壯遊界女性第一人 不帶相機只帶畫筆的梁丹丰 | Danfeng Liang, the woman carrying a paintbrush and not a camera

TAIPEI (The China Post) – When discussing painter Danfeng Liang, we must go back to Denmark, 43 years ago, to discuss her life’s signature journey.

該如何說梁丹丰這位畫家,若要談起她那宛如個人標誌的人生歷程,則必須回到43年前的丹麥。

In Copenhagen, Danfeng Liang encountered the melancholic teen, Martin Torres, in a restaurant; he was sitting alone, so she approached him for a conversation and he opened up to her, complaining that this generation’s youth viewed the world coldly.

梁丹丰在哥本哈根一間餐廳遇上憂鬱的青年托雷斯(Martin Torres),她看青年形單影隻主動向他攀談,他則和她傾訴,抱怨這個世代的年輕人對世界冷眼旁觀。

The year was 1975, the Vietnam War had just concluded under a wave of anti-war protest while the Iron Curtain that separated the East and the West was still persisting.

那年是1975年,越戰剛終結於反戰聲浪中,而分隔東西方的鐵幕猶在。

Danfeng Liang drew a sketch for the young Torres with the words “I worry for the people of today, they do not care for the world.”

梁丹丰為青年托雷斯畫了一幅速寫,上頭寫著「我為現代人擔憂,他們不關心世界。」

Torres states that he kept the sketch gifted to him by Danfeng Liang and while he did not know Chinese at that time, he searched online in this Internet Age and found this painter far across the world.

托雷斯說,他一直保存著梁丹丰送他的速寫,當年不懂中文,待網路發達,他上網搜尋相關線索,才找到這位遠在地球另一端的女畫家。

Today, that melancholic teen is now the Representative of Mexico in Taiwan; there are truly countless stories up north, in the home of fairytales.

當年餐館裡的陰鬱青年現在已是墨西哥駐台代表,緣起於北國童話之鄉,果真有說不盡的故事。

Danfeng Liang is the first woman to undertake the Grand Tour and also the first female painter to travel to faraway lands in pursuit of painting. She has since toured more than 80 countries and her footprints can be found from South America all the way to the Arctic Circle.

梁丹丰可說是壯遊界女性第一人,也是第一位遠征極地作畫的女畫家,至今走過八十幾國,為了作畫,從南美洲到北極圈都能找到她的足跡。

Speaking of the Grand Tour today, the media often encourages people to, at least, experience a “gap year”; the life of Danfeng Liang seems to always involve faraway travels.

現代人談壯遊,媒體常鼓勵人生中至少要有一個「gap year」,梁丹丰的人生似乎脫離不了遠行。

From her escape that led her from Hong Kong to the U.S., then to Taiwan with her painter father, Dingming Liang, her life has dipped in deep valleys and she is a lady that has seen the world.

自幼隨著畫家父親梁鼎銘逃難,一家人從香港輾轉到美國、台灣,人生早已越過重重溝壑走來,是個見過世面的閨秀。

I can draw any place found on the streets, my father is the one who influenced me to always bring a book and a pen. He was the one who believed that you could tour the world with paper and pen, but what he would not know was that I really traveled the world over.”

「在街上走盪任何地方我都可以畫,我身上帶著畫本跟筆是受我父親影響。一紙一筆就可以走世界,這是我父親想的,但他不知道之後我真的走世界。」

Having experienced a great span of time and the 5 major continents, Danfeng Liang lived more than six decades in Taiwan in her later years, producing approximately 760 works that depicted the natural scenery and culture of Taiwan.

走過了大時代與世界五大洲,梁丹丰到耄耋之年,在台灣生活超過一甲子光陰,約有760件作品是關於台灣自然景色與人文風景。

Danfeng Liang spent her early years living in Yonghe. Across the bridge was the view of Tamsui River which, back in 1973, still contained small boats that cleaned silt from the river and transported them to construction sites.

早年梁丹丰住在永和,過橋就可以看到淡水河的景色,1973年淡水河上還有清淤泥的小船,裝滿淤泥後再運送到工地。

She was familiar with the area surrounding Yongan Market, her sketches mostly detailing the market and nearby areas, such as the street vendors selling pig’s trotters or wontons, or the master who wrote Chinese New Year’s couplets.

她熟悉永安市場周邊,人物速寫多圍繞市場內外,從賣豬腳、做餛飩的小販,再到寫春聯的師傅。

Liang stated that back then, when she was sketching portraits, she would order a bowl of noodles from a street vendor, not to fill her belly, but to observe the people in front of her.

