Essay

New Normal: an Interview with Daniel Sueiras Fanjul

藝術使我們能夠審視作為人類的意義、使我們能夠跨距離的交流、使我們團結在一起。 2020年至今,我們面臨著全球疫情危機。另一個角度而言,自由的限制或許能成為藝術的再進化。這次,我們邀請國內外藝術家進行訪談,聊聊他們的「新日常」。

Art is an expression of what it means to be human, it allows us to communicate from afar, and allows us to come together collectively. From 2020 to present, we are still dealing with a global pandemic. From another perspective, the restrictions on freedom may be a re-evolution of art. While we wait for that to emerge, we asked several artists to open up about their challenge in this new normal of life during these strange days.


Daniel Sueiras:「我喜歡我的畫有一種巴洛克的感覺,特別是在畫框上。但我的作品不是巴洛克式的,而是試圖達到某種偉大和性感的象徵,以此對比我所描繪的,像是一隻猴子或芝麻街卡通。」


1/ 嗨Daniel, 你今天早上鬧鐘響起後第一件想到的事?

Hi Daniel, what was the first thing you thought of when your alarm went off this morning?

幾乎每一天起床都是感到疲憊的,而我也為此感到失望,尤其是當我在前一晚有那麼多的精力與想法時…我試過了…但我從來不是一個早起的人。我想我就像是一隻蜥蜴,需要在陽光下充電。

Almost every day I wake up disappointed of the lack of energy and will I feel, especially when the night before I had so much of it as well as ideas and desire to work…I try…but I have never been a morning person. I guess I am like a lizard who needs to stay in the sun to recharge.

2/ 你如何渡過疫情,尤其是在西班牙?

How you are experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in Spain?

我必須說,我對於西班牙人的整體表現感到驕傲。一開始不太確定我們要如何遵守這麼多規則與封鎖這麼長一段時間。通常我對人類是持悲觀態度的,但這次反而給了我希望。我見過許多不文明的行為,但經歷了這次的困難中,我看到更多的是慷慨、同情心、善良和團結之力。我相信人民已經為那些只在乎自己利益的西班牙政客樹立了榜樣。

I must say I am happily surprised with the overall behavior of Spaniards. I was not very sure of how we were going to cope with following so many rules and kept locked for so long. I am usually pessimistic about humankind species but must say it has given me hope. I have seen many uncivil behaviors, but so many more acts of generosity, empathy, kindness and hard working together. I believe people have given an example to many Spanish politicians who just used the crisis for their own political interests.

3/ 就藝術家而言,你的生活因為疫情改變了多少?

To what extent has your everyday life as an artist changed in quarantine?

我的工作室與住家是相連的,所以其實我原本的生活就像是在隔離,因此沒有太多變化。我的作品深受自然、人類學、生物學的啟發…我一直認為我們生活在一個非常愉快的「環境時期」,即使理解到大自然是正處於艱難的。大量的物種因病菌與病毒正在消失、進化、出現,病菌與病毒也是。當人類意識到自然是如何運作時,活著就是一種奇蹟。在我看來,疫情是最現實的考驗。

My studio is connected to my house, which means I spend most of the time isolated already. For that reason I have not experienced so much of a change. My working days have not changed much.

My work is inspired deeply by nature, anthropology, biology…I have always thought we were living a very pleasant “environmental moment” knowing nature is rough. Uncountable species have appeared, evolved, disappeared due to bacteria, viruses which as well do appear, modify, die…Living is a sort of a miracle when one realize how nature works. This epidemic is a reality check in my opinion

4/ 那是什麼事或人陪伴著你呢?

Who and what comfort you?

最讓我感到舒暢的是潛入水中,尤其是在我壓力很大的時候。我的家人和朋友是我快樂的來源。但必須承認我的生活很孤獨,因為我一個人住,而且在同一個地方生活和工作。我每天會去同一個咖啡廳兩次,因為我的好朋友在那裡工作,這讓我能至少每天遠離工作兩次,充個電、和朋友聊聊天。我想我是相當矛盾與複雜的。我需要孤獨,但同時又害怕它。

我大多數的老朋友們都有孩子並搬到郊區….所以越來越少見面。我45歲了,也沒有另一半….我似乎迷失在時間當中😃

以前讀到了一段話,它說當一個人感到壓力時,會有潛下水中的慾望,這很正常。我也讀到過,這可能與我們出生前的經歷有關,像是在羊水中我們所感到的輕鬆、保護與安全感。我覺得合理。

What comforts me the most is to dive into water every now and then, especially when I am stressed. My family and friends give me comfort and joy. But must admit my life is quite lonely since I live by myself and live and work at the same place. Every day I go twice to the same Cafeteria, where very good Friends of mine work. This I do so I leave my house at least two times a day and get some refreshment and some laughs with my Friends. I guess I am quite contradictory and complicated. I usually feel the need of loneliness and isolation and at the same time fear loneliness and isolation.

