A Side of The Scream You Don’t Know / 你也許不知道《吶喊》這一面

Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893.
​Edvard Munch Self-Portrait 1882 (No. 47) Munch Museum, Oslo
​Edvard Munch, Small Lake with Boat, 1880. Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway.
Edvard Munch, Rue Lafayette (1891) National Gallery, Oslo, Norway
Edvard Munch, The Sick Child, 1885–86
Edvard Munch, Death in the Sickroom, 1893 © Munch Museum
Edvard Munch, The Dead Mother, 1899 – 1900
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The company has taken on a lot of challenging projects these years, and sometimes when I see all the pressure my colleagues are under, I think of the condition depicted in Edvard Munch’s The Scream. It is natural for an artist’s life experiences to emerge as sentiments in his works. Let’s take a look at what this artist, who is basically synonymous with mental anguish, saw beyond the suffering and screaming.

近年,集團有很多頗具挑戰性的計劃,有時看見身邊的同事壓力大的時候,會出現 Edvard Munch 的作品《吶喊》中的狀態。藝術家會因為人生際遇而在創作上有所情緒,其實很自然,今天想介紹這位幾乎要與精神不安劃等號的藝術家在痛苦與吶喊以外所看到的。

 

Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893.

 

Sickbeds and death constantly appear in Munch’s works, and every element from the lines to the colors speaks of anxiety and depression, like the dark shadow of a person emerging behind a woman standing by a bed, the mottled shadows of a tree under bone white moonlight, and a person’s face turning green with envy. Munch’s mother died when he was young, and his father suffered from mental illness, so the artist had a deeply-ingrained terror of hell from a young age. His siblings left this world in close succession shortly after their father died in 1889.

Edvard Munch 的作品總是出現病床、死亡,從線條到顏色都充斥著緊張和憂鬱,例如站在床邊的女人身後出現著黑色人影、慘白月光下的樹影斑駁、面色發青的妒忌之人等等。事實上,其母早逝,父親患有精神病,所以他自小被灌輸對地獄根深蒂固的恐懼。父親在1889年去世後,兄弟姐妹也接二連三地離開了人世。

 

​Edvard Munch Self-Portrait 1882 (No. 47) Munch Museum, Oslo
​Edvard Munch, Small Lake with Boat, 1880. Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway.
Edvard Munch, Rue Lafayette (1891) National Gallery, Oslo, Norway

Forced to drop out of technical college due to frequent illness, Munch enrolled in the Royal School of Art and Design of Kristiania (Oslo) in 1881. Among his teachers there was the naturalist painter Christian Krohg (1852–1925). His paintings in this period had a natural feel, and are hard to associate with The Scream.

因為頻繁患病而放棄工學院的學業以後,1881年 Edvard Munch 考進了奧斯陸皇家藝術和設計學院,他的其中一位老師是自然主義畫家Christian Krohg (1852-1925)。這時候他的畫流露自然,很難跟他成名作品《吶喊》聯繫在一起。

 

He experienced the pain of loss very early in life. His mother died of tuberculosis when he was five years old, and his older sister Johanne Sophie died when he was fourteen. His younger sister was diagnosed with mental illness as a child. His younger brother, Peter Andreas, died only a few months after marriage. His father, a military medical officer suffering from mental illness, died in 1889, again while Edvard was still young.

​然而,他很早就經歷了失去的痛苦,母親在他5歲時死於肺結核,大他兩歲的姐姐 Johanne Sophie 也在他14歲時去世。他的妹妹在小時候就被診斷為患有精神病。弟弟安德烈在結婚後不過數月也去世了。患有精神疾病的軍醫父親於1889年,也是在愛德華年輕時去世。

 

Edvard Munch, The Sick Child, 1885–86

 

Growing up in a family with many siblings myself, the scale of this loss really hits home for me. He described his sister’s death as a tragedy that haunted him for his whole life, and the event that inspired The Sick Child, which he painted between 1885 and 1886. He often discussed this work, seeing it as one of the more important works in his artistic career. It marked a key breakthrough in the path from Impressionism to Expressionism. But this work was mercilessly criticized on its debut. They didn’t take any issue with the subject matter, but could not accept the painting technique. In a 1930 letter to the director of Norway’s National Gallery, he describe this creative period as the “pillow period.” Tuberculosis was ravaging Europe, and too many people had experienced the loss of a loved one. Sickbeds were a frequent subject in the painting of the time. He returned to this theme frequently in his own work. I feel that this perseverance in the face of adversity, this eschewing of fashion to pursue one’s own ideas, is precisely the spirit an artist or an entrepreneur should have.

