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不散的文藝態度 — 靜觀、內省與學習

2021/4/28 — 10:13

清山塾

清山塾

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【梁展峰撰文,阿三編訂/「時刻導賞員」藝評人】

我喜歡穿過清山塾入口紅綠鮮明奪目的地標瓦頂拱門,它總給我走進桃花源之感。從繁囂巿區到達位處屯門清涼法苑內的清山塾,第一眼便是四周種滿花草樹木的庭院。拱門前有假石山景的影壁,藝術家岑愷怡《彩虹系列II》櫈形雕塑大小不一散佈在庭中草木之間,加上其他作品,幽靜庭院添上一份現代生活的雅緻。庭院後方的咖啡廳,才是我來這裡的主要目標。坐下喝些飲料,抬頭看著窗外庭院的景致及作品,好好把握一、兩小時難得的恬靜。

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位處屯門清涼法苑內的清山塾

位處屯門清涼法苑內的清山塾

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2016年尾清山塾的概念及計劃於清涼法苑內開展,兩間原屬幼稚園的課室改為咖啡廳暨書店和展覽空間。創辦人之一洪永起主理飲食業務,結合素食和咖啡文化,定位合理而鮮明;餐廳一側為書店部分,銷售一些跟文學文化、飲食、綠色生活、正念及身心靈相關的書籍和良心產品。另一創辦人胡敏儀則負責展覽空間,她曾撰文回顧:「在籌備至首年營運階段,筆者主理文化藝術,故希望藉此提供美學創作的項目,鼓勵自發和創意,引發大眾對自己對社區有所想像。」除了「園林天成:社區盆景十課」讓藝術家與大眾一起從零開始學習盆景,清山塾一直籌辦各類由創作人帶領的計劃,如「我們都是練習生」,亦歡迎不同單位舉辦各類型手工、瑜珈或靜觀班。在我看來,藉參與工作坊淨化生活的人比前來欣賞藝術的人更多,於是我認為清山塾的關鍵詞是「學習」多於「藝術」。因此,我更喜歡視清山塾為「文藝空間」多於「藝術空間」。

相對近年聚焦於「活化」、「改造」或「創新」的社區文化再造,清山塾對社區的想像相對靜態,傾向內省。它的活動曾催生出由四、五位屯門年輕人主導的「屯團轉」社區旅行團,而藝術展覽則多是藝術家對社區和大時代的情感轉化或自省。「屯門友」藝術家王樂軒於「屯門公路的咒(與解咒)」展覽,以屯門公路風景為創作主題,從展品到「解咒的修行──巴士禪修」等公眾活動,他為自己和區內居民對屯門公路大塞車之苦況,提供抒解途徑,帶來一份治癒感。清山塾結束前最後的展覽「曲/平」,是王樂軒以排解情緒為起點的在地創作。因此,與其說是對社區的關懷,不如說種種項目聚焦人的生活,多於區內生態。

清山塾四周種滿花草樹木

清山塾四周種滿花草樹木

清山塾和「合舍」、「據點。句點」、「openground 」等藝團或文創小店的展覽空間文化特質相似,通過「和而不同」的協作(collaboration),以「小店X展場」經營模式達至自負盈虧、收支平衡。清山塾的素食咖啡廳維持了兩年後退場,2019年轉向開放租賃場地予各種社區實驗。經營模式變更,小班教學的創作坊和租賃場地予同道人,但這都不容易支持清山塾每月的總體開銷。不過,它的轉型沒有削弱其「屯門後花園」之美。近兩年間舉行的創作坊,如禪繞畫、綠色工藝和健康食品製作班等,洗滌心靈的小清新氛圍更為濃厚,仍能吸引文青和親子社群周末前來閒聚小休。

清山塾這文藝空間將於2021年5月結束,由推動生命及環境教育、文化藝術的生活書院進駐。兩者同樣因「靜」和「學」與這地方結緣,延續清涼法苑的環境氛圍。

 

「曲╱平」王樂軒個展

展期:2021年3月26日至4月25日
開放時間:星期六及日 12:00-18:00;星期一二及公眾假期13:00-18:00(星期三至五休息)
地點:清山塾(屯門屯富路清涼法苑內)

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Steadfast Attitude on Arts – Mindfulness, Introspection and Learning
By Jeff Leung, edited by Chan Sai-lok/ art critics of Free Walk In

