Rockbund Art Museum 上海外滩美术馆

"Woolf's Mask"— "Freshwater" Script Reading “伍尔夫的面具”——《淡水》剧本游读

Event Information

Date: 8 July 2023
Time: 11:30 12:30
Venue: Rockbund Art Museum
Language: Chinese


日期: 2023年 7月 8日
时间: 11:30 12:30
场馆: 上海外滩美术馆
语言: 中文

Artist Evelyn Taocheng Wang views art history as a makeup box carried with her, using different characters as masks to observe the world and art. In the ongoing exhibition "Evelyn Taocheng Wang: An Equivocal Contrast" at the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai, Eileen Chang and Agnes Martin are two characters with more roles in her painting, offering different perspectives to review the world. As the exhibition is about to close, we introduce another female writer who has had a significant impact on Evelyn Taocheng Wang - Virginia Woolf, and use her play "Freshwater" as the script for a roving script reading session. We invite the audience to wear "Woolf's mask" and wander and watch in Evelyn Taocheng Wang's work.

"Freshwater" is the only play written by Virginia Woolf. It is a comedy full of inside jokes, based on her own family, which was originally performed in her sister Vanessa's painting studio in January 1935, and caused a sensation in Europe and America nearly 50 years later due to the French theater's remake. The cast included masters of the absurd theater and leaders of the new novel, and was not inferior to the celebrities in the play. However, it is little known in the Chinese-speaking world, with only a Taiwanese translation available (see left picture above), and performances are scarce.

Woolf has directly influenced Evelyn Taocheng Wang's creations: Virginia Woolf on Riverside (2017), Four Seasons of Women Tragedy (2017). She says: "Almost all of Woolf's works--are sad, distant, desolate and tragic." Not only is her narrative style very feminine, her language is poetic, sharp and full of implications; there are many undercurrent structures in it, like a collage of subconscious patterns deep in people's hearts. Evelyn Taocheng Wang compares her art with Woolf's creation: "I think these elements create an environment where our subconscious can swim in these narratives and see related things. Just like when I read Virginia Woolf's books. There is a kind of fluidity in her words."

Woolf appropriates the people around her as readymades for drama creation and writes stream-of-consciousness, and Evelyn Taocheng Wang also uses "readymades", using "fake posters" as frames, displacing different elements to present richly layered paintings. The context constructed by the artist with Eileen Chang and Martin, and the script constructed by Woolf with "real characters" are so consistent, using "playfulness" to draw people into it. In Woolf's works, uncertainty becomes the embodiment of "reality", and authenticity is also constantly remolded, revealed and broken, leaving only desolation.

This exhibition adopts the concept of "one light and two dark" for its layout. Eileen Chang once wanted to live in a house with a one-light-two-dark layout. This is basically consistent with Woolf's "a room of one's own". As two female writers, they seem to have unconsciously realized something, a room of one's own. It may not necessarily be a room for art, perhaps just a place elsewhere.

This script reading will also go from dark to light, breaking the static state of traditional script reading. Woolf's text and Evelyn Taocheng Wang's paintings in the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai form a contrast, and the characters gain life in space and paintings. When Agnes Martin wanted to draw people into the abstract world with her artistic creation, Evelyn Taocheng Wang added different life objects in her rubbing of Agnes Martin's work, attracting the audience's attention to the objects in the painting, and bringing people back to real life. Because she feels that people always have to return to their own lives and face the current situation. "Freshwater" also presents different choices and states of several couples in "art and life": leave, say goodbye to mainstream life, escape from new life, don't need so much art, or delve into art. Die, be born, stay in place - rushing towards different boxes. Freshwater is the place where the story takes place, and is also a symbol of the old society (system). From the eastern perspective, it can also be a mirror. Everyone can find "an equivocal contrast" in it and think about their own situation and choices.


伍尔夫曾直接影响王伊芙苓韬程的创作:Virginia Woolf on Riverside(2017),Four Season of Women Tragedy (2017)。她说:“伍尔夫几乎所有的作品ーー是悲伤、遥远、荒凉和悲剧的。”不仅她的叙事方式非常女性化,其语言富有诗意,犀利和饱含暗示性; 其中有许多潜流结构,就像人们内心深处的潜意识模式的拼贴画一般。

王伊芙苓韬程将自己的艺术与伍尔夫的创作作类比:“我认为这些元素创造了一个环境,让我们的潜意识可以在这些叙事中畅游,看到相关的事物。就像我读弗吉尼亚 · 伍尔夫的书一样。她的文字里有一种流动性。”


Virginia Woolf on Riverside,2017年



“Four Season of Women Tragedy”展览现场,2017年









2楼 “一明”

3楼 “两暗”



Evelyn Taocheng Wang:An Equivocal Contrast 王伊芙苓韬程“参差的对照”