文 / 陳怡潔
「今年夏天在蘇格蘭葛蘭菲迪酒廠（Glenfiddich Distillery）駐村期間我常在超市買一本每週發刊至今七十五年的漫畫"Beano"，閱讀中發現倫敦的Southbank Centre 當時正在舉辦Beano七十五週年紀念展，於是我前往看展，對這個充滿歷史感的漫畫。其後又透過藝術村負責人安迪.費爾葛瑞福（Andy Fairgrieve ）的安排去丹迪（Dundee）參訪發行Beano的出版社D.C Thomson。在D.C Thomson近百年的檔案資料庫中，讓我見識到七十五年間漫畫角色在不同歷史階段的色彩演變，深感這些資料如同一部活生生的歷史，而這部活歷史意味著訊息透過自身的演變穿越於不同世代之間。
除此之外，從安迪與我探討Beano在蘇格蘭的出版歷史發展，以及其與各個時代之間的意義連結後我意識到，有別於函數色彩系列作品過去所取材的卡通動畫，漫畫作為一種物質性的大眾媒介，其閱讀性的靜態圖像為觀眾帶來的是一種視觸覺的記憶。此發現促使我開始我開始收集Beano古董漫畫書，想以一種具有手感與物質性的創作去探索七十五年間Beano漫畫角色的色彩訊息的演變。其後與來訪的藝術家吳季璁探討作品時，共同發展出一種用快速旋轉的畫板去將卡漫角色進行抽象化為同心圓的機械裝置，一方面也在速度平面上進行一種動態的肖像繪畫（The Rotatory Portraits ）一方面透過機械的運動狀態展現抽象過程。我選擇出Beano漫畫發行七十五年間的經典角色角色為對象，對他們每十年的色彩改變做旋轉同心圓肖像畫，希望透過抽象化的色彩同心圓肖像呈現一種編年史式的色彩演化，一種存在於各個世代的讀者間的跨時代集體記憶活體。
Suspending on the Surface of Speed
text by Agi Chen
During my summer residency at Glenfiddich Distillery, I often bought issues of Beano, a weekly comic publication. Flipping through its pages one time, I discovered that an exhibition celebrating the comic’s 75th anniversary was being held at Southbank Centre in London. I decided to visit and learn more about this historic comic. Later on, Andy Fairgrieve, the person in charge of the residency program, arranged for me to visit D.C Thomson, the publishing house for Beano located in the city of Dundee. Going over almost a century of history in D.C Thomson’s archives, I witnessed the evolution of the comic’s color palette over the past 75 years. The experience was akin to watching history come to life. And, this piece of living history alluded to a message conveyed across generations through a process of evolution.
Furthermore, in discussions with Andy about Beano’s evolution and its historic significance for Scottish publishing, I discovered comics that were unlike the material I had previously used to create the Function Color series. Comics serve as a material of mass media. Their readable and static images lead viewers to the formation of visual memories. This discovery inspired me to begin collecting antique Beano comics. Through textured and tangible artworks, I wanted to explore the message behind the evolution of color palettes used to design the characters of Beano. After discussing the works with visiting artist, Chi-Tsung Wu, we jointly developed a rapidly rotating device that makes images of comic characters appear to be concentric layers of colors. On one end, the device creates a type of rotatory portrait across the surface of speed. On another end, its motions reveal a process of abstractification. For this work, I chose the classic characters featured in Beano over the past 75 years to allow the resulting rotatory portraits reveal the evolution of the comic’s colors over the years. This serves as a way to evoke the memories of its readers across many generations.
In short, Suspending on the Surface of Speed depicts a rapidly rotating motion that forces colors to reveal a message conveyed across history. This message no longer just comes from signs that linger across our retinas. Instead, it is a body searching for messages along the surface of speed that transcend space and time. It is a chemical reaction produced by a series of chance encounters with people and objects during the residency period. It is also a path that is opened along a process of temporal displacement for the creative context of the Function Color series.