邱黯雄 Qiu Anxiong
The New Book of Mountain and Sea Part 3
动画长片 Animation Fiction
《新山海经》系列水墨动画电影是邱黯雄最重要的代表作品，作品以中国远古神话 经典《山海经》为参照，以亘古洪荒的视觉状态描述现代文明，把今天的世界政治图景放进一个远古视角，在这种距离感下现代人熟视无睹的现象成为神话素材，呈现出奇特荒诞的异世景观。作品拓展了水墨的当代语言表现力，融合了表现主义风格的动画手绘方式，把对现实世界的批判态度以清晰而异样的图像叙事呈现出来。《新山海经 1》以能源的冲突为主线索，展示了现代工业文明对人的异化以及带来的地缘政治利益的冲突。《新山海经 2》则以生物科技和太空技术为题材，在微观和宏观尺度中，描述了科学技术发展带来的人类危机。《新山海经 3》则把现实投射到未来，描述了在未来信息社会中互联网给人类带来的迷思，在一个被虚拟全息图象包裹的废墟一般的城市里，人们生活在虚拟存在与现实存在的双重角色里，虚拟生活与现实生活重叠混淆，人们沉溺于虚拟的娱乐和自己营造的虚幻世界，而真 实生活却成为枯燥乏味的工作机器，最终虚幻的世界在现实矛盾中崩溃。作品对虚拟和现实的矛盾纠缠的描述，提出了对人在信息社会的存在悖论。
The series of New Book of Mountains and Seas is the most representative work of Qiu Anxiong. It refers to Shan Hai Jing, an ancient Chinese mythological classic, and describes modern civilization with ancient and primitive visual features, placing current world politics within a primitive perspective. At such a remove, phenomena that used to be ignored by modern people become mythological material and present a weird and absurd spectacle of other worlds. The work expands the expression of ink painting in a contemporary language; it combines the hand painting of animation with an expressionist style and presents its critical attitude through a clear and different pictorial narration. With the conflicts of energy as the main clue, New Book of Mountains and Seas, Part 1 expresses the alienation of people by modern industrial civilization and its resulting conflicts for geopolitical interest. New Book of Mountains and Seas, Part 2 features bio-technology and space technology, describing the crisis of humans brought by the development of science and technology at microscopic and macroscopic levels. New Book of Mountains and Seas, Part 3 projects reality into future and describes human myths brought by the internet in a future information society. In a city enveloped by a virtual hologram image as decayed as the ruins, people live the double roles of virtual and real beings. As virtual life overlaps and mixes with real life, people become addicted to virtual entertainment and the unreal world created by themselves. On the other hand, real life becomes a boring working machine, therefore the illusory world collapses in front of the contradictions of real life. The work proposes an existential paradox of people in an information society through the description of the contradictions between the states of the virtual and the real.
