愛畫的趙翔以不斷買畫來支持畫壇

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1981 / 1月

文‧許麗慧 圖‧華台


趙翔是中華民國一位頗見成就的西畫收藏家,是目前收集中國畫家西畫作品最多、最完整的一人。二十餘年來,他使自己愛好藝術、卻未有機會成為藝術家的夙願得償,促進了國內收藏西畫的風氣,更使畫家受到許多的重視和鼓勵,促使畫壇活動更為蓬勃。他所收集的作品,已為近代國內西畫的發展,提供了最好的見證。


有一顆熱愛藝術的心

民國二十四年,趙翔出生於臺灣臺中清水鄉下的一個貧困家庭。排行老么的他,上面有八個姊姊和一個哥哥。兄弟姊妹眾多,使他幼時無法得到很多的照顧,因而培養成他獨立奮發的個性。

他的父親曾為一位公司老闆做了四十八年的管家,收入相當微薄。

幼年時的趙翔,終日與草木農務為伍,大自然美麗的景色,就像一幅幅美麗的風景畫,映在他的腦海裡,他很想把眼中所看和心中所想的用筆畫出來,但他買不起畫具。

窮困的生活,令他壓抑下對繪畫的傾心,跟其他同齡的孩子一樣,他想到的只是:如何賺錢來改善生活?

十五歲那年,他聽說臺北賺錢容易,也想到這個大都市淘金。一個仲夏的涼夜,他挽著布包袱,腳趿一雙日式木屐,悄悄地離開純樸的家鄉,搭乘清晨三點半的夜車北上。

步出台北後車站,他舉目無親,又身無分文,忽覺前途茫茫,不知何去何從,感到從未有的無助。

「少年仔!愛呷頭路(要找工作)嗎?」一個操著閩南語的中年男人向他走來,是職業介紹所的人。

「愛!」趙翔毫無選擇地接受了。

奮鬥不懈,大都市中掙得一席之地

他被帶到一家貿易公司當小弟,每天煮飯給二十幾個人吃,還要掃地抹桌椅。每個月新台幣卅元的薪水卻逐月被他父親領走了。

窮苦的生活並沒有使趙翔畏縮,他白天做小弟、做雜工、當送貨工人,換了不少工作,晚上則到學校夜間部苦讀,初中、高中都是這樣度過。直到考上了台大歷史系,他還是以半工半讀方式完成學業。

大學畢業後,他進入美軍顧問團工作了十三年。美軍撤離後,他獨立經營木材和遊艇生意,由於他過去養成的刻苦精神,使他的事業蒸蒸日上。

趙翔說:「我在求學期間,得到許多同學、朋友、同事的幫助,使我能完成學業。後來經營生意,又得國內經濟起飛之賜,使我事業也能有所成。我常想,我要拿什麼來回報社會呢?我選擇了一向所嚮往的:現代藝術收藏。」

廿一年前,趙翔在弘霖畫廊買下他收藏的第一幅畫。他說:「那天,李元亨舉辦畫展公開賣畫,這在當時是件很特殊的事。因為在二十一年前,臺灣經濟不似今日這樣蓬勃發展,一般生活水準很低,很少人買畫,也很少人賣畫。畫家做畫多半只是消遣,常將作品當禮物贈送親朋好友,並不以賣畫為生。」

因為一向熱愛美術而常逛畫廊的趙翔,到弘霖畫廊參觀,與這位畫家聊天,才知道原來李元亨是為了想籌旅費到法國去留學才賣畫的。

盡力幫一點忙

趙翔直覺地感受到這位畫家對繪畫的熱忱和嚮往,「如果因為錢的問題而不能成行,對他來說,一定是個很大的打擊。」他想起小時候為了生活而不能學畫的遺憾,將心比心,一時感觸良深,立刻把口袋裡所有的二千元掏出來,買下了兩幅作品。

從那次開始直到現在,他沒有間斷過藝術的收藏。目前,趙翔擁有兩千餘幅國內現代畫家的作品,雄踞國內收藏現代畫的第一位,他太太常對他說:「你如果把買畫的錢拿來經營房地產,台北大概有半數房子都是你的了。」可見他投下了可觀的資金在這方面。其中最貴的是一幅廖繼春的畫,買進來時花了五十萬元。

趙翔認為藝術可以陶冶人的性情,並進而改善社會風氣,所以他常拉朋友一起逛畫廊和買畫。

由於趙翔的大量收藏,對鼓動國內的收藏風氣頗有功勞,加速了國內現代畫壇向前邁進的速度,使一向被漠視的現代畫家作品有了出路。

然而,他為什麼不收集國畫或外國畫家的作品呢?

