• 文/王永成 Written by Wang Yong-Cheng

傾聽高靈的聲音:閱讀李昆霖的心靈圖像 Listen to the Voices of the Great Man ⎯ Lee Kuen Lin’s Map of the Psyche


<本我的象徵:人獸山水,三位一體>

在原始社會中,天然的石頭常被指認為精靈或神的寓所,而「靈」(spirit)也因此成了宗教與藝術象徵中的臨界點。同時期,動物也常用來象徵人類的原始本能,在東西方的很多原始藝術裡,人與動物,或人獸合體都是常見的圖騰。這些神秘的表達,通常具有長遠的心理意義。以榮格(Carl G..Jung)所稱的「集體無意識」來看,這種神秘的象徵,會從原初傳承下來,那種很接近動物的原初心靈,在現代人的心靈中,仍會不預期的現身,它可能顯現在夢境中,也可能出現在藝術創作上。

回溯李昆霖1991年的作品「孤獨1」,一隻腳丫結合兩個乳眼,這種器官與肢體的重組,是早期創作的重要特徵,後來又有了動物形體的混搭,最後加上大地山水的介入;從此,人、動物、山水就像原型的母體,不斷的,不經意的,把多元化的原初殘餘,示現在一連串的畫作上,這也就是他自稱的「本位」「原我」。他表示,多年來常想要畫出不同的東西,想要切割,其實走不開,最後還是要回歸到本位。這個本位的表現,包含了三種元素,也常是三位一體的。這種三位一體的情境,在2006-2007年「獨腳仙行旅圖」的系列作品中充份表現出來,肉身即山水,山水即肉身,人獸合一,樹石與動物同體,原始的各種圖騰,因透過集體無意識的連結,穿越時空,得以突破理性的界限,以混搭的圖像,示現在李昆霖的畫作上。

最近閱讀了他2008-2009年的創作,發現很多作品也都回歸了這種「三位一體」的心靈原型,包括「三角錐」「光氤」「春神」「流浪者」「情觴」「森之舞」等,均相當程度的表達了這種整合的象徵,這也正回應了李昆霖所說的,回歸本位。

以榮格心理學來看,本我(Self)是心靈的整體,而李昆霖的心靈象徵結構,從肢體器官的分離、重組,動物、山水元素的介入,終至全部整合成為一體,這種個體化的過程(the process of individuation),冥冥中似有一種高靈(Great Man)的指導,以致於在藝術創作的過程中,得以同時進行心靈的整合。

<夜照亮了夜:傾聽高靈的聲音>

在2008-2009的作品中比較特殊的,是出現了一些「睜大眼睛」觀看或窺伺的圖像。例如「沈醉」「放翁」「春神」「晨曦」「春之舞」「黃昏」「靈光」等,均具有一雙清明澄澈的靈魂之窗。李昆霖解釋說,「你在看他,他也在看你,基本上是從畫布往外看。」看出來,面對的是不可知的世界,看進去,是神奇的奧秘,有時又以探首出來,或暗中窺伺的方式來看。

秘魯的納斯卡皮(Naskapi)印第安人,因部落相隔遙遠,心靈上的孤獨,使他們經常要仰賴內在的聲音和潛意識的啟示,他們稱靈魂為「朋友」或密斯達波(Mista’peo),意思是「高靈」。而榮格稱心靈的內在核心為「本我」,它是創造者,組構者,是心靈的整體。李昆霖所呈現的「澄澈之眼」,已異於以前作品中那些純黑色、空洞的眼神,它似乎暗示了一種「心靈之眼」的存在,這種心靈之眼的觀看,形成了高靈的象徵,顯然,在個體化過程中,畫家已開始能察覺高靈的存在,以致於他能進入更深入的存在層次,也更能展現本我創造的積極向度。

