Color of Memory

 

 

Lin Jing jing interview with Mi zhuang (2)

 

Mizhuang: Your work Color of Memory invited different people to enter into the artwork. Did you have any special criteria for the people you chose?

 

Lin: The people came from different backgrounds, different professions, different genders and different ages. I asked them the same three questions, all about their most painful memory.

 

Mizhuang: This is very interesting. You asked them to use a special way of recognizing and transferring their private memories.

 

Lin: Right. First they transform an abstract memory into a concrete object, then transform it into an abstract color.

 

Mizhuang: Their answers came to directly form the content and methods of your artwork.

 

Lin: Right. The narrative and transfer of information was theirs, and then I, as an observer, used the colors they described to paint an “object” that they described as having a close connection to their memory. I rendered and transformed their information.

 

Mizhuang: I noticed that you intentionally separated the sound and visuals in the narration videos. All of the people recounting their stories alone, when they stare into the camera and slowly speak; it feels calm and real, with no glossing over. The sound of their narratives is stiff; you rendered it into a staccato style, with each word being hammered out one at a time. To be honest, it really hit me.

 

Lin: Each segment is very severe, sorrowful and hesitant. The pain seems to belong to the speaker, and has been compressed into an unknown corner, where hidden wounds cause constant disruption. But in the recounting of this pain, it gradually separates and exists outside of the speaker, away from the pain of the experience. To recount the past is to create anew. Its realness shocks us, to the point that we almost don’t dare to face its realness. Pain can alter our normally numb state, but it can also make us grow number. This is a paradox. One person grew up under the shadow of his dead older brother. This brother, who he has never seen, perpetually hovers over every road he must cross. In the face of death, he is superfluous, imperfect, unreal. This painful memory has overshadowed him for thirty years, never fading away. When I asked him the second and third questions, he said: a medicine bottle full of pills. White, an extremely pale white. I believe that what shocks you is not the pain itself. Pain is not about individual experiences; it is about natural philosophy.

 

Mizhuang: Have you compared these different experiences?


 

Lin: I don’t look for the differences between these painful memories, I look for their commonalities. Extreme pain and grief are often caused by abandonment, sickness and death, or even abstract fear of one of the above, worry about potential danger and its unpredictable arrival. Through recognizing pain, we recognize all life, recognize our shared fears, desires, earnestness, control and balance. We face the fact that fear can never be truly avoided, face the fact that hopelessness can come out of nowhere, face the fact that pain magnifies our fears, doubts and weaknesses.

 

What matters is not what kind of pain we experienced. What matters is: what does that pain bring us? What does the most frightful pain we experience turn us into? When faced with enormous pain, what do freedom, dignity, even our lives mean?

 

But, what’s really interesting is that fear has always been a useful weapon in politics and power. Fear can spark unimaginable courage in people. Fear can drive people to die for nonexistent reasons.

 

Every day is filled with news of violence and disaster, constantly reminding us that sorrow and injustice are unfolding in every corner of the globe. A security-seeking mentality has become the mainstream. Fear has become a public sentiment, and its scope is continuing to expand, while trust is becoming a luxury. There will never be a book that better explains the pressures of modern life than the bestselling I’m Afraid, You’re Afraid: 448 Things to Fear and Why.

 

The pursuit of “lightning speed” is the goal of modern technology, as well as our spiritual support. New technology has altered our conception of time, our level of patience for processes and our level of caution in trust. In reality, education does not seem interested in these ideas. Today’s education has not effectively connected with today’s world.

 

Math education shouldn’t only focus on learning arithmetic. It should work to cultivate certain ways of thinking as it explains things. Geography and history shouldn’t be single, separate knowledge systems. Beyond telling young students what is happening and what there is in the world, we need them to learn how to think about what we all face in common. It will no longer be about gaining and accepting knowledge, but about categorizing, organizing and rearranging knowledge. The goal of receiving an education is not to gain knowledge, but to gain freedom through knowledge.

 

Mizhuang: Your work The Possible of the Impossible brings people who have no connection to art to take part in your artwork. What is your reasoning behind this?

 

Lin: In today’s so called highly effective life, on the one hand, we pursue speed and quantity. We want everything as fast as possible and as much as possible. We rely too much on objects and technology, while the spiritual side is growing diminished. Truth, sincerity and straightforwardness are tending towards impossibility. The Possible of the Impossible took place in the commercial space of a high end office building. In this space, the audience and I had a very natural (or serendipitous) relationship of influencing and watching each other. For the audience, a rather non-commercial activity is taking place in this commercial space with unclear motives, which is confusing and suspicious. For me, this in itself was my artwork. There’s no transition or boundary between the inside of the artwork and the outside.

