My New Year’s Resolution: to Take Everything in Stride / 我的新年決志:志剛志柔,海納百川

A good chef will cook with the artisan spirit. A few years ago, my friend Lanshu Chen came to Hong Kong to cook us a feast, and I still remember it now. /好的廚師,會用匠心烹調食物,幾年前朋友陳嵐舒來港為我們煮了一頓豐富的晚宴,至今依然令我回味。
Tehching Hsieh, One Year Performance 1980–81 (Time Clock Piece). / 謝德慶, 《打卡》,1980-1981。
A good chef will cook with the artisan spirit. A few years ago, my friend Lanshu Chen came to Hong Kong to cook us a feast, and I still remember it now. / 好的廚師,會用匠心烹調食物,幾年前朋友陳嵐舒來港為我們煮了一頓豐富的晚宴,至今依然令我回味。
If we don’t accept the lesser vintages, then there won’t be any good vintages either. This is the 2010 Chairman’s Reserve from Grace Vineyard. /不接受不好的年份,就買不到好年份的酒了。這是山西怡園酒莊(Grace Vineyard)2010年出產的紅酒佳釀Chairman’s Reserve。
TOP
1201
38
0
 
25
Jan
25
Jan
Video Art Asia by COBOSocial.com

The New Year has begun. I remember, when I was studying at Harvard, our professor had us all write “New Year’s resolutions.” This is often translated into Chinese as “hopes for the New Year,” but I don’t think that’s an accurate translation. It is more like the old Chinese saying of “the gentleman asks of himself.” The term “resolution” implies a decision, a will, a demand of the self. These resolutions are often quite specific. They remind us to improve something, for instance, to push ourselves to exercise thirty minutes every day, or to wake up at six every morning.

​​新的一年開始了。記得當年在哈佛大學留學時,教授要我們寫下New Year Resolution。這個字在中文常譯作「新年願望」,但我覺得這翻譯並不準確。像中國人說「君子求諸己」,Resolution包含了「決意」的意思,是一種對自我的要求。這種決意,內容往往是具體的、提醒自己作出改善,例如敦促自己每天要做30分鐘運動、每天要在六時起床等。

 

 

Russian poet Ivan Andreyevich Krylov saw ideals as a world apart from the real world. I think that the key to resolutions is the process, not the end result. In the process, we need will and tenacity, undying efforts. Take, for instance, artist Tehching Hsieh. In his work One Year Performance 1980–81 (Time Clock Piece), he resolved to punch a time card every hour for an entire year. In other words, he would not be able to sleep for more than one hour at a time. Though he did miss a few punches of the clock in the end, it did not detract from the great will and determination of this artwork.

俄羅斯詩人Ivan Andreyevich Krylov說:理想是彼岸。我認為,決意的關鍵是過程,不是終點。過程中需要的是毅力和堅持,努力不懈。像藝術家謝德慶,他的作品《打卡》要求自己在一年內,堅守每一個小時打一次卡的創作原則。換言之,他不能連續入睡超過一小時以上。雖然最後他還是意外地錯過了幾次打卡,但毫不影響這件作品偉大的意志力和精神氣質。

 

Tehching Hsieh, One Year Performance 1980–81 (Time Clock Piece). / 謝德慶, 《打卡》,1980-1981。

 

In this resolution, we can see a very interesting issue: human limits. Humans are not like machines; we do make mistakes. Last year, I made a reservation at a restaurant I really like. It’s a very small place, and only serves a few people each night. On that night, however, the quality of the food slipped ever so slightly. The chef is a friend of mine, and I always enjoy interacting directly with the chefs at restaurants, so I was honest with him. He admitted that since the restaurant grew its own vegetables, and it was the rain season, the quality of the crops had suffered a bit. I suddenly realized, we often complain about food, but we overlook such elements as climate and weather, elements that have an impact on flavor, no matter how hard the chef works.

這個決志中,可以看見一個很有趣的問題:人類的限制。人類不像機器,始終會有錯誤。去年,我預約了一家很喜歡的餐廳,店很小,一晚只招待幾個客人。但那天晚上,菜的品質稍稍下降了一點。廚師是我的朋友,而且我喜歡和餐廳的廚師直接溝通,於是便如實相告。他坦言,最近雨季,因為餐廳用的是新鮮自行栽種的菜,所以品質也隨之下降 —— 我突然意識到,很多時我們抱怨食物,卻會忽略了天氣、時節這些因素,也會影響菜式的味道,無論廚師有多用心也總會差一點點。

 

A good chef will cook with the artisan spirit. A few years ago, my friend Lanshu Chen came to Hong Kong to cook us a feast, and I still remember it now. / 好的廚師,會用匠心烹調食物,幾年前朋友陳嵐舒來港為我們煮了一頓豐富的晚宴,至今依然令我回味。

 

Mutual understanding is an essential condition for progress. Wine collectors understand this well: for every wine, some years are better than others. In years with less than ideal weather, the quality of the wine is naturally lower. Every collector knows this, but we need a broader vision, and we need to think about it from the vineyard’s perspective: if people don’t buy the wine because of a bad season, won’t that be a big loss for them? If the vineyard can’t survive that, then even in a good year, there won’t be any good wine to drink. So when we buy fine wine, we should also buy some wine that is not quite as fine.

互相體諒,是走得更遠的必要條件,收藏紅酒的藏家,就更加應該明白這個道理:紅酒,有當造的年份。在一些天氣不太理想的年份,釀出來的酒,品質自然相對地沒那麼高。作為藏家,當然不會不知道,但要有更加宏觀的視野,從酒莊方面考慮:如果因為季節不好就沒人訂貨,那一季豈不是會賠大本?酒莊做不下去,季節好的時候,也沒美酒品嘗了。所以,好藏家買美酒,也買一些不那麼美的酒。

 

If we don’t accept the lesser vintages, then there won’t be any good vintages either. This is the 2010 Chairman’s Reserve from Grace Vineyard. /不接受不好的年份,就買不到好年份的酒了。這是山西怡園酒莊(Grace Vineyard)2010年出產的紅酒佳釀Chairman’s Reserve。

 

For decades, people have tried to conquer the weather, researching ways to part the clouds or make it rain, in hopes of controlling it all, and exerting man’s power over nature. These products of globalization are missing a human touch. They’re like people who have had plastic surgery. Their faces are all “perfect,” but not all that natural. I think that the “artisan spirit” must allow for “mistakes,” because unpredictable change is more beautiful. My Chinese name translates to “strong will.” As I face this new year, I am resolved to embrace change, to take everything in stride with a strong, yet yielding resolve.

這數十年,人試圖征服自然,研發科技驅趕烏雲、或是人造雨,希望掌控一切,相信人定勝天。在這個全球化下的產物,缺少了一點人的味道,就好像整容後的人,五官都很「完美」,卻總是不太自然。我認為,「匠心」正是要容許差異和「錯誤」發生,因為變幻無常更為美麗。我取名「志剛」,有志向堅定不移的意思,新的一年,我決意也要學習擁抱無常,兼備至剛至柔,海納百川。​​​​

 

 


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

 

 

 
Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply