獻給常玉

亨利.皮爾.侯謝

Henri-Pierre Roché

1929

我看著他美麗的畫作...
他是個有才華的人,他在起步了!

I look at his beautiful paintings...
he's quite a guy, and he's on his way.

馬克思.賈克伯

Max Jacob

1929

常玉是一股不可抗拒的力量——
精準、純粹,充滿令人驚艷的技巧與才華!

Sanyu is a formidable force who works with precision and purity.
And what intelligence! What technique!

邵洵美

1929

每一個裸女的全身的能說話的線條,都在喊著性的苦悶。......看他的結構!他的線條!......簡單裡的複雜!複雜裡的簡單!

All the lines of his nudes can speak, and they cry out the anguish of sex!...Look at the composition! The lines!...Simplicity affirmed by complexity! Complexity embraced by simplicity!

約翰.法蘭寇

Johan Franco

1932

大多數的觀賞者第一次欣賞他的作品時會覺得毫無藝術感,只有在重覆觀察以後,才能體會蘊含在意境中的真誠與嚴謹,他知道如何以讓人意想不到的手法描繪物體的精髓和趣味。

約翰.法蘭寇於1932年9月15日
為常玉撰寫在荷蘭展覽的目錄引言

——

At first, his work gives most viewers a feeling of artlessness and only after long and repeated viewing makes a sincere and serious impression. He knows how to depict the essence and often the humour of things with astonishingly little means.

Preface written by Johan Franco for Sanyu's Holland exhibition brochure,
September 15, 1932
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莉歌.派倫

Nicole Parent

1985

1995年7月8日於巴黎

我是克勞德.派倫的姐姐,在家裡收到了這封信。我很記得常玉。他是個迷人的人,很有趣也很「內斂」。他在我的會所裡開設了乒乓網球的課程,我不記得是哪一年了,1962、63?

我只能跟你說我跟他的關係很好。他對繪畫也很有熱情。

我跟他的交誼並不長,因為乒乓網球的接受度並不像我們預期的那麼高,他就沒繼續開課了。從此我再沒見過他。

抱歉無法在這話題上多談了。

莉歌.派倫

——

Paris le 8 juillet 95

Je suis la soeur de Claude Parent, qui a reçu cette lettre à ma place, sans doute. Je me souviens très bien de SANYU. C’était un homme charmant, très intéressant et très „intérieur“. Il avait créé, dans mon club, des cours de Ping-Tennis, je ne sais plus en quelle année… 1962, 63?

Nous avions de très bon rapports. C’est tout ce que je peux vous dire. Il était aussi passionné de peinture.

Je ne l’ai pas fréquenté très longtemps car le Ping-Tennis n’ayant pas „pris“ comme nous l’aurions souhaité, il n’a pas continué à donner ses cours. Depuis, je ne l’ai plus revu.

Désolée de ne pouvoir pas en dire davantage à son sujet.

Nicole Parent
常玉書信
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彭美拉.芙羅

Pamela Forrest

1996

憶常玉

1959年的一月將永遠是我記憶中的特別時刻。為了嫁給我的法籍老公丹尼爾,我從英國來到巴黎。能夠和他各式各樣的迷人朋友見面讓我很興奮。

我最記得的是一個不多話的中年中國畫家「常玉」。當我跟他熟一點之後,發現他很有幽默感,很會做菜,我的第一道中式料理——糖醋——就是他教我做的;而且他跟我一樣,會跟工作室裡的盆栽說話,放音樂給它們聽。

如果常玉喜歡你,他會給你名片。然後當你發現所謂的名片其實是他在用過的地鐵票或公車票上優美地寫下名字與電話號碼時,他會看著你驚訝的表情得意竊笑。

常玉、丹尼爾、伊其理(法國雕塑家)、唐芬克(美國抽象畫家)、我、有時還有一些其他朋友,每年六月都會買一大堆鮮紅欲滴的櫻桃,然後到羅蘭加洛斯球場,在陽光下坐上好幾個小時,邊吃櫻桃邊看網球賽。多麼快樂美好的日子。

