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怪才罗旭的妄想和异行
作者: 叶永青 上传时间: 2011/10/18 来源: 本站 浏览 3794 次 评论 0 条

 
  这些年我在云南结识的朋友中,罗旭一直被视为怪杰,他的传奇般的经历和言行,他建造的建筑群落和他创造的那些数量惊人的作品,他那种大隐于闹市的浪漫情怀以及独立特行的梦想本身,常常遭致各种议论和评价。昆明是边远的小城,它的文化和历史受到现代空袭的冲击力度,比之许多中国中心城市的病灶原发点来,自是更加触目。而另一方面,卷地烈焰来不及细微爆透的地方,在草根层极处还留有些许农耕时代烬余。则未尝不是幸事。在质疑现代化的声音里,经常能听到对古老手艺的怀想,许多时候还应和着对自然和泥土的讴歌,大致上采取这种姿态的人士远处两端:一头是真正在深山荒野间,仍然靠着手传心授的旧艺勤勉度日的匠人,另一头却是城市书斋内纤尘不染的浪漫文人,而罗旭却能集两种品质为一身。
制造神话是人类的天性,对那些出类拔萃的人物,如果他们生活中有什么令人感到诧异或者迷惑不解的事件,人们就会如饥似渴地抓住不放,编造出种种传言,而且深信不疑,近似狂热,这可以说是浪漫主义对平凡暗淡的生活的一种抗议,这样的传奇和神话,被追加在一个个我引以为荣的云南人身上:罗旭、跳舞的杨丽萍、拍电影的吴文光、盖房子的赵青、搞音乐的田丰。传说中的一些小故事和事实一道成为他们通向成名之路的最可靠的护照。
 

  罗旭的身上兼有一种肉欲的狂燥和悲剧性的忧郁混合的特质,仿佛作为永恒的牺牲似的把自己灵魂的秘密呈献出来,给予了十年前的一片土地。一个艺术家——雕塑也好、诗人也好、建筑师也好,以他充满想象力和创造力的美丽作品把世界装点起来,满足了人们的审美意识和好奇心,但这也同人性的本能不无相似的地方,都有其粗野狂暴的一面,在把作品奉献给世人的同时,艺术家也把他个性才能和遗憾呈现在你眼前。探索一个艺术家的秘密,令人费解和迷人,这个奥秘同大自然极相似,其妙处就在于无法找到答案。罗的最不足道的作品也使我们能模糊地看到他的奇特、诙谐、复杂、受着折磨的性格,包括那些不喜欢他的艺术的人之所以不能对他漠不关心,肯定是因为这个原因。也正是这一点,使得那么多人对他的生活、性格充满了好奇心和浓厚的兴趣。
 

