使原本从不激情的三清山现象染上了情感色彩,怎样获取认知和反映生活的力量

  2010年春节收到袁廉民兄来信,引为节日期间一大快事。信中写我们二十八年前在黄山幸会,追叙我为他的摄影集写序言《重在发现》,回忆准确,感情真挚。袁廉民做事一丝不苟,来信偶有笔误,必得用白粉盖去,再在上面覆写。如此认真,当今社会上还有多少?

去岁初秋攀登黄山,高兴地结识了袁廉民,欣赏了他拍摄的黄山风光照片,时隔一年,照片选编成《黄山奇观》;这回我又有机会读了他写的摄影论文,品读之余,对他有了比较全面的了解。数量丰富的创作,受着正确的理论指导和多方面的艺术修养熏陶。他是一位善于思考的实干家。这是我对袁廉民的认识,也许还不充分。

友人袁廉民从安徽打来电话,说他正拟出版一本《锦绣黄山》摄影集。在我的记忆中,这是他继《黄山奇观》、《黄山》之后出版的第三本大型摄影集,我真为他高兴。他嘱我为之写点文字,这倒难为我了。因为关于他的黄山作品及影集,王朝闻、冯其庸、沈鹏、吴印咸等诸位大家早已有言在先,他们都给予了非常深刻而又很高的评价,现在我再来以浅薄之言妄加添足,实在没有什么意思。但我和廉民已是几十年的好友了,却之又怕不恭,无奈只好以拙笔写几句也许不在点上的愚见。

  今年是廉民兄从艺60周年,拍摄黄山40年。文艺界为他举办一次展览与研讨活动,理所当然。我看到一篇评论袁廉民黄山摄影的文章,题为咬定黄山不放松,作简体字的松,我以为还可以兼示袁廉民拍摄黄山松树的热情。在黄山四奇之中,热衷松树,是不是也意味着这一特定形象显示人的尊严,生命的奇崛、魁伟、雄秀、挺拔 把黄山看作大自然有生命力的对象,松树便是黄山峰巅和怀抱中的骄子,显示着多姿多彩的形态。随着年龄的增长,拍摄经验的丰富,袁廉民对松树人格化的理解也不断加深。如果说像《祥云瑞光》那圆形彩虹的摄取需要机遇加入灵感、技巧,那么我以为对于松树人格化的表现,可能需要长期不断的反复观察、体验,更需要主观能动的表现力。每棵松树,就是一个自在的独立人格的凸现。

袁廉民说,他有意识地培养三种能力:观察事物的敏感力、形象捕捉力和丰富的想象力。三种能力是他向自己提出的三项要求,由实践中总结出来,又推动实践向更高的水平提高。就总体来说,三项要求包括了艺术创作从认识生活到反映生活的过程。观察事物的敏感力,发源于深刻的理解;而深刻的理解又必然孕育丰富的想象。敏感力与想象力都属于认识的一种形态,当中包括了由感性认识到理性认识的许多中间环节。对于艺术创作来说,认识生活和反映生活自始至终贯穿着形象思维的特点,艺术家迁想妙得,经过物质材料的媒介,创造为审美的有感情的形象。袁廉民重视形象的捕捉力,紧紧抓住了创作过程中形象思维的特点,使全部思想感受和审美意识凭借艺术形象得到体现。

关于袁廉民拍摄黄山所付出的艰辛劳动,以及他所获得的斐然成就,早已传扬界内外,不用我再嗦,我想说的是,他拍摄黄山,有他自己的理念和实践方式,主要表现在他的作品,拉开了单纯复制客观原态景象和经过主体意造的艺术形象之间的距离。黄山风光是美的,用具有纪实功能的相机纪录下来的黄山风景,一般来说也会有一定的美感,但这是再现的黄山本身自然生态的美。这种美被机械地摄入画面,在形式上虽然也有一定的美感作用,但它毕竟没有经过作者的情感体验,没有进行深入的艺术构思和想象及意匠加工,也就是还没有从自然美升华为艺术美,因而只能是一种浅层次的美,它无法体现深层的美学意蕴,或者说还没有完全进入艺术的审美领域。

  廉民兄的信里有一段话令我难忘:我以黄山松为主体的作品,由于事物的新陈代谢的规律,加之全球气候变暖,以及其他客观因素,我在上世纪七八十年代所摄的松景,已有了很大的变化,有的已不复存在。原来,这批佳作的珍贵,不仅在于艺术,还在于作品反映的对象已成为历史。是的,世间一切有生命的生物,均有其成长、消亡的规律,如何延长黄山名松、名树的生命,使其源源不断地输送清新的空气,绿满青山,为人类造福,已成为一大难题。欣悉黄山管理者,将黄山的自然与生态视作自己的天职与责任,以严格的科学管理与保护措施,对名松实行一人一树,专人保护并加强对雷电、虫害的防治,保护其松柏常青的本色。

就艺术创作的主客观关系来说,袁廉民的培养三种能力,意味着要求自己发挥创作过程中的主观能动作用。古人说:登山则情满于山,观海则意溢于海。如何获得认识和反映生活的能力,需要保持旺盛的情感,把自然界的美掌握在手里,体现在作品里。重视实践并且尊重客观对象的袁廉民,我相信他不会赞成艺术除自我表现之外别无他物,但是他的作品分明非常注重主观精神的体现。他的一篇论文的题目便是:情满黄山,意溢云海的激情,调动了创作所必须的各种因素,摄出合乎理想的佳作。