常玉很窮,但非常有創造力。他會請我們到他家,一起享用名叫「龍鬍子」的菜(水煮麵條加上很多辣醬)。因為缺乏食材,他就幫菜取上富有異國情調的名字,讓晚餐變得更有趣。常玉雖窮,但對藝術卻非常的熱愛與尊敬。有次我陪他和一位知名法國畫廊老闆見面,常玉不但拒絕賣畫給他,甚至不讓畫廊老闆踏入他的工作室看畫。他的理由很簡單:「我不喜歡他的長相」,還有「我才不要讓我的畫跟他住在一起」。

對於常玉的死,我有我的想法,也許有一天我會告訴你。但現在我只想說,當時我不在巴黎,他幫我照顧我的盆栽。我回來後,發現我和他的盆栽,都跟著他一起離開人世了。他走得並不孤單。

常玉,謝謝你的友誼。再見。

彭美拉.芙羅
1996年於法國巴黎

——

Memories of Sanyu

January 1959 will always remain a very special time in my pocket of memories. I had left England for Paris France to marry my wonderful French husband, Daniel. Meeting his varied and fascinating friends was very exciting!

I remember one stood out in particular. A quiet, middle-aged Chinese painter, “Sanyu”. When I got to know him better I discovered that he had a great sense of humor, was a fabulous cook, (he taught me how to prepare my first Chinese dish —— sweet and sour) and, like me, talked and played music to the green plants he loved to grow in his artist-studio-home, near Montparnasse.

Sanyu would distribute his visiting card to you, if he liked you, and then chuckle with delight when he saw your surprise at realising they were old, used metro/bus tickets that he had beautifully hand printed his name and phone number upon.

Sanyu, Daniel, Hiquily (a French sulpter), Don Fink (an American abstract painter), myself and sometimes other friends every June would buy kilos of bright red, juicy cherries and off we would go to “Roland-Garross” to spend many long hours sitting in the sun, munching on cherries and watching the tennis championships. Happy, joyful days!

Sanyu was very poor, but extremely inventive. He would invite us over to share a meal named “The Dragon’s Moustache” (boiled noodles with lots of hot chili sauce). For lack of other ingredients, he thought up exotic names to make his dinners more exciting ——57 and so they were! Although poor, his love and respect for his art were such that I was present at a meeting between Sanyu and a well-known French art gallery owner. When Sanyu refused not only to not sell paintings to this man, but not even let him enter his studio to look at his work. His explanation was simply “I don’t like his face” and “I don’t want my paintings to live with him”.

I have my own private ideas of Sanyu’s death, and maybe I’ll tell you one day. . . But for now, I just want to say that I was out of Paris when he died, and he was taking care of my plants. When I returned, I discovered that all of my plants, and his, had died with him. So he was not really alone.

Thank you, Sanyu, for your friendship. Bye Bye.

Pamela Forrest
Paris France 1996
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羅勃.法蘭克

Robert Frank

1997

好嗎 常玉老友

許久未見,你可回來了
帶著你的精神夢想及畫作
那些小腳的粉紅裸女
荒漠中的孤單野獸
優美而冷傲的花卉

今天你會訝異嗎?
當年我自紐約抵達你巴黎的寓所
按鈴時,你開門的第一句話總是:
你來這裡做什麼?

羅勃.法蘭克-馬布,新斯科細亞
1997年6月19日

——

Hello Sanyu
Old friend,

You have been gone a long way
and now you are back — your spirit
your dreams and your paintings.
The pink nudes with their small feet
the lonely animals in grandiose empty landscapes
The flowers so elegant and cold

Today, would you be surprised?
Years ago, when I arrived from New York
Rang the bell at your studio in Paris
You open the door — you look at me
and everytime you say:
"Qu'est-ce que tu fais ici ?"

