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艺术家陳建周采访 《今日北京》记者王凌霄

A Happy Art Journey to the Ends of the World

--《西游记系列》作品

1.是不是从小对《西游记》有着特别的感情?为什么?

是,《西游记》是我最喜欢看的电视剧,86版的,我看了一遍又一遍,每年寒暑假的时候,几乎每个频道都会反复播出《西游记》,我从小学到中学甚至到现在,看了有十几遍了,虽然也知道了接下来的情节,每一集其实也都是差不多的情节,唐僧被抓,要么被吃,要么被嫁,孙悟空搭救,搭救不成就去请各路神仙帮忙,记得特别清楚,说不清楚西游记有怎样的魅力,但我就是喜欢。

2.《西游记归来系列》是从什么时候开始创作的? 耗时多长? 为什么会想到画这么可爱版的西游记?为什么会用这么明丽的色彩来表达?

应该说是从去年开始的这个想法,我尝试对《西游记》进行了个人化的视觉叙述,并最终成了这个系列的作品。用自己的角度去诠释这本思想性和艺术性都堪称一流的古典名著,去有血有肉的诠释唐僧、孙悟空、猪八戒、沙僧这四位历经九九八十一难的英雄。用卡通的形象和时而诙谐时而戏谑的情节,对经典故事和人物进行了解构。我是幽默的人,我选择这样的颜色是觉得对比强烈,干净神圣,因为西游记在我心里是神圣而神奇的。

3.通过《西游记归来》系列想表达什么,希望有什么样的影响?

《西游记归来》系列充满幽默风趣和时代感,给观众以浓厚的怡然自乐。通过色彩、线条、形体来组织一个传达着某种欢快情感的画面。那些绘画性的要素给他带来无穷的快乐,我要将那种令人喜悦的清新感通过画面传达给观众。

4.西游记系列现在一共有几幅作品?讲讲其中你个人最喜欢的两三个作品吧?有没有比较有意思的创作经历?

一共有22幅作品,我最喜欢《西游记去哪儿》、《最后的晚餐》这两个,尤其是《西游记去哪儿》,它的创作的灵感来源于生活,还记得那次我在北京等公交车,等了好久忽然就那么灵光一闪,想到就画了下来。很好玩,哈~另一幅大家都知道达芬奇《最后的晚餐》不多说,我个人认为唐僧有些自私,他饿了,让徒弟们去找吃的,难道徒弟们不饿吗?他渴了,让徒弟们去找水,难道徒弟们不渴吗?妖魔鬼怪来了,让徒弟们来保护他,难道徒弟们的生命不宝贵吗?所以我觉得唐僧这个人,固执又有点小自私,不大气。这么一对比,我觉得猪八戒就可爱多了,师父有危险了,他会奋不顾身的去救师父,却不顾自己的生命。但他有许多坏毛病,如贪吃、好女色……但是我觉得这个角色本质上来说很正面,有什么就直接表现了出来,他不屑于去遮掩自己,这点比唐僧强。

--《飞翔•欲望》系列

1.《飞翔•欲望》是从什么时候开始创作的?一共有多少作品?最喜欢哪个?

2014年4月开始创作,不多,一共有13幅作品,最喜欢《飞翔欲望NO.8》,这幅作品那个飞行器出状况的小飞行员的各种情绪和画面,用娴熟的笔法展现了一个飞行器受损,面对挫折依然渴望再次飞行的小飞行员,潜心阅览书籍,寻找修复折翼之道。从他会心的微笑中能感受到他曾经自由飞翔的美好记忆,渴望再次飞向蓝天的梦想。

2. 创作《飞翔•欲望》的原因

工作近一年了,但每天都过的很无聊,只想辞职不干了,干脆画画。《飞翔•欲望》的灵感来源于一种心理,心是自由的,但身在工作中无法自由,内心的想法就是我要摆脱方方正正的环境。去做我想做的事情。

--《童年记忆》系列

1.你说正在创作中的童年记忆系列是以你自己为原型,那表现的是你自己的童年记忆吗?是单个的故事,还是一系列串起来的故事?

《童年记忆》系列,是我自己原型。梦是灵魂深处的一种感觉。这个系列,后面还有更多的作品,敬请期待。

2.已经完成多少作品了?对这一系列作品的打算和预期?

