The Story of Arts – a search for Peace 藝術的故事 – 和平之追尋

By Sanza BULAYA, translation by Seven YCH

 

 

“The Story of Arts is the most famous and popular book on art ever published. For 50 years it has remained unrivalled as an introduction to the whole subject, from the earliest cave painting to the experimental art today.”

「藝術的故事是出版史上最知名也最受到歡迎的藝術類書籍。五十年來在總論項目的引介上持續傲視群雄,從石器時期的洞窟壁畫、一直到今日的實驗類藝術,不一而足。」

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The Story of Arts by E. H. Gombrich

藝術的故事 – 恩斯特.貢布里悉爵士

You can have a look on the contents, which is a broad overview of Art history in the well-known world: mainly Western and Eastwards arts.

Indeed, the Story of Arts timeline is quite rich and it is a great starting point to understand what have been the fascinating forces behind arts expressions…

Take a close look with me and you will see a pattern in that Gombrich timeline sequence and content.

看看本書的章節綱要,主要是世界馳名東西方藝術史的全面縱觀。

誠然,書裡豐富的時間軸線,是理解各式藝術流派動人魅力的最佳切入點。

如果我們仔細看,我們可以發現貢布里悉爵士所規劃的時間軸線次序與內容,呈現出一種特定的模式。

 

Introduction: On art and artists

導論: 論藝術和藝術家

 

  1. Strange Beginnings

Prehistoric and primitive people; Ancient America

一、奇特起源

史前時代與原始民族;古老美洲

 

  1. Art for Eternity

Egypt, Mesopotamia, Crete

二、永恆性藝術

埃及,美索不達米亞,克里特

 

  1. The Great Awakening

Greece, seventh to fifth century BC

三、偉大的覺醒

希臘,公元前七到五世紀

 

  1. The Realm of Beauty

Greece and the Greek world, fourth century BC to first century AD

四、美之王國

希臘和希臘化世界,公元前四世紀至公元初世紀

 

  1. World Conquerors

Romans, Buddhists, Jews and Christians, first to fourth century AD

五、世界的征服者們

羅馬人,佛教徒,猶太人與基督徒,公元一到四世紀

 

  1. A Parting of Ways

Rome and Byzantium, fifth to thirteen century

六、分叉路口

羅馬與拜占庭,五到十三世紀

 

  1. Looking Eastwards

Islam, China, second to thirteen century

七、望向東方

伊斯蘭,中國,二到十三世紀

 

  1. Western Art in the Melting Pot

Europe, sixth to eleventh century

八、西方藝術融合

歐洲,六到十一世紀

 

  1. The Church Militant

The twelfth century

九、教會之武力

十二世紀

 

  1. The Church Triumphant

The thirteenth century

十、教會之勝利

十三世紀

 

  1. Courtiers and Burghers

The fourteenth century

十一、朝臣與百姓

十四世紀

 

  1. The Conquest of Reality

The early fifteenth century

十二、真實之征服

十五世紀初葉

 

  1. Tradition and Innovation: I

The later fifteenth century in Italy

十三、傳統與創新(上)

十五世紀末葉的義大利

 

  1. Tradition and Innovation: II

The later fifteenth century in the North

十四、傳統與創新(下)

十五世紀末葉的北方歐洲

 

  1. Harmony Attained

Tuscany and Rome, early sixteenth century

十五、和諧的到來

托斯卡尼與羅馬,十六世紀初葉

 

  1. Light and Colour

Venice and northern Italy, early sixteenth century

十六、光與色

威尼斯與北方義大利,十六世紀初葉

 

  1. The New Learning Spreads

Germany and The Netherlands, early sixteenth century

十七、新學養之傳播

德國與荷蘭,十六世紀初葉

 

  1. A crisis of Art

Europe, later sixteenth century

十八、藝術危機

歐洲,十六世紀中葉

 

  1. Vision and Visions

Catholic Europe, first half of the seventh century

十九、視覺與視野

天主教歐洲,十七世紀上半

 

  1. The Mirror of Nature

Holland, seventeenth century

二十、自然之鏡

荷蘭,十七世紀

 

  1. Power and Glory: I

Italy, later seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

二十一、權利與榮耀(上)

義大利,十七世紀下半與十八世紀

 

