對話付斌：「木板綜合材料」是一種版畫語言的探索 Interview with Fu Bin: “Mixed media on wood board is an exploration of prin
我把我的作品定義為木板綜合材料（Mixed media on wood board），是介於木刻和架上繪畫之間，結合了這兩種媒介的特點。對比傳統版畫，我的作品只有製版沒有印刷，捨棄了版畫的「複數」，這也就是我在剛才說的「根據創作的需要來進行傳統版畫特點的取捨」，從而直接將版畫的「版」呈現了出來，突出了木刻造型語言的特點和刀痕的豐富肌理。通過凸顯「版」的唯一性，強調版畫學科自身的獨立性。
Time: August 16, 2017
Place: Printmaking studio of Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University
Interviewer: Shi Guanzhe (Shi)
Interviewee: Fu Bin (Fu)
First of all, congratulations! Your first solo exhibition would be in Hong Kong at the end of this year. I have noticed that your current artistic creations are different from your earlier ones. What leads to the current creation features and is there any internal connection with your earlier creations?
Thank you! When I was a postgraduate in China Central Academy of Fine Arts, my research direction was “applied research of printmaking”. By studying the history of printmaking, I found that the print carries some genes that are quite avant-garde, for it always develops at the same pace with that of the most advanced replica techniques of the time and also has strong connections with the religions, cultures and politics then. On the other hand, printmaking in each historical phase is closely related to the demands of artists, for they apply and transform the printing techniques as well as materials according to their own needs. For instance, Edgar Degas produced a large number of monotypes and Andy Warhol used screen printing to create classic pop images on different materials, which is of great significance in the history of art. Hence, I try to break some rules in my works and make choices among the characteristics of traditional printmaking according to the need of the work.
Most of my early works are traditional lithographs. At that period I kept my focus on pure creation of printmaking. I intended to engraft the contemporary art upon the unique language of printmaking, and express my reflections on the present life by the most traditional form of art. Although my current works have undergone significant transformations in techniques and expressive subject matters, the core of the creations is still about my thoughts about human and society, culture, environment and people’s living state. Also, my creations have always been developed from the printmaking, as the origin in form.
Do you think this type of creations is still within the definition of printmaking? Compared to the traditional printmaking, what is the breakthrough that you have been pursuing?
For me it is, in a broad sense, because it involves the traditional modeling language and techniques of printmaking, as well as its mindset. In fact I don’t think it matters whether it belongs to printmaking or something else. A definite classification of art subjects might bring limitations to the creation.
I define my works as Mixed Media on Wood Board, combining the characteristics of both woodcut and easel painting. Compared to traditional printmaking, my works only include platemaking instead of printing. Such abandoning the complexity of printmaking is just what I said making “choices among the characteristics of traditional printmaking according to the need of the work,” which helps demonstrate directly of the “print” in “printmaking”, highlighting the characteristics of woodcut modelling language and the rich texture of cutting traces. Emphasizing the uniqueness of the “print” could help the independent identity of printmaking as an art subject stand out.
I have increasingly felt in my curations and my art reviews in recent years that the printmaking is undergoing a contemporary transformation. Such trend is presented especially among young artists, and your works of Mixed Media on Wood Board is exactly a good case of it. From your point of view, what is the driving force behind the transformation?
There are two reasons. One is that printmaking has long been given the cold shoulder in the current art market climate. Also, print creations are restricted by various conditions. Without the support of print workshops, it’s difficult to insist printmaking for a long period of time. On the other hand, the experience of printmaking gives artists a rather rational mindset and techniques, enabling them to change different perspectives when facing problems. Both of the reasons help printmakers pay more attentions to the artistic and experimental reflections, expand the dimensions of printmaking based on the core of creation, and turn the prints into a new way of expression, sometimes even a participant medium, instead of just a mode of creation.
Throughout your works, especially the current mixed media on wood board, most of them are depictions of urban architecture. What makes it the focus of your creation?
Urban roads and construction landscape make up typical scenes of modern city life. Images of figures, even the urban sky, could be ignored in this case. Skyscrapers become an epitome, of modern people’s city life and reflect their spiritual state, an ambivalent altitude that one can never escape. Holding such inner feeling of isolation and indifference is what I want to express the most in this series of works. For me urban architecture is the best medium to convey this emotional experience.
How did the series displayed in this Hong Kong exhibition take shape? How did you select these city landscapes?
The materials of this series of works came from my several trips in Hong Kong. I found that Hong Kong managed to meet all my imaginations of a “super city”, just like the fictional city in Blade Runner (1982) which fully exploits the vertical space, a crammed city full of skyscrapers. Highly developed urban space is contrasted with shabby and abandoned urban corners. Such contrast intensifies the sense of alienation of those who live in the city, which brings out a strong impulse to create. So I picked up my camera and went into the crowds throughout the city to search for materials. There are two criteria when I chose the scenes: one is whether the atmosphere carried by the environment itself contains the characteristics that fit my creations. Hence, all the environments are intercepted. Seemed to be trivial corners throughout the city, they are enough to express my emotional appeals in these works. The second criterion is whether the environment is suitable in the final presentation. I mean that the outlines of construction structure and the composition of the picture which takes shape spontaneously need to have a unique sense of ritual, meeting the basic aesthetic requirements of an artistic creation. Only meeting these two criteria would it be taken into consideration of my further creations.
Do you have any plan for your future creation?
So far my creations have been a continuous process, though they have different emphasize in different period of time. The core of such continuity lies in the exploration of more possibilities of the development of printmaking language. Although I turned from traditional printmaking on paper to the field of mixed media on wood board, I never abandon the former one, and still keep creating in traditional way. I also try to carry through experimental creation by traditional means. In the future I hope the works could better tally with my personal experience. I would keep exploring new materials and means of expression, not confined to make concrete and flat works. I expect a step forward on basis of current printmaking language and features.