• 2012-12-13

    Hangzhou / Dec., 2012 / 何见平四十岁之前的最后一本书——《泛泛之交》

    泛泛之交,本是用来形容人与人的关系,指那种点头之交,情似淡水的朋友。我倒欣赏这个词,轻轻品味后,传达的却是弦外的淡定豁达,仿佛可以置身于事外,又已洞察人际间的勾心斗角各怀叵测。既是泛泛之交,见面大可不必费力寒暄,刻意找话;既是泛泛之交,不妨学作中国故人,抱拳作揖取代握手,既避免伸手却握不到手的尴尬,又杜绝感染他人病菌的风险。
    
    谁说泛泛之交就是无视友情,性格孤僻?芝兰生于深谷,不以无人而不芳。泛泛之交非饭饭之交,不会有饭桌之上的酒酣耳热,而呼呜呜,席散即人离的现实主义。泛泛之交不带凡尘俗气,却树魏晋之风。泛泛之交是缔结真情的第一道关口。泛泛之交之后缀,便是阅人无数,对朋友之情宁缺毋滥的专注。

    于平面设计,我对这个词的感悟却大有不同。20年了,来来回回东奔西走,总是游历在 “平面设计”这个杯子大的圈子,伴随设计的诸多烦恼,却仍以设计为生,又以设计为乐。我自以为,已是深谙设计三味的专业者,理应早已过了与设计的泛泛之交 时期。今天,在为准备南京艺术学院的个展,翻检自己的作品时,才发现满意的作品那么少,犹如醍醐灌顶,令我清醒,我和设计也只是泛泛之交。

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    acquaintance

    The word “acquaintance” was originally used to describe the kind of relationship between friends who are on nodding terms but nonetheless nurture a light affection. I hold this word in high regard. One appreciates this word’s implication of calm and generosity, as if one could discern the conflicts and maneuverings between people without being part of them. Acquaintances do not need to exchange greetings in an affected way. Since we are mainly acquaintances, why don’t we learn from the ancient Chinese, and make a slight bow with folded hands? This way we could avoid the embarrassment of holding out a hand without being able to reach its counterpart, as well as the risk of catching a virus by shaking hands.

    Who says acquaintances are loners without a feeling for friendship? Orchids grow in deep valleys and give off a fragrance even without their admirers around. Acquaintances are not like pragmatic dinner-table friends who gather for a drink and a laugh and leave as soon as the banquet is over. Acquaintances are free of the vulgarity of the secular world. Rather they uphold the Wei-Jin style. It is the first barrier on the way towards real friendships. The footnote to acquaintanceship is practical experience in dealing with a wide range of human beings yet with a clear focus on real friendship, quality rather than quantity.

    In the context of graphic design, I have different understandings of the word than before. For two decades I have been travelling the world, yet I have always been moving in the rather small circle of “graphic designers”. I have been plagued with many troubles in design, yet I still make a living by designing, which I completely enjoy. I thought I had grown out of my acquaintance with design, and become a fully-fledged professional. Today, when I am going through my works in preparation for my solo exhibition at Nanjing University of the Arts, I realize there are few works that I find truly satisfactory. This epiphany makes me realize that I am still just acquainted with design.

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