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【松青柏翠绘新篇—杨永安绘画纪实】(文本)

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发表于 2009-11-24 19:19:56 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
杨庚新

己丑(2009)年正月二十一日(2月15日),《松青柏翠·杨永安艺术作品展》在北京中国美术馆隆重开幕。二月的北京春寒料峭,不畏风寒的人们带着极大的热情前来参观展览。展厅四壁挂满了永安近年创作的六十幅中国画作。这个以松柏为主题的画展,气势恢弘、笔墨浓重,是永安这位共和国同龄人献给新中国成立60周年的厚礼,他祝福祖国母亲如松柏一样巍然屹立,万古长青!

《松青柏翠》画展的举办了结了杨永安在中国美术馆举办个人画展的夙愿,也圆了他儿时的画家梦。
杨永安,北京海淀区清河人,1949年10月26日生于普通农民家庭。儿时受父亲一点蒙学影响,喜欢读书、写字、画画。他的最大理想是将来当一名画家。
他在中学读书时,文化课和美术课成绩都非常优秀。然而“文革”却断送了他报考美术学院的梦想。1968年,他不得不回乡参加生产劳动。白天在地里干繁重的农活;中午在田间地头写生画画;晚上回家挑灯夜战,读书写字。艰苦的生活环境磨练了永安的意志,坚定了他学画、当画家的决心。从那时起,他养成了画速写的习惯。他说,他至今不抽烟、不喝酒、不打牌,和年轻时画画的理想追求是有直接关系的。
青年时代的杨永安,奋发上进,劳动生产,文化宣传,样样工作都抢在头里,干的出色。他说,人活着,不管干什么,都应该有一种精神追求,越是在艰苦的环境下,越要有独立向上的精神。“天行健,君子以自强不息。”(《周易·上经》)他以古人这句话作为自己的座右铭,从普通社员,到生产队长、村主任,再到副乡长、乡长,是一步一个脚印走过来的。
杨永安喜欢读书,爱好广泛,写诗,填词,摄影,样样都行。但他最钟情的还是画画。他喜欢画花鸟鱼虫一类小品,更热心于临写全景式的大幅山水。他有时也刻木刻、搞剪纸,东撞西撞,没有定规。他最终能走上绘画道路正轨,拜梁树年先生为师,却来自一次偶然的机会。70年代中期,永安在北京大学南侧长征饭庄内看到梁树年先生一幅丈二大画《松青柏翠图》,那挺立的苍松,虬曲的古柏,气势逼人,不禁为之一怔。永安驻足良久,竟是看呆了。他暗下决心,一定要想方设法找到梁先生,拜他为师,学画山水。说来也巧,刚好梁先生的内弟徐岳宾住在清河四队。他是北京市第一商业局的会计,早年与梁树年、郭传璋一道拜北京名家祁井西学画。他家藏有梁树年三张作品,永安如视珍宝,借来一一临仿。他深感自己功力不足,先后在齐白石艺术函授学院和中国书画函授大学进修四年,学习传统绘画。
1992年4月,经徐岳宾先生引见,永安带上了12幅中国画作品到梁先生府上求教。梁老一一看过作品,夸永安有画画的灵气,并在永安印谱的扉页上题字:“方寸之中有大块文章,永安篆刻家勉之。”兴致之余,梁老信手画了一幅减笔松石图。梁老边画边讲,口传身授。一个月后,1992年5月29日,永安再次登门,执弟子之礼,向老师三鞠躬,正式拜师。随后,梁老欣然命笔,画了一幅陶渊明《采菊东篱下  悠然见南山》诗意图。那年,梁老81岁,永安43岁,当为先生的关门弟子了。
梁树年先生早年师承祁井西,后转道大风堂,为张大千先生入室弟子。其山水画最初专攻北宗马夏一路,功底十分扎实,后偏爱黄公望、王蒙以至石涛、石谿诸家,画风兼有南北之长。70年代,壮游黄山、漓江、三峡,风格为之一变,气势雄浑,笔墨苍润。梁先生以黄山云烟名世,尤以松树最为人称道。所作黄山奇松如奔龙走虺,云海之中或隐或现,令人拍案叫绝,故有“树年松”之谓。梁老画松,早期多作全景构图,着意云烟变幻,突显山川气势。“散花坞外白云开,万壑松风涛涌来。”(梁树年题黄山清凉台诗 1972年)“人谓黄山松是神,我谓黄山云是魂。黄山是我师和友,取神取魂不取真。”(题画黄山 1972年)这些题画诗是梁老黄山松云的形象写照和审美追求。此期的《李白诗意》、《黄山天都峰》等作品以云山为主,松树点景,随意皴染,简约疏远。80年代以后,逐渐过渡到以苍松为主景,所绘深山问道、松荫客话、松涛雅集、听涛入静诸多画题,人在景中,景在画中,诗情画意,意境隽永。更有以松为主体的特写式大幅画作,如《黄山黑虎松》(1983年)、《松石图》、《松竹图》(1987年)、《山高水远,柏翠松青》(1996年)几乎完全以松柏为描写对象,富有象征意义。“百尺竿头半九十,桑榆怕听晚秋蝉。柴门紧闭无寂寞,独有长松伴岁寒。”(梁树年诗《退休后闲居有感》2000年)“苍松古柏倚相亲,同处荒寒野水滨。最是春秋不变色,凌霜傲雪翠更新。”(梁树年2001年12月题自画松柏图 豆村年九十)这些诗句是画家的人生写照,也是美好的精神寄托,透露出深厚的传统人文精神。