趙翔說:「外國畫家的作品,對我們國內的藝術發展沒有太大的助益;而傳統國畫在我國已有數千年的歷史,一向受到國人的重視,並且故宮博物院、歷史博物館都有系統的在收藏。西畫在我國則比較不受重視。我一向佩服國內西畫家在追求藝術上所做的種種努力,希望我的收藏能給國內現代藝術的發展提供一些助力,並為面臨轉變階段的中國現代藝術做一個見證,所以我把收集的重點放在現代西畫上。」

為要表達對整個畫壇的關懷

為了對整個畫壇多付出一些關懷,他買畫的原則是一定要向畫廊買,而不直接向畫家買。趙翔說,畫廊雖然向畫家抽取一定比例的佣金,但畫廊提供場地展出、做廣告、印海報,可以使更多人參與,使大眾知道畫壇動態。畫家與畫廊簽約,生活也較有保障。向畫廊買畫,是支持畫廊,也是支持畫壇。

曾經有一段時間,國內畫廊因經營不善而有好幾家相繼關門了,趙翔為了挽救這個情況,多次把整個畫廊的畫全部買下。他常自嘲說:「我是趙大呆!」但他從沒有後悔過。他說:「我不是藝術家,但藝術是我生活的重心。我唯一能表達自己對藝術的熱愛與支持的,只有傾囊而出,用經商所得的盈餘來買畫。」

剛開始買畫的時候,趙翔並無意成為一個收藏家,他買畫時感情成分非常濃厚,他說:「剛開始,我比較缺少藝術素養,並不太從藝術的角度來挑畫。」後來看的畫多了,閱讀的有關書籍也多了,他鑑賞畫的能力就愈來愈高。

然而,趙翔仍然頗忠於自己的「感覺」,看來喜歡、甚至能百看不厭的畫,他就把它歸類於好畫,就認為值得收藏,而不理會藝評家的批評。他看的美術方面的書籍很多,對各種繪畫的理論學說相當瞭解,但他認為用各種理論學說來評判一張畫,而忽視欣賞者的感覺,恐怕仍是「捨本逐末」。

感情因素所佔比重大些

除了畫本身的好壞以外,有時候他收藏一張畫,也是因為他對畫家特殊的感情。例如掛在他家客廳牆上的一幅版畫,是畫家江漢東在視力只有○.一度,幾乎失明的情況下,臉靠近畫布一筆一筆地慢慢畫,畫完一小塊地方就把顏色記在腦裡,再畫另一塊,經過長時間才奮鬥完成的。趙翔不只欣賞這張畫,更佩服這位畫家的毅力和決心。

這種憑著喜好及熱情的收藏,在廿多年間,趙翔不免會收集到許多「次級作品」,他認為這是一個收藏藝術品的人很難避免的過程。他說:「那是個必經的過度時期,就像我們想要學一項技藝,總要繳一點學費一樣的。」

長期的投入,趙翔漸漸成了行家,所選的畫也就愈來愈好。

對畫家來說,他們最感安慰的,是把自己花心血繪出來的畫,賣給真正「識貨」的知音保存下來,就像為女兒找一個好婆家一樣。趙翔就是國內許多西畫家心目中的「好婆家」,因為他不只能欣賞,而且能妥善的保存,不致於流失。

趙翔將一些畫寄放在畫廊,另一些則擺在家裡。他準備明年舉辦一個收藏展,讓社會大眾籍著他豐富的收藏,以瞭解國內早期畫家的一些作品,和整個畫壇演變至今的歷程。然而,他不準備賣掉任何一張他所收藏的畫,「因為如果讓這些畫零星的散佈在許多收藏家手中,就很難再將它們收集在一起,也就無法看出近代國內西畫界的整個風貌。」

為現代美術活動做一個見證

此外,他希望在有生之年,除繼續收藏之外,並成立一座美術館,陳列這一代畫家的代表作,讓它們永遠流傳下去。如果這個願望無法達成,他將把畫捐給公立博物館,「我想藉此讓後世子孫看到這一代,有這麼多忠於藝術、真正埋頭作畫的畫家。」

由於多年來一直與畫打交道,趙翔對國內畫壇非常熟悉,因而他立下了一個撰寫中國現代美術史的心願。目前,他已開始進行收集資料,準備五十歲時就從自己的公司退休,全力來做這件事。

