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HomeChinese QuotesWang Chunchen: The Way Home ~ 王春辰·《回家的路》with English Translations

Wang Chunchen: The Way Home ~ 王春辰·《回家的路》with English Translations

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回家的路

The Way Home

王春辰

Wang Chunchen

作为河北人,今天终于在省会的石家庄美术馆来举办姬子的展览了。人们经常问我是怎么走上艺术这条路的,可以说,我本来不是走这条路的。我在上中学的时候,我父亲(姬子)就告诉我不要学美术,如果学画画会连饭都吃不上,除非你上了中央美院,或者在国家单位工作,否则你是没有办法靠画画来养活自己的,我这一辈子不就是例子吗。我遵从父愿,在河北大学读了英语文学专业,四年大学毕业后分配到合资企业做翻译,没有任何念头或可能去从事艺术工作。唯有的就是喜欢读读书,多数又和艺术有联系,往返北京也总是去王府井书店买书。平时在家里又经常和父亲、朋友讨论艺术上的事情。对于我,那时候完全是当作爱好来旁观艺术这码事的。

As a native of Hebei, I am finally able to hold an exhibition of my father’s (Jizi) paintings at Shijiazhuang Art Museum in the capital city of Hebei Province. I am often asked how I embarked on the journey of art. To be honest, it was not my original plan. When I was in high school, my father (Jizi) advised me not to take up fine arts as my lifelong career. I was told that if I were to choose painting as my major, I would not be able to support my own life unless I could become a student of the Central Academy of Fine Arts or work in a public institution subsidised by the government. That couldn’t be truer as he’s been a living example of what was described to me when I was young. I took my father’s advice and majored in English literature at Hebei University. After graduation, I was appointed to a job working as a translator in a joint venture. Given that, the idea of pursuing art as my career never crossed my mind. My only connection with art was my interest in reading, most of which was related to art. Whenever I travelled to or from Beijing, I would go to the Wangfujing Bookstore. During my spare time at home, I would discuss art with my father and friends. For me, it was nothing other than a personal hobby.

但是对于我父亲来讲,却不是这样的。虽然他不让我走这条路,但他自己倒是要坚持走下去,即使再不可能,也把艺术当作自己的生命,他没有上学的机会,就自学;没有课堂的聆听,就读书、去故宫看画。他用打临时工省下的钱去买书、买画册,在他钻研艺术的这一生里,书成了他的良师益友。到了后来,他专心在创作上,仿佛消失在日常生活里,对自己的艺术结果是否见诸于世只有顺其自然了。他唯能做的就是探寻自己的画的语言和想法,他因此称自己的画是墨道山水,因此写了“墨道论”来琢磨自己的画理。他知道他这一生画画不是一件小事,他没有良好的社会条件,只能靠自己努力,一朝一夕都不够,必须是一辈子。他的全部生活理由就在那净洁的宣纸上,这个理由足以大到无边无际,透过那些浓淡干湿的墨、气韵飞扬的水,他看到了浩瀚的天际、辽远的时空,也许未来就在那里。

But for my father, things were completely different. Although he did not want me to pursue art as my career, he himself was quite stubborn about his choice. However difficult things became, he never abandoned his pursuit of art. Short of classroom instruction at school, he taught himself by reading or going to the Palace Museum to appreciate paintings. With money saved from odd jobs, he bought books or painting collections. In his lifelong pursuit of art, books were both his mentors and dear friends. Later, when he concentrated on creating his own art, it lifted him out of his mundane daily life. He did not care too much about public exposure to his art. His only interest was exploring the language and thoughts of his paintings. This gave birth to the Landscape of the Tao of Ink, the concept he adopted to describe his works, which was further developed into his book, The Tao of Ink, to elaborate on his painting theories. He was aware that painting in this life was no easy task. Without good social connections, he could only work extra hard, not for a day, but for his entire life. All the meaning of his life, or his boundless energy to live, was more than evident on the pure, white Xuan paper. Through the versatile inks and the vivacious water, he saw the boundless sky, the distant time and space. That was where the future rolled out for him.

有个朋友说,唯有自己的父母离去才让人瞬间长大。我是在父亲突然患病去世后,才真正感受到了父亲的存在,甚至是在那之后才渐渐了解了父亲。我无法忘记最后几天他在医院的病床上,他喃喃地、艰难地说着“我不甘心、我不甘心”,因为他知道他要走了,他还有很多创作计划没有做,他心目中的画还没有画出来,以致在临终的最后几秒里,他的眼角流下了眼泪……

A friend of mine said only when one’s parents were gone could one come into his own. Indeed, it was not until my father got sick and passed away that I came to understand who he was and started to know him better. I can’t forget his last days in hospital. Lying in bed, he murmured “I’m not done yet. I’m not done yet”. He knew that he was approaching death. But he also knew that he still had a lot of plans to be realized, and his perfect painting had not been delivered yet. In his last few seconds, tears fell from his eyes…

我能理解他的心愿,知道他一辈子的困厄,是画画支撑了他;于我,也是受父亲的影响,终归还是走上了艺术这条路,做着研究、做着批评、做着策展,依稀间我又恍惚,仿佛这些都不见了,只在氤氲叆叇的墨气里看到一个身单影只的父亲远远地走了。

I understood his wishes, knowing that through the difficulties in his life, it was his painting that had supported him. Influenced by my father, I finally embarked on the journey of art and have been engaged in research, criticism and curation ever since. One day suddenly it was as if everything disappeared, only to see my father standing alone, going farther and farther into the heavy ink.

我默默地,知道在未来的时空才能再与父亲相见。

Then I knew that only in that distant space and endless time he depicted could I truly meet my father again.

 

(郑洵、Elyn Maclnnis 译)

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