在中国传统文化中,松柏一直是坚贞、正直、高洁、伟岸的精神象征。“岁寒,然后知松柏之后凋矣。”(《论语·子罕》)以松柏凌霜傲雪比喻人的高洁品质。梁树年先生爱松,画松,一生以松柏为旨趣,喻志、抒情,留有大量诗词和画作,成为当代中国美术史上一笔重要的文化遗产。
永安在梁先生晚年追随他学画松柏,是莫大的幸福和难结的奇缘。从最初观看梁老《松青柏翠图》到第一次与梁老见面、拜师,都是以松柏结缘。永安向梁老学画,应该说起于画松,也成于画松。我读过永安十数篇学画笔记,它记录了梁老传道授业的笔法墨法要旨,也透露出了永安学画的成长过程。
学习传统中国画,不外因创,即继承和创造两个重要话题。在这方面,梁老传授给弟子两件法宝:一是深师古人;二是广师造化。对于师古人(包括今人),怎样才能做到“深师”?古人讲:“道成而上,艺成而下。”然而道艺不可分离,从艺入手,以道为归。永安学画,始于画松,从松枝、松干入手。梁老说:“画松难于画干,松的精神多在于画干。松干如龙,柏干如绳。要画出松柏的精神必须要有松柏的奇古气概。”梁老边教边做示范。对于老师的课徒画稿,永安格外珍惜,每次回来都认真临写。尔后,梁老结合永安的作业,又传授写诗填词、平仄对仗、章法布局、题款押印以至立意构思。梁老常说光学古人的笔墨是远远不够的,要做到师迹又师心,注意学习古人的意境和构思。对于永安的习作,梁老都有点评,优秀的作品题款,题诗,以兹鼓励。多年下来,永安由近及远,临写大量今人、古人作品,掌握了山水画的基本套路,笔墨技巧也一步步得到了提高。
对于广师造化,梁老始终坚持“饱游饫看”式的传统观察创作方法。在注意物性、物理、物态的同时,更重视物之性情、灵性、精神,通过内心体验,以达情景交融、物神相通之境界。“写生要写魂,得魂胜得真。物我相沆瀣,下笔如有神。”这首诗是梁老写生观的高度形象概括。梁老还以80多岁的高龄,外出写生,用自己的艺术实践影响着弟子们。1992年秋,永安陪梁老到京北黑山寨写生,那里有一棵千年古松。到了现场,永安又是速写又是拍照,忙个不停。可梁老半天不动,静观默察,归来一气呵成,写就了一幅《黑山寨奇松》。上题“京北黑山寨丛山中古寺院内有奇松,壬申秋月同友前往写生,龙蛇蟠曲无从下笔,归来臆造写之成幅。”可永安迟迟不敢动笔。后来,永安两次跑黑山寨,学着梁老的样子,静观默察,于2000年完成了《盘龙古松》巨幅。梁老称赞永安有胆量,写出了盘龙古松的奇姿和气势。随后又在画上补石、点苔、改水。永安兴奋地说,这是恩师给我最好的千年礼物。梁老黑山寨画松的故事道出了先生写生创作的秘诀。“饱游饫看”式的观察方法实则缩短以至取消了写生与创作的距离。或直接对景创作,或过后离景忆写,这种传统的观察创作方法从一开始就印在永安的脑海中并对后来创作产生了深远的影响。
梁树年先生重视山水画临摹、写生、创作三个环节的关联互动,主张借“临摹与读画”以学古(即因),承“写生与创作”(即创)以开今。通过学古达于开今的目的。写生是师古人师造化的实践,是通向创作的必由之路。创作是写生的提炼和升华,同时,又是师古人,师造化的试金石,通过实践寻找自身的缺陷和不足。实际上在整个学画的过程中,临摹、写生、创作三者是循环往复不断交替进行的。在老师的引领和启发下,永安逐渐明白了这些道理,并且从一开始就注意临摹、写生、创作三者的互动关系。大体来说,永安在90年代以前,以临仿为主,兼及写生创作,注意三者的关联贯通;90年代后期至今,以写生、创作为主,兼及临仿。整体看永安临仿、写生、创作是交叉进行的,从临仿到写生到创作没有截然的界限,所不同的是前后两个阶段各有侧重。前段学中创,重点在学;后段创中学,重点在创。经过近20年的努力,永安逐渐走出一条自己的学画之路。
