地址﹕Duke of York's HQ, King's Road, London, SW3 4SQ
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|click artists to view|
如果可以把世界上所有美術館、博物館的藏品匯聚在一個資料庫，從美國大都會美術館的當代藝術作品到中國沙漠的敦煌石窟，都可以在平台上瀏覽、檢索與編輯，世界的珍藏盡收眼底…甚 至可以下載到個人電腦裡儲存。在台灣，這是進行數位典藏工作人員心中的夢想與藍圖，但是在美國，美崙基金會在過去幾年開發了ARTstor線上資料庫系 統，結合數位科技與藝術人文，正朝向這個目標不斷前進。Myka Carroll來自美國紐約，擔任ARTstor拓展海外業務的公關經理，所學橫跨圖書資訊、歷史人文，並曾出版相關書籍，運用其資訊與圖書的專業，旅行 世界各地介紹ARTstor資料庫。她在2009年5月來到台北，透過「藝享新視紀：數位藝術的合作典藏」座談會分享ARTstor資料庫博大精深、縱觀 古今的藏品內容。
在過去五年內，ARTstor資料庫收錄了近百萬筆跨時代、跨文化、跨領域的藝術典藏影像檔案，內容涵蓋畫作、雕刻、器具、建築、手稿、樂譜、地 圖、文物與裝置藝術，透過眾多合作典藏機構的貢獻與分享，在平台上跨學科地提供博物館典藏、亞洲典藏、歐洲藝術、拉丁美洲與中南非文化、當代藝術、建築、 攝影、紀念物…等主題研究，並且積極強化圖檔的品質與各種3D、虛擬實境技術的應用，不僅呈現藝術品最細緻的一面，與哥倫比亞大學合作研發的 QTVR（Quick Time Virtual Reality）更進一步地呈現建築物的內部空間，提供各種拉近、拉遠、360度環繞…等功能。目前在資料庫中約有1200筆，主要應用在建築物上，讓使 用者在網路上身歷其境，甚至看到建築物在日常生活中無法窺見的一面，拓展使用者的日常視覺經驗。
為了回應使用者與專業社群需求，ARTstor資料庫查詢與檢索的功能回歸到人性化與直覺操作的設計，除了最基本的檢索與查詢功能外，使用者可以簡 單地以滑鼠操作圖片的放大、縮小、拖曳…等功能，並且透過篩選、排序等方式組合搜尋結果，每一件圖片下方，提供了額外兩個功能選項，按一下便可顯示其他收 錄的複製與攝影作品，或者列出與主題相關的其他資料。
進入圖片檢視視窗，ARTstor所提供的圖片品質與細膩度著實讓人驚艷，以安迪沃荷 (Andy Warhol)的Campbells Soup Cans畫作為例，在瀏覽器上將作品檢視放到100%視窗，螢幕上僅能顯現藏品約1/12的範圍，可以看到畫作上清楚的細節，雖然在檢視圖片細節時無法同 時看到藏品的全貌，但這樣的解析度確實不輸觀看畫作圖錄時的清晰度。
看 過精采而豐富的資料庫，不管是想要加上個人的心得與大家交流和分享，或者是希望透過圖片的比對與展示在演講與教學上，都能運用OIV系統進行更個人化的編 輯與處理；其特別為影像展示所設計，提供簡單的排版和文字註記的編輯功能，讓使用者可以加上自己私人的圖片與簡報，整合起來成為一個完整的個人知識展示 櫃，應用於教學、演講，在離線的狀態下向觀眾展示經過設計與組織的影像，並且在展示中隨時進行影像的放大與縮小，介面設計極富質感，簡單而大方，讓人能夠 更清楚地將注意力集中在圖片上。此外，檔案size可以壓縮成read only格式，便於攜帶與分享。
檢索功能上除了依照各知識專題設計專屬關鍵詞的篩選功能外，也設計時間軸的篩選功能，可直接 輸入時間範圍或使用拉霸設定時間範圍，使用者可以設定多重的篩選條件，找到自己想要的資料。另外，在瀏覽資料的同時，也可將用不到的搜尋功能隱藏，讓瀏覽 網頁時有更開闊的視窗來顯示更多的資料。
在瀏覽單筆藏品詳細資料的頁面，知識網提供各類詳細藏品資訊，以及最大到1024*1024pixel的藏品圖片，讓使用者可以隨意調整圖片大小來 檢視藏品細節。下方的藏品展示列功能就如Amazon.com的推薦書籍功能，以及ARTStor顯示藏品相關延伸資訊功能一般，經過這樣關連性的脈絡引 導，可以讓使用者經由單一主題物件，找到更多樣性與意想不到的藏品資訊。
ARTStor也藉著這種優勢建立部落格，不定時發表資料庫更新狀態，以及與各博物館的合作情形，也預計在2009年夏天建置使用經驗分享的部落格 (ART stories)，提供大眾如何更有方法的使用ARTStor並交流。ARTStor和台灣多樣性知識網廣納眾多的數位化藏品匯入資料庫內，讓社會大眾在 敲擊鍵盤同時，就能看到世界各地知識文化的結晶。除了知識的吸收外，也提供素人經驗為藏品附上個人註解，彼此分享和創造知識，讓這些原本只是素材的藏品， 經過分享、組織和創造，變成更多有用的知識。
1. ARTstor: http://www.artstor.org/
2. ARTstor Blog: http://artstor.wordpress.com/
【明報專訊】剛於年初逝世的Jan Kaplicky可說是建築界的殿堂級建築師，London Design Museum由即日至2009年11月1日，舉辦Remembering Jan Kaplicky: Architect of the Future回顧展。他於1994年為倫敦Lord's Cricket Ground設計的媒體中心The Lord's Media Centre，獲得建築界最高榮譽的史特靈建築獎（RIBA Stirling Prize）。而他於2003年參與設計伯明翰Selfridges Building，亦為他帶來7項建築大獎。他的作品充滿未來色彩，展覽中陳列他歷年建築設計的模型、草圖，讓公眾一窺大師腦海中的世界。
■Remembering Jan Kaplicky: Architect of the Future
地址﹕Design Museum, Shad Thames,London, SE1 2YD
電話﹕+44 (0)20 7940 8790
Sep 13th 2009
After all, the Capodimonte is filled with masterpieces from the world famous Farnese Collection, some 800 paintings by such artists as Titian, Raphael, Masaccio and Mantegna. Caravaggio’s searing “Flagellazione” stands out among the dramatic pictures in the Neapolitan Galleries. And then there is Parmigianino’s beloved “Antea”, an arresting portrait of a beautiful young woman (pictured). In Italy images of this woman, whose identity is not known, can be found on everything from fridge magnets to tea towels and Christmas ornaments.Yet the contents of the Capodimonte are best known from reproductions or loans to international exhibitions. Only 86,000 people visited last year, few of whom were foreigners. Sadly, the city's daunting reputation may put many off, and the museum’s website is too limited to lure the uninitiated. But courage is no longer a prerequisite for a stay in Naples. The city has cleaned up its act (or, in the case of its garbage, had its act cleaned up for it). Handbag snatchers are now far less common than opportunities for delectable pizza. The Capodimonte is not the only reward for spending time in Naples, but it may be the most lasting one.