對他來說,收藏畫的動機不是為投資,他不想從畫的買賣中牟利,但他並不反對這種現象。

趙翔說,把藝術品變成有價的東西,更能引起大眾的關心和參與,其實是很好的。世界各地,不論畫也好、雕塑也好,或其他藝術品,多半都有價格,而且很少有跌價的可能。如果我們的「藝術品拍賣市場」能早日出現,隨時可將收藏的畫變現,買畫的風氣,一定會更盛行。

他同時強調,許多人以為有錢人才收藏畫,是很錯誤的觀念。他說,目前國內有很多公務員或中等收入階級,他們並不富有,卻經常用「分期付款」的方式來買畫。

身為一個生意人,趙翔也常為了付畫款而奔波調頭寸,但他覺得只要是把錢用在買畫上,一切就都值得。畫家也因為知道趙翔喜歡畫,關懷畫壇,常以較低的價錢賣給他。

多年不間斷的付出,現已卓然成家

趙翔希望社會大眾能普遍接近藝術。他建議剛接觸畫的人多看畫展、多看書、多請教行家,就可以漸漸提高鑑賞力。趙翔目前的美術修養,也是長時間進修的成果,他幾乎把看畫當成固定的工作,各種畫冊、美術書刊和全臺各地的畫展,他從來都不放過。

他進一步解釋說,看畫時,除了注意畫面的結構、色彩以外,還要注意畫布、顏料的好壞。有些畫布很容易破碎、或顏料容易龜裂,就不適宜買來收藏。「一個負責任、慎重做畫的藝術家,應該用好的畫布和材料。」他同時建議畫家研究顏料可能的化學變化,經過長時間是否會變色等。

收藏了廿幾年,趙翔看到許多畫家的興起和沉落,也看到許多畫家觀念的突破和技巧的進步。

從趙翔收藏的畫,和他對國內藝壇的關切與瞭解,可以體會出他平實的外表,蘊藏著一顆豐富的、熱切的、充滿感情的心,所以他能為收藏畫、為表達他對國內畫壇的支持,投下了鉅額資金而從無悔色。

在付出的過程中所得亦豐

藝術豐富了、美化了趙翔的生活,也兼帶給他修身養性的效果,使他更熱誠、更謙和、更坦率。他說:「我還要繼續往既定的目標努力,希望在離世之時,能回顧此生感覺了無遺憾。」

〔圖片說明〕

P.26、P.27

趙翔收集的西畫當中,包括早期的和近代年輕畫家的作品,有:油畫、版畫、水彩畫、水墨畫等。圖1:「巴黎春色」是畫壇元老廖繼春七十二歲時的作品。廖繼春生於民前十年,逝於六十五年,他桃李滿天下,無論在畫事上,或在為人處事上,都對許多近代畫家有很大的影響。圖2:現年七十三歲的楊三郎一貫保持印象派的畫風,但工夫日益老練。他曾留日、法、歸國後創立「台陽美術協會」。此幅「大山」是六十八年十二月的作品。圖3:民國三年出生於嘉義的畫家張義雄,是五十年代畫壇「黑馬」。此幅作品「一絲希望」,是六十七年所繪,也是畫風轉變時期的作品,在此之前他的作品全為寫生之作,此後漸轉為內心世界的意象。圖4:出生於民國十三年的沈哲哉,對人體研究透徹,被喻為「人體畫專家」。他的畫室長年雇有模特兒。作品「浴後」,作於六十九年夏天,顯現出用色鮮麗卻沉穩的特色。圖5:趙翔雖然是一個商人,但從不把時間花在酬酢上,他也不吸煙,工作餘暇就是欣賞畫和享天倫之樂。這是他的全家福。圖6:趙翔精心佈置的客廳,四壁掛著他最喜歡的幾幅畫,他認為抽象畫用於裝飾現代居室最為合適。

P.28、P.29

圖1:丁雄泉的作品。丁雄泉出生於民國十八年,曾留學巴黎,擅長油畫和壓克力畫,作品在國外很有名。圖2:民國二十年出生的陳銀輝,現任師大美術系教授。這幅作品「東灣灣」寫於民國六十八年,靈感得自蘭嶼寫生,色面分割,多用中間色,柔和、含蓄,卻表現了深厚的素描基礎。圖3:「礦坑」是洪瑞麟所作,他為了作畫親身進入礦坑工作三十五年,實際體驗礦工生活的甘苦,用心靈與畫筆表現出來。圖4:莊●作品。莊●生於民國二十三年,擅長壓克力畫。圖5:趙無●極的作品,他生於民國十年,是第一位以抽象的方法表現中國山水虛無飄渺境界的畫家,被譽為「世界十大抽象畫家」之一。