Robert Frank — Mabou, N.S. June 1997
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尚.克勞德.祖彥

Jean Claude Drouin

1999

常玉

1957年,亨利.皮爾.侯謝介紹常玉給我的父親萊尼.祖彥,我也因此認識了常玉,當時他正在找乒乓網球的球伴。

這個介於乒乓球與網球之間的新奇運動兼具了兩者的優點:需時短且富運動性。常玉當時的生活完全被推廣這種新運動所佔據,他在法國體育部裡的熟人也讓他覺得乒乓網球有機會可以被引進校園當作網球的入門課程。

我後來聽說這些都沒有成功。

人家說從運動表現可以看出一個人的個性。常玉運動的方式證實了他洋溢的熱情和一種罕見的大方,在我看來,這和他在畫作中的寡言個性截然不同。雖然沒沒無聞又幾乎沒有資源,他在舉止與言語上仍然堅持著極度的仁慈以及一種尊貴的姿態。我記得他眼中的一抹悲傷,也記得他的直率、開朗、以及愉悅的笑聲。1959年,我們分道揚鑣而失去了聯絡。直到最近我才很開心地得知他的作品現在有著很高的評價。

1999年11月3日
尚.克勞德.祖彥

——

SAN YU

En 1957 mon père René Drouin, contacté par Henri Pierre Roché, me mit en relation avec San Yu qui recherchait des partenaires pour jouer au ping-tennis.

Ce jeu curieux, à mi chemin entre le tennis et le ping-pong, semblait cumuler les avantages des deux sport: à la fois vif et athlétique. La promotion de ce nouveau sport accaparait, à cette époque du moins, la vie de San Yu et les contacts qu’il entretenait avec le Ministère français des Sports laissaient entrevoir l’initiation du ping-tennis dans les écoles et les lycées au titre de la formation au tennis.

Ces contacts, je l’ai su ultéerieurement, n’ont pas étés finalisés.

On dit couramment que la pratique d’un sport permet de dévoiler le caractère. La façon de jouer de San Yu témoignait d’un enthousiasme débordant et d’une rare générosité qui, me semble-t-il, s’étaient éloignés du sillage de la peinture dont il parlait peu: quasi méconnu et pratiquement sans ressources, il gardait une grande gentillesse et l’attitude d’un prince dans son comportement et ses propos. Je me souviens d’un voile de tristesse dans son regard mais aussi de ses rires brusques, francs et joviaux. Les chemins de la vie ont fait que nous nous sommes perdus de vue en 1959 et c’est tout récemment que j’ai appris avec un grand plaisir la reconnaissance marquante qui s’attache dorénavant à son oeuvre.

Fait à Tours, le 3 Novembre 1999
Jean Claude Drouin
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娜塔沙.勒維

Natacha Levy

2011

我記得常玉一個人坐在芎頂咖啡廳後面的位置,面前的咖啡杯已見底。我們經常過去跟他打招呼,他會親切地對著我們微笑並問說:「你們今天好嗎?」

我記得常玉請我們吃非常道地的中國菜,我後來好像再沒吃過更美味的米飯了。

我記得他帶著一抹奇特的微笑說:「我今晚有個約會,能去你家借瓶伏特加嗎?」

我記得當我們提議在家中幫他辦個畫展時,他有多興奮,馬上著手設計邀請函並草擬邀請名單。

我記得在畫展結束後,我們趕在暑假前把畫作全數送回,因為我怕我們不在家時,這些畫會有什麼閃失。

然後我記得在出門一個月回來後,得知常玉走了,與世長辭了,這感覺好奇怪,好令人難過。

我想常玉若看到這些為他辦的展覽、研究他的專書、以及畫作的價值屢屢創下新高,一定會非常開心。

——

Je me souviens de Sanyu, assis, seul au fond de La Coupole, une tasse de café vide devant lui. Fréquemment nous allions vers lui pour le saluer. Il nous accueillait avec un extraordinaire sourire : comment allez vous aujourd'hui ?

Je me souviens de Sanyu nous invitant à de vrais diners chinois. Je me demande si depuis j'ai mangé du riz aussi délicieux que le sien.

