这个春天，我想每一个人都深有感触，这个春天，在我们身边发生了太多非同寻常的事情，希望《瘟疫时期Plague period/2022》能引起共鸣，希望你参与到这个报告中来。这是一个在鞋中种植为表现手段的“环境”报告，如果你参与进来，请把你的“报告”拍成图像发到网上，或者发到这个邮箱：firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> (请注明姓名和联系方式)，让我们一起记忆这个春夏。
This spring, I believe everyone has a deep feeling, this spring, too many extraordinary things have happened around us, I hope the "report" of Epidemic /2022/ " Chinese people's shoes" can resonate with you. I hope you can participate in the report, diagnosis of our living space. One person's report is far from enough. This is an environmental report based on plant cultivation as the performance tool.I hope you can make a video of your "Epidemic report" and post it on the Internet with this report plan, or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we can remember this spring together.
回到绘画。人类最早的绘画实则文字，之所以这么说，是因为人类最早的、旧石器时代的绘画，其作用是为了记事，它们虽然刻画了物像，其目的却是最初的文字纪录。从画画记事，到文字语言的形成，中国一直沿着绘画（象形）的轨迹，而西方文字则逐步走入抽象。人类进入13世纪，随着科学技术在欧洲的兴起，绘画从涂鸦期、到追求形似，画家开始引入光影、解剖和透视学到创作之中。其代表人物有佛罗伦萨画家皮耶罗·德拉弗朗西斯科（Piero della Francesca），约1420－1492。皮耶罗在绘画之外致力于数学和几何学研究，他的画中强调数理几何的严谨与平衡。他的代表作有阿雷佐城的圣弗朗西斯科教堂壁画，其中《示巴女王礼拜神木》及《示巴女王与所罗门王会晤》最为著名。他为乌尔比诺公爵夫妇画的肖像，是文艺复兴时期的杰出作品。他晚年著有《绘画透视法》及《论五种正规体》等。中国绘画，从石器时代的岩画，顺沿着人类初期绘画的形式拓展。从涂鸦到似与不似，直到19世纪引入光影、几何学等科学因素，人类智慧经过一段漫长的离别之后再次汇和。
It’s been a terrible winter-spring, that changes everyone. Everything on earth seems altered. For artists, now their primary concern is no longer, if it had been, art itself. All the numbers of infections and deaths on the news, all the rumors and hearsays… cultivate my anxiety. I began to think about the medicine, the quest for magical cure, but what is the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), anyway? In the early human history, through out the continents people were using plants, roots, grass leaves, bark, wild fruits, rocks and grass ashes to treat illnesses. In Chinese mythology, it was Shen Nong who tasted hundreds of herbs in order to identify their characteristics and taught people their medical uses. I assume that somewhere in the western world there had also been a Shen Nong with blue eyes and blond hair. By then there were no concepts of East/West in medicine. The traditional medicine paved its way through practices, generation by generation, with sometimes the price of peoples’ lives, then passed on as memory or experience. When I was little, I was once playing on the west hill and cut my hand. An elder boy ran off and fetched me a mushroom, told me that it was a Grey blister (灰疱) which would stop the bleeding. He cut it open by the top, took some of the dark ochre powder from inside and then put it on the wound. The bleeding was stopped immediately and the pain eased up. Later I learned that the Grey blister was a kind of fungi. That was my first memory of medical treatment. One that keeps its earliest form. Compared to modern medical science, it is in no doubt traditional. I am sure of it, no need of historical proof, this is one of the precious primordial human experiences.
Let’s get back to painting. The earliest drawings made by human were in fact writings, which is because the earliest Paleolithic drawings were actually records of events, although they depict the form of objects, their objective was to transmit a literal message -- the initial form of a text. From drawing notes to writing words, the Chinese language followed a pictorial (pictograph) path, whereas western languages converted themselves to the abstract. At the dawn of the thirteenth century, humanity witnessed the rise of science and technology, and the painting grew out of its scribbling stage, into the realm of resemblance and representation. Painters enrich their painting skills by extensive studies on light and shadow, on anatomy and perspective. One of the representatives of them is the Florentine painter Piero della Francesca (env. 1420-1492). Apart from his artistic creation, Piero devoted himself to mathematics and geometry, as demonstrated in the vigorous and well balanced geometrical vision in his paintings. His most acknowledged works include the frescos in the Basilica di San Francesco in Arezzo, among which the Adoration of the Holy Wood and the Meeting of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. The portraits that he made for the Duke of Urbino and his wife was also a masterpiece of the Renaissance.
Later in his life, he wrote essays on art such as De prospectiva pingendi (On Perspective in Painting) and De quinque corporibus regularibus (On the Five Regular Bodies). Chinese paintings, on the other hand, followed a figurative path ever since the Paleolithic cave drawings, from graffiti to representation and then deformation. Until the nineteenth century, scientific elements, such as light and shadow and geometry, were finally introduced into the painting. Here at last human intelligence from separated worlds converge once again.
Now it seems that this article reaches its end, but what struck me just before closing this speech, was the idea of the chopsticks. Using two sticks to get food, I think it could also have been a solution for western people before Iron Age, before knife and forks were invented. What else could have been used anyway? Walking out of the caves, people continue to use the sticks in the East, the chopsticks, as they call it; whereas in the West, people picked up the iron. Without external forces, China could have continued its farming civilization for we don’t know how many centuries ahead. Luckily all tracks led by human contribute to our common history. Difference makes diversity and dynamic.
In catastrophe, artists call out hard to raise awareness. Art might not be as powerful as science and technology as to enlightening the world, but it has an unparalleled capacity to reveal and recover the inner world, that’s what I call its ultimate value for the society, for mankind. Nothing heals the heart as art does, that’s why literature and art were invented in the first place. More so in time of catastrophe, when we need comfort more than anytime.
At such a moment, no matter what happens or how worse the situation gets, or how sad we are, we must keep our self-confidence and the inner strength, for that’s the only way to nourish our soul and our sensibility.