對於「望風」三聯作,李昆霖指出:「人會觀察小動物、小東西,而且要照護」。但在這些畫裡,觀察者具有黑色的具大形象,彷彿是高靈正暗中觀護著自己,或是觀護著自己想觀護之人。而「望風」「森之舞」中那些小女人,以及「放翁」「沉醉」中的魚和不定形物,卻又像是「安尼瑪」(anima)的化身。安尼瑪,是男人心中所有陰性心理傾向的化身,也是本我和自我之間的調解者,安尼瑪的現身,得以協助畫家進行個體化,重建心靈秩序。

在李昆霖歷年來的創作中,這批作品也特別呈現了較多的黑色調,其中「流浪者(一)(二)」「思想」「迷幻隧道」「情觴」「獨占鼇頭」「夜照亮了夜」等,都置身於幽玄之間。夜照亮了夜,正似高靈用黑暗照亮了黑暗,於是夜就更夜,更深入神秘界域。這種吊詭,示現了神性與魔性之間的密切關聯,獸性是人性的副本,陰影是陽光的副本,能擁抱自己的陰影,才能成為整全的人,在道家太極圖像中的負陰抱陽,亦有類似的道理。經如此推演,那幅「三角錐」遂得以展現它特有的魅力,原初的石頭、三角錐、金字塔,單腳附著的人獸合體,一種棲息又即將飛行的姿態,極像猶太教默卡巴(Merkabah)神秘主義者飛昇前的準備動作。而更值得注意的是,獨腳仙行旅圖中常見的「黑湖」,在此已化為黑色光環。黑色光環,是畫家的元神,也是本我高靈的象徵。

<孤獨的多面佛:精神流浪者>

對獨腳仙行旅圖那批作品,我曾詮譯為「孤獨者的樂園」,是孤獨者自得其樂的情境。對李昆霖而言,孤獨的行腳,一直是他的本質,但後來他又離開了這樂園,走回現實世界中。這個世界是不自由的,在作品「面面俱到」中,類似四面佛的圖像,下承種子,上發枝葉;李昆霖形容,這是帶著假面的圓融,「對週遭的人要面面俱到,但並不是自己真正想做的那樣」。

「本我」有另一種化身,榮格稱之為「積極想像」(active imagination),是與心靈現象建立有意識連繫的途徑,它類似冥想修行,與主宰潛意識的企圖正好相反,它可以得到自由個體的孤獨經驗。在李昆霖的一些作品中,由「孤丘」一至五,以至於「光氳」「空想之豁」「思想」等,似乎顯現了修行意象,甚至具有禪意。但基本上,李昆霖是反對把它們歸為修行之類的,究竟這是本我象徵的呈現,是因面面俱到的壓抑,孤獨的冥想遂可能成為一種釋放的出口 。

但除了用孤獨來釋放孤獨之外,在另一些畫中,卻又呈現了一種與修行意象相反的出口,一種動態的,漂浮的形象。「流浪者一、二」即是典型的代表,李昆霖解釋說,「我是屬於精神上的流浪者」,於是,形體上的修行者,精神上的流浪者,讓我們意會到「孤獨的冥想者,流浪,漂出去」,用這種獨特的解決方式,回應了高靈的召喚,也進入了個體化的過程。

<結語:就讓它飛出去吧>

李昆霖最近常騎腳踏車巡梭巷道與山林,有一次在急陡的轉彎兼下坡中身體被摔出去,他非但沒有受到驚嚇,反而告訴我說:「遇到危險時,既然控制不了,就讓它飛出去吧」。

這就是李昆霖的人生哲學,對面面俱到的不自由,對一般創作者常遇到的苦悶,他並不會刻意去處理。「無法收拾也沒關係,就讓它飛出去再說吧」,生活如此,繪畫也如此。單純、自然、輕鬆,在創作過程中,個體化已自然悄悄的進行,本我的高靈,原始的召喚,正與他不斷進行奧秘的訴說,是以孤獨者雖然離開樂園,卻仍能隨遇而安。李昆霖可說是善於傾聽高靈聲音的人,是以他的作品能源源而出,並不斷展現新的風貌。

(收錄於李昆霖畫冊《山賦》及網站 異想交流道---王羅密多的心靈世界)