Most of my old Friends are raising kids, moved to the suburbs…so I see then less often. I am 45, I don’t even have a girlfriend …I feel I am Lost in Time 😃

I once read is common to feel the need of diving into water when one feels stressed.  I’ve read as well that it might has to do with feeling relaxed, protected and secure as we were before born in the amniotic liquid that protected us. Makes sense to me

5/ 如果你提前知道將會封城這麼長一段時間,你會做什麼改變嗎?

If you’d known that you’d be so isolated for so long, what would you have done differently?

光想到情況可能會更糟,我就覺得我是幸運的。

當西班牙宣布封鎖時,我正在希臘雅典的一個藝術家住所。我設法趕上了最後一班飛往馬德里的航班,然後回到西班牙南部的家。在當時,一位來自柏林的朋友戴安娜正在我家,原先我應該是要在希臘住一個月的。我們一起分享了那段時光,因為她當時認為封鎖很快就會結束。封城從一開始的2週,最終超過了 3 個月。 我和戴安娜互相照顧,一起玩得很開心,還制定了一套鍛煉計劃。我們打了很多桌球因為原先工作的桌子就是張乒乓球桌,同時也持續著各自的工作。我們在生活中尋找快樂,否則這只會是個孤獨且悲傷的時期。

I was so lucky in my isolation that can only think of so many ways it could have gone worst.

I was at an artist residence in Athens, Greece when Spain announced the lockdown. I managed to catch the last available flight to Madrid and then back home in south Spain. By that time my friend Diana from Berlin was spending the month I was supposed to be spending in Greece at my house. She decided to stay thinking lockdown will pass soon. So we shared that time together. Lockdown started being of two weeks and ended up being of more than 3 months. Diana and I got care of each other and had fun together, created a routine of exercises. My working studio table is in fact a ping pong table so did played a lot, and could also continue our respective works. We managed to get joy of a period that otherwise would have been of loneness and sadness.

6/ 西班牙已經漸漸解封,你有什麼計畫?

Restrictions are slowly being lifted in Spain, what are your plans?

幾天后,我將向北旅行,在加利西亞(Galicia)和阿斯圖里亞斯(Asturias)之間度過兩個月。這不完全是假期,我會繼續工作。但絕對是一個改變。我住的地方在夏天變得非常炎熱和擁擠,而且海灘上通常沒有海浪。

我在40歲時重新開始衝浪。這是我近期樂趣和快樂的來源。與海洋的接觸有一種愉快、充電和治癒的效果。 我小時候經常玩滑板和衝浪,但腳踝處摔斷了兩根骨頭,做了兩次手術,之後就沒再接觸了。

我想我正處於中年危機,嘗試重新感受時間,甚至將當下過得更好。

西班牙北部涼爽許多。對我而言,夏季是完美的,幾乎每天都有海浪。而其他的季節都在下雨。我和我的父母正在加利西亞(Galicia)建造一棟房子,準備一起享受這個夏天,我對此感到非常興奮。

In a few days I am traveling north to spend two months among Galicia and Asturias. Not exactly a holiday for I will continue working. But definitely a change. Where I live gets very hot and crowed in the summer time, plus there are usually no waves on the beaches.

I restarted doing surf when I turned 40. It’s what gives me more fun and joy lately. The contact with the ocean has a sort of a pleasant, recharging and healing effect. I used to do a lot of skateboarding and surfing when was much younger, but broken two bones at my ankle, had two surgeries and after that quit.

I guess I am in the middle of mi 40’s crisis and try to recuperate time. Or at least use the one left better.

Up north Spain is much cooler, a perfect weather in my opinion in the summertime and there are waves almost everyday. The rest of the year is too rainy. My parents and me are building a house to share in Galicia to spent the upcoming summers. I am very excited with that project.

7/ 你的作品通常會讓人聯想到巴洛克時期的繪畫,你怎麼想?巴洛克對你來說是什麼、你如何從中獲得靈感

Daniel, your paintings are commonly referred to as Baroque paintings. Can you comment a bit on this historical referencing? What Baroque represents to you, and how you got inspired by it?