袁廉民正是因为意识到了上述情况,因而他拍摄黄山风光没有停留在简单模复客观景象的浅层面上,而是在长期的生活实践和艺术实践中,渐渐地熟悉了黄山,亲近了黄山,以黄山为师,对黄山产生了深厚的感情,具体创作时,把蕴积在心中的情感对象化,投射到黄山特定的景象上,使原本没有情感的黄山景象染上了情感色彩,从而使它有了生命和神魂。在这里,可以看出情在起着主导作用。正因为袁廉民平时蕴积了对黄山的深厚情感,所以才能在具体创作时,面对客观景象就会情满黄山,意溢云海。比如他那幅经典之作《蒸蒸日上》,分明是他亲身经历了文革造成的十年浩劫,而在四人帮垮台后见到了大地复苏,旭日东升这样激动人心的时刻按下快门的。此时,他触景生情,从而借景抒情,祈盼祖国蒸蒸日上,繁荣昌盛。这确是一幅充溢情感而富有象征意义的传世之作。

  曾几何时,发生过把艺术作品描绘自然景物批判为脱离现实。可是真正的艺术家凭着深刻的人文理念,依靠良知,敬畏自然,崇尚和谐,在既定的创作道路上不懈追求。我曾说过袁廉民兄是一位善于思考的实干家,天道酬勤,愿他的艺术与大自然同在!

拍摄照片需要发挥主观能动性这一点,同照片只能纪录实际存在的事物的局限性不相抵触。从一方面来说,照片不能摄入镜头面对的实景以外的东西,摄影家没有权力像画家那样将客观景物进行取舍、综合,照片的纪实性虽说是长处也反映了局限性。但是这并不意味着摄影家不能在有限范围内发挥主观能动精神。由于摄影家创造性的劳动,一刹那间留在胶片上的转瞬即逝的实景,只要具备了艺术动人的条件,那永久性的价值便是磨灭不了的。袁廉民在粉碎四人帮以后第一个春天拍摄的《蒸蒸日上》,是一幅富于时代感的风光摄影。作者向我们介绍了当时的心情,眼看祖国经历十年动乱获得新生,充满了喜悦,产生了借助壮丽的日出来歌颂祖国锦绣前程的强烈愿望,经过了长久的等待,认真选择时机,终于再现了辉煌灿烂的宇宙奇观。就摄影的纪实性来说,《蒸蒸日上》完全是大自然的客观真实的反映,但是如果作者仅孤立地看到眼前的山头、云海、日出,而没有饱满的热情和旺盛的创作欲望,再好的良机也会错过。作者高度的敏感和想象,赋予他从客观事物中抓取具有高度概括力的形象的能力,启发观者联想,引起观者共鸣。

袁廉民的黄山摄影作品,之所以有别于上述那种复制式的浅层次的风光照片,还因为他正确认识和处理了空间景象问题。风光摄影创作的对象,都是真实的空间景象。这是一种物理空间景象,如果像上面所说用翻版式的拍摄手法,那么照片的画面只能表明何时、何地、何景式的地理图,也就是原模原样地复制了客观景象。而袁廉民的黄山风光摄影作品,大多是用写意的手法进行创作。拍摄时,往往融情于景,同时进行形象构思和艺术想象,再加上对景象的选取,角度的变换,光影色彩等造型因素的灵活运用,以及借云雾雨岚等气象的渲染,甚至利用夸张、变形等手法,使原来的物理空间景象,转换成为人们观赏时心理上的空间景象,这就是给人以奇、险、雄、秀等的心理印象。我们不妨来看看袁廉民的那幅《日出东方》的画面:喷涌而上的层层云海,曙光赫赫的旭日,借用大自然彩笔染红了的天空,宏大开阔的境界,好一派大气磅薄的境象。当人们欣赏这个画面时,不会去考究画面上的太阳、云海、彩霞是个什么样的形状、体积、方位等等原始景象,而只会立时产生或奇、或险、或雄、或秀等上述种种心理印象。再看看那幅《云涌玉屏峰》:在漫漫轻云的怀抱中,尖刀般的断石鳞次栉比,悬岩峭壁拔地摩天。你看到这种景象时,在心理上不觉得奇特险峻吗?至于那幅《深壑藏娇》,在两块巨石缝隙中,透视出远处被轻雾缭绕着的笔架形的山峰,而在峰顶上又树立着一棵小小的青松。这在远近、大小、明暗的对比中,在人们的印象中,似构成了一幅清秀幽深的水墨图景。不必多举他例,总之,袁廉民的不少作品,经过作者主观的意造,给予人们的心理上以各种不同形态的美感。正因如此,这些作品就超越了画面上的实景实象,而转换为了景外之景、象外之象的虚境,给观赏者提供了广阔的想象空间。这,也就是创造了化景物为情思,变实景为虚境的艺术意境。

  During the Spring Festival in 2010, I was quite delighted to receive a letter from my old friend Yuan Lianmin. In his letter, with sincere emotion, he recalled our meeting in Huangshan Mountain 28 years ago and flashbacked the preface I wrote for his photo album. The Important Thing Is to Make New Discoveries. Yuan Lianmin is meticulous in work. If he makes a spelling error in his letter occasionally, he will cover it with white-out and then rewrite it. It is hard to find such serious people like him in todays society.