The striking hilltop site for a new royal palace was chosen in 1734 by Charles, the first Bourbon king of Naples. Its wooded surroundings suited his passion for hunting; its capacious interior provided room enough for the enormous art collection amassed by his forebears. (The family of Elisabetta Farnese, his mother and Queen of Spain, had been great collectors for more than 200 years.)
An enormous room hung with Farnese family portraits soon greets visitors. Do not yawn: this is no tedious group of ancestor likenesses. It is somehow shocking to come upon so many pictures of such high artistry, which reveal so much about the variety and vagaries of human character. Among the seven Farnese portraits by Titian on view (seven Titian portraits in one room!), the most haunting may be that of a white-bearded, hunched over Pope Paul III, weary but majestic. Raphael also painted two of the portraits here.
In addition to the museum’s Old Master paintings, there is a suite of royal apartments as they looked in the 19th century. One large room is hung with “The Battle of Pavia”, a masterly cycle of early 16th-century Brussels tapestries. Based on drawings by Bernard van Orley, it is an exceptionally honest look at men making war. And then there is “Antea”. Yes, this is an Old Master painting, but in a sense this is a work apart. She is “our Princess,” says Mariella Utili, the museum’s director. “Antea”, it seems, has been exercising royal prerogatives since she first came into being.
During the sack of Rome in 1527, Parmigianino’s studio was broken into by German soldiers. Besotted by the woman in the painting, they left him unmolested. In 1799, when Charles’s son, Ferdinand IV King of Naples, fled advancing French troops, he took with him to Palermo some 20 works from the Farnese Collection—its Titians and “Antea”. During the second world war, many masterpieces were removed from Italy’s museums and hidden, only to be taken as booty.
A cache of works was discovered in 1945 in a Salzburg cave, including the Farnese Titians and “Antea”. Much celebrating greeted her return to Naples with the others, and they were honoured with a grand “new” home in the former palace at the top of the hill. The Capodimonte Museum opened to the public in 1957. To say a visit it is worth a detour is an understatement.
WHEN Roberto Gagliardi, an Italian-born art dealer and collector based in London, drove past an old, shut-down hotel on the main concourse of the ancient town of Chianciano Terme, in the Italian province of Siena, he saw an opportunity. After four years of renovation, the 150-year-old building has been converted into the just-opened Museum of Art of Chianciano (Viale della Liberta 280; 39-0578-60732; www.museodarte.org).