“巴洛克時期產出了大量的肖像作品,而那些傑出的肖像畫展現了人類的重要性。在我看來,這是對人類的偉大頌歌。 那個時期的取景風格是花俏的、性感的、張揚的,甚至是壓倒性的。

我喜歡我的畫有一種巴洛克的感覺,特別是在畫框上。但我的作品不是巴洛克式的,而是試圖達到某種偉大和性感的象徵,以此對比我所描繪的,像是一隻猴子或芝麻街卡通。”

In the Baroque period tons of portrait were executed. Usually illustrious portraits, images that focused on the importance of the human character represented. An ode to humanity greatness in my opinion. And framing style of that period was fancy, voluptuous, ostentatious and even overwhelming.

I like my paintings to have a Baroque feeling specially on the framing. My compositions are not Baroque at all, but try to reach a certain sense of that greatness and voluptuous to contrast the fact that what is portrayed might be a monkey or a Sesame Street character.

8/ 是什麼成為你繪畫題材的原因?

Where does your imagery come from?

我受到的影響主要來自古代藝術,特別是埃及人和蘇美爾人。一直以來對那些雕塑的堅定感、構圖的簡潔力道以及眼神的穿透力感到驚艷。對我來說,它們與心理層面有著密切關聯,觀看時會感覺到那些人物的真實,就像是真的在思考或即將採取行動,我認為這與簡潔的構圖與其靜止狀態有關。

“而我認為作品不刻意的表現,便能賦予了作品強大的力量,當畫面很刻意的呈現動作時,便失去想像力了。同時如果你給予了作品所有該出現卻沒出現的碎片時…這產生不安,是更加深刻的。”

當我告訴人們這些想法時,他們通常會感到驚訝。我常會描述在我創作的一些圖像可能有點令人不安或具有某種心理力量。這時人們便會對我說,好像它很神秘的發生了某種魔法,觀者在不知不覺中抽離知識體系,也許這解釋有些神秘吧,但對我來說最重要的是如何創造我希望觀眾所見的,以及它如何影響觀眾,無論好壞。

9/ 你希望100年後人們看到你的作品有什麼樣的想法?

What do you hope someone might think when they discover one of your paintings 100 years from now?

大笑和思考 😂😂😂

兩年前,我參加了我在巴黎個展的開幕活動。 這間畫廊位於一個非常熱鬧的區域,所以很多路人經過出於好奇而走進來。大多數人看到畫框上的作品標籤後笑到不行。我很害羞,一般不太喜歡參加開幕活動,但聽到那些誠實而自發的笑聲時,我感到很滿足。

“另外就是反思為什麼要完成這些作品,重新思考我們作為人類的意義,與我們對於其他生物的矛盾。

生物學說我們某種程度都是一樣的(事實上,大多數物種都比我們年長得多,並且一直設法存活下來…不確定我們會不會)……而為什麼我們會這樣行事呢,為什麼我們把自己放在這麼高的位置?”

To laugh and to think mostly. Two years ago I was at the opening of an exhibition of mine in Paris. The gallery that held the exhibit is in a very popular area so many people came in just by curiosity while walking by. Most of them could not stop laughing at many paintings when reading the labels of the titles on the frames. I am quite shy often and sometimes don’t enjoy much openings, but I felt so satisfied when hearing those honest and spontaneous laughs.


Also to think why those works were done, to rethink our concepts of ourselves as humans in contradiction with our concepts of the rest of living species. Biology says we are all the same (in fact most species are way much much older than us and have managed to survive all this time…not sure we will) …why do we act the way we do, why do we have such a high concept of ourselves?

10/ 我們喜歡你作品中令人著迷的幽默感。它們是否同樣擁有嚴肅的另一面?

We love the humor in your work and it always comes out in the eyes. Are your paintings equally serious and funny?

是的,我覺得我的畫很像我。我從很小的時候就被存在主義問題追趕著,從那時起,我常常為了滿足好奇心而去了解我所認為重要的事情。這是我的一部分,另一部分是我忍不住去想愚蠢的事與說各種傻話,越笨的事情我感受到越多的快樂。

我相信幽默是一種幫助應對現實的方式。當意識到死亡、疾病、痛苦…以及沒有幽默感,我相信是無法忍受的。事實上,大多數聰明的物種像海豚、黑猩猩一樣都擁有某種幽默感…

所以是的,我想我隱藏了內心的嚴肅,與表露的幽默個性。對我來說兩者同樣重要。其實我寧願保持沉默,也不願說或聽到任何不好笑或不有趣的事情。

我希望我的作品也一樣。

Yes. I think my paintings are very much like me. I have been chased by existential matters since very young. Since then usually feel the need of satisfying my curiosity and to learn about what I believe to be profound matters. That is a part of me, the other part is that I cannot help thinking and saying all kinds of silly things. The most stupid the most joy I get from them.

