在春秋戰國時代,越國有一美人名西施,西施於河邊浣紗時,美麗容顏映照水中,河魚見了,被絕色迷住,忘了呼吸,直沉水底,是為「窒息沉魚」。

 

在漢朝,美人王昭君遠嫁,出塞時撫琴高歌,天上群雁見絕代美人,忘了拍翼,直跌凡間,是為「墮天落雁」。

 

因此「沉魚落雁」是為「美人」之喻;畫中「沉魚」已然口吐氣泡,正在窒息;「落雁」彩羽亂舞,正在墮天;繞了一大圈,就是奉承正在看此畫的「您」是美人,美得沉魚為您窒息、落雁為您墮天。

 

這是第一層意思。

 

那時我在日本 大阪 和田市wwoof(免費食宿、無人工、六日工作),那是一個回收工場,老闆在垃圾站撿回任天堂等舊式遊戲機,修整清理後,再經eBay等網站,售予國際買家。

我等義工的工作就是清潔遊戲機,工作輕鬆、簡單、無聊,老實說我在那裏的生活過得挺鬱悶。

 

所以畫中第二層意思有點發洩式的自我嘲諷:「老闆您老人家」那份驚心動魄的「美麗」,折騰得在下我反轉再反轉,正如沉魚那樣窒息、落雁那般墮天。

 

不過老闆簡單直接,無想那麼多,聽完第一層意思很受落,已自認為美人,又見壁畫用色鮮艷,構圖特別,很是歡喜,說以後宴請朋友,這Bar枱有畫欣賞,又計劃從畫的背後打燈,說是很有氣氛。

 

我聽後氣得吐血,老闆一直無告訴我燈光會打在畫的背後,我一直以為光源是旁邊的天然日光,或是頭頂的天花燈,創作時從未考慮過燈光會從畫的背後射出。

 

「沉魚」還比較好,我用了厚厚的塑膠彩,結實地塗滿每一寸空白,燈光從畫後透出時,只見剔透,不見虛白;但「落雁」就慘了,只薄塗了一層,燈光從後射出,強光穿透金黃,泛起蒼白,鳯鳳慘變白鳥。

 

我用的是塑膠彩與marker,此等顏料曝曬在射光下,會改變顏色嗎?會釋出有害物質嗎?我都不知道。

不過老闆雖如此計劃,最終有否實行,不得而知,此畫完工後,我就離開日本了,事隔數年,可能老闆早已搬家,或重新裝修,此畫可能早被深埋堆填區,或被丟入焚化爐了……

 

 

「沉魚」是我獨力完成的作品,花了數天完工,記得那時清潔遊戲機實在太悶了,就畫了草圖,向老闆自薦,要求不清理遊戲機,改畫壁畫,幸得老闆寬宏大量,放手讓我去畫,到現在我仍是非常感激老闆,不介意被我塗鴉了工作室,不介意我放下原有的工作,還繼續供吃供住,讓我有機會嘗試畫壁畫,真的太感謝了!

 

畫「沉魚」時,心境是前所未有的平靜,唯一的生存目的就是畫好「沉魚」,生活變得純粹,除了吃喝拉撒睡,就是畫畫,當生活只有一個目標時,生命反而輕盈了,更能明心見性,心靜如鏡,平靜安穩,那幾天「禪修」式的畫畫,更像一個純白的夢境,令我明白簡單就是美,但求事能知足心常泰、人到無求品自高:) 

 

冬天時畫完「沉魚」,就離開大阪,周遊日本。

夏天再回到大阪,感謝老闆再次收留,完成「落雁」後,就離開日本了。那年夏天在工作室巧遇另一香港女孩Xaviera,感謝她幫忙,一齊幫「落雁」上色:)

 

 

There was a beauty named Xi Shi in ancient China in the Spring and Autumn Period (722 BC - 481 BC). Her beautiful face is reflected on the water when she is washing cloth by the river. The fish in the river forget to breath and sink down the river because of her ultimate beauty and that’s the ‘Sinking Fish’.

 

There was another beauty, Wang Zhaojun in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). The birds up in the sky forget to flap their wings and fall on ground when they see Wang singing on the way to her wedding to a far country away from home. And that’s the ‘Fallen Bird’.

 

‘Sinking Fish Fallen Bird’ is a phrase in Chinese that means ‘Beauty’.

The ‘Sinking Fish’ in the painting is spiting bubbles and suffocating while the ‘Fallen Bird’ is falling from the sky. In a nutshell this painting is flattering the one who is looking at this painting that he or she is a beauty, so beautiful that the fish is sinking for you and the bird is falling for you.

 

This is the first layer of meaning in this painting.

 

I was wwoofing (free accommodation, no salary with 6 days’ work) in Hotan, Osaka, Japan. That is a recycle center. The Boss picks up old game boys from the rubbish station, fix them, clean them and sell them to international buyers through website like eBay.  

Volunteers like me have to clean the game boys. It is a relax, simple and boring job which just keep repeating and repeating everyday. To be honest I was quite depressed there.

 

That’s why the second layer of meaning in the painting has some sort of venting self-mocking; I was tossed around like a sinking fish and a fallen bird by the ultimate ‘beauty’ of your majesty the Boss.

 

But the Boss is simple and direct and doesn’t think too much. The Boss is very pleased by the first layer of meaning in the painting and happy to be positioned as a beauty. The Boss likes the bright colors and the special composition of the painting and glad that there would be a painting to enjoy in the bar table when there are guests. And the Boss plans to add spot lights behind the painting to create atmosphere.

 

I was so shocked by this plan. The Boss never told me about this plan. I always thought the light source would be the natural sun light beside the corridor or the lamp light on top and I have never consider that would be spot lights shining BEHIND the painting.

 

I have used thick layers of acrylic and fill up every space in 'Sinking Fish' so it would be crystal clear colorful instead of pale white if a spot light shine behind the painting.

But there is only a thin layer of color for ‘Fallen Bird’ and it would become a pale white bird instead of a golden phoenix if spot lights are shone behind the painting.

 

I have use acrylic and marker for this painting and have no ideas if the colors would be changed or release harmful matters if it keeps being shone by spot lights.

I leave Japan soon after I have finished the painting so I don’t know if the Boss has ever put spot lights behind the painting.

It has been a few years now, maybe the Boss has moved or re-decorate the house and this painting be sink down in the landfill or be thrown into the incinerator long ago…

 

 

I finished ‘Sinking Fish’ solely for a few days. I was so bored by cleaning game boys all day so I draw a draft, present to the Boss and ask for not cleaning game boys but to draw the painting. I am so thankful that the Boss is a generous person and trust me to do the work and doesn’t mind if I graffiti the studio or quit my original cleaning work and still provide accommodations and let me to do my first wall painting. It was really a generous, kind and trustful act. I am still very thankful today.

 

I have never experienced such calmness when I was drawing ‘Sinking Fish’. The only meaning of life is TO DRAW. When there is only one goal in life, the life becomes simple and light. The drawing life of that few days like a pure white dream and make me understand that simple is beauty:)

 

I leave Osaka and travel around Japan when I finished ‘Sinking Fish’ in winter.

I go back to Osaka in summer and thank the boss taken me again to finish ‘Fallen Bird’. I met Xaviera, another girl from Hong Kong in that summer in the studio and thanks for her help that we color the ‘Fallen Bird’ together:)

「沉魚」                「落雁」     

2012年2月               2012年8月

同於日本 大阪 和田市 

​製作中……

making of...

'Sinking Fish'              'Fallen Bird'         

 Feb 2012                  Aug 2012

Both in Hotan, Osaka, Japan