梁丹丰說,當年她想畫人像,就在麵攤隨意點了碗麵,但畫家之意不在吃麵,還是在勾勒眼前的人物。

People saw that she always seemed to be drawing in a corner. Danfeng Liang mentioned that when her subject is nervous, she was often the first to feel awkward so as time passed by. So, she made it a habit to stand further, hiding in the crowd and gazing through the gaps between people.

別人看她總是像一人在角落作畫,梁丹丰說,當對方緊張時往往是她先不好意思,久而久之,她習慣站得較遠,最好是隱身在人潮中,從人與人的間隙中凝視。

“You can draw away as they continue with their business or change your perspective and continue. You get to meet all types of people while sketching and who understand to respect your drawings, we greet each other with smiles.”

「你怎麼畫,他都做自己的事,這樣換一個角度又可以繼續畫。寫生可以看到很多不同的人,他們也懂得尊敬你畫圖,我們用微笑打招呼。」

She often says, “draw whatever is around, draw whatever you see.”

梁丹丰總說,「有什麼你就畫什麼,看到什麼就畫。」

She was able to see the Lotus Pond, at the National Museum of History, from a different perspective, she drew from Yangming Mountain to Grand Hotel and depicted the unfinished Shin Kong Life Tower from a lonely angle.

她從不同角度看歷史博物館荷花池,從後山畫圓山飯店,又從冷僻的角度描繪尚未完成的新光大樓。

The Minister of Education, Yeh Jiunn-rong, mentioned that Danfeng Liang loves to place trees in the foreground but seeks to emphasize the objects in the background.

教育部長葉俊榮則提到,梁丹丰喜歡把樹木擺在前面,但欲突顯的其實是後方景物。

Simply put, Danfeng Liang traveled the world because she had the ability. She mentioned, in the past, that her experience as a refugee with her father, including the separation and hunger suffered during her childhood, became her courage when traveling the world.

說穿了,梁丹丰一身本事走跳世界,她過去曾提到,年幼時跟著父親逃難走遍了大陸江山,亂世中的離散與饑饉轉化為往後遊歷世界的勇氣。

She was born into the renowned Liang family, but their gates could not restrict her heart from yearning for freedom.

出身梁氏名門,但這道大門關不住自由之心。

In her younger years, she ascended Yushan with her art instruments and endured the battering winds while painting pages upon pages of the changing clouds and their colors to accumulate many lesser works.

年輕時她一人帶著畫具登玉山,在寒風中看雲彩變化一頁一頁的畫,累積了好幾幅小作品。

Afterwards, she felt a deep sense of regret for not painting something larger, so she left early in the morning, laid her canvas on the ground and waited for sunrise on the peak of Yushan while dressed in a qipao.

事後卻覺得沒有畫出一幅大型畫作心有不甘,隔天她一早出門把畫紙鋪在地上,在玉山頂上等日出,身上穿的卻是旗袍。

Maybe it was due to her family background, but the qipao became a personal signature during Danfeng Liang’s youth.

也許是家世背景,旗袍幾乎成為梁丹丰年輕時的個人印記。

Others thought the qipao was difficult and hindered activity, but she wore it everywhere she went; when the outer island regions were difficult to visit for strategic reasons, she received a rare official invitation and wandered the coasts and mountains of Penghu on her own.

外界認為旗袍礙事又難活動,但她卻穿著上山下海,過去離島地區因戰略因素不易造訪,難得受到官方邀請,便一人跑到澎湖在海岸山壁間游走。

She stood in front of her work, detailing the surging emotions in her heart when she saw the coastline of Penghu.

她佇足於畫前,說當年目睹澎湖的海岸線時內心激動。

She thought only of her work, forgetting the dangers in front of her and when she finally came to her senses, a group of soldiers stood behind her before she realized she had trespassed in a prohibited coastal defense zone.

一時間只想要作畫也忘記了眼前危險,等回過神來身後站了一群軍人,才會意到自己已經誤闖海防禁區。

Most of the time, Danfeng Liang’s artistic inspiration still came from Taipei’s urban areas. Once, she even looked out from the National Museum of History and risked being asked to leave, to paint.

更多時候,梁丹丰作畫的靈感還是圍繞在台北都會區,有一次她從歷史博物館往外看,冒著被趕出去的風險邊看邊畫。

As someone who traveled far and wide, sometimes toeing the red line, Danfeng Liang exuded class, speaking calmly with assurance; however, she was always walking the path of art and not the type of socialite locked in her room, drowning in fantasies.