I have gotten to believe that humor is a mechanism that helps intelligence to deal with reality. To have a conscience, to be aware of death, sickness, suffering…I believe would be unbearable without it. The fact that most intelligent species develop some sort of humor as dolphins, chimpanzees…might enforce this idea.

So yes, I think I hide a serious interior with and humorous exterior. For me both are as important. Actually, I rather stay in silence than to say or hear anything that is not funny nor interesting.

I expect the same of my works.

11/ 你近期在做什麼新創作?

What ideas are you currently exploring in your work?

現在我正在做新系列「 Illustrious 」。
它是「Natural Selection」的延伸。

我開始畫動物的其中一個原因,是幾年前我要在某間畫廊展出,他們要求我不要畫人,因為他們認為不會賣得很好。我承認我當時的作品是相當令人不安的,所描繪的人物肖像們在孤立的房間裡,面對機器或其他動物。我一直想把人類描繪成另一種生物,來面對它的本質。所以對我來說這是一個兩難的選擇。我喜歡畫人類的肖像,就好像他們是任何其他動物一樣,且是被要求這樣做的。

很快我就把它反過來了,我嘗試了像描繪人類的方式來描繪動物。我喜歡這種成果,我想傳達的信息仍然存在,就像探索一個全新的世界。對我來說,所有的動物都可以被描繪出來,這真是太好了,也很令人興奮。所以後來我開始對肖像畫本身的概念感到好奇。

肖像通常描繪什麼?
通常描繪我們認為重要的。但誰決定了什麼是重要的?

“對我來說更重要的事,就像是我與餅乾怪獸(The Cookie Monster)的關係,比起與十六世紀我從未聽說過的某個法國伯爵更為重要。

所以我開始畫那些我認為可能很重要的事物,而那些事物通常不會以既定的方式表現出來。對我來說,這也是重新思考我們的標準和概念的一種方式。”


我對這個新系列感到非常興奮,期待它將會把我引向何方。

Right now, I am working on what I called Illustrious series.
It is a sort of an extension of Natural Selection.

One of the reasons why I started portraying animals was that a gallery I was going to exhibit at some years ago asked me not to paint persons for they believe they would not sell well. I admit my works at that time were quite disturbing and psychological, human figures in isolated rooms, confronted to machines or other animals. I always wanted to represent humans as another living species, but confronted with its nature. So for me that was a dilemma. I liked to paint portraits of humans as if they were any other animals and was asked to to do it.

So soon I turned it the other way around, I will try to portray animals as humans were usually portrayed. I liked the results, my message was still there and a whole new world opened to me to explore. For me was nice and exciting to find out all animals could be susceptible of being portrayed. So later on I started being very curious about the concept of portraiture itself.

What is usually portrayed?
Usually what we believe to be important, but who says what is important?

For me is more important and I relate much more to The Cookie Monster than to a Count that lived In France in XVI century I have never heard of. So I started painting those things I believe could be important to portray and are not usually represented that way. This for me is as well a way to rethink our standards and our concepts.

I am happy and excited with this new project and will like to see where it leads me.

12/ 接下來有什麼新計畫?

Whats next for you?

目前,我對在北方建造新房子的想法感到非常興奮。我將在那裡擁有一個非常漂亮的工作室,可以欣賞到令人驚嘆的海景。今年夏天才剛剛開始,但我可以等下一個房子完工時到來。

在過去的幾年裡,我在保加利亞和希臘駐村過,那是很棒的經歷。但由於此時我最喜歡的是衝浪,因此我決定去可以同時衝浪和工作的地方。出於這個原因,我將很快離開西班牙北部,度過七月和八月。

在工作方面,我感到很榮幸。我接下來有一些有趣的個展,特別是明年在伊日,如果疫情允許的話,這會是我再次來台灣的機會。我總是能參加很棒的計畫,現在牛津科學協會(Oxford Scientific Society )正在拍攝一部關於寵物生活的紀錄片,我的作品將出現在裡面……對我來說,這一切都是一份禮物,禮物不斷以有趣和意想不到的方式出現。

能夠從事我喜歡的工作,以此謀生,甚至得到認可……我還能要求什麼呢?