Listen to the Voices of the Great Man

--- Lee Kuen Lin’s Map of the Psyche

The Symbol of the Self: A Trinity of Man, Beast, and Landscape

In a primitive society, rocks are often considered the residence of fairies or gods; hence possess “spirits”. Spirits then becomes the critical point between religions and artistic symbols. At the same time, animals are also used to symbolize the primitive instincts of human beings. Thus, figures of human, animals or the combination of two are common totems seen in both western and eastern early art forms. These mysterious expressions contain complex psychological meanings. To view these totems from the collective unconsciousness proposed by Carl G. Jung, it could be said that modern people have inherited these symbols as well as the animal-like primitive mindset, which still appear in and affect the minds of modern people rather unexpectedly. They might be expressed in the forms of dreams, or men’s artistic creation.

Looking back, Lee combined a feet with 2 breasts in his work in 1991, Loneliness I. The reconstruction and combination of organs and body parts is an important feature of Lee’s early works. As time progresses, animals and landscape are also blended in. Since then, human beings, animals and nature have been Lee’s creation matrix, which constantly and unwittingly reappears in series and series of paintings. This is what Lee calls his “original place” and “original self”. Over the years, he says, he’s been trying to paint something else, to separate himself from this matrix, but he couldn’t. In the end, he still goes back to this “original place” where a trinity of elements is always there. It is displayed fully in his 2006 – 2007 collection, The One-Foot Celestial Being’s Journey Map: the body is the landscape and vise versa; human being and the beast are one; and the nature is the animal. All the primitive totems, via the connection of collective unconsciousness, transcend through time and space, and break through the limitation of reason. They are presented in Lee’s paintings in forms of random mixture.

Lately, this writer has studied his 2008 – 2009 collection, and found that this trinity, this prototype of his psyche reappeared in many of his works, including Triangular Pyramid, Hazy Light, Wanderer, Cups of Broken Hearts, Dance of the Forest, etc. This integrated symbol echoes what Lee said about the return to his original place.

Self is the entirety of a person’s psyche, said Jung. Lee’s structure of this mental symbol, which experienced a journey from the separation and reconstruction of body parts, the intervention of animals and landscape, to the integration of all the elements, could be seen as a process of individuation. It is as if there is a Great Man, instructing imperceptibly, so that he is able to integrate his psyche along with the process of artistic creation.

When the Night Lights Up the Night: Listen to the Voices of the Great Man

In terms of Lee’s artistic evolution, there’s something unprecedented and unusual in this new collection ¾ figures with wide-open eyes that are watching or peeking from somewhere in the picture. You can see a set of clear window to the soul in Intoxication, The Old Man Who Releases, God of Spring, Dawn, Dance of the Spring, Dusk, Inspiration, among others. “Basically, it’s looking out from the canvas,” said Lee. “You’re looking at it, and it’s looking at you.” Sometime it probes its head and sometime it peeks in darkness. Whichever way it does it, to look from inside out, one sees an unknown world, and to look from outside in, one sees mysterious secrets.

The Naskapi Indians in Peru relies heavily on inner voices and subconscious revelations because of a sense of solitude caused by the distance between individual tribes. They refer to souls as friends, or Mista’peo, which means the Great Man. Jung said that the inner core of a person’s psyche is the self, which is the creator, constructor, and the entirety of the psyche. These eyes of clarity depicted by Lee are substantially different from those eyes of hollow darkness seen in his earlier works. These new eyes imply the existence of the eye of the psyche, and the observation of those eyes symbolizes the existence of the Great Man. Obviously, during the process of individuation, Lee has perceived the being of the Great Man, thus he has entered a higher level of his own existence, and possessed more ability to exhibit a positive creativity of the self.