P.30、P.31

圖1:現年四十二歲的楊興生,擅長抽象及半具象的風景寫生。圖2:吳炫三的「鬥牛」。吳炫三是畫壇元老廖繼春的得意門生,為了作畫,曾遠赴非洲等地旅行。圖3:江漢東是國內資格很老的畫家,因患青光眼而視力極弱,幾經治療後,視線恢復到0.1,視野也只有手電筒光圈大小,但他堅持對繪畫的熱愛與信心,仍辛勤作畫。他作畫時必須在強烈的日光下,而且因視野狹小,畫一小塊地方就必須把色彩記在腦裡,再把視線移到他處繼續作畫,這張畫就是這樣歷經千辛萬苦完成的。藝評家認為它最大的優點是色彩和構圖空間都處理得很好,給人一氣呵成的感覺。他的畫主要吸收敦煌壁畫的形態,做超現實的表現,也是以中國文化為底,創造出自己的風格,並常表現出童稚的幻想世界。圖4:陳正雄的「山」。民國二十四年出生的陳正雄擅長油畫。

P.32、P.33

圖1:留學西班牙的青年畫家林惺嶽,大部份以樹為主題。他的樹也和中國古代畫家筆下的樹同樣講究意境,但古人的樹拘謹、溫婉、他畫的樹則強調樹的奔放與個性。圖2:江明賢的水墨畫。圖3:劉其偉的「●鳴早看天」。民國六十八年作。民國二年生於廣東的劉奇偉,對繪畫、原始文化及建築都極有研究。圖4:民國二十四年生於小琉球的陳瑞福、繪畫特色是:用色乾淨、用筆豪邁、色彩明朗。這幅畫名「愛河之畔」。圖5:趙春翔的畫深受黑白強烈對比的中國畫法和抽象表現畫風的影響。

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EN

Collector of Modern Art


Through constant efforts over the past 20 years, Chao Hsiang has built up the largest and most systematic collection of modern Chinese paintings in the Republic of China. Local artists who recognize him as the earliest in the field, have been encouraged by his example to create more inspiring works. His collection in fact is a mirror of the development of modern Chinese art.

Born in 1935 in the Chingshui district of Taichung County in central Taiwan, Chao was the youngest of a family of eight girls and two boys. Lack of proper care from his parents helped him to build up a strong and independent spirit.

Chao spent most of his childhood outdoors. Though he wanted to paint the things he saw, lack of money prevented him from obtaining the necessary materials. At the age of 15, he arrived in Taipei with only the clothes he was wearing.

By doing menial jobs during the day and studying at night, he finally obtained his B.A. degree from the Department of History of the National Taiwan University. After working with the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group for 13 years, he started a timber and yacht business which eventually made him rich.

To show his gratitude to society, Chao bought his first painting 21 years ago at the Hong Ling Gallery. "I still recall that it was from an exhibition put on by an artist called Lee Yuan-heng. At that time, a low standard of living in Taiwan prevented most people from buying paintings. After talking with the artist, I learned that he needed money to further his studies in France. Remembering my own frustration at not being able to study because of a lack of resources, I bought two of his paintings for US$56, which was all I had in my pocket at the time," Chao said.

Today, he has 2,000 pieces in his collection. His wife sometimes says jokingly: "The money you have spent on art works is enough to buy half of the buildings in Taipei." His investment of US$14,000 for a single work by Liao Chi-chun shows amply his dedication to the field.

Chao excludes classical Chinese paintings and masterpieces by foreign artists from his collection, however, because so many others are engaged in these fields, "The National Palace Museum and the National Museum of History have systematically collected classical Chinese paintings from the past five thousand years. Works by foreign painters are of little significance to local art history. I hope me collection will provide encouragement to local painters in the pursuit of their ideals, and bring modern Chinese art to a new epoch," Chao said.

He explained that he never buys any painting directly from the artist. Though galleries charge a commission of 30 percent on all paintings they sell, they provide an essential service to artists in promoting their works, he explains. He further pointed out that by signing contracts with galleries, artists can improve their living conditions.

At one time, Chao bought all the paintings from one gallery so it would not have to close down. "Though I am not an artist, I can never live without art. The only way to express my ardent love for art is to buy more paintings from the profit I make from the trade."