  其实在许多人眼中,罗旭不仅是一个失败的经营者,也同无数落魄的艺术家没什么不同的。的确,生活中的罗旭与我们想象中的天才相去甚远,他永远只会对那些慕名而来和偶然闯入的访客抱以微笑,多年前我第一次见他时,罗旭细小的眼睛里闪耀的就是这种微笑,这其实是一种经历过风雨也看见过彩虹的平和与透亮,也许正是这种平和谦虚掩盖了他的思想和野心,也使人们在满足了短暂的好奇心之后,却与这片红土房子的缔造者和守望者,一位真正独特的天才和大师失之交臂。
罗旭出生在云南红河州的弥勒,那片干燥的红土地上,盛产中国最好的烟草和葡萄,或许,是这个地域因素熏染了他的心性,造就了其旺盛多产的创作欲。虽然成长在中国社会彻底学习西方的时期,但他钟情的还是乡野风。他早年干过建筑小工,在文化馆工作,为掌握艺术技巧,艰苦奋斗,并到中央美院进修雕塑。罗还一不小心就下海经商几年。自任董事长、总经理、建筑师、舞台演出编导、餐厅老板、伙食大厨和制做桌椅板凳、锅碗瓢盆的工人……几年间,罗旭经历了自己的“土著巢”和有限公司从有到无,从兴到衰的过程。这个过程也使罗既“阅尽人间春色”,同时又倍感人世艰辛。 生意场上的失败和丰富的人生阅历使罗旭不得不退守到这片占地十余亩的房子中。这是1996年他根据儿子的灵感和艺术家的意志修建的外形酷似女性乳房和原始砖窑般的建筑群。以艺术家的狂想和手工式制作方式施工造就的土著巢使许多造访这里的各界人士感到震憾。对于有建筑师提出老罗的房子是对现代建筑的挑战的说法,老罗也不谦虚:“我最大的挑战就是不用米达尺!”这个回答意味深长且歪打正着,当初罗刚画完建筑设计图,曾认真地去找建筑设计院审批,院方的结论是“这房子没法造!”老罗赌气回来自己找了施工队,亲自手提一蓝石灰布线、按线定基,等砖砌达了人高,老罗拿根竹杆、左指右划,指南打北,硬是口传和身教三百个工人把最高为16米的建筑数十座盖成了,罗旭以自己的直觉和知性无意间突破了现代建筑以数学和结构为准绳的繁离,为自己的幻想开启了一个新鲜的奇异的境界。这儿,他在自己周围处处可以看到为使灵感开花结果不可或缺的事物,他将自己饲养的动物视为兄弟姐妹,被命名为“罗辉”的其实是一头调皮发情的毛驴,在鸡狗鱼鸭生生不息之中,在一草一木之间,老罗找到了幸福,找到这种幸福,老罗也就好像找到了归宿。仿佛罗旭狂热的精神和过剩的精力一直脱离了他的躯体到处漫游,到处寻找归宿,最后,在这片红土地上,终于进入了一个躯壳,他那孤独的灵魂怀着种种奇想与异行,终于象点燃的丰富想象的火药般爆发了。我以为有些人在某一个地方可以说未得其所,机缘将他们随便抛掷到一个新环境中,而他们都一直思念着一处他们也不知道坐落何处的家乡,在出生的地方他们好象是过客,从孩提时代就非常熟悉的浓荫郁郁的小巷,同小伙伴游戏其中的人烟稠密的街道,对他来说,不过是旅途中的一个宿站。这种人在人群之中可能终生落落寡合,在他唯一熟悉的环境里也始终孓身独处。也许正是在本乡本土这种陌生感才逼着他离开故乡,寻找一处永恒定居的寓所,说不定在罗旭们的内心深处仍然隐伏着多少世代前祖先的习性和癖好,叫这些彷徨者再回到他们祖先在远古就不离开的土地,罗旭对我说,有时候一个人偶然到了一个地方,会神秘地感到这正是自己的栖身之所,是他一直在寻找的家园。于是他就在这些从未寓目的景物里,从门前忙碌的省级公路旁、房后高大的杨草果树林的山地边,从不相识的城乡结合部的移民人群中,路边加油站、修车店、发廊食摊丛中定居下来。他开始建房种树,填土挖塘、高高地磊墙,把世界和现实隔在外面,好象这里是他从小就熟稔的一样,他在这里找到了宁静,这种宁静是背对现实换来的,在一个离现代文明和喧嚣的城市中心不到十公里的地方,土著巢与今日世俗生活的强烈反差令人惊异,罗旭在闹市中做出的大隐之态甚至可以说是奇迹。三百多年前,在昆明西郊的玉案山上,四川的雕塑大师黎广修和学子们在笻竹寺完成了的五百罗汉,让我们感到敬佩和畏服,那是天才的作品,出自匠心和神韵,生动传神,叫人感到头晕目眩,在这样伟大的雕像前,我感到自己非常渺小、微不足道。但是人们对筇竹寺雕像的伟大还是有心理准备的,但在这样一些土著房子里,离现代城市和现实生活不远,在俯瞰滇东公路和小石坝的群山环抱里,人们却没有想到会看到这样令人吃惊的艺术作品。黎广修创造的那些神态健全、个性各异的伟大作品给人以崇高、肃穆的感觉,但是在土著巢,虽然我们看到的也是美,却叫我心神不安,我不知道究竟是什么,但确实有一种力量叫人不能平静,有一种感觉使我们感到非同寻常,有一种怪异使你无法逃脱。丰实肥硕人虫混杂的阴性躯体,穹顶墙壁颤动的闪闪光泽,兰天下高叠的座座圆顶大屋,棕榈和灌木在高原的黄昏中神秘地悸动、盘陈在穴居中紫黑如腐肉的陶器皿叫人感到嫌恶,但同时又勾起一种炽热的欲望,这些欲念时而象蛛虫一样邪恶、有时又象是果实一般光洁柔嫩,伴随着老罗引为看家本领的厨艺酒席,更加使人心绪不宁、神移心驰。谁能知道是什么样的欢乐和痛苦的幻想创造出了这一切呢?
 