為了藝術四處跋涉甚至稍稍踩了紅線,眼前的梁丹丰依然氣質出眾,說起話來不急不徐,但她終究不是那種關在房內幻想的千金小姐,藝術之路總是始於足下。

When mentioning the National Museum of History, the nearby Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School just so happened to be the Alma Mater of Minister of Education, Yeh Jiunn-rong. He remembers wandering the area when he was a student and Danfeng Liang walking up to him, asking curiously: “Did you see me back then?”

提到歷史博物館,附近的建國中學正好是教育部長葉俊榮的母校。葉俊榮說,年輕讀書時常在那一處閒晃,梁丹丰則湊近身子,帶著好奇心一問:「那你當年有沒有看到我啊?」

Back then, Taiwan didn’t have any good painting tool. When someone was able to import some, a sheet of art paper would cost $100, which was an immense luxury at the time.

早年台灣沒有好的繪畫用具,有次好不容易有人進貨,但一張半開美術用紙要一百塊,依當年物價來看已經近乎奢侈。

Danfeng Liang remembers having so little materials at the time but, when finally watercolor paper was available, she bought them all. When paying, the cashier asked her: “How rich is your family?”

但梁丹丰說,那時候物資缺乏,覺得終於有水彩紙可以用便一次買了好多,結果結帳時店員問她:「妳家這麼有錢啊?」

Danfeng Liang came from a distinguished family; her father was modern painting master Dingming Liang and gained the admiration of Chiang Kai-shek who sent him to Europe to further his learning.

梁丹丰家世顯赫,父親是近代繪畫大師梁鼎銘,早年得到蔣中正的賞識送他去歐洲進修考察。

Dingming Liang was adept of, both, Chinese and western painting and while his style was bold and powerful, the daughter’s style was a complete departure from his.

梁鼎銘精通中西繪畫、畫風遒健,但看他與女兒梁丹丰的風格卻完全是兩回事。

When speaking of her family, Danfeng Liang once said that his father spent a lifetime cultivating talent, but never taught her how to paint, “he would only nod slightly when seeing my paintings, I actually hoped that he would say a bit more….”

談起家事,梁丹丰過去曾說,父親一生作育英才,唯獨就是沒有教過她繪畫,「他看到我畫出一幅畫只是點點頭,我其實希望他多講一點……。」

”It’s because he encouraged me this way, saying ‘just go ahead and draw, draw so you won’t have to think so much.’ If you truly put in the effort you’ll discover that each segment, limb and spirit in the eyes can be a good painting.”

「也是因為這樣他鼓勵我,『妳就去畫吧,多畫就可以不要多想。』只要真正用心就會發現,每一個段落、肢體、眼神都會是一幅好畫。」

When speaking of the true impact that Dingming Liang had on his daughter, it is a fact that she always carries a sketchbook and note paper, “I flip a sheet, then another, and a great image is completed in a flash. I don’t only bring one sketchbook when I’m out, I often return from abroad with more than 30 sketchbooks.”

若要說梁鼎銘真的帶給女兒什麼影響,就是至今梁丹丰身上仍會隨身攜帶素描本與便條紙,「我翻過來又是一張,再翻又一張,好的畫面一下就畫完了。出門身上不會只帶一本,出國回來往往三十幾本畫冊。」

While attempting to find her style, Danfeng Liang stated that painting is similar to photography or playing a film. Several images constantly flicker in front of your eyes while the fleeting demeanor will never be achievable again.

於揣摩中找風格,梁丹丰說,作畫像照相又像電影放映,數個畫面一直在眼前流逝,但消逝的神態再也無法企及。

It is as Cezanne said, “the world’s lifespan has shortened by another minute, draw him at this moment, become the moment, transform into a sensitive palette…transform the moment into an image…”. The artist’s paintbrush is simply a depiction of that moment in history. ”

如同畫家塞尚所說,「世界的壽命又縮短了一分鐘,畫出他此刻的模樣吧,化身為那一刻,化身為敏感的調色盤……把此刻所見化為影像……。」畫家筆下呈現的就是須臾的歷史。

“Sometimes a good image only needs a glance and a few strokes, inject emotions into a few strokes and the visual is preserved, even if the image has left, the emotions and the image are preserved. That’s why I never take photos, because my emotions are paramount, while a camera is only a machine.”