永安追随梁树年先生学画,虔诚、执著,有一颗赤子之心。老师亦爱徒如子,无论是题材、画意,还是笔墨、题款,都毫无保留一一传授。永安学得像,也学得活。能从宏观着眼,注意把握大局。又能从微观入手,一笔一画,精微描摹。他学习有心,不但记录老师传授要点,而且重视研究老师的画路、画材,并结合自己的特点,有针对地学习借鉴。
永安学画老师的黄山云海图,以宏大的构图,表现黄山烟云变幻,颇得老师的好评:“此幅黄山云海图以形象论,云山掩映,浑然一体,有静有动,颇得自然之趣;以画法论,有笔有墨而不显露笔痕,得自然之妙,堪称佳作耳。癸酉仲秋豆村梁树年。”
永安学习画坛前辈张大千、恩师梁树年以古代文人林泉雅集、松荫闲话、野渡独钓,月下行吟等为题的画作,努力营造一种超然的桃源气氛,追求恬适、高远的意境,寄托一个现代人重返自然的美好理想。
永安钟情松柏,并以此为最重要的画材,不只因为梁老爱松、写松、画松,而是出于对恩师的理解和尊重。他眼里的梁老就是一棵傲然挺立的苍松。“大雪压青松,青松挺且直。要知松高洁,待到雪化时。”(岁次壬午腊月梁树年书陈毅诗,1978年)“柴门紧闭无寂寞,独有长松伴岁寒。”(梁树年《退休闲居有感》,2000年)。此外,还有更深层的原因,那就是联想到自己的成长过程和生存环境,永安对松柏精神,对松树的风格有特殊的理解。他说,我最喜欢松树的精神,它生长在最贫瘠的山石缝中,经历风霜雨雪,四时不变色,始终保持翠绿的颜色。我从中悟出一个道理:一个人越是在艰苦环境下成长,越能成才,像松一样顽强。世间万物,我独钟情于松柏,是它笑霜傲雪的精神和气概。在多年研究松柏题材的创作中,这种精神潜移默化濡染改造我的精神世界。在永安眼里,松树柏树或高洁伟岸或虬曲盘枝,都有着令人敬仰的丈夫气。它们自然天成,朴实无华,适于用“气韵生动,骨法用笔”传统的中国画来表现。永安对松柏精神内涵的向往和对笔墨语言的追求,是从本质上理解梁老爱松、写松、画松的真正含义。为此,永安决心继承老师的遗愿,以松柏为主题,谱写“松青柏翠”的新篇章。
进入本世纪,永安陆续画了一些以松柏为主景的作品,像《盘龙古松》(2001年)、《九龙松》(2003年)、《卧龙》(2004年)、《古桧春色》、《桧寓枸杞》(2005年)等。2006年,永安退居二线,将主攻方向全力转向松柏独幅创作。为了收集素材,他跑遍京郊古刹,遍游泰山、黄山、恒山、华山、衡山、太行山、嵩山、普陀山、九华山、五台山、峨眉山、武夷山、神农架、武当山、崂山、青城山、三清山、龙虎山、崆峒山,两去内蒙古大兴安岭,五上新疆,三上西藏地区。汶川大地震前在剑阁古蜀道三百里翠云廊画古柏,采集了大量松柏速写和创作素材。五代画家荆浩当年隐居太行洪谷,写松“凡数万本,方如其真。”他认为“真者,气质俱盛”,非形体表象特征而是对象的精神实质。故“度物象而取其真。物之华,取其华,物之实,取其实,不可执华为实”。这和梁树年先生关于写生取貌、取魂、取神的思想是一脉相承的。明白了此理,永安在写生时十分重视观察和感悟,注意松柏的姿态动势,物理物态,发现蕴含其中的内美。其实作为客体(松柏)的形象都有某种客观规律定性,有高大伟岸型、多姿秀美型、敦厚朴实型、多变盘曲型,不一而足。作为主体(画家)的责任在于发现和认知,与之“神遇而迹化”,创造更多令人心仪的艺术品。对此,永安花了许多心思 ,“度物象而取其真”,渐渐步入画松的堂奥。
2006年以来,永安进入创作盛期,完成了一批以松柏为主题的大型画作,像《高原神木》(2006年)、《棋枰松》、《连根松》、《蟠龙和凤》、《雪城神木》、《我心不动万物静》、《山高无人处越是仙境中》、《如意舞松》(2007年)、《凌霄挺翠》、《最是此生不变色 凌霜傲雪翠更新》(2008年)、《泰山六朝古松》(2009年)都是这一时期的代表作。
通观永安以松柏为主景的作品,早期的作品比较写实,“物之华,取其华,物之实,取其实”,追求朴实的自然美。近期的作品渐趋夸张,带有一定的象征性,透露出较多的理性精神。从上述作品可以明显看出,画家渐由“客观”描摹进入一个主观“臆造”的全新阶段。
在艺术上,永安着意追求雄浑博大的意境,用大视角、特写式镜头强化、夸张松树的奇绝,柏树的伟岸,从而拉近与观众的距离,造成一种强烈的视觉冲击力,使人产生不可名状的崇高感。适应大幅画作的需要,永安运用粗放的大笔,以浓墨、焦墨直书,写胸中浩然之气,追求一种朴厚凝重的艺术效果。这种壮美的审美取向预示着永安松柏艺术一场突变。
为迎接这场艺术变革,永安要做哪些功课?最近他告诉我,要读诗写字。读诗以拓展意境,练字以滋养笔墨。我愿与之共勉。
欲穷千里目,更上一层楼。