邱黯雄，1972 年出生于中国四川省。在四川美术学院学习完绘画之后，他接着去了德国的卡塞尔大学深造，并于 2003 年回国。回国之后他在上海工作生活，并开始创作录像作品。
和邱年纪相仿，同样住在上海的艺术家杨福东，将上海在二战之前拍摄浪漫主义题材电影的方式进行挪用。他把传统的关于“竹林七贤” 的故事做了现代版的演绎。 描绘了七位从乡村来到城市的年轻男女在充满隐喻意味，追求享乐和知识分子式的游戏和对话过程中，寻找栖居之地的故事。邱一直都和杨福东一样关注人性和当代中国的问题。
他在德国生活和学习的经验也赋予了他将之与中国的状况进行比较的视角。他也能够边置身于自己国家的困惑和态变之中，边向外观望来判断世界上其他地区的文明状态。在谈到他 2006 年的作品《新山海经》第一部分的创作动机时，邱说道: “我对今天世界混乱的局面感到十分沮丧，并发现很难和我周围在发生的情况握手言和。出于讽刺和模仿，我把目光关注在现代生活的奇思巧技上，好像我是一个无知的观察者，并把他们当作异域的怪兽来看待。” 作为他最具代表性的作品，《新山海经》最初在上海双年展上亮相。因尺幅的需求，这件作品需要用三个常规尺寸的屏幕相连来展示。
著名的中国画家如夏圭和马远的画作中常常有留白的空间。风景和人都带有灵气。 一个空间事实上是一个充满灵气的场所，甚至有人会称之为天堂。一个聚集了最佳精神的地方则被称为 Kiba (灵性场所)。
而这恰巧是观看邱的图像空间最合适的方式。在他创作于 2006 年的习作《雁南》 (应该是《江南错》)中，他试图描绘了天堂。在这部单色水墨动画中，已经掉落了叶子的树木将赤裸的枝干伸向天空，看上去就像一幅静态画卷。只有树枝上 小鸟的微微运动让人意识到这其实是一部影像作品。而背景音乐则将永恒的概念 展露无遗，展示了邱高超的描绘天堂的能力。在他的绘画作品中，作为主题的场 景和灵域余音绕梁般地构建出一个无法言说但是异常美妙的整体。他通过抓住音 乐的节奏，无尽的天空和云朵的流动，以及海洋的旋律而实现了这样的意境。
邱的《新山海经》中，第一章节以大海的场景开始。随着音乐响起，一座小岛富有节奏亦有些突兀而带有紧张悬念地出现在海的中央。随着离小岛越来越近，整 个场景分成了三幕，土地变得丰沃，并且出现了一座城堡。接着一个长着很多长长的鱼鳍，看上去像鲸鱼的生物飞过了长城，并扔下了一个很可能装着文明起源的神秘盒子，然后它接着移动。中国广阔的大地开始发展，城市升起，树和森林被密集的黑色楼宇和高速公路的轮廓所代替。在他展示从自然世界向现代城市环境转变的过程中，邱用微妙而雄劲的笔刷描绘出了阴郁而寂静的水流，这样的表现力是非常难掌握的。画面接着切换到了一座沙漠，屏幕再次分开。这次分为了两部分:一边是穿着黑披风，全身覆盖只露出眼睛的女人们;另一边是穿着白西 装带着防护眼镜的的男人们。地表流动的石油像是喷张的血脉，穿越了两个屏幕。看上去像蝎子的机器高举着尾巴在空中，并从地里吸取石油。一场阴谋论触发了 导弹正要从潜水艇发射以炸毁油田。黑色的烟雾从废墟上升起弥散在空中，像是仇恨的象征。一个遥远的城市上空的两座标志性建筑也被摧毁了。双方为了寻找能源而进行着黑暗力量交汇。带着一种怪诞的幽默感，邱将这种破坏背后的科技 手段描绘成怪异而神奇的动物：形状像大象的坦克，长得像乌龟的汽车，长着长长的羽翼口喷烈焰的像军用直身飞机一样的飞行怪兽，还有其他看上去又像魔鬼 鱼又像隐形战斗机的飞行生物。随着歼灭场景的继续发展，图像再次分成了三幕，白人的尸体和黑人的尸体分别堆成一堆。最终，因为终极武器的使用而升起的 蘑菇云和一个黑衣人形象在画面的最左端站着纹丝不动，让人想起德国画家卡斯 帕·大卫·弗里德里希画作中的景象。
邱绕开了对于此类情形的常规批判式视角，而是让我们见证着生活在奇境中却头脑冷静的人们眼睁睁地看着世界走向尽头。就像我们在第一幕中看到的在大海中 独自垂钓的老人一样。石油的流向，纠缠的树，城市，火，猖獗的动物，冲突和灭绝， 天空和海洋不断遭到这些画面的侵扰，全都从历史性的角度描绘了一个早已无法用辩证法来理解的中国时空。
在《新山海经》第二部分，邱将他的注意力扩展到了宏观的宇宙尺域和微观的细胞和基因层面，并将两个极端通过他的想象连接到一起。在第一部分中通过天空和海洋来展现的世界现在已经是一片虚空。而在那样一个包罗万象的世界中， 邱用一种滑稽但又令人不安的方式描述了其中一些影响到每个人生活的热点话 题——从基因重组和克隆羊，到疯牛病和禽流感。鸟类一幕接一幕地在笼子里瓦 解融化;牛在谷仓旁倒下；公羊因为繁殖的狂热激情而被掳走；羊羔被悲剧般地带走到实验室，它的外表看上去没有变化但是内部已经被改造的完全不同并且被污染，像是一只异化的怪兽。血浆和病毒在体内漂浮的图像和其他星球，太空船， 鲸鱼怪兽等图像交错着飘浮在空中。
Witness of an Enchanted Land -- Qiu Anxiong
Yuko Hasegawa 2008
Qiu Anxiong was born in China’s Sichuan Province in 1972. After studying painting at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, he went on to the University of Kassel in Germany before returning to China in 2003. Basing himself in Shanghai, he began working in video.