Chao continued that though orthodox theories are a good basis for judging a painting, an art collector must still remain faithful to his own feelings, and acquire only the works he admires personally. Sometimes Chao buys what are regarded as "secondary art works" simply because he has an attachment to a particular painter.

Chao is preparing to sponsor an art exhibition next year to show the items he has collected so that more people will be able to see the works of new artists and the development of art history in the Republic of China. He has no intention of selling any of his treasures because, he says, if they are scattered, it would be difficult to build up a truly representative collection of modern Chinese paintings ever again. His ultimate intention is to establish a museum to provide a permanent home for his collection. If this is not possible, he plans to donate all the paintings to a public museum for the benefit of generations to come.

Based on his long-term involvement in the field, Chao intends to write a history of modern Chinese paintings. He is planning to start collecting materials when he retires from his present job at the age of 50.

Chao has no objection to people who build up art collections as an investment. He said that the prices of paintings, sculptures and other art treasures are likely to appreciate with time. The art "business" would be strengthened in Taiwan if an auction center was set up, he added. He emphasized, however, that it is a mistake to believe that only the rich can take up this hobby. Even ordinary workers have acquired works of art on an installment plan, and sometimes he himself has had to borrow money to satisfy his desire for more paintings.

Chao said that the only way to become a connoisseur of the fine arts is to read books, visit art exhibitions, and consult specialists. A collector must pay attention to the quality of canvas and paint as well as the structure and colors of a painting before he decides to buy.

In general, artists in the Republic of China adhere to the principle of art for art's sake in spite of the deprivation that this inevitably entails. As the number of collectors has grown, newer artists have tended to lack self-discipline. He divides artists into two types, those whose works have international appeal, and those who have difficulty in communicating with foreigners.

His unyielding devotion to art collecting caused the Chinese Communists to suspect he was an instrument of propaganda for the Republic of China. He points out: "I am convinced my lifetime devotion to the field will enable me to die without remorse."

[Picture Caption]

Chao Hsiang has built up the largest and most systematic collection of modern Chinese paintings in the Republic of China. 1. "Springtime in Paris" is a work by Liao Chi-chun, a local artist who died in 1901. 2. "Huge Mountain" by 73-year-old painter Yan San-lang. After studying in Japan and France, Yang returned to Taiwan to inaugurate the Taiyang Arts Association. He is one of the pioneers of the local modern art movement, and has always been regarded as an impressionist master. 3. "A Glimpse of Hope" by Chang Yi-hsiung was completed in 1978, when his painting style changed from natural to expressionist. 4. "After the Bath" by Shen Che-tsai, an artist specializing in painting the human form. 5. Chao plays chess with his son as his wife looks on. 6. Chao said that abstract painting can serve as a decoration in the modern home. The walls of his lounge are hung with such works.

1. A work by Ting Hsiung-chuan, who specializes in oil painting and acrylic nude painting. 2. Chen Yin-huei, a professor of the Department of Arts of National Normal University, obtains his inspiration from Orchid lsland in creating this masterwork "Tong Wan Bay." 3. "Mining Pit" by Hung Ruei-ling, who spent 35 years working in the mines to understand the essences of miners' lives. 4. An acrylic work by Chuang Chieh. 5. A work by Chao Wu-chi, who is the first painter in China to use abstract methods to paint classical-style Chinese landscapes. He is regarded as one of the 10 leading abstract painters in the world.

1. An abstract painting by 42-year-old Yang Hsin-sheng. 2. "Bull Fight" by A. Sun, who made several trips to Africa to discover the primitive art forms on the continent. 3. Chiang Han-tung is a veteran local artist whose eyesight is so poor that he has to work under extremely bright lights. Even though he works largely from memory, Chiang has been praised by art critics who say the colors and structures in his paintings are almost perfect. Inspired by the fresco paintings in Tung Huan Cave, Chiang's works have a childlike simplicity. 4. "Mountain," an abstract painting by Chen Cheng-hsiung.

1. Trees are the most popular theme of Lin Hsin-yu, who has studied in Spain. 2. "Autumn in Paris" by Chiang Ming-hsien. 3. "Cock Crowing in the Morning." a work by Liu Chi-wei, who specializes in painting, primitive culture and architecture. 4. "On the Banks of the Love River" by Chen Rui-fu, whose paintings are marked by bold strokes and clear and bright colors. 5. An abstract work by Chao Chun-hsiang.

 

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