在一段时期里,有人用摄影式三个字批评那种缺乏概括、照搬生活的绘画,其实,摄影家反映生活的方式虽与画家有别,但概括及与此相联系的想象活动仍然是创作过程中不可缺少的因素。甚至可以说,正因为摄影艺术受着真景的局限,概括力、想象力一类素质对摄影工作者显得格外重要。为了加强感觉的重要性,必须强调理解的重要性;认为纪实无需想象,在理论上不但是将感觉与理解对立,并且是将敏感与想象对立,纪实与概括对立,因而很难创作出反映生活本质的感人的作品。

任何发生的事情,都含有一定的因果关系。我想,袁廉民的黄山摄影得以独领风骚,很重要的一个原因,可能就是得益于厚积而薄发。在生活实践上,他连续40年冒着酷暑严寒登上黄山160余次,其中包括18个春节。而且不避艰险寻找理想的拍摄点,有两次还在悬崖上滑足,幸好被旁人拉住,差点一失足成千古恨。与此同时,他随时悉心观察天气晴阴明晦的变化和烟岚云雾的变幻,以使自己在摄影前做到胸有成竹,等待最佳时机攫取最佳瞬间。在艺术实践上,他对拍摄黄山在光线的运用,色彩的处理,画面的结构等技术和技巧上苦下功夫,同时勤于总结经验,既总结技术技巧的经验,也总结艺术表现的经验。如此这般,长期积累,摸索出了一套黄山摄影的规律。最后,我不得不对袁廉民严肃的创作态度和执着的敬业精神表示由衷的敬佩。

  This year marks the 60th anniversary of Yuan Lianming as a photographer shooting Huangshan for 40 years. It is natural that Literary and art circles will hold a seminar and an exhibition for Yuan. I saw a comment on his Huangshan Scenic Photography,which is entitled Rooted in Huangshan simplified as the Chinese character Pine. I think that it also conveys his love for the pine in Huangshan. In the four wonders of Huangshan he has specially keen on pines which suggests dignity, wonder, and majesty of life. He regards Huangshan as the living nature, and the pine is the pride on the top of Huangshan with its colorful patterns. The older he becomes, the more experience he has got, and the further understanding in personification of the pine trees Yuan Linming has had. Yuans picture Fortunate Clouds and Propitious Light in which he shot the rainbow needed his luck plus inspiration and techniques. So I believe that the personification of the performance of pine may need constantly repeated observation, experience and more dynamic expression of subjective. Each pine stands for the independent personality.

袁廉民的《蒸蒸日上》和其他许多成功作品,是他长期社会实践和艺术实践的结晶。今年五十岁的袁廉民,全国解放初期就开始发表摄影作品,积极反映工农生活,同时拍摄了一些风光照片。打一九七一年起,首次登上黄山,以后连续十多年以黄山为基地,登山百余次,拍摄黄山成了他的作品题材的特点。但是题材的特点还不等于作者的风格特点,就说黄山吧,不同作者从不同的角度拍摄,题材本身也应是具体的,不会是一个模子里刻出来的。黑格尔说过:我们可以说独创性是从对象的特征来的,而对象的特征又是从创造者的主体性来的。这里所说创造者的主体性,在风格形成中起着决定性作用,影响到对于对象的特征的把握。十多年来,袁廉民对拍黄山曾有一个由表及里、由浅入深的认识过程。被称为天然画镜的黄山,云雾虚幻,岩石结构纹理清晰,线条流畅,十分接近山水画的传统皴法。袁廉民最初踏入摄影界,从事科教电影的拍摄,曾花不少力气去研究黄山的地质、气象、季节等特点,这对了解黄山带来不少益处,但对于如何摄取山水之精神气质,还没有把握到主要之点,一九七三年他发表了处女作《石笋峰》,可以看出他从一开始就追求黄山宏大的气魄,但这时还没有形成创作个性。以后从传统的中国画讲究气韵、意境得到了十分重要的启示。我国山水画历来把山水看作有形神、有性情的对象,所谓:山性即止而情态则面面生动,水性虽流而情状则浪浪具形。画家画山水是为山水传神,画家与山水神遇而迹化。所谓气韵、意境,都离不开创作的主体与客体之间的互相渗透,依赖着艺术家的主观特性与客观对象的深刻揭示和结合。袁廉民的作品除了《蒸蒸日上》,还有像从要知松高洁,待到雪化时的诗句得到启发的《高洁》,像树枝挂满冰凌具有抗争意味的《珊瑚丛中》等,都体现了作者的主观世界与客观真实的融合。作者的独创性表现在他从大自然中此时此地所揭示的某种景象正好与主观的情、意契合形成不可重复的艺术境界。

2010年3月于北京

  I cannot forget a paragraph in Lianmins letter, in which he says, because of metabolism and the global greenhouse effect as well as other objective factors, the pine trees on Huangshan Mountain of which I took the photos in 1970s and 1980s have greatly changed and some have gone forever. As a matter of fact, the value of these good photos lies in not only art but also the fact that the subjects in these photos have become part of history. All living things in the world follow their own laws of growing and withering away. The problem is how we can protect the famous pine trees and other trees on Huangshan Mountain so that they can survive the harsh situation and bring benefit to human beings.