 

Mizhuang: This is very interesting. This transcends the artwork in the normal sense, adding a series of uncertainties to the content. What were the results of the dialogue like?

 

Lin: To put it precisely, the dialogue is a process, a process of casting doubt, casting doubt on the rationality of everyday life, on the accuracy of accustomed ideas, on reasons for existence, on means of existence, on what is pressing, on what makes us fall silent, on how pressing matters become unimportant, on possible limits. We live in a brutal, heartless world that runs like a massive factory. We must find the possible in the impossible through skepticism.

 

Mizhuang: To find the possible in the impossible. It sounds quite paradoxical


Lin: Right. Paradoxes are still what I am most interested in at this stage. Living in today’s paradox-filled world, technology has changed our ways of seeing the world and what we demand of ourselves. In the past, waiting may have led to more profound emotions, more anxiety-inducing ideas, but in this era of technology worship, waiting implies ignorance, backwardness and stupidity. There is now a direct relationship between waiting and anxiety. On one side of the world, the banning of information leads people out into the streets, demanding their right to information. In another corner of the globe, informational overload is increasing numbness and loneliness. Some people are fighting for freedom, while others have sunk into self harm because of too much freedom. Developing countries, facing all manner of difficulties, are struggling to control population growth, while developed countries are seeking emergency measures to respond to shrinking populations.

 

What are we really fighting for?

 

Confusion and multiple standards have become the evident traits of our society. In a time when measures of morality are facing constant challenges, how will we come to understand life, history and values, and how will we resist disasters, power structures and apathy? Today’s world is no more tolerant or easy to control than it was centuries ago, even though many people believe that. Our ancestors’ utopia was never realized. Instead, everything has become a commodity, including lies, violence, even death.

 

Mizhuang: Individual entertainment experiences have replaced philosophies of life to become the explanations of the world. Anxiety comes from the loss of a sense of security, from the uncertainty of existence. Your work …I... is more of a performance piece than an installation. You used corrective tape to cover up every word in books except the word “I”, leaving a bunch of “I’s” scattered randomly around the pages. Why books?

 

Lin: People always use persistent things to elaborate on transient things. Stones are erected over tombs to bear witness to the occurrence of fragile life. Printed materials are objects that give people material definition by establishing contact and exchange across time and space. Printed material is a testament to the imperative and desire for exchange, while erasure is a simple and rapid method for wiping out information. What printing transmits is a construct, a cultural bridge that establishes contact. It provides standards for judgment. Erasure and the covering of words are also the erasure of standards, the prevention of evaluation, inference and choices about the world, the erasure of the extension of time. It ignores and threatens, destroying trust and understanding, destroying the traces of existence that are decoded through experience, erasing the vigilance of life. It is like old incantations and sorcery accepted in exchange, which silently awaits the always soon-to-arrive prophecy. In this endless waiting, the world becomes an unimaginable thing outside of “I”.

 

Mizhuang: In these books, the only time is the independence of “I”. The impossibility of connecting between “I” and the world is the source of the sense of panic this work gives me.

 

Lin: Cutting the connections with the past and the world give us a sense that we no longer exist. Erasing the past leads us to doubt who we are. By turning the environment around us silent, the sounds of distant motors, even the shadows cast by lights in the night become suspicious. The world is silent, and that silence is tight and silent. It makes the endless series of“I’s” that remain appear so sudden, so tangible, solid, heartless, unfamiliar. It binds existence and destruction tightly together, making “I” incomprehensible, even intolerable. But who is it that is intolerable? It is the self that we have never recognized, the information of others that is exposed on ourselves. The term existence does not explain any meaning, but existence is an infinite concept. After erasure it is a lost infinity, a dangerous defense, an insecure security.

 

Mizhuang: It makes everything appear more impossible. It proposes the most primal questions: who am I? Where am I? Where am I going?

 

Lin: The quest for survival is instinctual, while confirming the meaning of existence is also an instinct. Our existence is a reason for reaching and entering the future. As we arduously struggle against the ruthless monopoly of disappearance over time, we are also moving into a state of anxious estrangement with the world, of accepting the fear of lost security, of accepting disappearance before it happens, accepting death before it happens, and all of the torment and hardship we have faced become absurd, just like existence.