Regarding Watch in the Breeze, Lee pointed that, “human observes animals and tiny beings, and human should look after them.” However, in these paintings, the giant observer’s tenebrous image seems to be saying that the Great Man is watching and protecting itself, or watching the person it wishes to protect. On the other hand, the women in Watch in the Breeze and Dance of the Forest, and the fish and the undefined figures in The Man Who Releases and Intoxication seem to be the embodiment of anima. So-called anima is the embodiment of the female tendency in all men, as well as a negotiator between the self and the ego. The appearance of anima helps the painter to begin the process of individuation and to restore the order in his psyche.

This latest collection applies more black tone than before. Paintings such as Wanderer I, Wanderer II, A Hallucinating Tunnel, Cups of Broken Hearts, Champion and When the Night Lights Up the Night all possess this mysterious darkness. When the night lights up the night, the Great Man lights up darkness with darkness. Hence the inky night gets inkier, and we’re led further into the secretive domain. This paradox is exactly the relation of divinity and evilness. Beastliness is the flip side of humanity, just as the shadow is the flip side of light. To be a complete human being, one needs to embrace the dark side within him. Similar philosophy can also be found in the Daoism tai chi symbol: the principle of carrying the ying and embracing the yang. Bearing this philosophy in mind, we can see the sophistication and the fascination of Triangular Pyramid much clearer now. The one-leg man-beast behind the triangular pyramids seems to be resting as well as launching into flight. Its resemblance to the Jewish Mysticism Merkabah ready to take off is unmistakable. Furthermore, the “black lake” often seen in the One-Foot Celestial Being’s Journey Map series has transfigured into a ring of black light, which is the soul and spirit of the painter, as well as the symbol of the Great Man in one’s self

A Lonesome Multi-Faceted Buhda: A Spiritual Wanderer

This writer has once interpreted the One-Foot Celestial Being’s Journey Map series as a paradise for loners where lonely individuals come to enjoy themselves contently. Though Lee has always possessed this solitary essence, he later left the paradise and returned to the real world. This is not a world of freedom, so implies Well-Rounded. The Erawan Shrine look-alike figure sits on the lotus root and has branches growing on top of it, but this is only a seemingly harmony. “We’re all expected or demanded to be well-rounded, but not necessarily in the way we wish to do it,” Lee explained.

There’s another incarnation of the self, which Jung called active imagination, i.e a conscious connection to one’s psyche. It is similar to meditation, and contrary to the attempts that rule our subconsciousness. Active imagination allows free individuals to gain experiences of solitude. Part of Lee’s 2008 - 2009 collection, including Solitary Hill I to V, Hazy Light, A Dale of Fantasy and Thought, seems to show this intention of meditation, and even thoughts of zen. Yet, Lee refuses to categorize them as works of meditation. After all, these paintings are a reflection of his self, which is suppressed by the expectation of being well-rounded, and thus could only be liberated by this solitary contemplation.

However, besides discharging loneliness with loneliness, some other works exhibits a dynamic and floating image to provide an outlet other than mediation. Wanderer I and Wanderer II are the best examples of such image. “I am a spiritual wanderer,” said Lee. Hence, as a physical practitioner and a spiritual wanderer, Lee puts before us a unique solution to respond to the calling of the Great Man and to enter the process of individuation: solitary thinkers could wander and then drift outwards.

Conclusion: Fly With It

Recently, Lee has been enjoying shuttling through alleyways and woods. Once, he had a car accident on a steep downward turn, and flew out when the accident occured. Instead of being frightened by that experience, he told this writer, “When there’s an upcoming danger that you can’t control, you might as well just fly with it.”

This is exactly Lee’s philosophy of life. In face of the constraint of needing to be well-rounded and the anguish encountered by many fellow artists, he does not deal with it sedulously. “It’s ok if things are out of hand. Just fly with it first.” So is with life, and so is with painting. In the creative process that is simple, natural and easy, individuation has silently begun. The primitive calling of the Great Man in the self is constantly telling him the secrets, so even though this loner has left the paradise, he can still reconcile in whatever situation he’s in and fly with it. Lee is a great listener for the voices of the Great Man. Hence his work is always abundant with energy, and ready to show new faces.

#2009 #2009exhibition #fromothers

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