Following on from the generation of artists associated with the pro-democracy movement of 1989, including Huang Young Ping, Cai Guoqiang and others who went exile into after the Tiananmen Square massacre, came a new generation of extremely anti-establishment artists in the 1990s, Zhang Huan and Ma Liuming among them. They developed body-based performance art and Cynical Realism, then the Chinese- brand kitsch known as Gaudy Art. Qiu and others of his generation are also concerned about the prevailing situation, and well aware of the many issues facing China. But their attitude to the system, while both critical and cynical, led them to concentrate more on their own immediate realities. They looked to the everyday lives and sense of values of people caught up in the turmoil of cities undergoing a huge transformation at a breakneck pace. In a sense they were coming to terms with new ways of being human, sometimes by disinterestedly recording what they saw, and other times by mixing it in with existing stories.
Yang Fudong, who is of similar age to Qiu and also lives in Shanghai, appropriates the methodology of the romantic movies made in that city before World War II. He imparts a modern version of the traditional story of the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove in his depiction of seven young men and women who flow from the country to the city in their search for a place to live out their lives as they pursue pleasure and engage in intellectual games and conversations rich in metaphor.
Qiu has always shared with Fudong a humanity and a similar awareness of the problems of modern China. His experience of living and studying in Germany has also given him a perspective from which to compare the situation in China. He is also able to place himself within the confusion and metamorphosis of his own country to look outward to assess the state of civilization in the rest of the world.
Commenting later on his own motivation for producing the New Book of Mountains and Seas, Part 1 in 2006, Qiu explained: “I have been upset by the chaotic situation of the world today and found it difficult to reconcile what is happening around me. As satire, I have set eyes on modern life’s ingenious inventions and clever stratagems as though I was a naive observer, and looked upon them as exotic monsters.” Launched at the Shanghai Biennale, this is one of his most representative works, but it is on such a large scale that it requires three regular screens set up side by side.
The Classic of Mountains and Seas (Shanhai Jing) is the oldest of all fanciful geographies in Chinese culture. It describes a complete world, including mountains and rivers, flora and fauna, minerals, and a variety of different peoples and animistic religions. Amongst all this, some plants, animals and gods are described as having rather monstrous forms, which gave rise to the common belief in later periods that it was predominantly a compendium of monsters. As for why the authors composed Shanhai Jing in the first place, that remains a mystery, but it is a valuable text for anyone interested in the origins of the world and mythology of China’s early religions, before the influence of Confucianism.
Seeking to depict the confused situation of the world he lives in, Qiu expressed it through something resembling a modern version of the Classic. That is to say he did not settle on one particular ideology or perspective. His approach is to present the prevailing conditions in an exaggerated way, as something alien and monstrous. He illustrates the situation in China during the great changes of the past 10 years, and the situation in the entire world since 9.11, as a “topography” with the “animals” that inhabit it.
Each scene in Qiu’s animations is painted in India ink with a touch that is both lively and generous. Rather than have his machines, which resemble human beings and weird fauna, moving around against a background, he lets them manifest themselves scene by scene. They appear as an element of each of those scenes and sometimes disappear only to return as something else. One feels as though one is looking at an endlessly unfolding picture scroll, one section at a time.
The landscapes that Qiu depicts are vast, and they have an air of mystery about them. The very best Chinese ink painting by the likes of Xia Gui and Ma Yuan often contains blank or empty spaces. Landscapes and people consist of spirit, so a space is actually a place that is lled with spirit – one might even call it heaven. And a place where the very best spirit gathers is referred to as a kiba (spirit place). Indeed this is an appropriate way of viewing the spaces in Qiu’s images.
