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老妈被埋葬了的艺术收藏梦
Cultural Revolution destroyed my mother’s dream of becoming an art collector

在多伦多一古玩展览会上,从古董家具到名牌手包等各种琳琅满目的精美艺术制品令买家和古董爱好者流连忘返。当我和老妈在大厅的一条条展道上流连忘返之际,那些精美绝伦的古玩雕塑品让我们叹为观止。

Antique artifacts, ranging from furniture to designer bags were on display during a Toronto Vintage show that has become a hotspot for vintage shoppers and antique lovers alike. We were amazed by the delicate sculptures as my mother and I were strolling down aisles after aisles of vintage exhibits.

 
古玩展上的大部分摊主都是代代相传,终身从事收藏品交易的人士。

Most vendors at the show were in a life-long collection business that has been passed on from generation to generation. 

 
一位站在数百件收藏品旁的意大利后裔的摊主骄傲地告诉我说:“我16岁就开始收藏古董,这里的大部分藏品都是来自我的叔叔和父亲的收藏,他们在去世前将自己所有的艺术藏品都传给了我。”

“I have been a vintage collector since I was 16,” a vendor with Italian heritage who stood beside several hundreds of collections told me with pride. “Most of the products here were from my uncle and my father, both of them had passed their entire collection of art products to me before they died.”

 
他的这番话让我80岁的老妈感慨万千,很多旧时的记忆瞬间涌上心头。

His words have triggered emotional reactions from my 80-year-old mother as it cracked open her nostalgic memories:

 
我老妈说:“我的祖父曾传给我一些珍贵的明代古玩, 其中有昂贵的家具和字画,在我和你爸爸结婚时,你的奶奶(她的婆婆)也给过我几个翡翠手镯还有金条……但是在文化大革命期间它们都丢的丢,毁的毁,杳无踪影。”

“I had some valuable antiques of the Ming Dynasty that has been passed on from my grandfather –including expensive furniture and paintings… Your grandma (her mother in law) has also given me several pieces of jade bangle bracelets, gold bars when I just got married with your father… But they have all either been lost or destroyed during the Cultural Revolution,” said my mother. 

 
我曾多次听老妈说起过她祖上收集的古董。老妈出生于一个富裕的知识分子家庭,在她小时候就得以有机会接触到许多古董和藏瓷。她的祖父是一名艺术品收藏家,其从祖辈手中继承了大量的精美艺术藏品。

I’ve heard my mother talking about her ancestors’ antiques many times. She was born into a family of wealthy intellectuals and had the privilege of being exposed to antique collecting during her early childhood. Her grandpa was an art collector who had inherited tangible cultural artifacts from his ancestors.

 
中国文化大革命是一场破除所谓“四旧”——旧习俗、旧文化、旧习惯和旧思想的浩劫运动,四旧不仅被冠以牛鬼蛇神的恶名,还被直指为毒害国人思想意识长达数千年的反无产阶级毒瘤。

The Chinese Cultural Revolution was a campaign that brought an end to the so called Four Olds – Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits and Old Ideas, which were dubbed monsters and demons. They were also described as anti-proletarian that poisoned the mind of people for thousands of years. 

 
当时,最邪恶的势力就是身穿旧军装的红卫兵。他们直接闯进居民家里摧毁珠宝、家具、字画和书籍等所有被视为四旧的物品。他们不仅毁坏了大量文物,还常常告发在家中私藏这些物品的知识分子。这种“流氓执法”行为导致数百万无辜民众遭到迫害、折磨甚至被活活打死,无人能够幸免。

Red Guards, dressed in old army jackets, were the evilest force at the time. They would break into citizens’ homes to destroy all the items that were viewed as Four Olds – from jewelleries and furniture to paintings and books. They would not only wreak havoc on cultural relics, but also prosecute intellectuals who had secretively kept these items in their homes. This “vigilante justice” spared no one as millions of innocent people were persecuted, tortured or even beaten to death.

 
随着恐怖和暴力不断升级,许多珍贵的艺术品不是毁在红卫兵手下,而是被艺术品持有者 主动销毁。比如我的一个叔叔就在红卫兵发起另一轮突袭之前,抢先烧毁了我母亲房中的 古董风扇和精美瓷器等所有被认为会惹祸上身的藏品。

Amid the escalating terror and violence, many valuable items were destroyed not only by the Red Guards, but by the owners themselves. Prior to another round of Red Guard raids, one of my uncles had burned all the items in my mother’s home that were deemed troublesome – from antique fans to fine china. 

 
毫无疑问,在文化大革命的冲击下,中国的古董行业一度销声匿迹,几乎不复存在。但在数十年后,伴随着中国迅速腾飞的经济,数百万为其资产寻求安全避风港的富豪们日趋将目光投向昂贵古董艺术品。在这一汹涌浪潮之下,中国掀起了艺术品收购狂潮,同时世界各地的艺术品和古董交易会也开始调整展品目录,以迎合新一代中国古董收藏家的口味。

Undoubtedly, the Cultural Revolution has eradicated China’s antique industry, reducing it to nothing or non-existence. But decades later, the rapid economic growth in China has created millions wealthy elites who, seek safe havens for their assets, increasingly set their sights on expensive antiques. As a result, art buying surges in China and antique fairs around the world have begun adapting their catalogues to appeal to the taste of a new generation of Chinese antique collectors.

 
但是,快速增长的财富却不可能迅速填补文革灾难所导致的巨大文化真空。如今,许多中国艺术品收藏家仍只是对古董或艺术品的真正价值缺乏认知和辨别技能的“外貌协会买家”。

But rapid growth in wealth cannot quickly fill the vast cultural vacuum left by the disastrous legacy of the Cultural Revolution. Today, many Chinese art collectors are still “visual buyers” who lack the knowledge and skills in recognizing the real values of antiques or arts.

 
这种文化真空也埋葬了我老妈从小就萌生的艺术收藏梦。

And that cultural vacuum has also destroyed the childhood dreams of my mother who had aspired to be an art collector. 

 
我老妈不无遗憾地说:“如果我祖父留给我的那些古董和藏品还能保留至今的话,我今儿就可以在这儿摆上一个摊位,保证让这儿的大部分摊主们汗颜!”

“If all these items from my grandpa were not destroyed, I could have set up a booth here today that beats most of the venders!” she said.

 

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