耸立在祖国东南的黄山,高峰一千八百多米,方圆一百五十多平方公里,历来的游客赞扬它兼具五岳之美,但黄山又有自己的特色既雄伟又秀丽,在总的特色之中,黄山的每个局部各有不同的风貌。历来的诗人画家吟颂黄山、描绘黄山的作品多得不可胜计,但是真正有创造性的构思如世界上没有两片相同的树叶一样,永远不会重复。拿绘画来说,以画黄山著称的弘仁和石涛画风很不相同,一个善用笔,常描绘山河的一角,一个善用墨,搜尽奇峰打草稿。古往今来的画家面对大好河山各自发挥不同的创作才能,就创作中的客观对象这一方面来说,显示了客观世界的丰富性。以黄山之博大、雄秀、多变,不论从哪个角度表现,都不会穷尽自然的美。只有某些已经形成套套的山水画,随便画什么山石用一样的皴法、巩头,一样的构图、色彩,扼杀了自然美的生机,尽管行万里路,仍不免闭门造车之讥。有独创性的画家,从客观世界里发现美,把客观世界的美掌握在自己手里是无穷尽的创造的源泉所在。弘仁有诗:敢言天地是吾师,万壑千岩独杖藜。梦想富春居士好,更无一段入藩篱。以天地为师、突破藩篱的精神至今还有现实意义。

My friend Yuan Lianmin called me from Anhui that he was prepared to put out a large collection of photosWonderful Huangshan. In my memory, it is the third book after his Huangshan Wonders and Huangshan. I feel pleased with him. I find it is difficult to write any comments on his work, because some outstanding masters, such as Wang Zhaowen,Feng Qiyong, Shen Peng and Wu Yinxian, have praised him for his great works. I feel nervous to say something related with those masters, but I can not refuse his proposal for the deep friendship between us for decades.

  I am pleased to know that people in charge of Huangshan Mountain consider the protection of nature and ecology of the mountain as their duty and responsibility. Whats more, each pine tree should be under the protection of a certain man. That is called one people, one tree so as to make the pines stay evergreen.

袁廉民深入黄山,历经各种气候时令,踏遍许多人迹罕到的角落,在这一座天然画库面前,他觉得自己永远不会穷尽黄山的美,只要以天地为师,不入藩篱,作品就能常拍常新。他不喜欢重复别人的艺术语言,并且力戒重复自己的艺术语言。黄山有许多现成的景,比如猴子观海、松鼠跳天都等等,那是古今无数游客将山水看作是活动的、有生命力的一种创造性的想象,曲折地反映人与自然的关系,肯定了人的本质力量。虽然那些命名很有趣、很有意思,可是爱好独创的摄影家不愿意把前人的发现代替自己的构思。用袁廉民的话说,以再现自然美为职责的摄影家不应当是一般的旅游者和地理学者,摄影艺术不是导游的工具。因此,拍摄早已为人熟知的梦笔生花、仙人指路,那角度、意趣也要自出新意。由此,我想起平素观看绘画和照片的一种体验,即有的作者在拍摄这类现成的景致时唯恐其不像,单说桂林的象鼻山,有的摄影尽量拍出它的肖似象鼻,有的绘画甚至在石头的象上描几笔若有若无的眼睛,这种做法至少是把前人的想象替代了自己的独创,进一步说,对于山水画重在借气韵与意境感染读者,缺乏应有的认识。

I do not want to say anything about Yuan Lianmins hard work when he was taking photos of Huangshan and I do not want to mention the great achievements which he has made in the world either. What I want to emphasize is his own ideas and ways of practice which are reflected in his works. He distanced the artistic image from simple copy of original image. Though we can catch the beautiful scenes with our camera, we may not express the essences of natural beauty of Huangshan. The beauty is mechanically taken into the pictures without the photographers emotional experience, deep artistic conception and imagination. It is just the superficial beauty. To some extent, it neither shows us a profound aesthetics implication nor totally enters the aesthetic field of art.

  The descriptiion of the natural scene used to be criticized as isolating from the reality. Therefore,relying on the conscience ,revering the nature and praising the harmony, the true artists purse untiringly for the fixed creative work with the profound humane theory in their mind. I once said that my dear fellow Yuan Lianmin is a man of action who is good at thinking. May God bless the diligent man! May his art stay forever!