目前有3幅作品,多多益善,我的目标是打算在国外办个人展。我希望大家能够喜欢我的作品。期待我更多好的作品,必有惊喜。

--个人历程

1.从什么开始学画画?为什么喜欢画画?

我画画的时间算是挺长的,因为我家有画画的这个传统,我爸爸是爱看书画收藏,一直在这个环境里长大,我画画学的挺早,学前已经开始画儿童画,小学八九岁开始学书法,但是我对书法不感兴趣特别喜欢画画学素描基础,到初中正规开始学画画,高中的时候美术专业成绩非常好,顺利考上了大学以后选择著名的画家工作室,因为我从小接触就是传统的画画方式。

2.讲讲自己的作品风格,为什么会形成这样的风格?

当时去著名的耿万义老师画室学习写实油画,老师建议我先从临摹画开始做起,但是我不愿意去临摹,想摆脱这个桎梏,不想去做传统油画。我见过写实艺术家们优秀的作品,但是我个人感觉没特殊的没创新的,我想要完全要打破这个东西,去创造一个最与众不同的独特风格。就拿现在西游记系列来说,为什么背景是黑的,云是蓝的,山是绿的,这个要从我偶然的一次梦里来说,当人在睡梦里游行的时候眼前全是黑乎乎的景象,云是纯洁清新的颜色,所以我选择蓝色,山是绿色的,因为我想到古代人画的国画,山也是绿色的,因为有植被嘛,所以灵感就来源于这里。醒来之后,我就这样画,没想到效果真不错。之后就形成了这种风格,重在与众不同,打破常规。

3.能不能讲讲小时候偶然失聪的经历,有没有给你的成长和创作历程造成过什么影响

可以,三岁失聪,我小时候发烧打针突然就听不见了。听不到声音的人,心里多多少少会有一些自卑感,那时候总觉得自己和听人完全是两种人类,但我想,我只是听不见声音而已,其他的东西听人能做到的我也能做到。之后我就一直努力画画,做好自己想做的事,从不被外界影响左右自己情绪。我只知道,我这样只能努力再努力。创作中,遇到的困难无非就是找不到灵感,灵感来源于生活,我是个会生活能品味生活的人。但现在社会中仍然有歧视聋人的现象存在。

4.是不是在朋友眼里你总是这么一个开朗乐观的人?是什么影响了你积极向上的人生态度?

是,我表面上看起来很开朗乐观,可是内心很自卑。我的心态很好,往往一件不愉快的事能够很快就忘掉,我觉得把一件不愉快的心情维持太久,对自己和朋友都没有好处。我只身来到北京奋斗,是父母寄予了很大的希望,所以我不想辜负父母的一片苦心。如果说影响我积极向上的人生态度是什么,我想说是画画这个东西。因为我特别特别喜欢画画。

5.北漂13年有没有觉得很辛苦?有让你印象很深刻的事吗?(因为我也正北漂着……)

当然很辛苦,我相信很多的北漂族跟我都有特别相似的苦,找工作不易,租房不易,生活不易等等。但因为理想而奋斗,感觉充实快乐。印象最深的是,2004年我上初三的时候,听到爸爸下岗了,心里很痛苦,不知所措,想过退学回老家打工挣钱,后来爸爸让我坚持读书,不用担心家里,从此以后我省吃俭用,努力学习课本知识,加强画画基础。只是为了不让爸爸操心。还有一件是去年2014年在重庆搞画展,这是我新的开始,我知道我的努力和付出是值得的。我在北京,一个人不容易,但是想到了远在老家的爸爸妈妈,我就分分钟钟不敢松懈。

6.现在的工作室在哪?每天除了画画,通常还会做些什么?目前作品的市场怎样,买家都是比较年轻的人吗?

在北京,除了画画还练习书法,画画占据了白天时间,晚上抽出半小时时间练习书法,从不间断过,为了获得创造上的灵感,不断研究新的绘画技法,还去参观很多美术馆和画廊,想象力游戏也是我获得灵感的重要途径。我的目标是后年完成一百幅作品,人类的潜力是无限,需要怀着极大的勇气突破自身的极限。正因为如此,我努力完成看似不可能的任务。去年的时候市场不景气,今年好多了,比较成熟,很多七零后八零后喜欢买创新型的绘画作品。

7.再讲讲你抛弃首席设计师职位专心画画的经历吧,包括从什么时候到什么时候在哪儿工作过,为什么要放弃设计师不做?