  罗旭的幸运在于,热爱一座家园并将自己的渴望通过艺术表达出来,或多或少。罗旭的悲剧也在于,要为其所创造的这个艺术场景付出代价。艺术家虽辛勤地制造了这个巢穴,并使其中充满了艺术作品和满园花香,却像在伊甸园偷食了禁果的含义和西西弗斯周而复始地身负重石的寓言那样,终成为自己开拓的花园的终身园丁和奴仆,放逐在自我培植的园中守望与操劳。也许唯其如此,透过罗旭那些尖锐和夸张的作品外表,我们才能读出罗旭的整体生活空间和精神世界所具有的那种独特的忧郁的感情和坚韧沉雄的生命含义。虽然老罗描述自己的生活,总是十分性感和故作欢乐,仿佛他的痛苦和豪情不知为什么总与女人的肉体联系起来,但真实的罗旭仍是一个相当有头脑的艺术家,对艺术和生活有自己独特而真诚的理解,他的经验再次向我们证明,在一个物质的时代,文化的风气向下看齐,普通人的心灵里装的只是金钱和肉体欲望时,通过努力,人们是可以见到一些有关生命深处的东西的,就连房子、艺术、吃饭和养鸡、种树也能成为一种联结心灵与肉体的纽带。这种形式与方式,为一切诸如黎广修、罗旭类的具有创造性之人所开创、所丰富,对今天它很像是一笔无形的财富和精神的果实,为那些渴望心灵和精神生活的人们所分享。
 

  许多黄昏到夜晚,我和老罗喜欢坐在砖石铺地的露台上聊天,晚霞西沉,斗转星移,满园春色没入黑暗之中,灿烂星空之下,那些房子变成峰峦起伏的柔和的剪影,飞机航班载着匆忙的人们掠过上空,使这个都市中的庄园更显得无比的宁静,只有公路边刺耳的鸣笛声和远处的城市灯光提示着这种异样和一丝不安,我们的头脑和思绪虽然升上天空,作无穷的遐想,但我们双脚仍实实在在地深陷在人世间的泥土里。这一切有点象魔幻现实小说里的故事:老罗创造了自己的家园,而这个家园却象是被施了魔法的果子,有自己的生命,任何人尝了就能打开通向它灵魂秘密的门扉,就好象走进幻境的神秘宫殿,它们孕育着无法预知的危险,咬一口就能把人变成野兽,也隐藏从未体验过的快乐,说不定变成神灵。一切健康的、正常的东西,淳朴的人们所有的一切美好情谊、朴素的欢乐,都远远地避开它们,但他们又具有莫大的诱惑力,就象伊甸园中能分辩善恶的智慧果一样,能把人带进未知的世界。
2004年3月19日夜于山城重庆

