Fondazione querini stampalia博物馆地处威尼斯岛的核心地段，是威尼斯最有学术分量的、最重要的美术馆之一。“Face To Face童雁汝南作品展”将于该馆一楼主展厅举办，这也是该美术馆主展厅首次举办的中国艺术家的展览。
Face To Face童雁汝南作品展
地点：威尼斯Fondazione querini stampalia博物馆一层
承办单位：威尼斯Fondazione querini stampalia博物馆
● 在意大利、德国、瑞士、新加坡、香港等美术馆举办十多次个展，在法国大皇宫国家博物馆、东京都美术馆等百余次联展；和Marlborough 、G.A.M 等画廊合作；作品被莫斯科现代艺术博物馆、古根海姆基金、 中国美术馆、中华艺术宫等收藏；获瑞士洛迦诺金杯奖、ISPEC特殊文化奖等。
● 杭州G20 、厦门金砖主会场艺术总监。曾策划数十项展览，顾问数十亿收藏基金。近年来探究中国文化艺术的源头及当代活化的方式，正策划有国家文化战略意义上的展览和项目。
1705301 Francesca Monti / 41x33cm
1707311 ALESSANDRO BONALUMI / 41x33cm
Q3：为什么选择41cm x 33cm的尺寸，正面，平涂的背景和几乎不变的风格？
童：这个尺寸是等同或略小于真实头像的比例、正面、平涂的背景，在视觉上没有太多张力的。虽然是一直画同一个尺寸、样式、风格，但平时也会有很多的积累，包括从小练书法和学国画，研究生上雕塑课程。除了这个尺寸外偶尔也会画其他大小的肖像。2006年户外写生大风景，4m x 3m，一天一幅，连续画11天。有一贯性，才会有穿透力。虽然看起来是十五年来每天不断地重复，但其实恰好相反，每一张脸都是鲜活的、不可以复制的，每次画的时候都像一次新的历险、一个新的挑战，画面都是丰富的新世界。
Q1 ：Could you tell us what is the final purposeof your work? Is there a way leading to this kind of state?
A: In fact, it is the “ Dao” (or Way) in the saying “ Painting can lead to Dao.” But the starting point and the final destination will still fall into the specific and actual qualitieshuman life. The place from which the thought of Laozi and Zhuangzi arisesdoes not pursue art as its object, “Dao”is the fundamental propulsion that creates the cosmos. In the realisation of Dao, the intention is not in art, but it is unexpectedly inclined towards art as something concrete in order to sublimate it. The most profound request of people towards religion has been understood in art. Art is a state in which one accesses directly the perfection of objects, contentment, a sense of connection with the universe, and it leads to the endlessness of nature.
We have no ways, procedures or methods to get to this state, but it still has several prerequisites. It demands to let go of the external, secondary, previous, subjective prejudices, to understand things without analysis, we must find it in the direct, pure feeling of things in the present moment, in that way they become our own things. One must let go of egotistical desires, including the desire to know and the desire to express ourselves actively. One must shut the ears to listen and stop the mind to feel. Based on this prerequisites, we may open the blockage in one's life and become one with the life of heaven, earth and all living things.
Q2: Why in this last fifteen years you have chosen to confine almost all your work within the subject matter of portrait painting?
A : Western History of Art is basically the historic development of portrait painting. After such a long development, what breakthrough possibilities still remain for portrait painting? I have chosen this relative challenging subject, to display the spirit of Chinese landscape painting in the subject matter of portrait painting borrowed from the oil painting tradition. In the crack between the subtle, specific and precise character of the portrait painting and the aesthetic ideals of the landscape painting in which one "can travel or reside" in a living landscape, there is a very narrow space in which can grow things of exuberant vitality. The smaller the space one is squeezed into, the more explosiveness one has; the more limitations, the wider field of activity. I’m trying to enrich my experiences, use all kinds of media, points of view, the most traditional and the most contemporary, but these just make my core inner “field” wider. The status of the contemporary art is to continuously overthrow and renew; discarding one thing as soon as the next appears. We are open, inclusive and integrative, all new possibilities can come into this “invariability”. Only this “ invariability” can bring consistency and have the power to cut deeper and wider, integrating all changes.
