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June 03
2016 年 6 月 3 日

從郎世寧談創新

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城大最近推出朗世寧新媒體藝術展。這是由城大和台北的國立故宮博物院(故宮)合作舉辦的藝術展。在香港,由大學舉辦這樣的展覽,不為多見。典禮前,故宮的馮明珠院長做了一個講座,講述朗世寧其人其畫以及他對中國藝術史的影響,給了我很多啟發,其中最突出的一點,是郎世寧的創意和研究精神,這一點跟我們城大推崇、鼓勵的教研合一精神十分吻合。

郎世寧三百多年前來中國時已經是一位出色的畫家,但他並沒有完全拘泥於西洋畫法,而是把西洋畫中的原理和技巧與中國的繪畫的原則和題材結合在一起,創立了「中西合瓦」的新穎畫法,難怪在清宮朝廷得到三個皇帝的賞識,他的藝術風格對中國藝術的發展影響深遠,傳世畫作精美典雅,令許多人傾倒。雖然他「牆『外』開花牆外香」,在他的故鄉義大利郎世寧名不經傳,我相信最終有一天西方社會會慢慢認識他,賞識他的藝術風格和才華。

與故宮合作舉辦郎世寧新媒體展意義重大,因為這次展覽是又一個把藝術與最新電子科技融合在一起的創舉,是我們與敦煌研究院、香港敦煌之友合作創作「人間淨土」後又一次成功的嘗試。透過城大創意媒體學者的努力,我們能夠在四維空間中,一邊觀賞立體(三維空間)古畫傑作,一邊耳聽美妙的清宮古樂,仿佛穿越時空,回到了三百多年前。我相信,凡是看過展覽的人都會對古文物與新科技合成的效果感到驚嘆,對科技的利用讚不絕口。這次成功的嘗試再次證明,要做成一件事,尤其是別人尚未做過的事,除了要有硬體、軟體之外,還要有心件。如果說郎世寧的傳世作品以及現代互動媒體電子裝置可以比作是硬體的話,策展團隊的創意設計和技術支援則可說是軟體;但有了這兩樣之外,還需要有合作夥伴的誠意。故宮是世界上第一流的博物院,但故宮沒有和其他大學合作,而是選擇了城大,也是因為我們有一流的硬體、一流的軟體和一流的研究,而更重要的是,我們有一流的心件,盡心盡力促成此事。

其實,有這樣的成功是有淵源的。我可以舉一個例子。有一次,我手邊有一張白紙,把它撕成三四十片碎片,然後叫人把它再拼湊起來。一般人花了三四十分鐘也拼湊不起來,而故宮的朋友和城大的人花了三四分鐘就把它拼湊起來了。原因很簡單,因為背面有郎世寧的畫。


Giuseppe Castiglione and innovation

The high-calibre new media exhibition featuring an Italian Jesuit artist Giuseppe Castiglione, also known as Lang Shining, is a rarity on a university campus in Hong Kong.

Before the opening ceremony, Director Feng Ming-chu of the National Palace Museum (NPM) in Taipei, CityU's collaborator in putting on the exhibition, delivered an inspiring talk about the artist's life and paintings as well as his influence on Chinese art history.

The talk made me realise that for CityU, the most memorable point is that Castiglione's creative explorations in cross-cultural art align with the spirit of discovery and innovation that is so highly regarded at CityU, and also with our commitment to the integration of teaching and research.

Castiglione was already an accomplished artist when he arrived in China more than 300 years ago. Instead of confining himself to artistic styles and techniques from Western traditions, he created a new aesthetic that blended Western techniques of shading and atmospheric perspective with China's traditional methods and taste.

His artistic style greatly influenced the development of Chinese art, and his exquisite masterpieces have had a lasting value, commanding appreciation from three Qing emperors, as well as the admiration of the public today in China. I hope his work will be better recognised in his home country of Italy in particular and among wider audiences in the West.

CityU is quickly building a reputation for collaborations in integrating art and the latest in electronic technology. The partnership between CityU and the NPM follows on from our highly successful collaboration between CityU, the Dunhuang Academy and the Friends of Dunhuang (Hong Kong) a couple of years ago titled Pure Land: Inside the Mogao Grottoes at Dunhuang. As with the Castiglione exhibition, Pure Land allowed viewers to travel back in time to appreciate art in a highly interactive environment.

Visitors to the Castiglione exhibition can't help but be impressed by the astounding achievements in cultural heritage and new technology. The success of the exhibition proves once again that in addition to hardware and software, we need "soulware" if we want to accomplish anything, especially something new. Castiglione's artworks and the new interactive installations can be likened to the hardware, while the design team's innovative designs and technical support can be regarded as software.

But what is also needed is a willingness on the part of both partners to turn the dream into reality— through soulware.

NPM, a leading museum in the world, selected CityU as its collaborating partner instead of other universities not only because we have first-class hardware and software, but also because we have first-class soulware, i.e., a commitment to make things happen.

It is amazing what you can achieve through collaboration. At a recent event I ran a quick experiment. I asked the participants to re-assemble a piece of paper that had been torn into about 40 pieces. After about half an hour, no-one had finished the task except for colleagues and friends from NPM and CityU.

How come they managed to complete the puzzle in just a few minutes? On the back of the paper was a print of a Castiglione painting.

3 June, 2016

 

 

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