Je me souviens de lui, disant avec un sourire mystérieux : j'ai un rendez vous ce soir, puis je passer chez vous emprunter une bouteille de vodka ?

Je me souviens de son excitation lorsque nous lui avons proposé d'exposer ses peintures chez nous. Il a immédiatement commencé à dessiner l'invitation et à faire la liste des gens à inviter.

Je me souviens qu'après l'exposition et avant les vacances d'été nous lui avons rapporté tous ses tableaux ; car j'avais peur qu'il leur arrive pendant le mois d'Aôut en notre absence, quelque malheur.

Et, je me souviens ,lorsque nous sommes rentrés, un mois plus tard, avoir appris qu'il n'était plus la : il était mort ; c'était étrange et si triste...

J'essaie d'imaginer sa joie de voir toutes les expositions, tous les livres sur lui et aussi de voir la valeur de ses tableaux qui monte, qui monte.

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瑟吉.齊爾品

Serge Tcherepnin

2012

他向我展示他的畫作,並說明他的藝術是不停地追尋完美的線條,決不淪於造作,流轉的曲線彷彿有生命般地呼吸。

He showed me his paintings and explained that his art was a perpetual quest for the perfect line, never artificial, moving and sinuous lines which seem to breathe and move with a life of their own.

張易安

Chang Yian

I met San Yu in Paris in 1956, late fall. As a recipient of a J. H. Whitney Fellowship, I was pursuing further piano study and performance opportunities in Europe after getting out of Julliard School in New York.

Expatriates tend to congregate, and in Paris, Kuo Yu-shou, who had studied at the Sorbonne in the 20s and subsequently was appointed cultural officer by the Chinese Nationalist government played host at many parties to which I was invited. After all, although I was living in the U.S., the Chinese connection was his long acquaintance with my parents. There I met San Yu, among other painters, musicians, students, etc. from China. I later realized that he was a problem to the community in that he was continually insolvent, though he had lived in Paris since the 20s.

He lived in the 14th Arrondissement, not far from where I was staying at the time, and used to visit me. We took long walks along the boulevards and Parc Monsouris. I could see he was an eccentric and a dreamer. He would talk to trees; he talked about “ping-tennis” a game he invented which he was sure would bring him a fortune. I dared not ask how he survived meantime, but I gathered he painted walls and did carpentering.

I was surprised when I visited his studio that it was clean and spacious. White walls were hung with his paintings and shelves held his ceramics. I was immediately struck by their singularity. It was obvious that every piece came from an unique vision, one at once childlike and sophisticated, playful yet profound.

One painting struck me particularly: a whimsical floral still-life, a white vase, flatly outlined against an aubergine background. I loved the way the sides of that vase were silhouetted.

Though I had never before purchased an art-work and was concerned how I would live out the year on my fellowship-grant, I was determined to own it. Seeing my interest, San Yu was happy to make the sale, and insisted on giving me another small painting, an almost abstract goldfish painting.

The following year, 1958, I returned to Paris. I remember he cooked a meal for me in his studio on a Bunsen-burner type of single gas jet, fishing out supplies from sacks which he said were remains of air-lifted supplies from Liberation days!

We spent New Year’s Eve 1958 at the Café Dome, watching people from the heated terrace. We were both rather depressed. He had never stopped dreaming of “making it big” on ping-tennis, but meanwhile I think it was getting more and more difficult for him to survive. Nobody bought his paintings. I don’t remember if that was the last time I saw San Yu.

Shortly after his death, I, by now married and back in New York, was notified that he had left me 2 paintings. I was really surprised and moved that he had remembered me in his last days.

When I received the Lotus painting, I was overwhelmed. It was so typical a San Yu, the restrained and delicate innocence of the flower stems, their stylized composition brought to me the impact of a man who absorbed the essence of the East and the West and made it his own.

As for the little dog in the chair, was he not trying to express his own wishes, to be that pet, a center of attention and in a state of well-being?

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