Q3: Why do you choose the size of 41cmby33cm, frontal, flatbackground and almost always the same style?
A: This size is equal or slightly smaller than the actual bust scale, the frontal and flatbackground does not visually create too many tensions. Although I havebeen drawing the same size, pattern and style, I accumulate very long series, even in the Chinese calligraphy and Chinese painting that I studied since my childhood, and in the sculpture project I did formy postgraduate studies. Apart from this size, I occasionallymake portraits in other sizes. In 2006 I painted from life a large landscape outdoors, 4m by3m, I painted it consecutively for 11 days, one piece a day. Only when we are constant, we can have the force of penetration. Although it seems that I’ve been repeating the same for 15 years, in fact it is just the contrary; every face is vivid and irreplaceable, every time I paint is like a new adventure and a new challenge, each image is a rich new world.
Q4: In your works, different portraits all have their specific character, you have used different brushwork and colours to express them, which may or may not make impossible to showcase in the painting the transcendence of the whole work. What's your point of view on this?
A : Transcendence, is in fact the “Dao” we talked about in the saying “Painting can lead to Dao”. Nowadays many people think of “Dao” as something indefinite that can't be seen or touched. But in fact “Dao” is sublimated by definite artistic activities. All the transcendent spirit there is comes from images that can be seen, smelled, touched, in a time and place, used and done by someone. That is to say, only by having diversity we can have the prerequisite and motivation of “harmony”. Only this way we can find transcendence in the variability. According to the change of the character of the model, the reconstructed inner structure of the painting also changes. It is not only the difference in the brush strokes and the colours of the painting, but also the changes of the inner structure of the whole. This kind of transcendence is internal, not apparent in the visible form. A new face constructs a new world, this reflects the symbiotic relation between variability and unity.
Q5: Why are the images indistinct in your paintings?
A : In-distinctiveness is the accuracy of the knife with which Pao Ding cutthebeef, it exists in the distinctiveness of the changes in the sense of wholeness. The sense of wholeness is not a clear logical formal analysis, it is seizing and grasping in movement the wholeness in the essence of in-distinctiveness, and it is also a kind of determination. The painting, from the beginning to the end, emerges in an unfulfilled and unsaciatedstate, and in this time it will have misplacement interactions, and between these interactions,relations of unity will appear. The works are never definite, distinct, complete, consistent, nor stable, they are always in a drifting, extending and flowing state. Only in this way they can have vitality, and in their continuous generation become fulfilling, only in this way they can approach the primal chaos ofthe world´s beginning.
Q6: Why is there so little emphasis on the eyes in your portraits?
A: To put an example, when the French abstract painting master Olivier Debre came to China in 1998, I took him to the Pan Tianshou memorial hall. He said Pan Tianshou painted very well, but that had he not painted the eyes of the eagle, it would be even better. Looking at it now, maybe this sentence was explaining a principle, the eyes in the paintings are able to convey emotions and tell stories. In other words, the expression of eyes has a narrative, revealing and illustrative nature. The famous painter Gu Kaizhi for many years also did not dot in the eyes when he painted the dragon. One must pay attention when dotting in the eyes, after they are drawn, the object may very possibly come to life. This “life” can easily objectify and externalise, it is visible. The eyes are very important, they are the bridge between the visible and the invisible, and also the intersection between heaven, earth and the human spirit. The spirit in the eyes of the model is a parallel second nature of the model, after they come to life one can access the true nature of the character. When the spirit of the model meets and blends with that of the painter, a world is created; a fulfilling world, complete, free and in which "one can travel or reside" (ke you ke ju).
Q7: When seeing your paintings, people often compare them to other artists' such as Chaïm Soutine, Lucian Freud or Liu Xiaodong from China. What do you think are the differences between you and them?