I enjoy passing through the landmark of Casphalt – a bright red and green tiled archway. It feels like “the Land of Peach Blossoms”, a fairy tale dreamscape in classical Chinese literature. The first thing that greets visitors, as they enter Casphalt in Ching Leung Nunnery after travelling all the way from the hustle and bustle of urban Hong Kong, is the richly vegetated garden. Facing the archway is a spirit screen decorated with artificial landscape. The garden gives a feel of modern elegance, with “Rainbow Series II”, chair-shaped sculptures by Debe Sham and other artworks scattered among its vegetation. The destination of my visit was the café that used to be at the back of the garden. An hour or two of tranquillity spent here, taking in the view of the garden and artworks while sipping my drink is worth a million.

In late 2016, the concept of Casphalt was realized here in Ching Leung Nunnery, where two former kindergarten classrooms were turned into a café & bookstore and exhibition space. Its positioning as a vegan restaurant and café was sensible and sharp, with Hung Wing-hei at the helm of the catering and bookstore section that offered a selection of books on literature, culture, eco-friendly lifestyle, mindfulness and body mind spirit, and ethical products. The exhibition section of Casphalt is led by co-founder Wendy Wo. She has once remarked that “I have taken up arts and culture programming of the space from the preparation stage to the initial period since our launch. I hope our creative aesthetic projects would encourage self-driven creativity, and inspire the public to form their own idea of what a community should be”. Besides hosting “Community Bonsai-Cityscape” through which the community got to learn the art of bonsai from beginner level under the guidance of artists, Casphalt has been offering artist-led workshops including “A New Routine”, Casphalt also welcomes crafts, yoga or mindfulness courses in its premises. According to my observation, students of various “purifying” courses outnumbers exhibition goers in Casphalt, therefore it seems the keyword is “learning” rather than “art” here. I would see this place as a cultural space more than an art space.

Coping by Dino Rib

Coping by Dino Rib

The idea of the community as projected by Casphalt is rather quiet and introspective, as compared to the recent trend of “revitalization”, “remake” and “innovative” community cultural reforms. The founding of “Tuen Mun-go-round”, a community tour lead by several young people from the Tuen Mun district, was inspired by events held at Casphalt. The exhibitions held there reflected artists’ reflections and introspections on the community and recent years of turmoil. DinoRib, an artist and a native of Tuen Mun, employed landscape of the Tuen Mun Road as his motif. From exhibit Meditation on the Bus to exhibition “The Curses of a Highway (and the Ways to Uncurse Them)”, his artworks became a healing public platform for local residents and the artist himself to voice grievances of being stuck in the poor traffic of Tuen Mun Road. DinoRib’s solo exhibition “Coping” marks the closure of Casphalt. “Coping” features in situ works through which the artist expresses his emotions. Instead of branding it as “community” programming, one might say the focus of Casphalt is rather on aspects of human life rather than about a place.

Coping by Dino Rib

Coping by Dino Rib

The nature of Casphalt as an exhibition space can be compared to that of other creative units/shops such as Form Society, Floating Projects, and Openground, in terms of their shared business model of running a shop alongside the exhibition space to attain financial sustainability. As the vegetarian café was closed down after two years, Casphalt started to open up its space for hire towards various community experimental projects since 2019. After the shift of business model, however, revenue from small group workshops and venue hiring to the likeminded was not sufficient to cover overall expenses. This nonetheless did not undermine its beauty as the “Backyard of Tuen Mun”. Their workshops of the past two years, such as Zentangle drawing, green craft, and health food, became more focused on the “spiritual” purifying aspect, and have drawn herds of culture aficionados and families with kids getting together for the weekend.

The present Casphalt will be closed down in May 2021. The space will be taken up by School of Everyday Life, an organization dedicated to life and environmental education, and arts and culture. Qualities of “quietness” and “learning”, that both the former and future management units of the Casphalt space are endowed with, are what connect them with the unique atmosphere of Ching Leung Nunnery, which is going to be preserved and brought into the future. (Translated by Chan Lai-kuen)

Coping by Dino Rib

Coping by Dino Rib

Coping by Dino Rib

Date: 26 Mar – 25 Apr 2021
Opening Hour: Sat & Sun 11:00-18:00; Mon, Tue & Public Holiday 13:00-18:00 (Close from Wed to Fri)
Venue: Casphalt (Ching Leung Nunnery, Tuen Fu Road, Tuen Mun)

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