 

Mizhuang: In your printed reader, those leftover punctuation marks are reminders, reminders of time that once took place, of time that once passed.

 

Lin: Right. It reminds us of our inextricable entanglement and instantaneous break with the world, reminds us that after the break, everything is cast out without direction.

 

If it is a shared history, the break comes from the serendipity of history. If it is a private story, what breaks is the meaning of existence, and within it, much frenzy, anxiety, distraction, bewilderment, emptiness, rage and hysteria as well as sequence, planning, order, unreasonableness, coldness, numbness, brutality and indifference.

 

Just as flying comes from the fear of falling and climbing comes from the fear of loneliness. We sleep with our bodies curled up in the darkness, unknowingly casting out our embrace in weakness and helplessness.

 

“I” am silent in the darkness, begging for an explanation in solitude. The erased world, because of the undeniable “I” left behind, is full of a sense of presence. The voice in the void sends out a resounding question, its attitude ambiguous and firm.

 

It burns in the hesitation, stands solid within the absurdity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

记忆的颜色    

                      

 

林菁菁与米庄艺术对话之二

 


 

米庄:你的作品《记忆的颜色》, 邀请了不同的人加入到作品中来,在人群的选择上,有什么特定的选择吗?

 

林:人选来自不同文化背景,不同职业,不同性别,不同年龄,询问他们完全相同的三个问题,关于所经历的最痛的记忆。

 

米庄:这很有意思,你要求对方用一种非常的方式来识别和转换他的私人记忆。

 

林: 对,先是从抽象的记忆转换成具象的实物,然后再转换成抽象的色彩。

 

米庄:他们的答案直接构成了你的作品创作内容和方式。

 

林:是的,叙述和信息传递的是他者,作画的却是我这样一个旁观者,我使用了他者描述的色彩,画出与他者叙述的一段记忆紧密关联的物体,我对信息进行了处理和转换。

 

米庄:我注意到你把叙述的录像中影像的部分和声音的部分有意分离,所有正在独自叙述关于伤痛的记忆的人,对着镜头缓慢地叙说,平静,真实,毫无掩饰,叙述者的音频部分,硬生生地,被你处理成一个字一个字敲键而出,说实话,挺震撼我的。

 

林:每一段看起来都非常诚挚,悲痛,迟疑。伤痛似乎属于陈述者,一度被压缩在某个不为人知的角落,隐藏的创伤曾经带来不得安宁的困扰,但其实伤痛在陈述中,逐渐脱离了陈述者而存在,脱离亲历的触痛,陈述过去是一次对过去的重新创造,它的真实给于我们的触目惊心,使我们几乎不敢正视它的真实,伤痛可以改变我们麻木冷漠的常态, 也可以让我们变得更加冷漠和麻木,这已经是悖论。一个终日生活在他年幼夭折的哥哥的阴影中的孩子,他从未谋面的哥哥无时不刻地停留在任何他需要穿行的道路上,在死亡面前,他是多余的,无法完美的,不真实的,这段伤痛的记忆影响了他30年,仍未退场,他回答我的第二个第三个问题时说:一个装满药片的药瓶子。白色的,非常苍白的白色。我相信,震撼你的并不是伤痛本身,伤痛不是关于个人经验,而是关于自然哲学。

 

米庄:你比较过这些不同的经历吗?

 

林:我不寻找每一段伤痛之间的不同,我寻找每一段伤痛中共同的部分,撕心裂肺的疼痛往往来自离弃,疾病,孤独或者死亡,甚至是对于上述种种的抽象恐惧,担心任何潜在的危险和不测的降临。我们通过对伤痛的认识而认识所有的生命,认识我们共同的恐惧,欲望,热诚,节制和平衡,正视恐惧从来不可能被真正躲避,正视绝望可以来自一个寒气逼人的其他地方和任何地方,正视疼痛一度放大了我们的恐惧,疑虑和脆弱。

 

重要的不是我们经受过什么样的疼痛,重要的是疼痛带来了什么?我们经受过的最可怕的疼痛会使我们成为什么?自由,尊严甚至是我们自己的生命,在面对巨大的疼痛的时候,意味着什么?