2009年9月16日
于知仁堂
杨庚新
美术史论家,《艺术》杂志执行总编。
 楼主| 发表于 2009-11-24 19:20:50 | 显示全部楼层
The New “Cyan Pine and Emerald Cypress”            
-----a record of artist Yang Yongan
                     
By Yang Gengxin

On February 15th, 2009, Yang Yongan’s solo art exhibition “Cyan Pine and Emerald Cypress” had its grand opening in the National Art Museum of China. In spite of the chilly spell of early spring in Beijing, people came to the exhibition with a great passion. Sixty of Yongan’s recent works were presented to the public. With a magnificent imposing manner and strong impression, the exhibition themed as Cyan Pine and Emerald Cypress is a gift from Yongan to China for celebrating the sixtieth year of the founding of the motherland, since he is in the same age with China. He sincerely hopes that his motherland is evergreen and last forever as pines.

Cyan Pine and Emerald Cypress has realized Yang Yongan’s long-cherished wish of holding a solo exhibition in the National Art Museum of China, as well as his dream of being an artist since childhood.

Yang Yongan was born in a normal farmer family in Qinghe of Haidian district, Beijing in October 26th, 1949. In his childhood, influenced by his father, Yongan was very fond of reading, writing and painting. His biggest dream was to become an artist in the future. In his high school, both of his cultural course and fine arts course were excellent. However, the “cultural revolution” ruined his dream of studying in an art academy. In 1968, he had to go back to the country and do labor as others: working hard in the field in daytime; sketching and painting beside the field at noon; reading and writing at home in the evening. Difficulties in life had sharpened his will to learn painting and become an artist. Since then, he cultivated a habit of sketching. Till today, Yongan never smokes, drinks and gambles which he believes is directly related to his pursue of art in his young age.

In his youth, Yang Yongan had splendid performance in various fields, making great progress and being active in farm-working, producing as well as culture publicizing. He said: “As long as man live, no matter what he does, he should have some spiritual pursue. The harder situation you face, the more independent and upward spirit you will need.” “As heaven maintains vigor through movement, a gentleman should constantly strive for self-perfection,” the quote from Zhouyi Shangjing had become Yongan motto. From a normal commune member, to the leader of production team, the director of village, the vice rural master, rural master, Yongan went through these step by step.

