Meditations

Chinese Furniture with Photographs by Sally Larsen

NEW YORK

September 12 – November 10, 2001

Sally Larsen

Sally Larsen

Sally Larsen

Sally Larsen

Sally Larsen

Meditations: an exhibition of Chinese furniture and scholar objects of the Ming and Qing dynasties with the orotone photographs of Sally Larsen.

In Chinese society the scholar occupied an elevated position, different in kind from the respect accorded to their western counterparts. After years of arduous study and increasingly difficult examinations, the most talented became government officials, whether in the capital or the provinces. Those who failed frequently retired to the countryside where they became scholar hermits. In the highly refined environments they created, the emphasis was on creating an atmosphere in which true peace of mind might be most readily achieved. To facilitate their escape from the world and achieve inner peace, they pursued many activities, including meditation, calligraphy, composing poems and gardening.

This exhibition will recreate the mood of a scholar's environment. The desks, bookcases and incense stands that created an environment conducive to study and reverie will provide the setting for a selection of scholar objects, carefully selected implements and objects chosen for their usefulness and for their symbolism. A meditation chair served to elevate the aspirant a few inches above the floor and to support him in his intense devotions. Presiding over everything will be a Yuan to Ming dynasty gilt-bronze image of the Buddha seated in the position of royal-ease.

Sally Larsen has reinvigorated the difficult orotone technique. The golden glow of her photographs of Chinese gardens and martial artists creates an atmosphere conducive to the establishment of a meditative state. Sally Larsen sees culture flowing from the East in Meditations reflected in gardens, architecture and action. Undoubtedly, her Aleut/Apache roots are reaching into ancient memories. A life long appreciation of Asian aesthetics informs her photography, whether in China, Kyoto, California, or Canada, while twenty years of martial arts studies have given her an inside view of the culturally sustaining Chinese world community. Wide- ranging in her passions which span the expressive potential of digital tools to surfing and Tai chi, she has continued to refine her hand gold leafed orotones.

Dragon's Head in a Shanghai Garden, the gold itself suggesting the yellow dragon of fluency and writing, is a quintessential Chinese motif, as are the musicians in the Shanghai teahouse. Jumping a quarter of the way around the globe, Sally Larsen finds material master Xu Guo Ming in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. In these intriguing action shots of animal emulation, Larsen captures the action with her perfect timing of multiple, hand-held strobe flashes timed by her refined knowledge of Hsin-I, an ancient martial form. Buddha's View, the world through Buddha's eyes as he sat under the Bo Tree, speks again to her highly non-material perspective.

In this installation, the spiritual affinities between Chinese scholars of the late Ming and Qing periods and a leading contemporary photographer are readily apparent.

纽约前波画廊(Chambers Fine Art)于9月12日推出展览《冥思》。这次展览将展出中国明清家具,文人小件,以及美国艺术家Sally Larsen的手贴金箔玻璃照片。

中国社会推崇教育,文人一直享有着特殊的社会地位。经过多年的寒窗苦读和严格的科举考试,花榜提名者成为朝廷命官。而落榜者往往退居田园,过起隐士的生活。在田园悠闲的环境下,他们潜心于冥思、书法、作诗及耕作等修身养性的活动;内心坦荡,与世无争,过着闲然的生活。

这次展览将重现文人这种悠然自乐的生活空间,所展出的书桌、条案、书架、香几、座屏等再次刻画文人读书写字、神游冥思的环境。陈列的文人小件不仅烘托了展览冥静的气氛,其象徵及使用意义与本次展览的主题更是不可分割。冥思时坐于禅凳之上,香炉供奉在身边的香几上,烟雾缭绕,胜似仙境。展览中最重要的展品之一为鎏金铜自在观音(元-明朝),其轻松的坐姿和表情揭示了真正的宁静与满足来源于心中。

Sally Larsen 精湛了费时费料的金箔玻璃照片技术,其制做过程是将化学感光材料涂在玻璃上,曝光后再用手工将23K金箔贴涂在有感光材料的玻璃面上。这次所展出的Larsen照片的主题为园林及武术,照片的金色基调烘托了冥思的气氛。对她而言,东方的园林、建筑和行为都是冥思这一心灵状态的写照。毫无疑问,作为美国印第安人的后裔,Larsen对古老的文化有着特殊的眷念。不论拍摄于何处,她的照片都表现出其一生对亚洲文化的欣赏与推崇。二十年的武术操练更使她以不可多得的“行内人”之眼光来观察和表现中国悠久的文化空间。她兴趣广泛,从先进的数字科技,到冲浪和太极拳,而这些不同的嗜好都给她提供了精湛的摄影技艺和创作的灵感。

在《豫圆龙头》这幅照片里,金色表现了龙的威严和雄姿,而龙更是中国文化不可或缺的象徵。十多年前,Larsen在三市的金门公园里遇到了武术大师徐国明。她用定时闪光灯和连续摄影等技术,结合她对“心意”这一古老武术的理解和掌握,精确地捕捉了徐大师模仿动物的一招一式。在《菩萨的世界》里,静坐在菩提树下的菩萨并没有出现在画面中,可是冥思而宁静的世界却通过Larsen的照像机展现在我们的面前。这幅照片的淡雅肃静,表现出Larsen以文人而非武术为出发点,对中国文化的另一层见解。

前波画廊所举办的《冥思》展览将中国明清文人冥静闲逸的环境与现代杰出摄影家的作品和谐而巧妙地结合,实为独具匠心,难得一见的构思。

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