The museum now houses Mr. Gagliardi’s impressive collection, accumulated over a 30-year career, items from which have been lent to museums like the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
In addition, Mr. Gagliardi is organizing a new contemporary art festival to run at the museum every two years, highlighting the work of 160 artists from around the world. The first Biennale di Chianciano, which will replace the museum’s permanent collection temporarily, begins today and runs through Sept. 27 (www.museodarte.org/EN/Biennale.html; admission is free). Works include some that have been lent to museums as far afield as the Picasso Museum in Barcelona and the Whangarei Art Museum in New Zealand.
With the new museum and festival, Mr. Gagliardi hopes to turn this provincial town into an artistic center, both provocative and analytical.
“Our aim is to create active spectators,” Mr. Gagliardi said. “Art isn’t two-dimensional; it transmits emotion and moves the intellect.”
With this goal in mind, the museum is laid out in an intentionally nonlinear format.
On the first floor, there is an array of diverse sketches by Magritte, Munch and Tiepolo. In the basement, an ambitious collection of artifacts from ancient Chinese dynasties is placed alongside rustic, romantic paintings by the contemporary artist Jincheng Liu.
Tonally, as well, works are displayed to play off one another. Frances Turner’s agonized self-portraits share space with colorful, soothing abstractions by Albert Louden. In the History Room a rather clumsy 19th-century drawing of artillerymen by Napoleon III is placed near an icon given by Pope Pius XII to Princess Margaret in 1949.
Although Mr. Gagliardi’s collection made the museum possible, its vision was collaborative.
“We all helped with the display,” said Francesca Vottari, his assistant. “Mr. Gagliardi was keen to listen to everyone’s opinion, to create the right sense of harmony.”
And while Chianciano isn’t as well known as its neighbor Siena (about a half-hour drive away), Mr. Gagliardi and his crew see the town — with both charm and a strong cultural history — as the perfect candidate for an art festival.
The town’s historic center is gloriously unspoiled and offers spectacular views of the Tuscan countryside. Thermal baths have been a strong tourist draw since the sixth century B.C., and Chianciano’s archaeological museum is one of Italy’s most important sources for Etruscan history.
Chianciano’s charms extend beyond the historical: pastas served in the town’s rustic restaurants are inevitably homemade, while wine lists are filled with bottles from nearby Montepulciano and Montalcino.
Despite these draws, Mr. Gagliardi isn’t the only one with a stake in his new museum and festival. Gabriella Ferranti, the town’s mayor, made no bones about feeling that Chianciano was going to receive a new lease on life in her reception speech at the museum’s opening. “Gagliardi’s fortune is our own fortune as well,” she said.
If you can look past the mushrooming 21st-century industrial blocks, you’ll find that Suzhou in southeast China is still, at least a little, what it anciently was: a city of humped bridges, walled gardens and winding dark-water canals. It was the cultural capital of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) in the 15th and 16th centuries, which is when most of the gardens were built by scholar-officials, some of whom were artists.
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One of the smallest and most intricate of the surviving gardens — it’s like a walk-in clockwork of pavilions, freakish rocks and mini-trees — inspired the design of the Astor Court at the center of the Chinese painting galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And these days Suzhou is everywhere inside those galleries, in the exhibition “Arts of the Ming Dynasty: China’s Age of Brilliance.”
Like most dynasties, the Ming — the name means bright or brilliant — was built on the ruins of an earlier ruling line, in this case the Mongol Yuan dynasty. And again like most conquerors, the Ming sifted those ruins, extracting what was of cultural value or interest and adding new elements, including influences from a deeper Chinese past.
This mix of salvage and innovation produced, among other things, a hybrid art. The Ming inherited two different, parallel traditions of painting: courtly professional and scholar-amateur. They developed their own versions, which eventually bled into each other. The first, sometimes referred to as the Zhe school because of roots in Zhejiang province around the city of Hangzhou, involved a decorative, highly detailed and polished naturalism. It took as its model the academic art of the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279) and was favored as very “Chinese” by the Ming rulers in Nanjing and Beijing.
The second tradition, which was concentrated in Suzhou and known as the Wu school, continued and elaborated on the self-expressive, improvisatory art practiced by Yuan scholars, and its artists followed the lead of their predecessors in keeping their distance from the centers of imperial power.
But in the Ming period the division between the modes was far from absolute. The court never established an academy, so professional art had no regulation look. And scholar-artists, far from being reclusive, often worked for the government. You can see all kinds of impulses — formal perfectionism, autobiographical storytelling, political commentary, soul-searching — playing out simultaneously in the Met show, which has been organized by Maxwell K. Hearn, a curator in the department of Asian art, entirely from the museum’s collection.