  1. Power and Glory: II

France, Germany and Austria, the late seventeenth and

early eighteenth centuries

二十二、權利與榮耀(下)

法國,德國與奧地利,十七世紀末葉與十八世紀初

 

  1. The Age of Reason

England and France, eighteenth century

二十三、理性時代

英國與法國,十八世紀

 

  1. The Break in Tradition

England, America and France, late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries

二十四、傳統的突破

英國,美國與法國,十八世紀末葉與十九世紀初

 

  1. Permanent Revolution

The nineteenth century

二十五、永遠的革命

十九世紀

 

  1. In Search of New Standards

The late nineteenth century

二十六、新標準之找尋

十九世紀末

 

  1. Experimental Art

The first half of the twentieth century

二十七、實驗藝術

二十世紀上半

 

  1. A Story without End

The triumph of Modernism

Another turning of the tide

The changing past

二十八、未完的故事

當代主義的勝利

潮流的更迭

變動的過去

 

No worries if you miss the pattern, let me give you some clues…

如果您尚未看出那個模式,請讓我提供一些線索。。。

When I carefully red that book, I realized that the section 1. Strange Beginnings is related to primitive arts and introduced this idea that arts were a powerful visual media to connect spirituality and beliefs for primitive humans.

仔細閱讀,從第一章 奇特起源 裡頭對於史前藝術的描述,我們理解到,史前人類以藝術為視覺載體,將自己和靈性與信仰連結了起來。

Then, from the sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, all the themes converge to one main direction: Spirituality. How humans at different points in time in History and in different social and cultural contexts, used creativity to express a path to

express spirituality.

接著,從第二章到第十章,所有的主題都朝同一方向匯集而去,那就是「靈性」。無論哪個時代、哪個社會或文化背景的人們,都運用創造力去締造通往靈性之路。

Again, from the sections 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28, there has been the same pattern: Spirituality has been the driving force that has elevated artistic power of creation.

當然,從第十二章到最終第二十八章,這個模式依然存在,靈性依然是提升藝術和創造力的驅動原因。

Here, when we talk about Spirituality and I do not necessarily refer only to religious matters, but also to “sacred” perception of life, nature, beliefs and harmony. From my observations, it seems that it is a permanent theme of Art history. However, can we say

that Spirituality is a persistent trend in the story of Arts?

所謂的靈性,並不單單指涉宗教性事務,它同樣包括了生命、自然、信仰、與關於和諧的各種崇高性。這也許正是藝術史上的永恆主題。不過,這是否就代表靈性是藝術故事裡頭永遠之流呢?

First, if I simply take an empirical approach, I can just count the number of occurrence of Spirituality under different forms into artworks along the timeline of Art history in Western and Eastwards Arts. For example, in painting, we can turn the equation this way: what are the most represented scenes in painting history in the Western

and Eastwards Art history? War, but also religion, God(s), “sacred” expressions, coronations are very much represented. In other words, secular themes are less represented. If we speak about architecture, the statement is quite clear: throughout the story of Arts, the artistic development of architecture has been being magnified by Spirituality. Egyptian and Mayan pyramids, temples and cathedrals, religious and spirituals places had been a chosen expression to visually search for Spirituality. For literature, it is even more relevant because it is directly related to the printing history.

首先,如果單從經驗主義角度來看,可以計算一下東西方藝術史上以靈性為啓發的各樣主題創作。比如,在繪畫方面,我們可以倒過來想:在東西方藝術史

最具代表性的繪畫主題是什麼?戰爭、宗教、神祇、神聖性、加冕禮等,這些是最常得見的了。與此同時,生活俗事方面的主題則所佔例較低。

在建築領域方面的陳述亦相當清晰明確:全書所提到的建築發展史正等同對於靈性的讚美與誇頌歷史。埃及與馬雅人的金字塔、寺廟與教堂、宗教與靈修的場域等等,全被視為尋找靈性的具體表徵。與文學的關聯則更為緊密,因為直接與印刷史息息關。

 

“The history of printing goes back to the duplication of images by means of stamps in very early times. The use of round seals for rolling an impression into clay tablets goes back to early Mesopotamian civilisation before 3000 BCE, where they are the most common works of art to survive, and feature complex and beautiful images. In both China and Egypt, the use of small stamps for seals preceded the use of larger blocks. In China, India and Europe, the printing of cloth certainly preceded the printing of paper or papyrus. The process is essentially the same – in Europe special presentation impressions of prints were often printed on silk until the seventeenth century. The development of printing has made it possible for books, newspapers, magazines, and other reading materials to be produced in great numbers, and it plays an important role in promoting literacy among

the masses.”