袁廉民用大量时间拍摄黄山松树。他的视野远远超出了公认的迎客松等十大名松。并非十大名松不美,道理与前面说过的他不大爱拍摄已有命名的景致差不多,名松大都生长在山路旁边,早已成为拍摄的对象。被埋没在峭岩峡谷背坡中的青松,平素不太受人注意,而且往往更有倔强、刚毅等品格,这一点符合袁廉民的意趣。可以说,袁廉民爱好黄山松,注意点不在松树的自然属性,而是重在气韵的追求和意境的独造。他身居黄山,总是以自己的眼睛去发现美,有时运用强烈的对比创造一个气势磅礴、瑰丽神奇的境界,如《蒸蒸日上》、《晚晴图》;有时在冷峻严酷中透露生意,如《华盖枝头》、《银树狂舞》;有时以出乎意料的奇特手法令人惊讶,如《人间奇镜》;有时轻描淡写若出无意,如《蓬莱三岛》。我们不妨借常用的比拟,说这些优秀之作好比绘画,因为它们虽然受纪实的限制,却在一定程度上具有概括力,突破空间、时间的限制,比生活的原型更强烈。《银树狂舞》好比书法家笔下的狂草奔放不羁,给人的联想远远超出雪压树枝的具体形象。《秋林图》里受阳光斜射的松树枝干,经用日光片拍摄,与暗影对比之下形成浓重的棕红色调,比自然色的色度强烈得多。《云凝霄汉》 中垂直线与曲线的对比,使得本来静止的山峦产生奔腾匍匐的动势;谁能说,这些作品没有绘画感?而色彩的对比和运动感,也正是袁廉民作品的特点。

Yuan has gone through a process of cognition, then proceeding from the outside to the inside, from superficiality to profundity when he spent a great deal of time on observing and taking pictures of Huangshan, so he can understand and discover its natural beauty. His heart is imbued with an affection of Huangshan. His affection can be seen in his works. A Scene of Prosperity, one of his best works, tells us that he has gone through the ten years disturbance in Cultural Revolution. He was full of joy to see the downfall of the Gang of four and photographed the sunrise in praise of the coming new era. He sincerely hoped to eulogize Chinas bright future with the picture of the sunrise. It is true that his works are always filled with sentiment and symbolism.

摄影作品要突破本身的局限,因而从绘画中找寻借鉴,算得上是一种客观趋势。但是不同的艺术有不同特点,诗中有画,画中有诗,说的是语言艺术能唤起视觉形象的联想,以视觉打动观者的艺术中包蕴着诗的境界。诗与画没有也不可能互相代替。同样,摄影而具有画意,也仍是摄影,不应当与绘画等同起来。将照片拍摄、剪裁成绘画所要求的构图至少算不得独一无二的好办法。摄影借鉴最亲近的姐妹艺术绘画,最重要的要将画意赋予摄影作品却仍旧不失摄影者本身的特点。诸如《云凝霄汉》、《人间奇镜》等作品,我们可以把它当作一幅油画或版画欣赏,但是不追求绘画的完整性,它以摄影镜头直取大自然一角, 充分发挥摄影本身的直观性,抓住摄影特有的新鲜、活泼、生动感,我们有理由认为这样的拍摄作品也是完整的,因为它达到了内容与形式的完美结合,不过它不追求绘画那样的完整。从这一点来说,我对《云凝霄汉》、《人间奇镜》等在构图上、取景上、色彩上具有强烈特色的作品格外感兴趣,以其为绘画所不能代替。

The difference between Yuan Lianmins works of Huangshan and the duplication-like shallow level of scenery photos is that he has correctly understood and dealt with the problem of space scenes. The scenery photographys objective is the real and physical spatial scenes, while the piracy style can only show the time, the location and the type of the geographical landscape, which is just the duplication of the original world. But Yuan Lianmins works of Huangshan are created mostly by the impresstionistic approach. While taking a photograph, he often melts the sentiment in the scenery, simultaneously carrying on the image idea and the artistic imagination. In addition, he often uses scene selection, angle transformation, and the fixable utilization of light, shadow and color, etc. , through the rain clouds and other climatic factors. He has also taken advantage of exaggeration, distortion, which convert the original physical space image into a psychological space for people to watch, so that people can be deeply impressed by the unique, danger, magnificence and beauty of Huangshan. What a majestic scene his Eastern Sunrise has depicted. There are layers of gushing clouds, dawn-illustrious of the rising sun, and the incarnadined sky by natural brushes. It is a great open vision. When appreciating the scene, people will not focus on the shape, size, location of the sun, the cloud, but will immediately have various mental impressions of the unique, danger, magnificence and beauty, etc. As for Fairy Peak, in the endless light of clouds bosom, the stones which like dagger are placed closely side by side, and the steep cliff pulling out. When you see this scene, dont you feel strange and dangerous psychologically? Shen He Cang Jiao: in the slit of two pieces of megalith, a peak like a pen holder with a small pine tree on is shrouded with mist in the distance, which looks prominent. In the contrast of distance, size and brightness, it constitutes a delicate ink picture in peoples minds. No more examples need to be cited. In brief, Yuan Lanmins many works, through his subjective meaning making, give people psychological senses of beauty in various forms. For this reason, these works go beyond the reality, and provide the audience imagination. The works also have created an artistic state of changing scenes into emotion, changing realities into virtual images.

