanism, as the opposite/psychological compensation of chaotic social space, and was favoured by literati. Ruan Ji had composed 82 poems of “Yong Huai”, in which hideous and surly images popped up in the hidden landscape every time. Nevertheless, these terrible scenes were always found in the pure lyrical/pure description of the simple and clean, dragged back to the simplicity of “Pastoral Melancholy”. It is like the restless aurora and twisted evergreen trees on the mountain. Therefore, pretending to be calm, and not deliberately concealing the turbulence and the noisy; the gloomy thoughts of caring for the world’s current affairs penetrates into the pleasant travelling of the landscape.

Finally, I couldn’t help but imagine a scene: Chi Mou is happy for no reason, unaware of the dance of his hands and feet; while the phone is placed aside, but making no sound. The images are becoming more and more useless for words, and finally only the imagery imprinted by the current of thoughts was left behind. He not only enshrines a self-carved Buddha statue, but also reverently takes over the work of restoring the holy icons. Once upon a time, there was a sick man named Vimalakirti. He was too knowledgeable that when he argued he appeared to be losing his mind. Not a single Buddhist saint nor arhat was able to win an argument with him. Finally they went to visit Vimalakirti. Therefore, he no longer developed profound theories, and relied his discourse only on specific scenes and feelings, such as artist-like sensibility, to initiate convenient methods, without having to say clearly, nor can he say anything clearly. Later, what he had said as a layman, was elevated and categorised to the status of “Sutra”, just as a venerable one’s. As a Mahayana practitioner who transcended direct transmission, he acquiesced himself to be regarded as a reincarnated person with a background, or he can be just like the audience. He was an ordinary layman who presided over the teachings of Dharma.

As for us, we are all immersed in the happiness of the sky full of flowers and rain, forgetting the way back.

Lei Lai


(*Note: Said’s criticism of non-Europeanism as a mis-plantation of taste originally criticises: 1. The prejudice of the mainstream of Western culture when viewing the culture of the other 2. The internalised “other” invented for itself in the late stage of advanced capitalism 3. It is a consumption by the eye at no cost / a spectacle of curiosity 4. Projection of dialectical opposites of oneself 5. Self-estrangement / a mediator of evasion)


梁子毛於澳門全藝社的個展是作為「城市.身份」——新移民藝術家專題系列展的一部分。「新移民」意味著對於本地的外部視野:或者說,昭示了該社會場域裡某種內鑲的異質性。在此間(澳門)地域認同本就是複合多義,塊莖、遊牧(後現代狀態)本身即是標配常態的情境下,子毛將 1. 圖像的語境移植 2. 解釋的歧義性在特定說話情境中的合理性 3. 錯位認同感的合宜等,定為了自身的創作命題。他尤重使用顛倒的薩義德(Said)學說(註)。在子毛那裏,「他者」既以對抗的姿態妥協,又以主動迎奉的方式突出著自己的差異,並且在這一過程中逐漸豐滿,成了新的自主力量——「審美」面具下,新的言語聲。連帶著,子毛的工作室也佈置成了一個異質空間。


子毛用圖像來夾議帶敘的第一個動機是渴望融入消費社會主流價值觀時的兩難:一是他渴望與漸行愈遠的朋友相契,卻接受不了泛資本化社會帶來的人格異化,二是奢想保持獨立的價值觀。很久以前曾有過一個列奧.施特勞斯(Leo Strauss),寫過關於斯賓諾莎(Spinoza)的個人修養筆記。斯賓諾莎的書寫,總是價值懸擱、悖解共容、迂回修正;為了在自身真理觀的一貫性,和融合社會主流價值觀的必要性,兩者之間找一個平衡點,每每竭力反復、試圖準確把握多元解釋在一個系統裏共存的可能性,且保留有趣的偏見的片語位置。相應的子毛故事,是一段為金錶表面畫裝飾的經歷,促成了名為《鯤》《鵬》的畫作。在《鯤》中,他對金錶所具社會體面性的認同,是他可以發言的入場券,而畫面內容也採用了當下社會喜聞樂見的因素(代表吉祥的觀賞魚,代表消費生活氣息的罐頭,代表神秘景象的荷魯斯眼),形式語言也採用了當代藝術行內喜見的手法(錯位、拼貼,是架上繪畫卻超越規則的四框,標記為「made in macau」的批判)。然後悲愴地起名為《鯤》——不堪被辱的風發意氣。這件作品一再重複溫和的批評,採用既反對又認同的張力心境,從而使保留的複義解析維度不再不合宜。觀者就能富有判斷力地,自能從子毛作品中自由提取自己需要的觀想。

而子毛的心中實在憂悶,遂制長屏畫作《摩訶婆羅多》,以「逍遙」來代替「拯救」之用。六朝的士族發現(發明)了對風景的審美。風景是一種平衡機制,作為混亂社會空間的對立面 / 心理補償,最為文人所青睞。阮籍有《詠懷》八十二首,每首在避世的風景中蹦出猙獰、乖戾的意象,而這諸種類似畫作中內的可怖物事,又總在高來高去、乾乾淨淨的純抒情 / 純描寫中,被拖回單純的「田園之憂鬱」。就像畫中那座山上躁動的極光和扭曲的常青樹。因此,故作平靜中,並不刻意掩飾動蕩嘈雜;對世情關懷的晦暗心跡,總滲透到山水的優遊中。





(註:薩義德批判作為趣味誤植的非歐主義,原是批判 1.西方文化主流觀看他者文化時的偏見 2.發達資本主義晚期為自己發明的內部他者 3.不付代價的目光消費品/獵奇景觀 4.自身辯證對立面的投射 5.自我疏離/逃避的介體)


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