WEEKLY

ON SHADOWOLOGY
世事如影

活在他人的影子裏,言下之意,就是盲從地跟隨別人的步伐。追逐影子,乍聽起來似乎是懦弱之舉,然而來自比利時的電影製作人Vincent Bal卻能扭轉乾坤,建構出一套特別的「Shadowology」。他相信生活中隨手拈來的物件,皆有其獨一無二的影子,於是利用輕盈的筆觸,配以豐富的想像力,讓影子變成一幅又一幅栩栩如生的作品。

在眾人眼中,Vincent Bal是位曾榮獲多個電影獎項的製作人,也是個於電影學院任教的老師。殊不知,原來他從小就希望成為漫畫家。數年前的某天,他如常埋頭於桌子前,靜靜地編寫電影劇本。驀地,他發現茶杯的剪影好像一頭大象,便揮筆畫了鼻子、眼睛等,繼而拍照放上社交媒體。由於照片出乎意料地受歡迎,故Vincent Bal自此決定每天上載一幅作品。他沒有採用繁複的線條,反而一切從簡,只是輕輕加上幾筆。他善用影子的積極空間(positive space)與消極空間(negative space),引領人們進入他的異想世界。兩顆尖銳的圖釘排列起來,有如東方女性嫣然一笑的面容;細密的網交織成海豹的模樣,提醒人們關注受全球暖化影響的動物;帶有鋸齒的削皮刀,在燈光的照射下變成一部鋼琴;藍色的玻璃杯折射了一片湛藍的海,令人不禁想潛入水底探索。即使是相同的物件,其影子也會因不同的顏色或光線的角度而有所變化,不會一式一樣。「影子的好處,就在於它的變幻莫測。」Vincent Bal認為用影子創作能拓展無限的可能性。

Vincent Bal每次獲得創作的靈感,大抵都是電光火石之間的事。家中的抽屜、行人路盛開的花朵,均是他的靈感泉源。「我從不刻意尋找靈感,是這些影子啟發了我。影子投射出我內心的想法,就好像玩羅夏克墨跡測驗(Rorschach Test)般。」為了令作品更多樣化,他開始嘗試用不同顏色的物件,也買了一盞枱燈,以營造理想的效果。因為作品越來越受青睞,所以他其後更出版了一本名為《Shadowology》的書,同時亦在網上出售簽名明信片等。雖然Vincent Bal同樣熱愛電影製作,但製作電影往往要經歷一番風雨,才能成功搬上大銀幕。與之相比,影子創作則不用考慮成本、票房等外在因素,能讓他無拘無束地運用創意。

創作是自由的,我們都可以盡情發揮天馬行空的想像力。樹下斑駁的影子、街燈的影子、路邊小貓的影子,甚至自己的影子,會令你聯想到甚麼?影子的存在又教會了我們甚麼?世界波譎雲詭,但願我們能像影子一樣能屈能伸,在狹小的空間找到自己的位置。

撰文:王以珞
美術:王曉澄

Living in someone’s shadow means to follow in the footsteps of his or her. While chasing shadows sounds like an act of cowardice, Vincent Bal, a Belgian filmmaker, has developed a set of “Shadowology” by playing with shadows. He believes that everything at our fingertips have their unique shadows, so he uses light, upbeat sketches, augmented with his vivid imagination, to produce a series of shadow artwork.

In the eyes of many, Vincent Bal is an award-winning filmmaker as well as a teacher in a film school. To our surprise, he has always been interested in drawing comic strips since he was very young. A few years ago, on a typical day, he was writing scripts in front of the table, where he suddenly noticed how the shadow of his teacup looked like an elephant. He then drew some lines on the paper, took a photo and posted it on social media. Since people seemed to enjoy reading his shadow doodles, he decided to post a drawing every day. He did not apply any intricate lines on his drawings, but some simple lines that everyone is capable of drawing them. He utilizes the positive space and negative space of the shadows and leads us to his playful fantasy world. By placing two pins on the paper, we can see the giggling of an oriental lady; a fine-mesh net shows the face of a seal, reminding us about the animals that are affected by global warming; a serrated peeler magically transforms into a piano under the reflection of light; a blue-tinted glass cup refracts the light into a vast ocean, making us want to explore the underwater world. Even for the same object, its shadow varies according to the change of colors and the angle of light. “The good thing is the shadows are very unpredictable.” Vincent Bal thinks shadows can create endless possibilities.

All the ideas of Vincent Bal come to mind in a flash. The drawers at home, and the flowers on the road can also be the sources of inspiration. “I’m never looking for inspiration. The shadows inspire me. What I see in the shadows are probably things that are on my mind, so that way it works like a Rorschach test.” To diversify his artwork, he began to use objects in different colors and bought a table lamp to make better effects. As his work become more and more popular, he has published a book titled “Shadowology”, and he keeps selling signed postcards online. Vincent Bal is passionate about filmmaking, but every time when he produces a film, he needs to go through a loads of obstacles. In contrary to filmmaking, he does not have to consider external factors such as cost and box office when doodling on the paper. He can utilize his creativity freely.

Doing creative work does not cost us a penny. We can simply let our creative juice flow freely in our minds. What would you associate with the shadows of dappled light, a street light, a street cat, or even the shadow of yourself? What can shadows teach us? The world is paradoxical and uncertain, Chessman hopes all of you can live like shadows—be adaptive and able to find your true self in the tiny space.

Text: Elok Wong
Art: Agnes Wong

ISSUE #197

ON SHADOWOLOGY

 

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