The Vain Hopes and Bizarre Ways of Luo Xu the Savant Genius

Ye Yongqing

Among the friends I have come to know in Yunnan over the past years, Luo Xu has always been seen as a bit of a savant character. His almost legendary experiences, words and deeds, the cluster of buildings he created, the artistic works of shocking multitude, his sage-like ability to maintain a romantic sentiment amidst the urban landscape and his wholly unique dreamlike quality elicit no small amount of discussion and critique. Kunming is a small frontier city. When compared historically and socially to the larger urban cultural centers of China, where many of the illnesses of modernity were brewed, the ferocity of recent attacks by the forces of modernization has been even more shocking. On another side, in this place, those rolling flames rolled right past much of the smaller growth, leaving many cinders of the past agricultural era on the grassroots level. This is not exactly a bad thing. Among the voices decrying modernization, one often hears nostalgia for the ancient handicrafts, and there are many eulogies of nature and the soil. Most of the people who take this position can be split into two extremes: one is the worker who is truly in the deep wilds of the mountains, still surviving on the old and laborious ways that have been passed along many generations, the other are those romantic urban literati without a callus on their hands or a bit of dirt under their fingernails. Luo Xu is the simultaneous embodiment of both.
It is in man's nature to create myths and legends. When it comes to those outstanding individuals, if their lives contain anything that puzzles or perplexes people, those people will grab on to it with voracity, creating all manner of rumors and hearsay, and they will believe them unquestioningly and fanatically. This could be said to be romanticism's defiance against the banality of real life. These types of legends and myths have been attached to the bodies of all of the Yunnan people I truly admire: Luo Xu, the dancer Yang Liping, the filmmaker Wu Wenguang, the builder Zhao Qing, and the musician Tian Feng. The little stories and facts of the legends have become their most infallible passport on the road to fame.
Luo Xu simultaneously exudes a type of carnal passion and a tragic melancholy, as if he is permanently sacrificing himself by presenting his soul's deepest secrets in the form of this plot of red soil from ten years past. An artist, be it a sculptor, poet or architect, uses his imaginative and creative works to spruce up the world, satisfying the people's aesthetic consciousness and curiosity. But, this instinct, like human nature, is not without a boorish and wild underside. While contributing his works to the world, the artist is also presenting his personal talents and regrets before your eyes. Searching for an artist's secrets is an exercise that causes a lot of confusion and misunderstanding. The profound mystery is much like that shrouding the natural world; the beauty is in that a true answer can never be found. Even Luo's most inconsequential works allow us a blurry glimpse at his peculiar, humorous, complicated and tormented personality; for the very same reason, even those who do not like his art cannot remain indifferent to him. It is also this that causes so many people to be so curious and interested in his life and personality.
In fact, in many people's eyes, Luo Xu is not merely a failed business manager, nor is he any different from many other down and out artists. Truly, the real life Luo Xu is a far cry from the genius of our imagination. He always has a smile for those fame-seekers and accidental tourists who drop by. When I first met him many years ago, Luo Xu's little eyes shined with just this type of smile, this is in fact the shine and tranquility that has weathered the storm to see the rainbow on the other side. It just might be that this tranquil modesty is what conceals his ideas and ambition; it also causes people, after satisfying their temporary curiosity, to miss a grand opportunity with the creator and sentinel of these red clay houses, a truly gifted master.
Luo Xu was born in the Mi'Le region of Yunnan's Honghe Prefecture. That arid land produces China's finest tobacco and grapes. Perhaps the elements of that terrain infected his heart, instilling that exuberant creative passion. Though he came of age in a time when Chinese society was thoroughly studying the West, his true love is for the spirit of the wild countryside. In his early days, he labored as a builder, worked in the Culture House, and struggled diligently to grasp the skills of art, eventually undertaking advanced studies in sculpting at the Central Arts Institute. He once even made the mistake of engaging in maritime trade for a few years. He has served as a chairman of the board, CEO, architect, dance performance director, restaurateur, head chef and furniture maker...Over a few years, Luo Xu watched the rise and fall of his 'Earth Nest' and his company. This process led Luo to "drink up all of mankind's quirks", while also exponentially feeling the pain and suffering of the world. His failure in the business realm and his rich life experience left Luo Xu no choice but to retreat to his expansive compound. This is the collection of buildings that resemble either female breasts or primordial furnaces that he built in 1996 with a child's spirit and an artist's resolve. The Earth Nest, the product of his bizarre imagination and handcrafted style, has stirred the hearts of visitors from all walks of life. In regards to an architect's remark that Luo Xu's house is a challenge to modern architecture, he shamelessly replied, "My greatest challenge was in not using a ruler". This response conceals a deeper significance, and betrays a bit of irony. When Luo had just finished drawing up the designs and diligently sought building approval from the Architecture Institute, their conclusion was that "this cannot be built!" Frustrated, he came back and gathered his own construction crew, marking off the foundation with a chalk string. When the walls reached eye-level, Luo Xu grabbed a bamboo staff, and directed his team of three hundred workers in building the dozens of buildings, with the highest reaching 16 meters. With his own insight and knowledge, Luo Xu broke all the mathematical rules and constructs of modern architecture, creating a fresh new fantastical realm for his illusions to roam. Here, he is always surrounded by those things most essential for the blooming of his spirit. He sees the animals he raises as his own siblings; his brother, 'Luo Hui' is actually a mischievous and horny donkey. Among the vivacity of the chickens, dogs, fish and ducks, among every branch and flower, Luo Xu has found happiness. And in finding this happiness, Luo Xu seems to have found his true place. It as if Luo Xu's intense spirit and surplus energy have always been separate from his body, wandering everywhere in search of its place, finally entering a vessel in this piece of red soil. His lonely soul, which bottled up all manner of odd thoughts and strange deeds, finally burst forth in rich imagination like ignited gunpowder. I feel that some people just haven't found their proper place; opportunity casts them into a new environment, while they always miss that home that has landed in places unknown. They are nothing but sojourners in their place of birth. Those alleys rich with the familiar smells of childhood, those humanity-filled streets where they played with their young friends, to them are nothing but a station in their journey. These people are eternally aloof among the masses, even in their only familiar environment they still struggle to remain in solitude. Maybe this feeling of unfamiliarity back home is what causes these people to leave in search of a new place to permanently settle. Maybe in the deepest reaches of Luo Xu's heart there remain the ways of the ancient ancestors from times long past, beckoning these lost wanderers to return to the lands where the spirits of their ancestors remain.