「好的畫面有時候看一眼或勾幾筆就可以,勾了幾筆感情、視覺就留住了,雖然現象已經離開了,但感情跟畫面上已經存在,所以我從來不用照相,照相是機器,但我的感情最重要。」

When others look at her sketchbooks upon her return, they often say: “you haven’t even finished this!” Danfeng Liang doesn’t feel the need to explain that because they return to the sketchbooks when there’s time.

出門回來後常有人看她的畫冊,給的回覆都是:「妳這沒畫完嘛!」梁丹丰說不必解釋,只要一有時間他們就會回到本子上。

That’s why the outlines are especially important because they preserve the emotions at that time along with the visual image, “they even preserve the way they impact you.”

因此勾勒線條格外重要,線條在於留住當時的情感、留下視覺現象,「連他給你的影響都會留下來。」

”The key aspect of the artist is still a vision, what the eyes see. Secondly, it’s your reaction after seeing, like markings on a piece of paper combined with my memories and emotions. When I’m painting, I don’t carry any other wishes, I simply draw with my eyes to catch something else.”

「畫畫的人最重要的還是視覺,眼睛看見了什麼。第二個,看到之後你的反應,就像一張紙上的痕跡,再配上我的記憶跟感情。我畫圖時內心沒有其他願望,只是很單純的畫,用我的眼睛catch something else。」

In this era where the younger generation use projected photos to paint and spread their work on the internet, this era where anybody can copy and paste, Danfeng Liang has without a doubt become the traditional artist seemingly fending off the massive copies of the “era of mechanical copy” with a paintbrush in her hand.

在這個年輕人用投放照片作畫,作品於網路流傳,無時無刻都可供人複製貼上的年代,梁丹丰無疑已經成為了那種老派藝術家,宛如拿著畫筆對付著「機器複製年代」的大量複製品。

Still believing that every hand-painted piece is unique, each stroke is an aura that gathers, to create a piece of work.

仍相信手繪的每一刻都是獨一無二,每一筆都將匯聚成作品的靈光(aura)。

Danfeng Liang’s son remembers rarely traveling with his mother, but he remembers her swift actions, leaving immediately after finishing her drawing, in search for the next location while her children yearned to see more, to stay a while longer.

梁丹丰的兒子回憶,過去很少跟母親出遠門,但印象中梁丹丰動作很快,畫完一處就想走、找下一個繪畫地點,但兒女們通常還想多看看、待久一些。

After having traveled Taiwan and the world, Danfeng Liang still wants to draw the fishing villages of Taiwan, to quietly observe every detail of the sun drying and the fisherman catching the fish.

走遍了台灣和世界,但梁丹丰說她還是想再畫台灣的漁村,想不動聲色地觀察曬魚、捕魚的每個細節。

However, her old age has gradually restricted her yearning for travel, due to health conditions; the free and wandering artist must still succumb to old age.

但近年因為年紀增長,身體因素逐漸困住了想往外走的心,無拘無束的畫家旅人,終究還是得向年歲低頭。

Her son carts her around, looking at past works and she says that time and space has changed everything and made them different. Sometimes, even after some thinking she still can’t remember the original scenery of a painting.

兒子推著她看過去的手筆,她說,時間空間都改變了一切都不一樣,有時思索片刻還是想不出畫中景色在哪。

When interviewed, her students often state that aside from her exceptional artistic skills, Danfeng Liang also has an extremely strong aura.

她的學生受訪時則說,梁丹丰除了繪畫技巧了得,身上還有一股很強的氛圍。

“You feel especially confident when next to her, even if you’re not quite skilled, she is always able to give you energy. When out sketching, students sometimes don’t know how to capture a scene due to the multitude of objects, but the instructor will calm them down and they’ll naturally see the colors and composition.”

「跟在老師身邊會特別有信心,自己畫不見得畫的好,但老師就是能帶給你能量。出外寫生看到的物景太多,學生不知道怎麼擷取,但老師會讓你安定下來,自然而然會看到顏色跟構圖。」

Danfeng Liang often said to her students “just go ahead and draw, I’ll be here with you.” Her kindness was the best gift to her students.

梁丹丰常跟學生說,「你們先畫,我在。」貼心,是送給學生的最好禮物。

As she once again hosts an individual exhibition at the National Central Library, students flocking around her, is a testament to her unwavering popularity.

再度於國家圖書館舉辦個人展覽,學生圍著她打轉,老畫家人氣不減。

Even if the era of hand-drawn art has gradually left us, her charisma has undoubtedly preserved the final shadows of that era.

即便這個時代離手繪藝術漸行漸遠,但毫無疑問,她的魅力保留了那個時代最後一抹的身影。