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Preface

曹 俊

苏州美术馆馆长

苏州市美术馆协会会长


  自古以来,苏州以文化鼎盛、精致典雅而闻名天下,被誉为“人间天堂”。苏州与世界的交流源远流长,特别是明代郑和七下西洋, 就是从太仓刘家港起锚的,这是中国古代规模最大、船只最多、海员最多、时间最久的海上航行。此次,由苏州美术馆、苏州市美术馆协会主办的2016首届苏州文献展(Suzhou Documents)即是在“一带一路”宏伟蓝图下,以“海上丝绸之路”的历史作为出发点,以“多重时间——苏州与另一种世界史(Histories of a Global Hub)”为主题,特别邀请中国美术馆研究与策划部主任张晴和瑞士苏黎世约翰·雅各布斯博物馆馆长、第12届德国卡塞尔文献展策展人RogerM.Buergel担纲策展人,以文化为依托全面展示出苏州与海上丝绸之路间生动的场景。

  著名学者萨义德在《东方学》开篇即引用马克思在《路易·波拿巴的雾月十八日》中的名言 :“他们无法表述自己,他们必须被别人表述”。由此萨义德提出了一个重要的观点 :自后启蒙时期起,欧洲文化正是通过东方学以政治的、社会的、军事的、意识形态的、科学的及想象的方式来处理,甚至创造东方的。当我们尝试用更为完整的画面——历史、文化、社会、经济等,从人文社会科学的多角度,将苏州这一个案放置于大历史的叙事中研究,我们的视野将无可回避地引出一系列有意思的问题:如何重新发现苏州在世界历史文化长河中的“在场”?如何用新的方法、观念洞见,“再现”建构在我们自己理解和认识基础上的愈来愈面目清晰的历史文化?如何不依赖于西方的公共机构、认知、传统,真实地表述苏州之璀璨文化?

  “作品的存在就是建立一个世界......作品让大地成为大地”( 海德格尔,《艺术作品的本源》)。此次,来自中国、英国、德国、意大利、 西班牙、瑞典、荷兰、美国、智利、韩国等五大洲的40多位中外艺术家们带着各自的艺术主张和热情,以精心创作的作品共同演绎展 览主题。诗曰:“南有乔木,不可休思。汉有游女,不可求思。”艺术之追求永无止境,学术之执着永无止境,文脉之赓续永无止境。

  当我们再度回望“海上丝绸之路”这段引人入胜的历史,从中外文史典籍中披沙沥金,以宏观天下的全镜头,娓娓叙述苏州与世界的相遇、碰撞与互动,囿于史志档案卷帙浩繁,更兼之我们史识与能力有限,“究天人之际,通古今之变”的使命诚属艰难。我们更像是巧匠,超脱时空的桎梏,别具慧心绣出一件精美的苏绣。期待观者会心,去芜存菁,从一鳞半爪的真挚表达中,感到有余不尽。

  文化因当下而更具生命力。作为苏州这座2500余年灿烂历史文化名城的公共机构,中国最古老的美术馆——苏州美术馆义无反顾用付出、创造、勇敢和坚持,力图让世界认知到苏州历史文化之浩瀚, 让我们意识到我们之所以能成为今天的自己,应该去面对和思考下述问题:如何在波澜壮阔的全球化大潮中葆真自身文化?如何在苏州与世界的交流与碰撞中融合与发展?如何在和而不同的共存中实现协作与共赢?


Cao Jun

Chief Curator of Suzhou Art Museum

President of Suzhou Art Museum Association


  Ever since the ancient time, Suzhou enjoys worldwide popularity for its splendor culture and exquisite elegance and is honored as “Paradise on Earth”. The exchange between Suzhou and the world has a long standing and it is from Liu Jia-gang Port in Taicang of Suzhou thatthe famous seven marine voyages to the West by Zheng He in Ming Dynasty set sails. The voyages are the largest in scale, the most in boat number and sailors and the longest in duration in China’s marine navigation history. Thus, the ‘2016 Suzhou Documents Exhibition co-organized by Suzhou Art Museum and Suzhou Art Museum Association, which takes the historical Maritime Silk Road as thestarting point and Histories of A Global Hub as its theme, is held underthe magnificent blueprint of “the Belt and Road”. Zhang Qing, the director of the Research and Curatorial Dept. of China Art Museum and Roger M. Buergel, the curator of Switzerland Zurich Johann Jacobs Museum and the Kassel Documenta 12, are invited to curate the exhibitions. Relying on Culture, we fully present the vivid scenes between Suzhou and the Marine Silk Road.

  The famous scholar, E.W.Said, has quoted the saying, “Sie KÖnnen sich nicht vertreten, sie müssen vertreten werden” (The Eighteenth Brwnaire of Louis Bonaparte, by Karl Marx) (It means they can’t represent themselves, but can only be represented by others) in his bookOrientalism (Vintage,1979 . Based on that, said has put forward an important standpoint-since the Post-enlightenment period, it is throughorientalism that the European culture deals with or creates the Orient in a political, social, martial, ideological, scientific or imaginative way. When we try to place Suzhou in a grandiose historical narration for research, with a more complete historical, cultural, social and economic picture and a mufti-perspective of humanistic and social sciences, aseries of interesting questions have come to our visions inevitably. Howdo we rediscover the presence of Suzhou in the civilization river ofworld history? How do we represent the more and more vivid historicalculture constructed on our own comprehension and understanding in a new method, notion and perspective? How can we truly express the splendid culture of Suzhou without relying on western publicauthorities, cognition and tradition?

  Martin Heidegger has said in his Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes that“Das Werk Lasst die Erde eine Erde sein”. This time, 40 artists home and abroad from countries of five continents (including China, Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, America, Chile and South Korea) will gather here with their artistic ideas and passion to interpret the theme of this exhibition with their works. There is a saying in The Book of Songs, “The tallest Southern tree affords no shade for me, the maiden on the stream can but be found in dream”. The pursuit of art should be of no bounds, the persistence in academy should be endless and the continuity of context should be in continuous succession.

  When we look back into the fascinating history of the Marine Silk Road, we pick out the essence among the ancient literary and historical books and records both home and abroad, and try to narrate effusively the encounter, clash and interaction between Suzhou and the world from a macroscopic pan-perspective. However, due to the countless number of historical books and records and our limited historical knowledge and academic capability, we realize the mission to fully understand thevicissitudes of history through research is extremely difficult. We aremore like skilled artisans, who override the shackles of time and space and finish an exquisite Suzhou Embroidery with extraordinary wisdom. It is our hope that the audience can comprehend us and separate thewheat from the chaff to get more from the fragments of our sincere expression.

  The culture is endowed with more vitality by the present. As a publicinstitute in Suzhou, a famous historic and cultural city with a historyof 2,500 years, Suzhou Art Museum feels obliged to bring the greathistorical culture of Suzhou to the world with efforts, innovation,courage and perseverance, to make us realize how we turn into today’s appearance. It also makes us face and consider the following questions: How can we keep our culture in the tide of globalization? How can Suzhou seek integration and development in the clashes and exchange with the world? How can we realize cooperation and win-win situation in a harmonious but different co-existence?