Yang Yongan had various hobbies, reading, writing poems, photographing, and in all these, his favorite one was painting. He loved to paint small flower-bird works, and even had much more enthusiasm on panoramic landscapes. Sometimes he also did woodcarving, paper cutting without established rules or setting patterns. At last he could be the apprentice of Master Liang Shunian and systemically set on the path of painting, were by an accidental chance.

In middle 1970s, Yongan saw a large Liang Shunian’s work Cyan Pine and Emerald Cypress in Changzheng restaurant near Peking University. The impressive erect pine and twisted ancient cypress made Yongan astonished and shocked. He stood there for quite a long time and determined in his heart to find Master Liang Shunian and learn landscape painting from him. What a coincidence, Liang Shunian’s brother Xu Yuebin lived in the fourth production team of Qinghe. Yuebin had studied from Beijing famous artist Qi Jingxi together with Liang Shunian and Guo Chuanzhang in his early years. Xu Yuebin collected three works of Liang Shunian which Yongan treasured a lot and borrowed those originals from Yuebin to copy. Yongan felt that his shortage in painting and further studied Chinese traditional painting in Qi Baishi Art Open College and China Painting and Calligraphy Correspondence College together for four years.

In April of 1992, introduced by Xu Yuebin, Yongan took twelve of his traditional Chinese paintings to Liang Shunian’s home for his advice. After review each one of them, Shunian found Yongan’s painting had spirituality and inscripted on the front page of Yongan Yinpu as “Produce magnificence from small space, to graver Yongan.” Master Liang Shunian painted an improvised work of Pine and Rock for Yongan; during painting, he taught Yongan how to paint by personal example and verbal instruction. One month later, on May 29th, 1992, Yongan officially became Shunian’s apprentice after the traditional bowing ceremony. After the ceremony, with great pleasure, Shunian painted a work about the poem of “While picking asters neath the Eastern fence,my gaze upon the Southern mountain rests”. That year, Shunian was 81 and Yongan was 43, and Yongan became the last apprentice of Shunian.

In Liang Shunian’s early years, he learned painting from Qi Jingxi and later became an apprentice of Zhang Daqian in Da Feng Tang. At the beginning, his landscape painting took Beizongmaxia style and had a very solid foundation; later, Shunian was fond of Huang Gongwang, Wang Meng, Shi Tao and Shi Xi, and combined his style with the strength of both south and north styles in traditional Chinese painting. In 1970s, Shunian travelled Huang Mountain, Lijiang River and The Three Gorges, and his style changed into full of power and grandeur with strong brushwork and ink. Master Liang Shunian was famous for his cloud of Huang Mountain, and especially distinguished by his pines. His pine of Huang Mountain were just like flying dragon, presented and hided itself in the cloud sea which was really amazing, thus people gave it a special name “Shunian Pine”. Most of Shunian’s early work about pine was panoramic, which emphasized on the change of cloud to present the splendid overall view of the great mountain. “Flowers scattering outside the wall part the cloud, comes the wind as tide go through the pines.”(At Qingliangtai of Huang Mountain, 1972) “To others pine is the spirit of Huang Mountain; to me cloud is the essence of it. Huang Mountain is my teacher and friend, the spirit and essence of it couldn’t generalize its truth.”(In Huang Mountain, 1972) All these poems inscribed on scrolls were the image reflections and aesthetic pursue of Liang Shunian’s pine and cloud of Huang Mountain. In this period, his works such as Li Bai’s Poetic, Tiandu Peak of Huang Mountain gave priority to cloud and mountains, and the pines were casually depicted in a simple and sparse manner. Since 1980s, pine had generally became the main theme of Shunian’s work, and in his paintings, people and scenery were mixed together by poetic and artistic concept. He also had large feature works which use pines as the main subject, such as Black Tiger Pine in Huang Mountain (1983), Pine and Rock, Pine and Bamboo(1987), Alpine and Nullah ;Cyan Pine and Emerald Cypress. These paintings almost all took pine and cypress as subject and gives them symbolic meaning. “Never feel lonely when the door is closed, if only have the pine to be a good companion in winter.”(Liang Shunian’s poem Feeling after Retired at Home, 2000) “Pine and cypress are nestled together near the running water; keep evergreen in spring and autumn as well as the chilly winter.” (Liang Shunian’s poem inscribed on Pine and Cypress: Doucun 90, Dec.2001) These poems were the artist’s reflection of life and his spiritual sustenance, which revealed profound traditional humanistic spirit.