 

但是,有意思的是:恐惧对于政治和强权却从来都是个有力的武器,恐惧可以激发人们产生出不可想象的勇气,恐惧可以鼓动人们为了某种虚拟的理由而出生入死。

 

关于暴力和灾难的新闻每日铺天盖地,正在不断地提醒我们,悲痛和不公发生在世界的任何角落,寻求保护的心态成为一种主流,恐惧已经而且还在更大范围地成为一种公共情感,信任正在逐渐成为少数人的奢侈品。再也没有比书店里热销《我恐惧,你恐惧,448件为什么需要恐惧的事》(“I’m afraid,you ‘re afraid:448 things to fear and why”)这本书更说明现代人的生活压力了。

 

追求类似于闪电的速度是现代科技的目标,也是我们的精神寄托,新科技改变了我们对时间的观念,对过程的耐心程度,对信任的谨慎程度。现实中,教育似乎对于这些思考是不感兴趣的,今天的教育并没有和今天这个世界有效地联系在一起。

 

数学的教育不应只是对数理的学习,而是在解题中培养一种思维方式,地理学和历史学,都不该只是单一的分裂的知识体系,除了告诉年轻的学生发生了什么,这个世界有什么,我们还需要他们学会思考我们共同面临的是什么,这将不再是对知识的获取和接受,而是对知识进行分类,排序和重组,受教育的目的并不是获得知识,而是通过知识而获得自由。 

 

米庄:你的作品《不可能之可能》让一部分原本和艺术毫无关联的人,加入到你的作品中来,你这样作的原因是什么?

 

林: 在今天所谓高效的生活中,一方面,我们追求快和多,最快地得到,最大限度地拥有,我们对物质和科技过分依赖,精神世界反而趋向单薄。真实,诚恳,朴素的东西趋向不可能,《不可能之可能》发生在最繁华的高档写字楼里的商业空间,在这个空间里,观众和我是一个自然地(或者说:偶然地)彼此相互影响互相观望的关系,对观众而言,这个商业空间里正在发生的是一个看起来并不商业的行为,其动机是含混不清的,是令人混淆和怀疑的。对我来说,它本身就是我的作品,它的出现和存在,完全是为了我赋予它的理由,它使个体的创作过程,时时面临来自陌生人断章取义的解读,作品之内和作品之外甚至没有过渡,没有界限。

 

米庄:这很有意思,这超越了通常意义的作品,它的内容增加了一系列不确定性,那么对话的结果是怎样的?

 

林:准确地说,对话的过程,是一个质疑的过程,质疑日常生活的合理性,质疑惯常思维的正确性,质疑生存的理由,质疑生存的方式,质疑什么变得紧迫,质疑什么使我们沉默,质疑紧迫如何成为无关紧要,质疑可能性和界限。我们生活在一个残酷的无情的高速运转的如同一个巨大工厂的世界,我们需要在质疑中获得一种不可能之可能。

 

米庄:获得不可能之可能,听起来非常悖论。

 

林:对,悖论仍然是我现阶段最感兴趣的题目,生活在这样一个充满悖论的世界,新科技改变了我们的世界观和对自我的要求。我们可能曾经在等待中产生过更深的感情,更牵肠挂肚的思念,在崇拜新科技的时代,等待则意味着无知,落后,和愚蠢,等待和焦虑的联系成正比。地球的一端,信息的禁止使大量冲动的人们涌上街头,申述获取信息的权利,地球的另一处,泛滥的铺天盖地的信息却正在使人们越加麻木和孤独。一部分人在为了得到自由而斗争,另一部分人却因为得到了过多的自由而沉湎于自我伤害,发展中国家在重重困难中强硬地实施对人口生育的控制,发达国家却在为了生育数量的过度降低而探讨紧急方案。

 

我们究竟需要为何而战?

 

混淆和多重标准正是我们这个时代的最显著的特征,在道德尺度不断地受到挑战的今天,我们将如何理解生命,历史和价值,如何对抗灾难,权利结构和麻木不仁,我们今天的世界并没有比数百年前更宽容或者更容易控制,尽管多数人是这么相信的,我们的前辈的乌托邦并没有实现,实现的是我们的一切都成为了商品,包括谎言,暴力,甚至是死亡。

 

米庄:个体娱乐体验代替了生命哲学,成为对世界的解释,焦虑来自安全感的缺失,存在的不确定。你的作品《 ………… 》,与其说是装置作品,不如称之为行为艺术作品,你用涂改带将书籍中除了以外的文字全都覆盖,只留下东一个西一个,不规则的和标点符号。为什么选择书籍?

