⟨ Book ⟩

Tang Ho Lun ‘36’

The similarity by nature that bridges everything together.

Words / Jas Tse
Photography / Kimio Ng
Translation / Iris Heung

他站在另一端,觀察意識裡的若明若暗。有些火光一小顆的在某處燃燒,直到迸發的時候,才更確實它在哪裡。

He was standing at the other end, observing the subtle changes in consciousness. There were some lights sparkling somewhere at a hidden place, which could not be seen until they began to burn.

他被這片金黃樹海嫵媚吸引,只是遠遠站著,很長一段時間都沒曾走近。

He was enchanted by this fascinating stretch of golden color shining among the woods, but he simply stood afar, without drawing nearer after a long time.

「不知道你以前上學的時候是在怎樣的課室裡?坐的位置是怎樣?」

時間帶回那個少年,「讀書的時候,我常坐在門口旁,或窗的旁邊。門口外面是球場,球場外圍就是校園以外的地方。你會幻想到的是,一到下雨天整個球場就會濕透,和那些圍著的樹啊,感覺是我可以看著那個畫面一整天。當時有點覺得『 為什麼我會坐在這裡?』外面天氣很好的時候,就算課室裡在做什麼,你也不會聽進耳內。」

「我為什麼會在這裡?」「我應該是在外面的。」

“Where did you sit in the classroom when you were a student? How was the classroom like?”

Retrieving his teenage memory, he said, “As a student, I usually sat next to the door or by the window. Outside of the door was a basketball court, which marked the boundary between campus and the outside world. Sometimes the court being soaked with rain. Together with the trees outside, it could be such a beautiful view that I could look at for the whole day. I would ask myself, ‘What am I doing here?” When the weather was so pleasant, it was impossible to listen to what the teacher said even if you were physically inside of the classroom.

“Why am I here?” “I should be outside.”

樹的景象在時間迴門裡千旋百轉,有些姿態曾無數次勾引著他的好奇。「每次遠看都會覺得有種很與別不同、心好安靜的感覺。這是我工作的地方旁邊一個郊外。」

終於有一次他走近去,遠看像海一般的林貌,來到跟前意外是這閃閃發亮的姿態,像深海裡的水藻,極之柔軟,受光的時候又特別美。「這些樹怎麼會發光的?」奇妙的畫面,來自光的落點,永遠的不同,永遠那麼自在。也使他毫無道理地按下快門拍掉了幾卷底片。無意識一般,卻得到這一卷每一張都準確無誤,也讓他立刻生起要把它們做成書的狀態。

The images of trees keep lingering, they never cease to provoke his curiosity. “Whenever I look at them from afar, I have this extraordinarily calm feeling. This is a rural space next to where I work.”

There was one time when he finally walked closer to the woods. Then he discovered this seemingly calm piece of greenery would be glittering once you stepped inside. The leaves were glowing gently like seaweed in deep water, reflecting graceful light. “Why are the trees glowing?” It is a magical moment that changes as soon as the light moves. The image is constantly evolving and never confined. Such a moment prompted him to keep pressing the shutter button and ended up consuming a couple of film rolls. The action seemed unconscious, but every single picture was done in such precision that gave him the urge to binding them into a book.

「36」是傳統攝影底片格數,《36》這本書就是跟著他的目光,一卷從頭到尾,順著底片本身的序,由0格開始,沒有重編。「以前我會在每卷選一些好的出來,但這次我不要在裡面拿最好的。」影像有些看起來差不多的,卻也是自然牽引,像是一種不確定推翻另一種不確定,然後層遞成這個面貌。

雖然在自然面前,語言好像沒什麼意義,但有時候我會臆想他沒說出口的東西。書中間插了幾段自言自語,來自當下的狀態,不是後來也不是之前。「如果現在要我寫,我也寫不回去了。」

The book title 36 represents the number of frames in a typical film roll. The book follows the steps of Tang from the first frame until the very last one without editing. “I used to select the better frames from a roll, but I have decided to do it differently this time.” Some of the images look quite alike, but the resemblance is simply led by nature. This is a flow of images created as a result of uncertainties overwriting one another.

Language seems to have lost its importance in the face of nature, but sometimes I cannot stop wondering how would he express his thoughts through language. In the book, there are random mumblings scattering on some of the pages. Those are the thoughts that happened right at the moment but totally disconnected from the past and the future. “It’s impossible for me to write something like that now, even if you make me to.”

風琴展開,棉絮意識如一條迴廊,前方是意識裡的無狀態。會被吸引就總會被吸引,那些東西跟自己的特質之間有種必然的不可抗力吧,就好像回頭一萬遍還是會認識某個人。而一旦對上了,意識終於明亮起來。

「有時我會想,因為好像當你離開了自己身處的位置,而你身處的位置未必是屬於你的位置,你才會多多少少能拋開一些東西,沒有雜念地,可以在精神上很專注而很平靜的狀態。」

Pull open the bellow of an accordion, cotton fallen from the tree formed a path of consciousness that leads one into limbo. Some people are destined to be attracted by something, it is the similarity by nature that bridges everything together. There are some people in your life that you would never forget. Once you are connected to the one or the thing in your destiny, lights will be shed on your consciousness.

“Sometimes I would think the reason you are able to depart from a certain position is that it is at first place where you belong to. You have elsewhere to be, so you can be free from distraction and dedicate your mind to a state of tranquility.”

「比較牽引我的,常常是大自然裡給我的。深刻的畫面都是時間性很強,是光線給予的時間性,是跟自然有感應的東西。」

他跳進去,世界也向他撲過來。

蔣勳說:「生命的現場是最美的東西。」於是我往往特別觸動於,只存在那微小之間、那些無以名狀的隱密情感、終於碰到交點然後被拾起,的時候。

這次新書首發,《36》書的展覽將在A Beautiful Store舉行,展覽也是書的一部分。「我只想營造一個適合看這本書的氣氛,一個適當的moment就可以了。我比較期望看到,那是我世界的一個房間。」而它將要在你面前展開。

“I tend to be led by things from nature. The images that strike me are always temporary moments, like the temporary state of light, which is also related to nature.”

He simply delves into the world and let himself be absorbed.

The famous writer Jiang Xun once said, “Life is the most beautiful thing that ever exists.” I am often moved by some unexplainable and hidden emotion that can be easily missed out, I adore the moment when it is finally recognized.

Tang’s new book 36 will be launched in A Beautiful Store. This exhibition is, in fact, part of the whole reading experience. “I want to construct a vibe that matches the perfect environment for reading my book. All I need is a parallel moment. I wish to see it becoming a room of my world.” This room is now here for you to explore.

「36」EXHIBITION & BOOK LAUNCH by Tang Ho Lun

2019.5.18 (Sat) – 6.2 (Sun)
Mon & Tue : closed
Wed – Fri : 2-8pm
Sat & Sun : 12-7pm
A Beautiful Store
3/F, 194 Prince Edward Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong
※ Photographer at the store : 2019.5.24 (6-8pm) & 5.26 (3-5pm)