In traditional Chinese culture, pine and cypress have always been the spiritual symbol of faithfulness, righteousness, nobleness and grandness. “Only when chilly winter comes, man would notice that pine and cypress withered aftermost.” In Lunyu Zihan, pine’s quality of defying severe cold is considered a metaphor of people’s nobleness. Master Liang Shunian loves pines and paints many pines in his whole life, taking pine as the favorite subject to express his emotion; he has large amount of poetry and paintings leave to the world which is an important culture heritage in China art history.

To learn the painting of pine from Master Liang Shunian in his later years is a greatest happiness and a rare chance for Yongan. Pine brings Yongan lots of luck since he first saw Shunian’s Cyan Pine and Emerald Cypress, to his first meet with Shunian and becoming an apprentice of him. Yongan’s study from Shunian begins with pines and finally success on pines. I have read many of Yongan’s study notes which record the essentials of Shunian’s art lessons and also reveal the growth of Yongan to being a good artist.

The two important subject of studying traditional Chinese painting is inheriting and creating. Master Liang Shunian gives two leading cards to his students: one is learning from ancients profoundly; the other is learning from various artists to make your own creative work. In learning from ancients (including masters of today), how people could achieve the profound level? The ancients said: “Skill comes after the will.” Will and skill couldn’t be separated, learning starts from skill and ends with will. Yongan started to learn the painting of pine by drawing branches and limbs of trees. Master Liang once said: “The difficulty of pine painting is to draw the limbs. Pine’s spirit is presented by its limbs. Pine’s limb is like dragon and cypress’s limb is like rope. In order to present the very spirit of pine and cypress, their odd and antiquated quality is needed to mention in painting.” Shunian taught while gave examples. Yongan cherished his teacher’s scripts very much and carefully copied them each time when he was back at home. After review Yongan’s homework, Shunian taught him the art of composition, poem writing, rhythm, and the seal of artist name on the finished works and the conception of painting. Master Liang Shunian used to say that it was not enough to only learn the brush work from ancients, but also to learn their concept and design. Master Liang rated Yongan’s work and inscripted poems and seals on those excellent works of Yongan to encourage him. Year after year, Yongan copied a large amount of ancients’ and today’s master’s works, and handled the basic pattern of landscape painting, also made a great progress in brush skills.

In making one’s own creative work, Liang Shunian insisted to adapt the method of observing carefully through extensive travelling. Pay attention to the quality, physics and state of the material, meanwhile attach more importance to its nature, soul and spirit; achieve the harmonious blend of scenery and feeling, material and spirit. “The purpose of sketching is to catch the spirit, the spirit is much more important than the real object. Understand the soul of the object and amalgamate with it, then you will have artistic acumen.” This is a summary of Master Liang’s point of view on sketching. In Shunian’s 80s, he went to sketch as same and affected his student with his own art experience. In autumn of 1992, Master Liang was accompanied by Yongan to sketch in Beijng Heishanzhai where there had an ancient pine of thousand years. When they got there, Yongan started to take photos and sketched of the tree, while Shunian just watched the tree in still, and when he was back, he did the picture at a heat, and here came the work of Fantastic Pine in Heishanzhai on which inscribed as “In north of Beijing there is an odd pine in Heishanzhai, I went to sketch with friends and found hardly to start when I saw the convolute pine. When I came back I paint the tree by my memory and imagine of it.” But Yongan felt reluctant of drawing the pine. Later, Yongan went to Heishanzhai twice and observed carefully as Master Liang, and finally finished his large work of Dragon Pine in 2000. Master admired Yongan’s courage and talent, and further added rocks, lichen and modified water path on Yongan’s work. Yongan said excitedly that it was the best gift from teacher in the new millenary. The story tells the secret about sketch creation. The methods of “observing carefully through extensive travelling” shorten and even eliminate the distance between sketching and creation. Either creating directly in front of the scenery or reviewing the scenery in memory and create, the traditional method of observing and creation leave a strong impression in Yongan’s mind and affect him profoundly in his future works.

Liang Shunian thinks much of the interaction of copying, sketching and creating in landscape painting and suggests that learn from ancient by copying and reading the paintings, and uses sketching and creating to accomplish your own work. Creating your own work is the purpose of learning from the past. Sketching is necessary since it is an experience to learn from the ancient method. Creating is the extraction and sublimation of sketching; at the meantime it is also a touchstone, finding self weakness and shortage through practice. In fact, during the process of learning painting, copying, sketching and creating are circulating continuously. Enlightened by his teacher, Yongan gradually understands these principles and pays much attention on the interaction of copying, sketching and creating. Generally speaking, before 1990s, Yongan gave priority to copy and do some sketch and create, paying attention to the relationship and connection of the three; in later 1990s till now, he gives priority to sketching and creating and also do some coping. There is no complete boundary from copy to sketch, and then to create in Yongan’s learning; only the emphasis is different in two stages. With twenty years’ efforts, Yongan gradually formed his own way of painting.