「印刷史的濫觴,是最早期以圖印的方式來複製圖像。早在公元前三千年的美索不達米亞平原,人們就在泥版上使用圓型印來複製圖像,常見的內容有求生方式、五官特徵、美麗的圖樣等等。在中國與埃及,小型圖印的使用發展成為大型建材裝飾。在紙類或莎草上的印製流程,也繼衣料染印之後,於中國、印度和埃及發展出來。過程都極為雷同,歐洲直到十七世紀前,特殊或重要目的的印刷品都以絲綢為體。印刷術的發展,讓書籍、報紙、雜誌、與其他的閱讀材料可被大量生產,扮演知識普及的關鍵作用。」

The bestseller book that has been printed the most is the Bible. As you can see, Spirituality underpins religion and faith that have been a vibrant stimulus to human creativity and vision in literature and printing universe. As spiritual media, Arts has been very responsive

to that search for Spirituality in many different fields.

史上銷量最高的印刷品是聖經。可見得,靈性鞏固了宗教與信仰,而這兩者又為文學和印刷世界裡的人性創造和視野,提

源源不絕的啓發。藝術成為不同靈性追求的有效媒介。

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Secondly, from a non-empirical point of view, I am trying here to question the fundamentals behind this human need for Spirituality. Our daily lives keep us busy and preoccupied by practical things. Sometimes we find some ways to escape from those aspects of life to look for something more fundamental. Some of us pray, some of us cogitate, some of us do meditation, some of us travel, some of us do yoga, some of us follow some guru or some heroes, some of us worship money, some of us find alternative ways to elevate their spirit on their own terms… All of these ways are not equally valuable when it comes to justify certain practices and their social impact(s) at individual level and at society level. However, it is clear to me that they highlight the human aspiration to look for Peace by any means necessary.

繼續從非經驗法則來看看,隱藏在人們對於靈性需求的背後關鍵原因是什麼呢?日常的勞碌煩瑣事物讓我們無暇顧及旁騖。有時我們找到某些逃離生活雜務的關鍵方法,比如祈禱,比如沈思,比如冥想,比如旅行,比如練習瑜伽,比如師從一些殊聖或英雄的教誨,比如奉錢為上,抑或找到自己心靈昇華的獨門管道。。。當然對於個人或社會而言,這些方法因其實踐或影響的層面,而有褒貶不一的評價。不過,這都突顯了人們試倚賴任何可能的方式追索心境平和的需求。

 

This is exactly what I have found in the book “The Art of Peace” by Morihei Ueshiba.

這與我在植芝盛平先生所寫的《和氣之道》所發現的一致。

“MORIHEI UESHIBA (1883-1969) was history’s greatest martial artist. Even as an old man of eighty, Morihei could disarm any foe, down any number of attackers, and pin and opponent with a single finger. Although invincible as a warrior, Morihei was above all a man of peace who detested fighting, war, and any kind of violence. His way was Aikido, which can be translated as “The Art of Peace.”

The Art of Peace is an ideal, but it developed in real life on many fronts. Morihei in his youth served as infantryman in the Russo-Japanese War, later battled pirates and bandits during an adventure in Mongolia, and then, after mastering a number of martial arts, served as instructor at Japan’s elite military academies. Throughout his life, however, Morihei was sorely troubled by the contention and strife plagued his world: his father’s battles with corrupt politicians and their goons, the devastation of war, and the brutality of his country’s military leaders.

Morihei was on a spiritual quest and was transformed by three visions. The first occurred in 1925, when Morihei was forty-two years old. After defeating a high-ranking swordsman by avoiding all his cuts and thrusts (Morihei was unarmed), Morihei went into his garden. “Suddenly the earth trembled. Golden vapor welled up from the ground and engulfed me. I felt transformed into a golden image, and my body as light as a feather. All at once I understood the nature of creation: the Way of a Warrior is to manifest Divine Love, a spirit that embraces and nurtures all things. Tears of gratitude and joy streamed down my cheeks. I saw the entire earth as my home, and the sun, moon, and stars as my intimate friends. All attachment to material things vanished.”