袁廉民从一九七二年起登黄山,每登攀一次,认识深入一层。他观察黄山,开初注意山水的自然属性,以后如何进一步实现飞跃,回答这个问题,仍旧要回到他本人总结的两句话:情满黄山,意溢云海。这里我想着重指出一点,情与意的培养、锻炼、提高,不仅仅靠观赏大自然,更重要的是直接参与社会生活的实践。人是以社会的眼光认识和发现自然美的,袁廉民如果不是从社会实践中培育对生活的炽热的情感,面对日出、苍松等自然现象就不会有那样丰富的想象力。再是情与意的培养、锻炼、提高也同他在艺术上多方面学习、借鉴分不开。如果缺乏发现自然美的眼睛,《云凝霄汉》、《人间奇镜》等客观存在于自然界的画面很可能从视野中消失。袁廉民捕捉形象的能力,是以敏感力、想象力为基础的。本文开始时提到他是一位实干家,我们希望他的想象的翅膀,因其实干而飞翔得更远。

Anything occurred has its reasons. In my eyes, one of the most important reasons why Yuan Lianmins photography of Huangshan shines in the field of photography mostly is that he prefers accumulation than usage. In his life, he has climbed Huangshan for more than 160 times in 40 years. In the 40 years, his 18 Spring Festivals were celebrated on the mountain. In order to find an ideal spot for photographing, he has experiences hardship and danger. He nearly fell off the cliff twice, which almost led to his death. Luckily, he was saved by others, avoiding a tragedy. Meanwhile, for the purpose of making full prepare for photographing, he carefully observed the changes of weather and vagaries of cloud and mist, waiting for the best moment to take photos. In artistic practice, he grinds away at photography skills and techniques, such as application of rays, color processing, and composition of photos. At the same time, he has accumulated knowledge in photography skills and artistic expression. Now Yuan Lianmin has found out a series of rules of photographing Hangshan.

癸亥仲秋

In the end, I can not help expressing my heartful admiration for his serious creative attitude and persistent dedication.

Early last autumn I met photographer Yuan Lianmin on Huangshan Mountain and saw many photos of the scenery he had taken there. Now these photos have been collected into an album entitled Wonderful Views of Huangshan Mountain and recently I read his monograph on photography, which has enabled me to get a more comprehensive understanding of his artistic features.

March,2010. Beijing

Yuan Lianmin is a diligent man of action and an apt thinker.His works in great number manifest the correctness of his guiding principles and many-sided knowledge.This is my appraisal of Yuan Lianmin and maybe it is not comprehensive enough,I am afraid.

Yuan Lianmin says that he has purposely trained himself to obtain three abilities: sensitivity in observation; the faculty in capturing images and the imaginative power.These three abilities are also the demands he sets on himself,which he has summarized through practice and in turn have pushed his practice up to a higher level.Generally speaking these requirements embrace the process of artistic creation from understanding life to reflecting life.Sensitivity in observation has its source in profound understanding,while profound understanding inevitably carries in itself rich imagination.Sensitivity and the imaginative power belong to a formation of cognition that comprise many intermediate links between perceptual knowledge and rational knowledge .Thinking in terms of images is an ever-present characteristic in artistic creation whether in understanding life or reflecting life.Through the medium of substantial materials artists convert theirexcellent ideas obtained through thinkinginto aesthetic and sensuous images.Yuan Lianmin has attached great importance to thefaculty in capturing images,and fully grasped the characteristic of creating by means of images so that he can fully and rationally display his feelings and aesthetic consciousness.

In regard to the relationship between subjectivity and objectivity the three abilties of Yuan Lianmin mean a self-imposed demand to bring forth the role of initiative.An ancient said:When one climbs a mountain,his heart must be permeated with an affection for the mountain;when one watches the sea,his heart must be brimmed with the sentiments for the sea.In order to obtain the ability of understanding and reflecting life,it is imperative for one to sustain exuberant sentiments,master the beauty of Nature and show it in the works of art.I do not believe that Yuan Lianmin,who stresses practice and values objectivity,agrees with the advocacy that in art there is nothing else butself-expression. Nevertheless he paid great attention to the expression of subjective spirit.One of his works is entitled My Heart Is Imbued with an Affection for Huangshan Mountain and the Concept of the Sea of Clouds. He said that in exploring the beautiful views of Huangshan Mountain he never for a single moment relaxed in a state of mind of intense feelings and imagination.With such feelings and imagination he brought forth all positive factors and produced the best possible photos.

There is no conflict in photography between tapping subjective initiative and the fact that photos are limited to recording existent objects.A camera cannot take in things beyond the sphere of the lens and a photographer has no right to add,reject or rearrange things to his liking as a painter does to his paintings.Thus the merit of photography as an objective recorder is also a limitation.(On this effect Auguste Rodin even stated thatartists tell truth while cameras lie.)However,this does not mean that photographers cannot give play to their subjective initiative within a limited scope.Thanks to the creative labor of photographers,fleeting scenes can be captured onto the film.If the pictures have artistic appealing they will certainly have eternal value.In the first spring after the downfall of thegang of fourYuan Lianmin shot a landscape picture entitled A Scene of Prosperity in praise of the new era.Talking about his feelings at the time when he took the picture,Yuan Lianmin said that he was full of joy to see China revive after ten years disturbance in thecultural revolution.He strongly wanted to eulogize Chinas bright future with a picture of sunrise.He waited for a long time for the right opportunity.Finally he caught a marvelous moment of the universe when the sun was rising in splendour from the east.Sunrise in A Scene of Properity is completely a natural phenomenon.If the photographer had merely seen isolated peaks,clouds and the sunrise without enthusiasm and a strong desire to create,he would have missed a much better chance.The artists high sensitivity and imagination endowed him with the ability to find the most typical images in real life that evoke beholders imagination and strike a sympathetic response.

