摘要:收藏 历史与文化

    收藏,现在是个时髦的词汇。改革开放以来,经过近三代人的努力,一部分中国人的物质生活水平有了天翻地覆的变化,不但温饱解决,甚至开始香车宝马轻裘,有些奢靡了。当财富超过了生存的基本需求后,精神的满足渐趋扬起,文化生活自然成为不二之选,摄影因简单成为大众文化之中的翘楚就是此理。因此,收藏的理念也必然拓展到这一领域。

但收藏什么?国人对于收藏这个概念的基本理解,就是稀有性、不可替代性、保值性和升值性,以及观赏性。那么前四性,都和财宝储存与买卖经营概念相同,只有最后一性,才和精神属性多少搭点边。这种理解的结果,就是把摄影收藏概念的基本范畴也差不多都归成一条道了。中国的摄影收藏者多是只买贵的和“有名的”(名牌),其它更重要的收藏标准就知之寥寥了。据说,一些摄影收藏家库里的徕卡相机近千台,禄来相机几百台,而且款型重复率极高。这就说明了这些收藏家的品味。具有历史文化意义的摄影器材,在他们心里其实和储存金银钞票差不多。

显然,以上这类收藏家其实名不副实,称为土豪藏财可能才恰如其分。

真正的收藏家收藏的是文化和历史。他们通过藏品和过往的文化历史进行对话,将消逝的时间和现实的时间搭建起一座可链接在一起的桥梁,并在这座桥梁上往返穿越,解读历史和今天与未来之间的奥秘逻辑。

路万江先生就是一位这样真正的摄影史相机收藏家。他的收藏基点紧紧地锚定在改变摄影这个媒介文化意义的技术发展节点上,而不是简单以其稀有性作为价值标准。摄影是一个依据技术进步来展开其历史文化作用的媒介,是人类劳动智慧从个体努力到集体创造的产物。从照相机的发展历程可以清楚地看到,人类是如何利用自己的智慧能力解决观看与记忆、记录的难题。照相机从几百年前的暗箱一路走来,由内藏笨重的金属板和玻璃板基材感光版,到柔性的胶卷,到今天小小的电子传感器,这是一个文明的过程,是人类永不休止地探索世界的精神的见证。

我们可以从路万江先生收藏的古典相机系列开始,清晰地回顾由照相机勾连起的世界现代史,感受这个犹如魔术箱般的“机械、电子装置”怎样创造了一个新的视觉历史。看到达盖尔、塔尔博特、乔治·伊斯曼、巴纳克等,以及看到柯达、福伦达、禄来、莱卡,以及后来的数码巨人佳能和索尼等这些人和公司的身影,是他们构建了现代的地球视觉文明。

感谢路万江以及那些从文化角度收藏历史的收藏家们。

 

2017/11/10






Collecting and History

Bao Kun

 

       “Collecting” is a fashionable word right now. Since Reform and Opening, the hard work of three generations has impressively transformed the material lives of some Chinese people; this progress helped people to reliably buy necessities of food and clothing, and people even began to purchase luxurious cars and fur coats, which was a bit extravagant. After their basic needs were met, people began to focus on mental and spiritual satisfaction, which naturally led to an engagement with cultural life. Photography stood out because it was part of mass culture, and the concept of collecting inevitably expanded into this area.

But what to collect? In China, the basic understanding of collections seems to center on rarity, irreplaceability, maintaining and increasing value, and enjoyment. This is also true of accumulation of valuables and transactions in business. It is only the last trait—enjoyment—that generally satisfies spiritual needs. This understanding of collections results in the reduction of the basic categories of photography collection into one general track. Many of China’s photography collectors buy expensive or “brand-name” pieces, and have few other criteria when collecting. I’ve heard about a few collectors have nearly one thousand Leica cameras and several hundred Rollei cameras, with a significant repetition of models, which says something about the taste of these collectors. In their minds, photography equipment, something with historical and cultural meaning, is more or less equivalent to gold, silver, or cash.

Of course, the above type of collector is unworthy of the name, tending to be simply nouveau riche hobbyists. True collectors treasure culture and history. Through the dialogue between the collection and cultural history, they build links in a bridge between past and present; they travel back and forth across this bridge, interpreting the profound relationship between the past, and the present and future.

Lu Wanjiang is a true historic camera collector. His collection is closely tied to the technological developments that changed photography, a medium for conveying cultural meaning; rarity is not his only standard. Photography’s historical and cultural role developed from the technological progress it represented; it is the product of human labor and wisdom, pushed from individual efforts to collective creations. From the development of the camera, we can clearly see how humans have used their minds to resolve the issues of looking, remembering, and recording. Since the camera obscura of several hundred years ago, the development of the camera has reflected the course of civilization, from clumsy photosensitive metal and glass plates to flexible film to today’s small electronic sensors. Cameras are witnesses to humanity’s tireless explorations of the spirit.

Lu Wanjiang’s collection shows us modern world history, told through classic cameras, allowing us to appreciate how this almost magical mechanical or electronic device created a new form of visual history. We can see the traces of people such as Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, Henry Fox Talbot, George Eastman, and Oskar Barnack, and companies such as Kodak, Voigtländer, Rollei, Leica, and the digital giants Canon and Nikon; they have built modern global visual culture.

We should be grateful to Lu Wanjiang and other collectors who collect history from a cultural perspective.

 

November 10, 2017

 

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