当过UI设计师、教师、美术设计。2012年大学毕业之后找工作非常困难,前后面试30多次均以失败告终,后来还是坚持找工作。六月毕业的十几天后终于找到一家苹果手机界面UI设计师这个职位,实习期过了三个月,他们把我辞掉,因为跟不上团队,交流有障碍。九月的时候在一所弱智学校当教师,课下时间没有多少,因为我想多点时间去画画。2013年应聘到很久以前公司当首席设计师,由于餐饮服务业单休,工作日任务多,抽不出任何时间做自己的事。我干脆就辞职,专心搞画画。因为我的梦想就是自由自在地画画。

weibo: @陳建周CJZ

As one of the country’s four great literary classics, Journey to the West and its magical characters are a cornerstone of Chinese childhood. Under the brush of 28-year-old artist Chen Jianzhou (陳建周), the Tang monk and his three disciples come alive with vivid expressions and in surprisingly modern surroundings.

Chen was born in Shandong province and grew up in a family of artists. He moved to Beijing in the early 2000s. He began his Journey to the West series in 2014 and has already finished 22 paintings.

“The TV adaptation filmed in 1986 is still my favorite show. I’ve watched it a dozen times,” Chen says. “It’s hard to say why, but I just love it.”

His work may be inspired in part by Gu Baoxin, a Chinese artist who adapted the imagery of Journey to the West to comment on China’s cooperation with the US. “But I think his work is just too fierce and scary. It might make foreigners really misunderstand this classic,” Chen says.

Chen’s paintings are dominated by bright colors that stand out from his black skies, blue clouds and green mountains.

As a young man, Chen studied realist oil painting with Geng Wanyi (耿万义). When Geng instructed him to practice copying famous paintings he ran like mad to get away from the style. “I don’t want to follow the traditional approach to oil painting. I’m looking to do something more creative that’s inspired by my dreams,” Chen says.

His contrasting colors, modern elements and pleasant images reflect his humorous nature and have been easy for viewers to accept.

In “Where are You Going, Journey to the West?” the four pilgrims are depicted in modern clothes and waiting at a bus stop. The scene was inspired by the time he saw three people attempting to board a Beijing bus with clearly oversized luggage.

“Inspiration comes from life. I love to focus on the simple things,” he says.

His “The Last Supper” mimics Leonardo da Vinci’s famous work and indicates his own understanding of the four characters. The monkey king, the pig and the Sha Wujing are all seen eating their favorite foods: a peach, a watermelon and a piece of tofu. The Tang monk sits before an empty bowl.

“I always saw the Tang monk as stubborn and selfish. When he is hungry and thirsty he asks his disciples to find food and water for him. When he meets any monster, he needs his disciples to protect him. On the contrary, I think Zhu Bajie (the pig) is cuter even though he is somewhat greedy and lecherous,” Chen says.

All of his works seem to reflect his natural humor and optimism. For many viewers it’s hard to imagine that Chen lives in a silent world.

A severe fever rendered Chen deaf at the age of three. His disability troubled him early in his life, but in time he learned to harness the silence to isolate himself and concentrate on his work.

“I let bad things go as quickly as they come. I know it’s no good for myself or my friends to stay negative for too long,” Chen says.

As a beipiao, or young migrant to the capital, Chen’s parents place much hope in their son’s work. His father lost his job when he was in junior high school, and Chen hoped to move back to Shandong after graduation to support his family. His father encouraged him to stay in Beijing and pursue his dreams.

His exhibition in Chongqing last year marked a new start for him. Since then, his paintings have been exhibited in China, Korea and France.

“The market for my works was weak in 2014, but it’s much better this year,” he says. “More people born in the 1970s and 1980s are starting to support the creative arts.”

From one aspect, his creativity comes from his pursuit of freedom. He has worked as a UI designer, a teacher and a graphic designer since graduating from Beijing Union University in 2012. In 2013, he landed a job as the chief designer for a restaurant group, but the career left him without any free time.

His resignation inspired another series: Fly and Desire.

“My heart is free, but that freedom is limited in work. I was eager to get rid of the monotonous environment and just do what I like,” Chen says.

He is currently working on his Memory of Childhood series, in which he himself is the model of the characters. He is hoping to turn it into a solo exhibition abroad.

“I want to complete 100 works by the end of 2017,” Chen says. “Human potential is infinite: we just need the courage to break past our own limits.”

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