 

林:人们总是以恒久之物诠释易逝之物,坟墓上立着石块见证脆弱生命曾经存在,情人之间以钻石见证爱情的曾经发生,印刷品是人们得以超越时间,空间,而取得联系和交流的物质定义,印刷品见证交流的迫切和渴望,而涂抹,则是迅速消灭证据的简单的方式,印刷传递的是一种建构,人为的建立其联系的文化桥梁,它提供一种判断标准,涂抹和覆盖文字,也是在涂抹标准,阻止对世界的评判,推测,选择,涂抹时间的延续,漠视和威胁,摧毁信任和理解,涂抹经由经验解读发生过的生存痕迹,涂抹生命的警觉,如同已经接受了兑现了的古老的咒言和巫术,而静默地等待永远即将到来的预言,在无尽的等待中,世界成为一个置身于之外的不可想像。

 

米庄:这些书籍之中,唯一的时间是的孤立,我和世界的不可联系,这也许是作品使我感到恐慌的原因。

 

林:割裂和过去和世界的联系,使我们感到自身的不复存在,涂抹掉过去,使我们怀疑我们是谁。它可以使我们周遭的安静,遥远的马达声,甚至是夜色中灯光投射落下的阴影都变得令人狐疑,世界沉默,而沉默是紧密而坚实的,它使这些剩下的一个又一个,显得那么突兀,触目,生硬,绝情,陌生,它使存在和毁灭紧紧地捆绑在一起,它使变得不可理解,甚至不可容忍,那么,我们不可容忍的是谁?是我们从未认识过的自己,还是我们身上流露出来的他者的信息。存在这个词汇并没有解释任何意义,但是存在是个无限的概念,涂抹后的书籍是迷失的无限,是危险的守护,是不安的安全。

 

米庄:它使一切看起来更加不可能,它提出了最原始的问题,那就是:我是谁?我为什么在这里?我在哪儿?我要去哪儿?

 

林:求生是一种本能,确认生存的意义也是一种本能,我们的存在是达到和进入未来的理由,我们可能在艰辛地抵挡消逝对时间的无情垄断地同时,走向焦虑的与世界的不相知,对失去安全感的恐惧的接受,在消逝之前接受消逝,在死亡之前死亡,曾经受到过的煎熬和磨难和存在一样成为荒唐。

 

米庄:你的印刷读本中,那些残留的标点符号,是一种提示,提示曾经发生,过往的时间。

 

林:对,提示我们和世界的纠缠不清和瞬间断裂,提示来龙去脉变得面目全非,提示倾注一掷在断裂之后成了毫无方向。

如果是一段公共历史,断裂就来自历史的偶然性,如果是私人故事,断裂的就是生存的意义,其中不乏疯狂,焦虑,恍惚,迷乱,虚无,愤怒,歇斯底里,同时又是次序的,计划的,有条不紊的,无理的,冷漠的,麻木的,残酷的,无动于衷的。

 

如同飞翔来自对坠落的恐惧,登高来自对孤独的恐慌,黑暗中,我们倦曲身体而眠,无意中在孱弱和无奈中给出一个拥抱。

 

空了的空间里静默着,孤独地乞求解释,涂抹而去的世界因为剩下之的不可否定,而充满现场感,空洞的声音却发出了洪亮的提问,态度是如此地含糊而坚定。

 在迟疑中燃烧,在荒谬之中坚定不移。


 


DE SARTHE HONG KONG 
LIN JINGJING
Solo Exhibition 
Take Off
脱轨
林菁菁个展
香港德萨画廊
Sep.16 - Oct. 2, 2017

 

Lin Jingjing "Take Off" Solo Show

De Sarthe Gallery

20/F, Global Trade Square, No. 21 Wong Chuk Hang Road, 
Hong Kong

Opening hours : Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am – 7pm

 

 

DE SARTHE BEIJING 
LIN JINGJING
Solo Exhibition 
Tomorrow Was Wonderful
明天曾经无限美好
林菁菁个展
北京德萨画廊
JUNE 13 - August 2, 2015
DE SARTHE Hong Kong 
LIN JINGJING
Solo Exhibition 
Promise Again For the First Time
完美的诺言
林菁菁个展
香港德萨画廊
April 5 - May 3, 2014

Lin Jing jing 's New Catalogue   "The Method of Paradox" is available


林菁菁新画册《 悖论的方式》开始发售

"My Promise for Your Happiness" on the cover of 

TransnaTional Dialogues Journal 2014