⟨ Book ⟩

Another Kind Of Blue

Promenade

Words / 文心
Photos / Kimio Ng
Translation / Iris Heung

還記得有一次朋友看到了書架上的繪本,被封面吸引了,就打開來看。我看到她有事情可以做,我就忙自己的。怎料,不到三分鐘,她就坐在沙發上玩手機。我很驚訝,忍不住問到:「這麼快就看完了嗎?」她幽幽的說:「有什麼難的?就是圖畫而已,又沒有文字。」的確,如果你把繪本中的圖畫每一頁都翻開看一次,應該幾分鐘就看完了。然而最近接觸的繪本《漫步》卻打破了我閱讀繪本最久的時間紀錄。

它的封面令我想起很喜歡的一幅畫,Quint Buchholz 的 The Room By The Sea (II.),他在 2003 年的作品。或許因為 Quint Buchholz 的繪圖風格對作者李炡昊也有著影響,他們同樣柔和溫馴的色彩總是令人難以抗拒。以藍色為主調,每頁的圖畫下邊都預留了白色的空間,好讓作者把一句句子放置在內。人生中的各個階段充斥著的迷惘與不確定性,就是圖畫中的迷霧及荒蕪。可幸的是,作者總會讓光線在每一幅圖畫裡找到自己的位置,無論是星星、燈塔還是熹微的晨光,雖然看似微弱,卻足夠令人定下心來。

「在書本開拓的世界裏漫步」固然是挺明顯的想法,細心看圖的人必定會接收到;我較喜歡把書本這象徵抽走,把旅程看成是人生(也是作者的慧心吧),在未知的路上信賴著依稀的光源,像藍色一樣,安心而平穩地漫步。


I still remember how my friend was drawn by the cover of a picture book and started flipping through the pages. With her being seemingly occupied with reading, I just focused on my own business. Little did I expect in less than three minutes of time, she started fiddling her phone on the sofa. Totally surprised, I asked, “Have you finished reading so quickly?”. She just casually responded, “How hard could that be? It’s just drawings and barely any words.” In fact, it does only take a couple of minutes to scan through every page of this book. However, I have never  spent this much time reading a picture book like Promenade which I recently came across.

Its cover reminds me of a picture I am really fond of, which is called The Room By The Sea (II.) by Quint Buchholz, a work done in 2003. Perhaps the artistic style of Quint Buchholz has some influence on Jungho Lee. Both have a liking to use soft and warm colors that are irresistible. Using blue color as the main tone, every page consists of a white space at the bottom to feature a short text written by the author. All the bewilderment and uncertainty that are recurring in our lives are symbolized by the mist and desolation as found in the illustrations. Nevertheless, the illustrations do not represent darkness as there is always a source of light in the drawings, be it stars, a lighthouse, or the faint light at dawn, that brings comfort to people despite how weak the lights might look.

“Strolling in the world opened up by books” is a rather explicit message that people would definitely receive as they read carefully through the illustrations. I personally prefer to look at it without considering the metaphor of the books but simply understand the journey as a manifestation of life itself (perhaps it is as well the author’s intention). To rely on a faint source of light in an unknown journey, we stroll stably at ease, in the peace of the blue color.