A : New forms already have no deeper value after "The Death of Art". I do not want to actively separate myself from artists, because in doing that, one falls into the pursuit of the external form, and cannot be any more in the natural state of primal chaos. All the former artists on the History of Art that have been dissected as separate things are wrapped back into one package, and become a whole, and are seen as a whole. It will not regectany one, but there may be a huge difference in the core. For example artists like Chaim Soutine and Lucian Freud are concerned aboutthe vividand the subconscious qualities of the object; Van Gogh and German expressionist artists pay attention to the expression of their own emotions as the subject artist.The differences are also in all the Chinese freehand style painters, Chinese freehand style pays attention to the brushwork and the language mode, it expresses directly what is in one's mind and heart. By stirring one's “ Yi” (thoughts/intention), the subjectivity of the person arises, and with this subjectivity the spiritual quality of wholeness is lost. The difference between me and them is in the relationship between my object and my heart/mind. They pay attention to the vividness of the object, seen through the emotion of the artist as subject: hand, heart/mind and object are split apart; however for me these three aspects are fused into one. So for them, the vividnessis of the object, the image. But for me the vividnessis a kind of propulsion, it inhabits the whole painting, it is the vitality of the object and myself together as one, a relationship with the object in which we both enter and withdraw. This vitality is the force of life expanding continuously, a kind of ever-fulfilling relationship.
Q8: Some critics and curators see your portraits as a kind of social study. What do you think of this?
A : Everything my portraits attempt to show is indistinct, one can't get hold of it. To speak about society is something very direct and very easy to link with the opinions of the general public. Even though it has no relation with my original intention, my portraits are very direct, worldly, real and concrete, and even some say these people are from the lowest rung of life, similar to the "xing can de quan" figures imagined by Laozi and Zhuangzi, that inspire beauty in spite of their ugliness because of their inner virtue. Some models said that I painted them uglier than in reality, in fact this is not “ugliness” but some kind of truth of existence, more earthy. It is eternal. By shattering artificial limitations and the superficial ephemeral beauty, what appears is eternal, some kind of Beauty. The real human both transcends and blends into society, it is connected to all living things because it dwells in the world. The models themselves are the indivisible wholeness of the real world.
Q9: Are your works traditional or contemporary?
A: They are not the mainstream but rather ahead of their time, and they are contemporary works that reflect upon the contemporary art as a whole that is taking place right now. In order to determine whether a work is contemporary or not, we should not look at its form and subject matter or meaning. One of the very important criterion is to see whether it has a critical relationship towards contemporary values. This kind of critical relationship is different to the denial or innovation of contemporary art, it is a reflective critic of the unity, which has transcended all social segments, fragmentation, lack of basis, all crises and conflicts. The force of the human awareness of the unity of Heaven, Earth and the Human Spirit can solve the contradiction of humanity itself; some kind of balance, some kind of complementarity. Let go of all the distinctions and blends in contemporary art, recover its vitality; give it to the most initial life motive force and the most fulfilling spirit. It is not inside the Ivory tower, but a place to settle for the human spirit that has a universal value. The face-to-face painting from life I have done this 15 years, which is like a meditation, is actually a question towards the information age and the monopolistic fast-food culture. There is a sense of ceremony in arranging linearly together all the works over 15 years, that are always the same size and with the same apparent form.
Q10: Are there any differences between a good painter and a commercially successful painter?
A: Of course sometimes there are huge differences, to the point they can be opposites. The famous and the commercially successful painters are closely bound to the status quo of their time; a good painter will probably transcend his time, will often be leading the whole intellectual development and even go against the mainstream of the time. The works of a successful artist are aimed to the knowledge in the current society, they reflect or criticize it, they are direct, efficient and practical.
Of course the artistmight at the same time easily relate to the interests of contemporary art. If one wants to be a successful artist, just by having a strategy, procedures and working hard to execute them, one can maybe have great achievements. The works of a good painter see clearly the inner nature of theobject, and lead to the unbounded state of the freedom of spirit, their purpose is to be free of purpose.
Face To Face : 童雁汝南作品展
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