For a period of time paintings that lacked epitomization and stiffly duplicated life were labelled asphoto type.Later,this derogatory term gradually disappeared from critics articles.Although the way a photographer epitomizes life is different from that of a painter,epitomization and the related imaginative activities are indispensable factors in the process of his creation .It may even be said that a photographers power of epitomization and imagination is more important just because photography is limited by real objects.Understanding must be stressed in order to strengthen sense perception.It is impossible to produce works of artistic appealing and reflcting the essense of life when one thinks imagination is unnecessary in recording facts,and in theory not only puts sense perception against understanding but also puts sensitivity against imagination,facutal recording against epitomization.

Yuan Lianmins successful works such as A Scene of Prosperity are the fruits of his social and artistic practice over a long period of time.Fifty years old this year,Yuan Lianmin began publishing his works shortly after the founding of New China.He has enthusiastically reflected the life of workers and peasants, and at the same time taken many pictures of landscapes.Since 1972 when he climbed Huangshan Mountain for the first time,he has revisited that area several dozen times, Huangshan Mountain have become a main subject matter of his photos.

However, the characteristics of an artists subject matters cannot be equated to those of his style.Taking Huangshan Mountain as an example.Different photographers take pictures from different angles,so the contents should be specific,not coming out of the same mould.Hegel said that we might say that originality came from the features of the object and the features of the object came from the subjectivity of the creator. Here, the subjectivity of the creatoris decisive in the formation of style and affects the mastery of the features of the object.In regard to how to take pictures of Huangshan Mountain, for over a dozen years Yuan Lianmin has gone through a process of cognition proceeding from the outside to the inside,from superficiality to profundity. The scenery of Huangshan Mountain, known as a natural painting, is extremely like a Chinese traditional landscape painting done in a graceful style with clear-veined rocks and ever-changing cloud and mist.

Yuan Lianmin started his career as a cameraman of science and educational film. Perhaps for this reason he took pains in the study of the characteristics of the geology,climate and seasons in Huangshan Mountain, which helped him understand the place better.But he was not so successful in mastering the main points of the spiritual essentials of the mountains in his picture-taking. His first photo of Huangshan Mountain published in 1973. Fairy Peak, shows that from the very beginning Yuan Lianmin tried to depict the boldness of vision of Huangshan Mountain, but did not establish a style of his own.Later he was inspired by the Chinere traditional painting which stressesverveandartistic conception.Chinese landscape painters take objects as having personality and emotion.Tang Zhiqi wrote in his Short Notes on Painting:The mood of a mountain,which is static by nature,is alive on every turn;each ripple of water,which is mobile by nature,has its own form.Painters draw mountains and waters to convey their spirit,and understand them in spiritual communion.The so-calledverveandartistic conceptiondepend on the mutual osmosis of subject and object and the combination of the artists subjective character with profound revelation of objects.

Besides A Scene of Prosperity, Yuan Lianmins other outstanding works,such as Dignity and Amid a Coral Forest,all show that he has integrated his subjective world with objective reality.The artists originality lies in that his discovery of the natural scenes at those particular moments perfectly agree with his subjectiveemotionandideaand such artistic circumstances would not recur.

The Huangshan Mountains rising 1,800 meters in Southeast China cover an area of 150 square kilometres. Tourists say the Huangshan Mountains not only possess all the beauties of Chinas five famous mountains but also have a distinguishing feature of their owngrand and elegant, and each spot varies in scenery. Through history numerous poems have been written and paintings done to eulogize the Huangshan Mountains. But two conceptions of real originality will never be identical as not two tree leaves. The most famous ancient painters of the Huangshan Mountains are Hong Ren and Shi Tao. They are very different in style: one excelled in brushwork by painting each corner of the landscape; the other was good at applying ink by searching all the grotesque peaks for a sketch. Painters through history have exerted their talents to describe the countrys rivers and mountains and to reveal the richness of the objective world. But there will never be enough talents to exhaust the beauty of the Huangshan Mountains that are so vast; so imposing and so changing from every angle. Some landscape painters have got used to a stereotypeapplying the same techniques, same compositions and same colors to paint different kinds of rocks. This would just kill the vitality of the natural beauty . Even if they travel for thousands of kilometres looking for source materials but they are working behind closed doors. Original painters try to find beauty in objective world and master it as their inexhaustible source of creation. Hong Ren wrote a poem that goes: I dare say the Heaven and Earth are my teachers, Alone, Ive visited gullies and cliffs with a walking stick. Ive dreamt to be a hermit by the Fuchun River, For not a single part of the water is restricted.

It is still of realistic significance to take nature as teacher and break away from conventions.

