Outsider Art from Japan
Artworks made by people suffering from mental illness are both surprising and captivating
- ［名］(スル) １ 新しいものを初めてつくり出すこと。「文化を―する」「―的な仕事」「―力」 ２ 神が宇宙・万物をつくること。「天地―」
【明報專訊】日文有不少同音字：「創造」跟「想像」，日文發音都是「Souzou」，兩個詞語都指涉嶄新的意念誕生和 形成。倫敦專門展示與醫學有關的藝術館Wellcome Collection，便以「Souzou」來為其日本「門外漢藝術」（Outsider Art）展覽命名。何謂「門外漢藝術」？這個詞語原來是英國藝術學者Roger Cardinal在1972年，根據法國藝術家Jean Dubuffet的art brut（即未經俗世「烹煮」的、「生」（raw）的藝術）理論而創的詞彙。Outsider Art一詞自此成為國際通用的詞語，一般用來形容沒有受藝術培訓，非為觀眾、純為創作而創作的作品，作者很多時都被視為處於社會邊緣。例如是次展覽的46 個參展藝術家，都被診斷為有認知、行為或發展異常，或是有精神病，並全為特殊庇護設施的學員或住客。
在西方，「門外漢藝術」的發展，與精神醫學有密切關係：19世紀開始便有醫生蒐集病人的作品，以協助診斷；在日本，則跟1945年後的公共醫療和教 育改革有關，其中教育家系賀一雄為重要推手。他被視為日本的社會福利改革之父，1947年在滋賀縣創立近江學園，為日本首個收容戰爭孤兒和殘障兒童的設 施，教授學員農業、文學、藝術等學科，並着重職業訓練。1954年陶藝家八木一夫接掌學園的陶藝作坊，讓學生不必一定做碗盤，而可以隨心所欲創作沒有用途 的東西。是次展覽的參展學員，便有不少是來自近江學園或其他認同八木理念的設施。從他們的作品裏，讓人看到不擅辭令的作者，如何用象形文字、色彩等表達自 己，也能從中了解這些所謂「不正常」的腦袋裏，有多麼驚人的創造力。
Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan
地點：Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE
Our spring exhibition brings together more than 300 works for the first major display of Japanese Outsider Art in the UK. The 46 artists represented in the show are residents and day attendees at social welfare institutions across Japan. The wonderfully diverse collection comprises ceramics, textiles, paintings, sculpture and drawings.
'Souzou' has no direct translation in English but a dual meaning in Japanese: written one way, it means creation, and in another it means imagination. Both meanings allude to a force by which new ideas are born and take shape in the world.
The exhibition has been organised in association with Het Dolhuys, the Museum of Psychiatry in Haarlem (the Netherlands) and the Social Welfare Organisation Aiseikai (Tokyo). It reflects the growing acclaim for Outsider Art – often defined as works made by self-taught artists perceived to be at the margins of society – while questioning assumptions about the category itself.
Eschewing a purely biographical approach, the show will be object-led, with a startling array of works offering singular and affecting explorations of culture, memory and creativity. A series of documentary films featuring a selection of the exhibiting artists will play at the end of the exhibition.
Explore works from the exhibition.
Explore some of the objects from 'Souzou' in depth and detail with our 360 degree zoomable images.
A series of events at Wellcome Collection to accompany 'Souzou'.
Inside the creative mind: three-part school projects to give students an increased understanding of works in the exhibition.
Projects with specific youth and community groups focussing on simple techniques and low-cost materials, inspired by the exhibition.
フランス人画家・ジャン・デュビュッフェがつくったフランス語「アール・ブリュット（Art Brut、「生（なま、き）の芸術」）」を、イギリス人著述家・ロジャー・カーディナルが「アウトサイダー・アート（英: outsider art）」と英語表現に訳し替えた。
デュビュッフェが1949年に開催した「文化的芸術よりも、生（き）の芸術を」のパンフレットには、「アール・ブリュット（生の芸術）は、芸術的訓 練や芸術家として受け入れた知識に汚されていない、古典芸術や流行のパターンを借りるのでない、創造性の源泉からほとばしる真に自発的な表現」と書かれて いる。
The term outsider art was coined by art critic Roger Cardinal in 1972 as an English synonym for art brut (French: [aʁ bʁyt], "raw art" or "rough art"), a label created by French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture; Dubuffet focused particularly on art by those on the outsides of the established art scene such as insane-asylum inmates and children.
While Dubuffet's term is quite specific, the English term "outsider art" is often applied more broadly, to include certain self-taught or naïve art makers who were never institutionalized. Typically, those labeled as outsider artists have little or no contact with the mainstream art world or art institutions. In many cases, their work is discovered only after their deaths. Often, outsider art illustrates extreme mental states, unconventional ideas, or elaborate fantasy worlds.
Outsider art has emerged as a successful art marketing category (an annual Outsider Art Fair has taken place in New York since 1993). The term is sometimes misapplied as a catch-all marketing label for art created by people outside the mainstream "art world," regardless of their circumstances or the content of their work.
Art of the insaneInterest in the art of insane asylum inmates had begun to grow in the 1920s. In 1921 Dr. Walter Morgenthaler published his book Ein Geisteskranker als Künstler (A Psychiatric Patient as Artist) on Adolf Wölfli, a psychotic mental patient in his care. Wölfli had spontaneously taken up drawing, and this activity seemed to calm him. His most outstanding work is an illustrated epic of 45 volumes in which he narrates his own imaginary life story. With 25,000 pages, 1,600 illustrations, and 1,500 collages, it is a monumental work. He also produced a large number of smaller works, some of which were sold or given as gifts. His work is on display at the Adolf Wölfli Foundation in the Museum of Fine Art, Bern. A defining moment was the publication of Bildnerei der Geisteskranken (Artistry of the mentally ill) in 1922, by Dr. Hans Prinzhorn. This was the first serious study of psychiatric works which was created after compiling thousands of examples from European Institutions. The book and the collection gained much attention from avant-garde artists of the time, including Franz Marc, Paul Klee, Max Ernst and Jean Dubuffet.
People with some artistic training and well-established artists are not immune from mental illness and may also be institutionalised. For example, William Kurelek, later awarded the Order of Canada for his artistic life work, as a young man was admitted to the Maudsley Psychiatric Hospital where he was treated for schizophrenia. In hospital he painted, producing "The Maze", a dark depiction of his tortured youth. He was transferred from the Maudsley to Netherne Hospital from November 1953 to January 1955, to work with Edward Adamson (1911–1996), a pioneer of art therapy, and creator of the Adamson Collection.
Jean Dubuffet and art brutFrench artist Jean Dubuffet was particularly struck by Bildnerei der Geisteskranken and began his own collection of such art, which he called art brut or raw art. In 1948 he formed the Compagnie de l'Art Brut along with other artists, including André Breton. The collection he established became known as the Collection de l'art brut. It contains thousands of works and is now permanently housed in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Dubuffet characterized art brut as:
- "Those works created from solitude and from pure and authentic creative impulses – where the worries of competition, acclaim and social promotion do not interfere – are, because of these very facts, more precious than the productions of professionals. After a certain familiarity with these flourishings of an exalted feverishness, lived so fully and so intensely by their authors, we cannot avoid the feeling that in relation to these works, cultural art in its entirety appears to be the game of a futile society, a fallacious parade." — Jean Dubuffet. Place à l'incivisme (Make way for Incivism). Art and Text no.27 (December 1987 – February 1988). p.36 Dubuffet's writing on art brut was the subject of a noted program at the Art Club of Chicago in the early 1950s.