The large hand scroll “Elegant Gathering in the Apricot Garden” falls somewhere in the realm of Zhe realism. It documents a specific occasion, a reception given by a scholar-official for eight of his high-ranking friends in Beijing on April 6, 1437. The picture’s details are as precise as its date: the portraitlike faces, the minutely observed array of status objects — paintings, ceramics, brush holders, even a pet crane — arranged for maximum visibility here and there.
But this is realism of suffocating artificiality. The scholar-officials are substantial in form and dressed in colored robes, but they seem to exist in a depthless, monochromatic world. Are they sitting in a garden or on the front of an ink-painted mural of a garden? Or are they on a stage set with cut-out flats of rocks and trees for props? The painting is intensely naturalistic but detached from nature, realistic but unconnected to life.
By contrast, the scholar-artists of Suzhou conjure fantastic, half-abstract dreamscapes that feel oddly, inhabitably real. A hanging scroll titled “Anchorage on a Rainy Night,” painted by Shen Zhou, the founder of the Wu school, is almost as much an occasional piece as the Beijing party picture is. We know from an inscription that Shen painted it in 1477, less than two months after the death of his father. He seems to have intended it as a thank-you gift for a friend, Zhou Weide, who kept him company at the time as he drifted around, grief-stricken, in a boat.
The landscape features are both plain and strange: a tiny harbor at the bottom right, a few trees and a rounded mountain. The trees are composed of ink stippling — dot, dot, dot — and thin spines of line. They look shivery and molecular, as if seen through water. And the mountain doesn’t look like a mountain, but like a big, solid, hunkered-down beast with a wrinkled pelt. Everything about it is soft, invites touch, radiates comfort, like a pillow. You could curl up beside it, the way a child curls up with a pet dog, and sleep.
As it happens, the show has a painting of someone sleeping, an album-page image of a scholar dozing on his bamboo studio couch. With its Zhe-style photographic detail, the picture could have been taken from life, except for one feature: the room’s walls are covered with patterns of rippling lines that suggest projections of a mellowed-out sleeper’s brain waves.
The point is that as Ming painting develops, naturalism and fantasy, what is and what could be or should be, flow together. In 1543 the Suzhou artist Wen Zhengming painted a picture, “Living Aloft: Master Liu’s Retreat,” depicting a rooftop pavilion within a walled garden with a wide-open gate. He made the picture for an old friend, Liu Lin, who at 69 was finally able to leave his government job but, whether for lack of time or funds, had neglected to provide himself with a retirement getaway. Now that he was ready to power down, he had no place quiet to go.
So Wen built one for him in the painting. It’s a sweet place, set amid treetops at the base of a hill near a stream — great feng shui — and simply but elegantly furnished. We can see that Liu has already moved in: there he sits, with stacks of books on a shelf behind him. And he has a visitor: Wen himself, who has dropped by for a chat and some tea. In real life Liu never did manage to build a real retreat; he settled for a comfortable chair somewhere, and that was that. But he had one in art, where the seasons never change, the talk is always good and tea is always at hand. Fantasy was realer than real.
By the late Ming the reality-fantasy mash-up was getting pretty wild. Politically and socially things were in rough shape, with absentee emperors, armies of venal officials and the sound of angry underdogs growling in the air. Ordinary people were growing scared and superstitious. Religious revivalism was on the rise. Imperial support for art had long since stopped, leaving former court painters to scrounge commissions from a rich bourgeoisie. With government jobs hard to find, scholar-artists were vying for the same clientele. Almost everyone was reduced to doing whatever would sell.
One thing that sold was a new kind of religious Pop Art. In a hanging scroll by Chen Hongshou, dated 1620, a Buddhist goddess radiates the picaresque glamour seen in illustrations of theater stars of the time. A hand scroll by Zheng Zhong, “Searching the Mountains for Demons,” brings lurid realism and comic-book fantasy together in illustrations of supernatural tales dating back to the Song.
Then the Ming imploded and another dynasty, the Qin, began to sift its ruins for salvage. Fortunately, one of the things that appealed to them was the idea of the scholars’ garden, which is one reason so many have survived in Suzhou. They are curious, contradictory creations: exquisitely calculated artificial containers for the organic energies of nature. The Astor Court at the Met only hints at this dynamic. Even in modern Suzhou it can be hard to see, but it is there.
One of the city’s most popular gardens, the Garden of the Humble Administrator, has been altered so often over the centuries that it is basically a fantasy version of what it probably once was. Yet at least one Ming feature remains unchanged: a wisteria said to have been planted by Wen Zhengming still grows here, its trunk as dark and fantastically twisted as history, its branches flowering every spring.
“Arts of the Ming Dynasty: China’s Age of Brilliance” continues through Sept. 13 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; (212) 535-7710, metmuseum.org.
Photo: Metropolitan Museum of Art