Luo Xu told me that sometimes when a person happens upon a place, he sometimes gets the mysterious feeling that it is the place for them to stay, that it is the homeland they have always been searching for. Hence, here in this unfamiliar setting next to the busy provincial highway, at the foot of a mountain covered with poplars, among the unfamiliar groups of migratory people, in the middle of a roadside gas station, garage and a cluster of hair salons and restaurants, he decided to settle down. He began to build houses and plant trees, fill in ditches, dig ponds and stack high walls, closing off the world and reality to the outside. It is as if this place is just like he knew it as a child. Here he has found tranquility. This tranquility is that which comes from turning one's back on reality. In this place only ten kilometers away from modern civilization and the clamorous city, people are astonished by the force with which the Earth Nest counters the real world. Luo Xu's state of being as a sort of metropolitan sage could even be called a spectacle. Over three hundred years ago on the top of Mount Yu'An just west of Kunming, the great Sichuanese sculptor Li Guangxiu and his students crafted 500 Luohan statues in the Bamboo Temple with his students, filling us with feelings of awe and respect. That is the work of divine talent, a product of ingenuity and spirit. We are dazzled by the lifelike qualities. I feel miniscule and insignificant in the face of these great sculptures. But the greatness of the statues at the Bamboo Temple is something that people are psychologically prepared for. But in such a primordial dwelling as this one, not far from the modern city and real life, looking over the East Dian Highway and wrapped in the cluster of hills at Xiao Shiba, no one would have thought they would come across such astonishing works. Those great works by Li Guangxiu, each one perfect in bearing and completely different in personality, draw up feelings of solemnity and respect. But at the Earth Nest, though what we see is also beauty, it makes my spirit uneasy. I don't know exactly what it is, but there is some kind of force that makes people unable to find peace, there is something that makes us feel different, there is a strangeness that cannot be escaped. The intellectually voluptuous woman/insect sculptures around the compound, the quivering sheen inside the vaulted ceilings, the stacked clusters of round buildings under the blue sky, the palms and bushes mysteriously shuddering in the highland dusk, the clay vessels scattered around the domicile in the hues of rotting flesh, all draw up feelings of loathing, but at the same time evoke a burning desire. This desire is at times creepy like spiders; at other times it is like a shiny and delectable fruit, topping it off with old Luo's amazing cuisine only brings more unease, causing the heart and spirit to tremble. Who knows what manner of joyous and painful illusions created all of this?
Luo Xu's wealth is in that he has his own homeland which he loves, and he can express his own desires through his art, be they many or few. His tragedy is in that he paid a price for this realm he created. Though the artist has laboriously worked to create this nest and fill it with works of art and the rich fragrance of flowers, it also has shades of the parable of the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden, or Sisyphus carrying the boulder up the mountain - in the end he has become the lifetime gardener and slave of the very garden he created, exiled as the watcher and laborer of his own realm. Maybe this is the only way; we can only read the unique melancholy and timeless implications of life in Luo Xu's living space and spiritual world by penetrating the outward appearance of his intense and exaggerative artwork. Luo Xu's describes his life in a totally sexy and whimsical fashion. It is as if his pain and lofty sentiments are for some unknown reason always linked with the female body, but the real Luo Xu is an artist with a mind. He has a unique and sincere understanding of art and life. His experience once again proves to us that in this material era, the cultural mood emulates that which is seen from below. When the hearts of the common people are solely set on monetary and carnal desire, through hard work, the people can see things that touch on the depths of life. Even such things as a house, art, eating, raising chickens and planting trees can serve as a link between the body and soul. All that this form and method has opened and enriched for those truly creative people like Li Guangxiu and Luo Xu, today is like fruit of intangible wealth and spirit for the enjoyment of those who yearn for spiritual and soulful life.
I have enjoyed many an evening sitting on the brick patio chatting with Luo Xu as the sun settles into the West, the stars twinkle and creep across the heavens and the beautiful spring colors of the garden are slowly enveloped by the encroaching darkness. Under the brilliant starry sky, the houses become soft silhouettes of precarious mountain peaks. Airplanes overhead carry the hurried passengers through the sky, making this metropolitan estate seem incomparably peaceful. Only the occasional ear-splitting car horns on the nearby road and the distant glow of the city remind us of this strangeness and restlessness. All of this seems a bit like a story from one of those fantasy novels: Luo Xu created his own homeland, and this homeland seems to have been granted magic fruit, and taken on a life of its own. Whoever takes a bite can open a door to the secrets of its soul, like entering a mysterious palace in the dreamtime. They are nourishing an unpredictable danger - one bite is enough to turn man into animal. They are also concealing a happiness that has never before been experienced, who is to say they can't become spirits. All healthy, normal things, all of the beautiful friendliness and simple happiness of pure folk is all kept very far away from them, but they still possess a great allure, just like the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. They can bring people into the unknown world.

 

 


                                                  
Written on March 19, 2004 in the mountain city of Chongqing

编辑:【travelsky】
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