2023 is really a year of drastic changes and all kinds of things that catch me off guard. After the travel ban due to the epidemic was lifted, the normal travel plan three years ago was suddenly forced to stop. Due to the relaxation of air travel and entry and exit from various places at the beginning of the year, the schedule was immediately filled with delayed journeys; I have always believed that the only way to get up and walk is Only then can you save yourself from being stuck in a fixed point of thinking.
Especially when traveling, I fill up a lot of time with reading and watching museums and concerts; this is also what I have always thought: when new confusion appears in my life, read more what others have shared through literary and artistic creations. Feelings and experiences are the best way to stimulate your own thinking. The reason why I like art is because it allows me to gaze at others freely and see how they face their times and life. Through reading this year, I have a deep feeling: no matter in ancient and modern times, at home and abroad, it seems that easy life is not the norm. And there are always wise people who will leave traces of their thoughts, which can be read and referenced like art.
Especially during my trip to Philadelphia in October, I felt this most deeply. This time, Marie Laurencin’s painting “The Shepherdess”, which I have collected for many years, was invited to participate in the foundation’s annual large-scale academic research exhibition. I traveled thousands of miles to Philadelphia with Yourongyan, and I clearly saw that this female artist’s life has been no less chaotic than this moment, from war, migration, redefinition of gender, from glory to loneliness. A life-long totem condensed by many ups and downs and turmoil in interpersonal relationships. An elaborate exhibition made me think about some truths in it. The original name of the exhibition was Spphic Paris, which I translated as Hidden Love in Paris. In the exhibition, you can see the works of Luo Lanshan who was born in Paris, went through various turmoils of migration for various reasons, and then returned to Paris to spend the rest of her life. It reveals the friendship between women that is blinded by male subjectivity in her creations. In the exhibition, through various portraits of friends and dialogues such as stage design and furniture design, the gaze and being gazed on are hidden in the female friendship of that era. The back and forth of relationships, acceptance and rejection, is like on the other side of the seemingly brilliant light and shadow of Paris, a description of the world of the same era that is different from that of the Impressionist male creators of the same period. God seemed to have given Marie Laurencin another mission, to see another part of the world that men had not seen before.
You were loved once, this is a very important memory in life.
This also made me look back at the other two portraits of little girls painted by her in my collection. One of them is a small painting of only about ten centimeters, named “Little Princess”, which comes from the collection of a Paris collector. Only collects paintings by Laurent Shan and Picasso. The little girl in this small painting is dressed formally. She should be a young girl from an upper-class family. There is a string of words written in the middle. I tried to translate it. It should be the words “So-and-so is our princess”. I can vaguely understand it. The painter’s love for the person in front of him may also extend to the mother’s love for his children. Regardless of their origins, women should be the apple of every family’s eye; even though they cannot control their destiny, they are regarded as treasures by their elders when they were young. They are precious to young girls who are ignorant of the unknown and to those who cherish girls. Just as beautiful and irreplaceable. More than 95% of Luo Lanshan’s paintings are women, women of all ages. She regards every woman as a treasure, not just a family member, but also a lover or a friend.
I think being loved is a kind of happiness, and being able to love others is also happiness. After all, the world is always in turmoil. I don’t know when war will come, and I don’t know how long it will take for wealth and reputation to disappear. But you have been loved before, which is a very important memory in life. . During many trips this year, I thought about how to face so many unprepared things. I have similar panic to others, and panic is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, the more upset and angry you are, the more you can reflect on the quiet thinking you once had. All happiness comes from comparison, so happiness often stays in the past tense.
I only stayed in Philadelphia for three days this time, and I also saw the once glorious generation through the collection of the art museum and the “Barnes Foundation”. Even though time has passed, that generation left a legacy to the city with their rapid accumulation of wealth. This collection has left a deep cultural imprint and provides nourishment to people today. This rich art collection is enough to equally share the brilliance of Impressionist paintings in Paris.