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2017/10/13

印度藝術家尋找與|臺灣藝術家及作家的團結力


新聞中心/宜蘭縣訊
一位印度藝術家即將來臺鼓勵臺灣藝術家及作家發揮創意來抵抗全球化的文化摧毀元素。Gautam Benegal (藝術家及小說家,同時也是聞名全印度的電影動畫家及童書插畫家)即將於今年11月初來臺對臺灣最具影響力的藝術家及學者發表演說。
由於都市更新及全球化的經濟力量,Benegal先生認為獨立藝術家的作品是少數僅存社會對抗抹滅歷史及當地文化的工具。

這位印度藝術家希望分享他的經驗,並從臺灣藝術家及學者於藝術的觀點對社會及政治的評論及抵抗學習他們的經驗及見解。

Benegal先生應邀於1110日由國立宜蘭大學主辦的「南向遠見」座談會擔任主題講者。

這位現居於孟買的藝術家一直以來將他的藝術家及小說家雙重身份的天賦挑戰在都市發展的駭人毀滅力量上。他的抵抗起源於數年前當他回到他兒時住處-加爾各答。在這趟旅程中,他因發現城市建築寶藏之一的「新城戲院」被拆毀並重建成現代感的百貨公司而感到驚恐。

Benegal先生看到經濟發展效應持續在他所居住的城市孟買發酵而感到悲痛。在Benegal先生為DNA新聞報所寫的部落格中引用城市道路拓寬而移除路樹為例。這項都市發展計劃也驅趕了原在樹下擺設的傳統攤販。

這些二手書商、茶攤、小吃店、菜販就是Benegal先生所稱能代表當地文化及歷史「有機成長」的一部份。

Benegal先生為期一週的訪臺時間,將在國立宜蘭大學圖書館舉辦他的「伊朗咖啡館」系列個展。這些畫作是Benegal先生試著留存曾經由帞西族人所開設但也「正消失中」的咖啡店記憶。

孟買的帞西社區是由印度人所組成,這些印度人的祆教徒祖先在將近一千年前受到宗教迫害及伊斯蘭教佔領波斯(即今伊朗)所逃出來。Benegal先生說在過去幾十年中,這座城市由帞西族經營的伊朗咖啡店皆被鏟平並改建為現代商業建築、銀行及百貨公司。

Benegal先生將這些咖啡店評為所有階級、種姓、行業都能負擔且可以交談的「安全地帶」。Benegal先生說任何在這些咖啡店尋求短暫解脫的人都可以不理會那些提倡不同階級需分開的人,並與其他客人交談。

Benegal在他DNA部落格的其中一則貼文提到「因為我們掩飾了缺點,並沒有留下任何會使我們難為情未完善處理或不潔之處,所以我們也過濾了多元文化的色彩及否認了我們的過去。」

藝術能「記得」過去多元的文化,這是Benegal 先生即將於1110日在國立宜蘭大學人文管理大樓所舉辦與四位卓越臺灣藝術家圓桌討論及主題演講的主軸。

將與Benegal先生對談的臺灣藝術家有陳文祥先生及姚瑞中先生,兩位皆透過藝術傳達社會與政治的行動主義。

目前任教於國立臺北教育大學的陳文祥先生利用回收材料評論身份及消費的問題。他的塑膠袋代表作展現並挑戰藝術與消費商品界線的企圖。

於國立臺灣師範大學開設攝影與藝術課程的姚瑞中先生一樣透過藝術傳達社會及政治議題。姚先生在2010年的海市蜃樓計劃中引起某種程度的爭議,他讓攝影課學生記錄政府公共經費濫用在「蚊子館」的興建,或記錄一些完成興建後卻被遺棄的建築物。這項計劃揭開了400項遭遺棄的建築案例。

2013年的一個訪談中,姚先生說身為一位教師,他認為海市蜃樓計劃是一個幫助學生「發展他們社會意識」的重要機會。

加入圓桌討論的還有宜蘭當地油畫藝術家游依珊小姐及宜蘭水彩藝術協會理事長林興先生。儘管兩位都是成功的獨立藝術家,卻也都努力的鼓勵年輕人認真看待藝術。

這五位藝術家也將討論社群媒體的崛起如何影響臺灣及印度大眾對藝術的觀感、接受及消費。

圓桌討論及Benegal先生的主題演講將是為期一天著重在平面藝術及文學的「南向遠見」座談會的活動之一。Benegal先生也將播放他2008年電影 - The Prince and the Crown of Stone,該片當年獲得印度電影學院的最佳動畫獎。此獎項等同於臺灣的金馬獎或好萊塢的奧斯卡獎。

此外,座談會的與會學者也將討論美國的「驚奇女士」漫畫系列及中國與印度文化對泰語的影響,也將播放由印度-台北協會所製作的記錄片 -  A Day in the Life of India。目前在臺灣就讀醫學博士的印度表演者Rajat Subhra Karmakar也將在午餐時間演出音樂。

關於國立宜蘭大學所主辦的「南向遠見」座談會詳情,請聯絡外國語文學系系辦 (03-93574007882) email english@niu.edu.tw



An Indian artist is coming to Taiwan to call upon artists and writers in Taiwan to use their creative talents to resist the culturally destructive elements of globalization.