The second vision took place in December of 1940. “Around two o’clock in the morning as I was performing ritual purification, I suddenly forgot every martial art technique I had ever learned. All of the techniques handed down from my teachers appeared completely anew. Now they were vehicles for the cultivation of life, knowledge, virtue, and good sense,not devices to throw and pin people.”

The third vision was in 1942, during the worst of the fighting of World War II and in one of the darkest periods of human history. Morihei had a vision of the Great Spirit of Peace, a path that could lead to the elimination of all strife and the reconciliation of humankind. “The Way of the Warrior has been misunderstood as a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek competition are making a grave mistake. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst sin a human being can commit. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent slaughter – it is the Art of Peace, the power of love.” Morihei secluded himself in the country and devoted every minute of his life to refining and spreading Aikido, the Art of Peace.”

Source: The Art of Peace – “Morpheus Ueshiba” translated by John Stevens Shambhala, Pocket Classics

 

「植芝盛平先生(1883-1969) 是史上最偉大的武道家。即便當他已屆八十高齡,他仍然可以徒手奪械,以寡擊眾,單指退敵。身為一位幾近無敵的武士,植芝先生卻是極鍾和平之士,對於爭鬥、戰事、或任何形式的暴力都相當厭惡。他創立了合氣道,或稱為和氣之術、和氣之道。看似理想,卻不乏日常生活裡的可行實踐。植芝先生年輕時曾在日俄戰爭擔任步兵,其後在蒙古征剿海盜和土匪,並在接觸與學習各式武藝之後,在日本武道場擔任指導師傅。終其一生,植芝先生一直為著煩擾他的某些爭議而慮:他的父親與貪污官黨的鬥爭、戰事的痛苦、以及國家軍事領導的野蠻作風。

植芝先生於是不斷地尋求精神性的解脫,其中有三次重要的頓悟全然改變了他的生命。第一次是1925年發生的事,時年42歲。就在某回徒手打敗一位劍術高手、且全身而退之後,他漫步走進了花園。『大地突然震動了。一股金色的氤氳從地下冒出並裹覆著我。我彷彿轉化為一尊金像,身體猶如鴻毛一般輕盈。剎那間我明白了造物的真諦:武士道的存在是為了驗證神聖之愛,充溢擁抱與滋養萬物的精神。我不禁流下了感恩和喜悅的淚水。我與地球合而為一,日月星辰都是我的親密伴侶。物質的牽繫從此與我無關。』

第二次頓悟發生在1940年的十二月。『當我在凌晨二時進行慣常的淨化儀式時,我突然將曾經學習過的所有武術全部遺忘。所有師傅們傳承予我的技術教誨完全歸零更新。它們而今成為了耕耘生活、知識、美德、良知的輔助工具,而非擊或傷害別人的能力。』

第三次頓悟發生在1942年,也正是人類史上最黑暗最糟糕的二戰期間。植芝先生感受到一種崇高的和平之道,一條結束所有爭戰、迎向和解的道路。『武士道一直被誤解為殺戮與毀滅之道。想以此來與人較勁爭勝真是大錯特錯了。人類最大的罪愆就是破壞、傷害、與毀滅。真正的武士道的精神在於避免殺戮,武士道其實就是和平之道、是真愛之力。』植芝先生自此引退鄉間,並竭盡餘生之力於合氣道 – 和氣之的深化定義與推廣。」

Spirituality is for many a search for peace. When we review the Story of Arts timeline, we also review the history of wars, conflicts that crossed with the development of Arts. Searching for Peace via spirituality is a noble quest, a way that leads some of us to escape from our “warrior” status in our daily lives. Like Morihei, we can pick our life vision to defend and promote our ideal PEACE.

靈性指的就是和平之道的追求。藝術故事裡的時間軸線與戰爭歷史一致,藝術的發展與矛盾衝突的脈絡不斷交叉。尋找和平的過程是一種高貴的追索,有助我們遠離日常煩囂所帶來的「好強鬥狠」心態。如同植芝先生一樣,我們可以依循生命裡的頓悟,去捍衛和推廣我們的平和理念。

Search for Peace, by any means necessary.

讓我們用盡所有的必要方式,開始尋找內心的和氣之道罷。

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