During the time of being Liang Shunian’s student, Yongan was sincere and persevered and had a pure heart. Shunian also took Yongan as his own son, no matter the subject, concept, ink work and seal, Shunian told Yongan without any reserve. Yongan learned carefully and added his own understanding: macroscopically, he pays attention to structure and concept; microcosmically, he described each detail and brush carefully. Yongan was not only learning his teacher’s lectures but also doing research about teacher’s style and material and connect them with his own character, learning systematically on purpose.

Learn from Shunian, Yongan’s Cloud Sea of Huang Mountain commended by Shunian with its splendid composition to express the changeable cloud of Huang Mountain, “This Cloud Sea of Huang Mountain depicted the nature of cloud and mountain, with still and movement blend in one scenery; from painting method, the water and ink are never deliberately designed, all brush work comes naturally and that is an amazing job. By Liang Shunian.”

By learning from famous artist Zhang Daqian and teacher Liang Shunian’s works, as well as ancient scholars’ paintings themed of mountain spring, whispering under the shadow of pines, fishing alone besides unknown river, making poem in the moonlight, Yongan tried to create an atmosphere of an imaginary, ideal world. Pursue a peaceful and lofty artistic view is an ideal of modern people to return to nature.

Yongan loves pine and cypress, and takes them as his favorite painting subject. Not only because his teacher Liang Shunian loves pines and paints pines, but also show his respect and understanding toward Shunian. In Yongan’s eyes, Shunian is just like a pine standing erect. “Heavy snow push down the pine and pine stand erect. If you want to know the nobleness of pine, please wait until the snow melt.”(Chen Yi’s poem writes by Liang Shunian, 1978) “Never feel lonely when the door is closed, if only have the pine to be a good companion in winter.”(Liang Shunian’s poem Feeling after Retired at Home, 2000) Besides this, Yongan has his own reason, which he associates with his growth process and living condition in his childhood.

Yongan has special understanding of pine’s spirit and quality. He says “what I like most is the spirit of pine: it grows in the most infertile rock piles of mountain, no matter how badly the weather is, pine keeps evergreen. So I understand from this: the harder time one has been through in his growth, the better chance he has to be successful, like pines. The things in the world have different shapes and postures. Among all of them, I only fall in love with pines for their modesty and toughness, against all odds of frost and snow. During those years I study pine theme, the pine spirit influence my spiritual world imperceptibly.”

In Yongan’s eyes, the erect and twist shape of pines and cypress both are respectable. They are natural and austere and suitable to be presented by traditional Chinese painting which is emphasize on “method and verve”. Yongan’s desire of the inner spirit of pines and his pursue of ink language reveals his true understanding of Liang Shunian’s passion about pine on his works. Yongan determines to inherit teacher’s will, using the theme of pine and cypress to compose a new “Cyan Pine and Emerald Cypress”.

In the new century, Yongan continuously painted some works that took pines as the main subject, such as Ancient Dragon Pine (2001), Nine Dragon Pine (2003), Lying Dragon (2004), The Spring, Medlars (2005) and so on. In 2006, Yongan retired from the leading position and paid effort on the paintings merely about pine with all his strength. In order to collect material,he has visit ancient monasteries in Beijing suburbs, Tai Mountain, Huang Mountain, Heng Mountain, Hua Mountain, Heng Mountain, Taihang Mountain, Song Mountain, Putuo Mountain, Jiuhua Mountain, Wutai Mountain, Emei Mountain, Wuyi Mountain, Shennongjia, Wudang Mountain, Lao Mountain, Qingcheng Mountain, Sanqing Mountain, Longhu Mountain and Kongtong Mountain. He also has been to the Great Khingan in Inner Mongolia twice, Xinjiang for five times, Tibet for three times. Before the earthquake in Wenchuan, he painted the old cypress in ancient three hundred miles Cuiyunliang on the Shu Path in Jiange. He collected large amount of pine sketching and creation material. Artist Jinhao in Five Dynasties retreating in Taihanghonggu wrote that “the truth reveal after the accumulation of experience.” He believed that it was the inside spirit could fully express the object, not the form and shape of it. “Take out the exterior presentation of the object and keep the truth of it.” This is derived from the same origin of Liang Shunian’ view that sketch by taking the appearance, soul and spirit of the subject.