Gautam Benegal, an artist and novelist who achieved fame throughout India as a film animator and children’s book illustrator, will make his argument directly to some of Taiwan’s most influential artists and scholars during a visit to the island in early November.

Benegal sees the work of independent artists as one few remaining means of social resistance to the erasure of history and local cultures taking place because of the economic forces of urban renewal and globalization.

The Indian artist hopes to share his experiences and learn from Taiwanese artists and scholars as they share their stories and insights into the role of art as a form of social and political commentary and resistance.

Benegal has been invited to Taiwan as the keynote speaker of the upcoming “Southbound Visions” symposium hosted by Taiwan’s National Ilan University on November 10.

The artist, who now resides in Mumbai, has committed his talents as both an artist and novelist to challenging what he sees as the juggernaut of urban development. His struggle began in earnest a few years ago during a visit to his childhood home in Kolkatta. On that trip he was “aghast” to discover that one of the city’s older architectural treasures, the New City Cinema, had been torn down and replaced by a modern-day department store.

Benegal’s distress continues as he sees the effects of economic development in his adopted city of Mumbai. In his regular blog for the DNA newspaper, Benegal cited as an example the city’s removal of the old trees along one of the streets designated for widening. The urban development project also dispersed the “traditional” vendors who had set up shops beneath the trees.

These secondhand booksellers, tea shops, food stalls, and vegetable stands were part of what Benegal called an “organic growth” that represented both the culture and history of the local neighborhood.

During his weeklong visit to Taiwan, Benegal will also exhibit at National Ilan University’s library a selection of his “Irani Café” series. The paintings are Benegal’s attempt to keep alive the memory of Mumbai’s “disappearing” coffee shops that were once run by members of the city’s Parsi community.

The Parsi community in Mumbai is made up of Indians whose Zoroastrian ancestors had fled from religious persecution following the Islamic conquest of Persia, now Iran, almost 1,000 years ago. Over the past decade many of the city’s Parsi-operated Irani cafés have been bulldozed to make way for modern structures housing corporate businesses, banks, and department stores, Benegal said.

Benegal identifies these cafés as “safe zones” where members of all classes, castes, and trades could find an affordable meal and converse with each other. Anyone who took momentary shelter in these coffee shops from the searing heat could engage in dialogue with other customers without encouraging the anger of those who might advocate strict separations between members of different backgrounds, Benegal said.

“As we paper over the cracks and leave no rough edges or untidiness that may embarrass us, we also leach out the colors of diversity, and disavow our past,” Benegal said in one of his DNA blog posts.

It is the ability of art to “remember” the diversity of the past that Benegal will address in both his scheduled roundtable discussion with four prominent Taiwanese artists and his keynote address at the National Ilan University symposium to be held at the school’s Humanities building on November 10.

Among the Taiwanese artists who will be in dialogue with Benegal are Chen Wen-hsiang (陳文祥) and Yao Jui-chung (姚瑞中), both known for using art as a platform for social and political activism.

     Chen, who currently teaches at the National Taipei University of Education, has used recycled materials to comment on questions of identity and consumption. His trademark work with plastic bags has earned him a reputation for his willingness to challenge the boundaries between art and consumer goods.

     Yao, who teaches photography and arts at National Taiwan Normal University, similarly uses art as an avenue by which to address social and political concerns. Yao achieved some degree of controversy with his “Mirage” project in 2010, for which he guided his photography students to document government misuse of public funds in the construction of “mosquito halls,” or buildings that were abandoned soon after being built. The project uncovered some 400 such abandoned structures.

     As a teacher, Yao found the Mirage project was an important opportunity for him to help his students “develop their social consciousnesses,” he said in a 2013 interview.

Joining in the discussion will be local Yilan artists Yu, Ishan (游依珊), who works primarily in oils, and Lin, Hsing 林興, head of the Yilan Watercolor Association. Both artists, despite having achieved success as independent artists, are committed to encouraging young people to take art seriously.

The five artists will also discuss how the rise of the social media has affected the public perception, reception, and consumption of art in Taiwan and India.

The roundtable discussion and Benegal’s keynote address will be part of the daylong “Southbound Visions” symposium focused on the graphic arts and literature. Benegal will host a showing of his 2008 film “The Prince and the Crown of Stone,” for which he won the Indian Film Academy’s top prize for Best Animation that year. The prize is equivalent to Taiwan’s Golden Horse Film award or Hollywood’s Oscars.

Also addressing the symposium will be scholars examining the American “Ms. Marvel” comic book series and the influence of Chinese and Indian cultures upon the Thai language, as well as a showing of a documentary film “A Day in the Life of India” produced by the India-Taipei Association. Indian performer Rajat Subhra Karmakar, who is doing his doctorate in medical sciences in Taiwan, will offer a free musical performance during the noontime hour.

For more information on the “Southbound Visions” symposium to be held at National Ilan University, contact the Department of Foreign Languages & Literature at 03-9357400 ext. 7882 or email at english@niu.edu.tw.

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