咫尺有万里之势 – Chinese philosophy and culture

zhǐchǐ yǒu wànlǐ zhī shì 咫尺有万里之势

Power of Landscape Within Inches

著名的山水画大师在咫尺见方的画幅上可以描画出辽远广阔的景致。这种艺术描绘方式,并不是事无巨细地全部照搬,而是融合了创作者的艺术素养,展现出创作者的心灵与胸襟,对于素材则删繁就简,由约而博,由近而远。“咫尺有万里之势”后也用于诗歌批评。这个术语中,最重要的是“势”,体现在诗歌、绘画等创作方面,即注重炼意构思,使作品具备艺术张力和强大的表现力,整体气势动人,不拘泥于一字一笔。要达到这种艺术境界,不能只依靠临摹和模仿,而要亲身阅历,开拓眼界,感知造化神奇,超越尘俗。

Masters of landscape painting are able to depict natural scenery which has vast breadth and distance on an inches-wide scroll. The artist does not just copy a scenery, but rather creates a work of art which integrates his artistic accomplishments and displays his heart and mind. The artist omits superfluous details and brings close a distant landscape with a broad perspective. This idea also applies to poetry criticism. Its most important element is “power,” which means that general layout and core message give poems, paintings, and other works of art a dramatic effect, expressiveness and appeal, rather than paying excessive attention to detail. To achieve this, artists should not merely duplicate or imitate a landscape; they should personally experience it, expand their horizons, feel the natural wonders and transcend worldly concerns.

引例 Citations:

◎(萧贲)雅性精密,后来难尚。含毫命素,动必依真,尝画团扇,上为山川,咫尺之内,而瞻万里之遥;方寸之中,乃辩千寻之峻。(姚最《续画品》)

(萧贲作画非常精致细密,后人很难比得上。他构思作画铺设绢素的时候,一笔一画必然依据真实情况,他曾经在团扇上画山水,一尺见方的画幅上,竟然能看到万里远的景致;一寸大小的画面上,可以辨明几千寻高的峻山。)

Xiao Bi paints carefully and meticulously, and later generations can hardly match him. When he paints on silk, he executes every stroke precisely in accordance with the real scenery. He once painted on a dainty round fan a landscape on which you can see the scenery of hundreds of miles into the distance. In the painting, mountains which are thousands of feet high can be discerned within a square-inch space. (Yao Zui: A Sequel to the Criticism of Painting)

◎论画者曰“咫尺有万里之势”,一“势”字宜着眼。若不论势,则缩万里于咫尺,直是《广舆记》前一天下图耳。五言绝句,以此为落想时第一义。唯盛唐人能得其妙。如:“君家住何处?妾住在横塘。停船暂借问,或恐是同乡。”墨气所射,四表无穷,无字处皆其意也。(王夫之《姜斋诗话》卷二)

(论画的人说“一尺有万里的气势”,其中一个“势”字应该抓住。如果不讲“势”,就是把万里江山缩进一尺里,只不过是《广舆记》前面的一张天下地图而已。五言绝句,以这为构思的第一要义。唯有盛唐时代的诗人能够掌握奥妙。比如“君家住何处?妾住在横塘。停船暂借问,或恐是同乡”,笔墨气势发散,向四方无限辐射,就是没有字的地方都满是情意。)

Critics say that a landscape painting can appear to be stretching ten thousand li on a very small piece of paper. The key point here is whether an overwhelming impact can be achieved. Without such impact, even if a vast landscape is squeezed into an extremely limited space, the result will be just another allinclusive map of the country easily available in The Geography Guidebook. A fivecharacter quatrain, which is supposed to present a big picture in extremely few words, puts the creation of power above all else. Only poets in the golden years of the Tang Dynasty can truly understand this marvel. For example, between poetic lines such as “May I ask where you live, stranger? I live in Hengtang not far from here. Let’s halt our boats and ask more about each other, for after all we might be folks from the same hometown,” a tremendous poetic impact keeps hovering even though details are omitted. So much affection is conveyed where no words are actually said. (Wang Fuzhi: Desultory Remarks on Poetry from Ginger Studio)

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