⟨ Art ⟩

As Time Folds

Ivy Ma

Words / Vennes Cheng
Translation / Ian Tsang

藝術家馬琼珠最新的展覽名為「時間曾經打一個摺」,展出的跟她以往與文本、內容有密切關係作品不同,這次彷彿掏空所有思巧,以單純極簡約的形式及結構讓觀眾發揮及想像。

以為一切始於「時間」於是我問馬琼珠:「對你來說甚麼是時間?」她沒有正面回答,卻說了兩個一直藏在記憶中的意象。

[一]黑色

在村上春樹的《舞!舞!舞!》中,羊男走在一條無盡漆黑的走廊中。那種黑是靜止也是流動。假若能走到盡頭,那將會是一場跟自己的一場正面對峙。甫進展覽場地,會被一組七件的作品《面》吸引,黑色炭粉及塑膠彩在七塊大小相約的木板上看似一樣,但走進場內窗外的光線會為黑添上不同的層次,那黑既相似又不似。當黑到了極至的時候會是何等模樣?像羊男吧,在漆黑的盡頭會找到想要找的?還是盡頭跟起始是在同一位置?

[二」長途機

有一次乘長途機往美國,馬琼珠跟同行的朋友聊很久,在不知多少個小時之後,朋友突然說:「窗外面一道橫向的光,一直也沒有變過。」彷彿時間在流逝卻又凝在某點。總覺得長途機像時光機,從一個時區到另一個時區,時間會回到八小時前、十二小時前,或去到未來的六小時後、三小時後。《第十九次飛行》是十九個相同卻又不相同的飛機窗戶。時間走到盡頭會是何等模樣?一切都會變成開闊自由的狀況嗎?沒有過去與將來之分嗎?

時間及空間均具結構,在一層一層減去這些結構時,剩下來的會是甚麼呢?馬琼珠以極簡約的形式及物料,描繪了一種在繃緊之後的豁然開闊的狀態。在盡頭及極至之後,時間甚至任何事物也許會回到原始。策展人查映嵐在展覽文本中這樣寫著:「設若已過和將有的時間是一葉透明的紙,幾乎沒有厚度,日子邊行邊摺:曾經有過的事,曾經有過的我們自己,逐點摺進暗影裡去。在皺摺打開之時湧出的可能是回憶與夢魘,又或是,歷史的回聲。」

The latest exhibition of Ivy Ma, an artist, is titled As Time Folds, featuring exhibits differing from her previous creations, which had close associations with written work and content. For this exhibition, it looked as if she had hollowed out all her thoughts and skills, and opted for a pure and extremely simplistic form and structure to inspire viewers’ elaboration and imagination.

I always thought  that everything began with “time”, so I asked Ivy Ma, “What is time to you?” She did not give a direct answer, but talked about two images hidden in her memory.

[1] Black

In Murakami Haruki’s Dance Dance Dance, the Sheep Man walks on an endless corridor of darkness. The darkness is both static and fluid. If one can reach the very end, a face-off with one own self will await. On entering the exhibition venue, one will be attracted by a creation containing seven pieces titled Mian. Black carbon powder and acrylic paint appear identical on seven pieces of wooden board of similar size. However, inside the exhibition space, light from outside the windows adds different layers to the black color, and among them, they look similar yet different at the same time. What will black become at its extreme? Will, the Sheep Man, for instance, be able to find what he wants at the very end of darkness? Or he will end up in the same place as he was at the beginning?

[2] Long-haul flight

One time, aboard a long-haul flight to USA, Ivy Ma was having a long conversation with her friend and companion, and after some hours, her friend suddenly said: “The horizontal ray of light outside the window has not changed at all all this while.” It would seem time was flowing but was at the same time frozen at a point. I always think that long-haul flights resemble time machines, which travel from one time zone to another, and the time will return to eight or twelve hours before, or travel six or three hours ahead. The 19th Flying features 19 plane windows that look the same but are actually different. When time travels to the end, what will it be like? Will everything open up and be free, wIthout the distinction between past and future?

Both time and space have structure. When one after another layer of structure is removed, what will remain? Using extremely simplistic form and materials, Ivy Ma has depicted a state of sudden enlightenment following a period of tension. After reaching the end and the extreme, time, and even other things will return to their original state. Curator Evelyn Char wrote in the exhibition booklet: “Assuming all the time that has passed and will come is a piece of paper. Each day creates a fold as it goes by. Everything that ever happened, every bit of ourselves that ever was, are folded into the shadows. To unfold the folds is to be overwhelmed by torrents of memories, nightmares, and echoes of history…”