2 Translations of Yang Lian

By | 1 May 2014
Secretions from Glass*

—For Xiao Xiaofang*

Deep sea    water strangled by water

Heads    eyelids long coral reefs

Darkness is the conductor    light and dark shut into spliced panels

We depart from our bodies immersed in water

Glass    thin grey-white ice drifts overhead

Children caused to perish are all alive under the water
Disfigured noses    filled with inky green
Breathe while growing    flesh crying out about the cold
Within the lungs is a viscous and only time

How often    tiny bullhead sharks begin tearing at the womb

One lamp    face is internal organ    lighting up countless edges
Two lamps     sucking    translucent fishy nipples
Three lamps    the purple of space    saw teeth analysing the purple

In single file we enter a crack

The only crack    undersea studio with no walls
Phosphorous-laden reef    lacks the solitude for displays of anger
Our creation is enamoured of deathly loneliness
Feels the sea’s hardened outline    gently parting bone marrow
Soft light    reading a book dedicated to the day of birth

Beethoven used a deaf ear to run away with history
His head buried in a sunken boat
Shook    a vertical square metre of glass air

Bubbles dragged by invisible threads of blood
Diamond-studded imagination    openwork carving
Fragile waist    a foot fiercely stamping the emptiness

Wildly howling organ wildly charges into another organ
Periscopic eye behind the eye
Periscopic struggle within the struggle

Linking with drifting musical notes
A white coral with an empty palm
Lightly pushes us into a metaphor


深海 水被水呛死 
头颅 眼睑低垂的珊瑚礁 
幽暗是导体 光幽闭在自己的切片里 
玻璃 灰白的冰碴在头顶浮动 
残破的鼻孔 倒灌着墨绿色 
仍在发育的呼吸 呼叫寒冷的血肉 
第几次 小小的虎鲨从子宫中已开始撕咬 
一盏灯 脸是内脏 亮起无数边缘 
两盏灯 吸啊 半透明的鱼腥味儿的奶 
三盏灯 空间的紫色 锯齿解析着紫色 
仅仅一道 海底工作室没有墙 
吮含磷光的礁石 甚至没有孤独去恼怒 
感觉大海的硬化的框子 细细掰开骨髓 
慢的光源 翻阅一本赠给生日的书 
震动 一立方米的玻璃空气 
镶了钻石的想象 透雕 
脆的腰身 一只猛蹬虚空的脚 
潜望的目光在目光后面 潜望的挣扎在挣扎里面 

*Xia Xiaowan 夏小万 (b. 1959, Beijing) graduated in 1982 from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Since then he has exhibited widely in China, and over the past decade also in Switzerland, Germany, USA, Austria and Korea. His art challenges conventional notions of painting as representing only how one normally sees things. He paints human figures viewed from the feet up, and immersed in water also from that vantage point. He admits to Goya’s influence in the distorted figures that he depicts. His most recent works are installations on thin layers of glass hung vertically one behind the other, each layer bearing a painted image. The layered images together constitute a series of different images depending on the angle of viewing.

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