At the moment I am so excited with the idea of building a new house in the north. I will have a very nice studio there with amazing views of the ocean. This summer has just began but I can wait for next one to arrive when house will be finished.

In the past years I did artistic residencies in Bulgaria and Greece and were a great experience. But since what I enjoy the most at this moment is surfing I decided that I rather travel where I can surf and work at the same time. For that reason I will be departing soon up north in Spain to spend July and August.

On the work part, I feel so privileged. I have interesting solo exhibitions ahead, especially the one with you next year, It might give me the chance to visit over again if the covid situation allows it. I always participate in great art fairs, right now the Oxford Scientific Society is filming a documentary about the life of pets where images of my works will appear…for me all this is a gift and gifts keep on coming in the form of interesting and unexpected projects.

To be able to work in what I love, to make a living of it and even have recognition…what else could I ask for?

13/ 近期讀過最棒的書?

Whats the best book you’ve read recently?

我不時地繼續閱讀比爾·布萊森 (Bill Bryson) 的「萬物簡史」(A brief history of nearly everything, 2003),濃縮很多重要的知識。 強烈推薦給充滿好奇心的你們。我也喜歡尤瓦爾·諾亞·哈拉利 (Yuval Noah Harari) 的書。 他的書談論我們作為一個物種從何而來,以及我們如何以這種方式行事。 基本上是事物的真面目.. 非常有趣,強烈推薦。

但老實說,我還有很多書在家裡等著我翻閱。像是我姐姐和她丈夫都是偉大的作家,我也需要閱讀他們的新書。

我常常希望一天有 48 小時。

I keep on reading “A brief history of nearly everything” by Bill Bryson every now and then.  There is so much condensed important knowledge on it. Highly recommended for curious minds who want to know how we got to know the things we know. Also love the books of Yuval Noah Harari. They talk of where we come from as a species and of how come we behave the way we do. Basically of how things are the way they are.. Extremely interesting. Highly recommended.

But to be honest I have so many books that are waiting for me at home to be read. Even my sister and her husband are great writers and still have to read their latest books. 

I often wish days had 48 hours.

14/ 除了藝術家身份外,你還扮演了什麼樣的角色?

Finally, what are you besides an artist?

我曾經寫過很多東西,詩文、散文……過去在選擇就讀的科系時,我也在藝術、哲學、文學甚至是電影中游移。 我以前有很多關於錄像、電影的想法,而我的大腦也是不斷地以圖像來思考。

最後我朝了藝術的方向前進,隨著時間的流逝,我在其他方面的工作越來越少。 我想這很常見。

我的意思是說,我在生活中所做的一切都可能具有某種藝術視角。

“現實告訴我,在某種程度上,天性是存在的。 我沒有選擇它們,但我選擇如何使用它們,而我至少嘗試過。

至少在我的情況下,成為一名藝術家,無論好壞,都是一種存在方式。即使我想要,我也無法將它從我身上拆下。”

I used to write a lot, poetry, essays… I was not sure whether to study fine art, philosophy, literature or even cinema. I used to think often of ideas for shortcuts, movies and my mind would think constantly in images. 

I headed for fine arts and with the pass of the years I worked less and less in my other passions.  I guess that’s common. 

What I mean to say is that whatever I would have done in life would have had probably a sort of an artistic perspective. 

Reality has taught me that at some extend predispositions exist. I did not choose to have mines, but I choose what I do with them. Or at least I try. At least in my case, being an artist is, for better or worse, a way of being.  I cannot disattach it from me even if I wanted.



About Daniel Sueiras Fanjul 丹尼爾.蘇維勒斯.范弗

丹尼爾.蘇維勒斯.范弗1976年出生於西班牙(b.1976, Spain),2000畢業於匈牙利聖伊莎貝爾皇家美術學院(Spain University of Fine Arts Santa Isabel de Hungria, Seville)。丹尼爾希望自己的作品是有社會意義的。自從當畫家開始後,所有的系列都和存在主義有關,思考人類在自然界的定位,以及人類真正的本質 – 本能與理性的衝突。就柏拉圖所說「人類是同時被兩匹互相拉扯的馬拉著的馬車」,總是試著讓觀看者從不習慣的角度去觀看自己。藝術這份工作獨特的地方就是不斷的改變,嘗試新的想法,這也是為什麼他決定當藝術家。