Understand this, When sketching, Yongan pays more attention on observation and feeling, watching the posture and attitude of pines and revealing the inside beauty of them. The images of pines have different types: strapping, graceful, unadorned, twisted and so on. The responsibility of being an artist is to discover and perceive and make more delighted works. Yongan spends a lot of time and energy on this: Take out the exterior presentation of the object and keep the truth of it. Gradually, he understands the profound secret of style.

Since 2006, Yongan enters the meridian of his art career. He finished a serious of large works themed of pine and cypress, and representatives of these period were including Magical Woods in Plateau(2006), Chessboard Pine, Amalgamation, Entwining Dragon and Phoenix, Magical Wood in Jokul, Heart Peace, Heaven on Zenith, Lucky Dancing Pine(2007), Green in Summit, Evergreen(2008), History of Six Dynasties(2009)

Browsing all Yongan’s works of pines, the early works paint more realistically and pursue the natural beauty of simple and austereness. While the recent works tend to be more exaggerated and symbolic and present more reasonable spirit. From the works we could tell that the artist enters a totally new stage of “subjective” concoct from “objective” copy.

Yongan pursues vigorous and broad concept in his art works, taking extended view and close-up to strengthen and exaggerate the odd pine and strapping cypress. Shorten the distance between pines and the viewer, and cause a strong visual impact. In order to make some large size works, Yongan needs to use big brush and think ink to express the uprightness in his mind, which produces an imposing artistic effect. This magnificent aethestic standard indicated that there would be a revolution in Yongan’s art.

What does Yongan need to do in order to meet this art revolution? He told me recently that he needed to read poems and practice calligraphy. Reading poems could expand people’s point of view and calligraphy could nourish the brush with water and ink. We both mutual encourage on this.

Ascend further, were you to look farther.


By Yang Gengxin
Art History Critic, Executive Chief Editor of ART Magazine

In Zhirentang
September 16th, 2009


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Yang Yongan was born in Qinghe of Haidian district, Beijing in October of 1949. He is the council member of Beijing Artist Association, vice president of Haidian Artist Association, the member of Qi Baishi’s Art Study Association and study from Zhang Daqian’s apprentice in Dafeng Studio. He was fond of art in a very young age. In May of 1992, Yongan became the last apprentice of the well-known water and ink landscape master Liang Shunian and absorbed the very essence of painting from his teacher. Shunian Liang gave Yongan another name “Ji Shi”, and inscribed for his painting studio as “You Zhu Ju”. Since then, Yongan called himself “You Zhu Ju Shi”. Shunian give Yongan his own studio name---“Jing Tui Zhai” and write “Jing Tui Xuan” for Yongan.

In August of 1997, his work “Two Pines” was selected in the art exhibition held in National Art Museum of China for memorizing the 40th year of Qi Baishi’s pass-away.
In December of 1998, his “Pine and Spring” was selected in the art exhibition for celebrating the 50th year of Haidian’s liberation organized by National Art Museum of China.
In May of 2001, his “Pine and Rock Collection” was selected in the third Chinese Mayor Painting and Calligraphy Exhibition.
In March of 2004, “Yang Yongan’s Water and Ink Landscape Exhibition” was held in Beijing Rongbaozhai gallery; Rongbaozhai published Yang Yongan’s painting collection.
In 2006, Yongan held his solo art exhibition in Beijing Huandaoboya Hotel; People’s Art Publishing House printed Yang Yongan’s painting collection.
In 2008, Hebei Art Publishing House published Yang Yongan ---contemporary artist who have the most academic value and market potential.
In 2008, Yongan was selected into one hundred art masters who effect China (Landscape volume) published by Art Talent Center of China Culture Administration.
In February of 2009, Yongan has his solo art exhibition “Cyan Pine and Emerald Cypress” in National Art Museum of China.      

Yang Yongan has been participating in “Pine and Rock’s Friends” landscape art exhibition held by Beijing Artist Association for six times continuously. His work “Song of Mountain Spring” was collected by National Art Museum of China; his “Autumn in Plateau” was collected by the Great Hall of the People; his “Pine and Rock Collection” was collected by Party School of the Central Committee of C.P.C. Many of his works are collected by friends and collectors from both domestic and abroad.
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