人物專訪：楊柏林 (Life, Nature and Art)
(English Article Follows)
文 / 張家嫻 攝影/ 楊柏林工作室 圖片/ 楊柏林工作室
在2010年當代藝術館展出的Here I am 其中展出作品「你是誰」，就是以每天日常簡單掃地與掃把的關聯，引發創作靈感。同樣都是掃把，一個是竹子做的，另一個則是以紅、綠色塑製掃把，但兩者共同點為柄都是木頭，我將柄綁在一起，代表許多人事物是有共通連結的。我喜歡自我發掘，身歷其境的去看到那棵樹、這朵花的成長，這些無法從書上去體驗的，因為這是活生生的生命過程。所以在藝術這條路上，遇到困難或瓶頸的時候，「不設限」是最好的解套方式。
Life,Nature and Art
Prior to visiting Master Yang Buo-Lin’s studio, “Jue Zhi Yuan” (roughly “ Garden of Internal Awakening”), for this interview, I was able to view many of his artworks, and read interviews conducted by other professional writers. However, it was only on the day of the interview, that I began to understand that art and nature could coexist in such perfect harmony. “Jue Zhi Yuan” is located in the foothills of Wai Shuang Xi (in the same valley as the National Palace Museum). Along the side of a narrow winding road, there is a small, understated brown sign, which is the only notice that one has arrived at “Jue Zhi Yuan”. Master Yang Buo-Lin is a well-known sculptor, painter, and poet. He is the Head of International Art Company of Shang-Shr Shangshan, and the Chairman of the Association of Asian Sculptors. He has created many pieces public sculpture, and is active in landscape design and architectural planning, as well as the promotion and exhibition of various works of art.
Before our interview, Master Yang leads us on a tour of his home and studio. This building can no longer be accurately described as merely a “house”, but has evolved into a residence which is in complete harmony with Nature. At the entrance of “Jue Zhi Yuan” is an art exhibit – it beckons the visitor to see and enjoy more of his wonderful artworks. The sunlight is directed into the generous exhibition space via large panes of floor-to-ceiling glass, picture windows. The sunlight strikes the metal skyscraper sculpture – the warm sunlight gives the layered sculpture a feeling of gentle movement, forming a unique piece of art.
From the initial exhibition space, I enter an interior courtyard, which is open to the sky. An elegant, pink-purple orchid seems to welcome us. The lazy ferns recline in the afternoon sunlight over the side retaining walls. Each space that I walk through is unique and amazing. Every door on each floor is an entrance to another stage. Finally, we approach a grand wooden door, which opens into a very spiritual, meditative space. On the left side of the entry is a statue of Buddha standing quietly next to a large glass window. Master Yang directs me to take a seat and then we begin our conversation.
“When I was a young boy, I had the vague feeling that my life was to be involved with art”
Master Yang begins his remarks, “When I was a young boy, I had the vague feeling that my life was to be involved with art. However, at the time I was so young, I really didn’t have any idea what exactly an “artist” was! From that time, I always enjoyed painting, daydreaming, and my individuality – I didn’t have many friends since I lived near the ocean. Where I grew up, there weren’t many people, only the open sea and a few fishermen who also cultivated oysters.”
In an interview conducted in 2017, with a well-known writer, Tsai Shr-Pin, Master Yang related, “When I was in elementary school, I went with my mother to the seaside to pick oysters – my mother’s livelihood. However, it was a tough life as we were too poor to afford protective gloves, which caused our hands to bleed from the sharp oyster shells.“ However, Master Yang recalled, “The first time, at the end of a day’s collecting oysters, as my hands were bleeding into the saltwater, I was surprised that I did not feel pain. Rather the mix of my red blood and the yellow-orange sunlight at sunset was quite artistic and strangely aesthetic – an integration of people with Nature. This reinforced my feeling that my future was to be in art, and I thought that I would become a painter, as that was my limited understanding of art at the time. This is an indelible memory of my youth.”
“I am somewhat of a different type of artist. I’ve built my own artistic style, from my own set of unique experiences”
All my creations are from my own mind and hands – I feel that if an artist does not have his own style, it is not really art, but just a fabrication. I like all forms of art, life’s aesthetics and the creation process – including space design, searching for suitable aesthetic materials, assembling, and completing the work of art. All of the paintings in my studio are designed specifically for each interior space. Every artist’s conception is different, and artistic styles are unique. I enjoy other artists’ works, but will not integrate them into my psyche or creative thinking; I have my own “artistic” DNA. Because my life experience is so different, it can’t be imitated. I don’t discuss art with other artists, because while other artists may like to share their experience, like fine wine, I prefer to be unique and special.”
“In the development of art, when difficulties or bottlenecks are encountered, the best solution is to have a “no limits” problem solving” methodology
“Art is an “open forum” for me. I do not limit myself, nor do I restrict myself to one form of art. Most artists will only be involved with the form of art that he likes best or has the greatest skill level – and may even reject other forms of art. However, I feel that art is beautiful because it is not limited to any specific form. I try to draw upon every little detail of my life – to use my experiences as a source of artistic creation. Art and life are closely related. There is even artistic merit in the broom that is used to sweep the floor daily, as long as one’s heart is into the experience. For example, in 2010 at the Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art, I held an exhibition titled, “Who are You?”. One of the pieces of art was inspired by the simple daily task of sweeping the floor with a broom. I created a “two-headed” broom connected in the middle by a wooden handle. One broom head is made of bamboo, the other broom head is made of red and green plastic. The brooms are integrated by the wooden handle, which represents that all people have a common connection. I like to evolve artistically from experiences in my life, for example, carefully noting the growth of trees and flowers. This can’t be experienced from a book, but must be experienced first-hand, because this is a living, evolving process.”
“What You Know, it is Right Thing to Pursue”
“The key idea is to “pursue what you like”. If you wish to become an artist, I really cannot give you any concrete advice. I can only explain to you what I feel Art is. While much of Art is borne from an innate sensitivity, there is a lot of effort and personal sacrifice involved. Art requires perseverance – if you are really dedicated, you will stick to it. If you are only “trying Art out” just to see if you can be “successful”, then Art will not work for you. You have to enjoy the “process” of Art at all stages – from its conception to the final artwork – in order to convince others to like it, as well. If you don’t like your Art, how can you expect others to like your creation?”
Following our conversation, a small dragonfly is flying around Master Yang. Master Yang begins to chat quietly with the dragonfly. Then the dragonfly calms down and politely lands on a leaf of a plant in front of Master Yang – it seems to understand, Master Yang remarks with a smile, “The dragonfly said that when he smelled the open wine, he flew in to join us, because this is part of his home and he feels welcome, safe and comfortable.” As Master Yang stated in his book Sitting in the Clouds, “The plants, squirrels, leaves, insects, and even the snakes have an intimate relationship with my home; they are no longer guests.” At that moment, as the sun set, I see the gentleness of Master Yang’s face with his long ponytail in the waning light. The “Jue Zhi Yuan” truly reflects Master Yang’s artistic nature and outlook on the world.