One work in which he attempted to portray heaven is his study-like Flying South, from 2006. In monochrome, with trees that have already shed their leaves extending their naked branches toward the sky, it looks almost like a still picture. It is only the bird’s minimal movement on those branches that suggest this is actually a moving image. And the accompanying music accentuates the sense of eternity, demonstrating Qiu’s superlative ability to depict heaven. In his paintings, the scenery and the kiba that are the subject of the picture reverberate together to give birth to an unworldly yet wonderful sense of unity. He realizes that sense of unity by capturing the music and its tempo, the endless ow of heaven and clouds, and the rhythm of the ocean.
Qiu’s New Book of Mountains and Seas, Part 1 begins with a view of the ocean. As the music plays, rhythmically but also somewhat harshly and with an underlying tension, an island appears in the middle of that ocean. Moving in closer on the land, the scene splits for a while into three screens. The land is cultivated, and a castle appears. Then a creature resembling a whale with several long fins ies over the Great
Wall of China, and drops a mysterious box that possibly delivers the beginning of civilization. Then it moves on. The wide lands of China are developed, cities rise, and the trees and forests give way to clusters of black buildings and silhouettes of black highways. As he shows the organic natural world transformed into a modern urban environment, Qiu’s subtle yet powerful touch with the brush proceeds amid gloomy silence to portray the flow of water, which is an extremely difficult thing to master.
The scene then changes to a desert, divided again, in two parts this time, with women in black chadors on one side, with only their eyes exposed and visible. On the other side are men in white body suits, their eyes covered by protective glass. Seams of oil run like veins through geological strata shown in cross-section, and machines that look like scorpions with their tails sticking straight up in the air suck up the oil from the ground. A conspiracy causes missiles to be red from submarines to destroy the oil fields. The black smoke rising from this destruction drifts off in a single mass across the sky, like an emblem of hatred. Two symbolic buildings that tower above the center of a distant city are also destroyed. This is a dark exchange between two sides both in search of energy. With an eerie humor, Qiu has devised the technological means of this devastation and drawn them as weird and wonderful animals: tanks shaped like elephants, automobiles that look like turtles, long-winged flying monsters like military helicopters that spurt re from their heads, and other flying creatures that look like stingrays but are also reminiscent of stealth ghters.
As the scenes of annihilation continue, the images again split into three, corpses pile up between the white people on one side and the black on the other. Finally, as a mushroom cloud rises from the ultimate weapon and a black-clad figure stands immobile at the left extremity of the picture, like a scene from a [Caspar David] Friedrich painting.
The battle over development and oil supplies is dealt with as a geographic text, with depictions of the topography of the city and the desert, and the creatures that live in them. A vast, silent sense of hopelessness pervades the entire landscape with meekness and calm. Qiu avoids the usual standpoint of critics in such situations and we witness the cool-headedness of people living in an enchanted land watching with their own eyes as that world meets its end, like the old man dangling his fishing rod in the ocean that we saw in the very first scene.
The seams of oil, the entangled trees, the city, fire, the rampant animals, the conflict and annihilation, and the constant intrusion of the vast sky and sea on those images, all illustrate a historical perspective in keeping with theories of space and time of a China that has moved well beyond dialectic.
In New Book of Mountains and Seas, Part 2, Qiu expands the area of his attention to a macrocosm of universal scale and a microcosm at the cellular and genetic level, and he ties the two together through his imagery. The world view expressed by the sky and sea in Part 1 is now the great void and the planets within it, and within that all-encompassing world view he describes in a comical yet unsettling way some of the topical issues affecting life at a very individual level, from genetic recombination and cloned sheep to mad cow disease and bird flu. One scene follows another – of birds collapsing in their cages and melting; of cows falling over in their barns; of males being whisked away in the heat of reproductive passion; and the tragedy of a sheep being taken off to a laboratory, where her outward appearance may remain unchanged but she is turned into something very different and contaminated, like a mutant monster. Images of blood plasma and viruses floating around within a body overlap with other images of planets and spaceships, resembling whales, floating around in space.
Qiu doesn’t decipher and critique the world. He merely describes it. He continues to capture a single tree swaying under the heavens, in the winds of Jiangnan Province, and it is the toughness and vivid poésie concealed in this simple act that forms the basis of Qiu’s strength as an expressive artist.