我成長在一個有眾多兄弟姊妹的家族裏,這樣的悲劇實在令我看得心酸,「姐姐的死,是我畢生無法忘懷的悲劇」。他以此在1885年至1886年創作了《病孩》,他常常提到這件作品,認為這是自己藝術創作生涯中的重要之作,是突破印象派,尋求表現主義的一次重要突破。但是,首次展出時遭到了猛烈批評,人們對題材沒有意見但難接受畫法。1930年他在寫給挪威國家美術館總監的信中稱自己當時處於創作的「枕頭時期」。彼時肺結核肆虐歐洲,太多人因此失去親人,病床也是經常出現的繪畫主題。此後他多次對這一主題進行再創作。我認為,這種迎難而上,堅持不單純迎合潮流,而是追求自己理念、想法,是一個藝術家、或是企業家應有的精神。

 

Edvard Munch, Death in the Sickroom, 1893 © Munch Museum
Edvard Munch, The Dead Mother, 1899 – 1900

 

There are many analysis about his psychic trials and tribulations, and how much he suffered. They often quote him on his 70th birthday, when he said, “Sickness, insanity and death were the dark angels standing guard at my cradle and they have followed me throughout my life.” He went on to gradually establish his own unique painting style that attempted to convey the mental state of the subject. The people in the paintings are often in dramatic settings, their surroundings resonating with their inner emotional state. For this reason, people would come to call him a pioneer of Expressionism. Another common theme is the kissing couple, which he first depicted in a space that was clearly indoors, before gradually removing the narrative components, to extract only the kiss. This burning, restless emotion and upsurge of living energy, like his later work The Sun, stand as testaments to his love for life and his staunch resistance against fear.

​許多評論會說他的精神備受折磨,痛苦非常人能想像,也常引用他70歲生日時對痛苦的總結陳述:「病魔,瘋狂和死亡是圍繞著我搖籃的黑暗天使,並且伴隨我一生。」 隨後,他慢慢建立起具有他自己特色的畫風,試圖表現人物心理狀態,畫面中的人物常有戲劇場景般的位置,周遭的空氣與景物也隨著人物內心有所表現。他因此被後人稱為表現主義先驅。像兩人擁吻,是他反覆畫過的主題,明顯的室內環境到後來除去敘事部分,僅僅提取出吻的部分,這份炙熱而恍惚的情感、一股向上的生命力量與之後他畫的《太陽》一般,是他熱愛生命,頑強抵抗對於分離恐懼的證明。

 

The thing that touches me the most about his works is his strong heart. Every time he faces a setback, he gradually learns to overcome those issues that once conquered his emotions. The unforgettable tragedies, the survivor’s regrets, the pain of estrangement… He opened up all of the love and regret in life and reflected it in his creations in order to better understand himself. In moving himself, he produced resonance that moved the world. This is the power of art.

他作品最觸動我的地方,在於他強大的心理質素,每當挫折來臨,他逐漸學會處理那些超過自己情緒負荷的課題,畢生無法忘懷的悲劇、倖存者的內疚、失戀的創傷,所有這些生命中的愛與內疚,他將其攤開反映到創作中,更為了解自己。打動他自己,也引發共鳴、打動世人。這,就是藝術的力量。

 

 


 

Adrian Cheng is the art pioneer who founded the K11 Art Foundation (“KAF”), a non-profit art foundation in China to incubate young contemporary artists and curators to promote public art education. By providing young emerging artists with a local, regional and international platform to gain greater public awareness, Adrian is the new generation to represent the contemporary Chinese art scene.

Adrian is ranked among the ArtReview Power 100 list in both 2014 and 2015, and also ARTnews’ Top 200 collectors in 2015, as one of the contemporary art world’s most powerful figures. He is also a Board Member of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and member of the Interim Acquisition and M+ Museum Committee, a Board Member of the Public Art Fund of New York and MoMA PS1, Trustee of Royal Academy of Arts, Board Director of the National Museum of China Foundation, Director of CAFAM Funds of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Visiting Committee of the Department of Asian Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Member of International Circle of Centre Pompidou, Member of TATE’s International Council and Board Member of Asia Art Archive.

To follow Adrian Cheng on Social Media :
IG: @ac_kaf
WeChat : adrian_artdiary
Facebook Page: @K11 Art Foundation

 

 
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