Having experienced different climates and seasons and visied many untraversed corners of the Huangshan Mountains, Yuan Lianmin feels that he could never fully reflect the inexhaustible beauty of this natural treasure-house of pictures; but so long as he keeps learning from nature and bringing forth new ideas, he will constantly produce refreshing works. He does not like to echo others words on art, and tries hard to avoid repeating himself. Like many other famous mountains the Huangshan Mountains have many established scenic spots such as The Monkey Watching the Sea and The Squirrel Jumpping into the Celestial Capital named by visitors through history who saw them in motions and vitality. The names given through creative imagination reflect in a roundabout way the relationship between human beings and nature, and confirm human beings innate strength. Although all the names of the scenic spots are interesting, photogrphers of originality do not want to substitute the discoveries of their predecessors for their own composition. In Yuan Lianmins words: photographers who take reproducing natural beauty as their duty should not act like ordinary tourists or geographers; and photography is not a tool of tourist guide. So, even when he took pictures of such popular spots as A Writing Brush Bursts into Bloom and The Immortal Pointing the Way, he chose his own angles and displayed new ideas. Yuan Lianmins approach reminded me of my experience when I admired paintings and photos. I feel that some artists seem to be afraid that their works would not be the same as the real objects when they take pictures of established spots. Take the Elephant Trunk Hill in Guilin for example. Some photographers took pains to make the picture look like as close as possible a real elephant trunk. Some painters went so far as to draw a few blurred strokes on the stone hill to imply eyes. This practice, at least, is a substitution of old imagination for their own creation. Furthermore, these artists lack the necessary understanding of the point that landscape paintings rely on verve and artistic conception to affect spectators.

Yuan Lianmin spent a great deal of time on taking pictures of pine tree on the Huangshan Mountians.His vision went beyond the ten famous trees such as Welcoming Guests Pine .It was not because he did not think they were beautiful,but because, as mentioned above, he did not care for objects already named by others.The famous pine trees mostly grow by roadside and have become the targets of photos for many years.Those pine trees grown on the precipices and in the gullies are often more sturdy and steadfast,which are more agreeable to Yuan Lianmins interest. However. Yuan Lianmins love of the pines on the Huangshan Mountains does not lie in the treesnatural property. He stresses the pursuit of verve and creative spirit in artistic conception.During his stay in the mountains he constantly sought after beautiful scenes. Sometimes he used strong contrast to create bold and magnificient views such as those in A Scene of Prosperity and In the Evening Glory; sometimes he would employ a technique surprisingly unique as demonstrated in The Wonderland on Earth; Crystal Jade Branches and Silver Trees in a Gleeful Dance depict a dynamic life in rigid winter; the picture Three Immortal Isles was done in a simple and elegant style. These excellent works can be likened to paintings.Limited though by the fact that they were recording substantial objects, they display the photographers certain power to reflect the natural views by way of a highly artistic condensation and by breaking through the bounds of space and time, The photo Silver Trees in a Gleeful Dance is like calligraphers scroll done with a cursive hand, evoking an imagination far beyond the concrete image of tree branches laden with snow. The photo Autumn Forest was taken with sunlight film. The pine trees are tinted reddish brown by the slanting sun, a much stronger color than the natural one, The vertical and curved lines in the photo Frozen Clouds in the Sky made such a contrast between motion and rest so that the still mountain ranges in it seem at a gallop. Who could say that these photos do not have the effect of painting? The contrast of colors (including black and white) and sense of motion are the characteristics of Yuan Lianmins works and, I think, then should be further developed.

To be free from restrictions imposed on photography by this art itself and to assimilate strong points of painting can be counted as an objective trend. But different characteristics. People sayin a poem there is a painting; in a painting there is a poem. This means that art of language can bring forth visual images to affect readers with a poetic picture. Of course poetry and painting cannot possibly replace each other. The same with painting and photography. Although photos have the effect of paintings, they should not be equated with paintings. Some people once tried to make photos look like paintings by cutting and rearranging certain details of photos. This practice has long been abandoned. At least, this composition of pictures cannot be counted as the onlygood method for photographers. When learning from painting, the art form closest to photography, the most important thing for photographers is to render the artistic conception of painting to the photos and at the same time to retain the characteristics of photography.

Some photos in this album such as Frozen Clouds in the Sky and The Wonderland on Earth can be admired as oil paintings of graphic prints. But the artist did not pursue the completeness of painting. Making full use of the characteristics of photography-direct perception, mobility, liveliness and freshness, he selected a certain corner of the Nature for one of his pictures. Works like these are complete because they have achieved the perfect combination of content and form. The difference is that the completeness of these photos differs from that of paintings. In this regard I am more interested in such photos like Frozen Clouds in the Sky and The Wonderland on Earth for their composition, color and view selection, which are all impossible for paintings to substitute.

After his first visit to the Huangshan Mountains in 1972, Yuan Lianmins understanding of them deepened with each revisit. In his observation in the early days he paid much attention to the natural property of the objects there. But how did he make a breakthrough afterwards? Yuan Lianmin summarized his answer to this question in one sentence:My heart is imbued with an affection for the Huangshan Mountains and the concept of the sea of clouds. Here I want to point out that cultivation and development of the affection and concept not merely depend on observation of the great Nature. Direct participation in social life and practice is more important. People understand and discover natural beauty with a view of society as a whole. Yuan Lianmin would not have developed such power of imagination to sunrise, sturdy pines and other natural phenomena if he had not fostered ardent feelings for life through social practice. Cultivation and development of affection and concept are closely related to ones extensive knowledge in arts. Without an eye capable of discovering natural beauty, Yuan Lianmin would have missed the scenes taken in the photos of Frozen Clouds in the Sky and The Wonderland on Earth. Yuan Lianmins ability to capture images has been developed on the basis of his sensitivity and imaginative power. In the beginning of this article I said Yuan Lianmin is a man of action. Here I would like to add that he is a man of action with rich imagination. I hope he will fly even higher in his action on the wings of imagination.