Lotus Island - Artist’s Essay

 Introduction

 In 1983, I had been paralyzed for more than five years. I managed to drag myself to a pond on the west side of  Mount Putuo, in the ruins of a Buddhist monastery. In relief, I sat cross-legged like a monk.   This was a place I had come for sustenance in my youth. From there, one can look up and see Mount Putuo. It felt strange each year, but that day, after five years of paralysis, I miraculously stood up, pushing myself up from the mountain. With a cane, I walked down the mountain and out of the monastery. No one there recognized me.  When I was preparing to leave Mount Putuo, I didn’t know whether to be grateful or to really see it in its unvarnished state.  I habitually gazed at a lonely little island floating in the Lotus Sea. Gradually it would become dim and blurry in the distance, as I yearned for far away places.  Suddenly, the outline of the sea and sky became clear. Every day I would gaze at this strange little island, and it never seemed like this: an immense, naturally-formed sculptural work. This island looked exactly like Guanyin, the goddess of mercy, lying peacefully in the sea, between Mount Putuo and the famous fishing port of Shenjiamen. Separate from the sea and sky, with a style all her own, this impression/interpretation was not the least bit forced.  One might well say that this exquisitely fine work of nature is just a vast, shapeless form.  I became excited. Was this not the image in my heart and soul all those years ago? Is this not a great starting point for the "three ecologies" described in my studies of ecological restoration? "I am the Buddha! The Buddha is me! Art is Zen! Zen is art!" I couldn't help but stand up and go sit cross-legged like the Buddha on the large bluestone.

   This astonishing discovery happened some ten or twenty years ago.

   In 1966, the Red Guards smashed the "four olds" (ideology, culture, customs, habits). This included Mount Putuo's ancient Bodhisattva. Without a shred of respect, they smashed her into nothing. I sat absentmindedly by myself on the seaside rocks of Mount Putuo, staring East, watching the light of the sunrise sparkle in the sprays of seawater.  In a split second, a riotous profusion of golden rays lit up the sky. East of Mount Putuo, the sea's surface appeared dark in the shade of Luojia Mountain. It seemed as if nothing had happened. A tranquil silence settled across the water. I took a close look, and ah! There I saw clearly and distinctly a brilliant, unparalleled Sakyamuni Buddha prostrating himself on the surface of the East China Sea.

   I doubt that I really have a Buddha-like nature. How can an all-seeing mind exist entirely alone? During both of these experiences, separated by some ten odd years, I sat on the seaside, cross-legged like a Buddha, and discovered Nature’s mystical essence.  Did the Creator intentionally send Sakyamuni and Guanyin to Mount Putuo, this place of Buddhist worship, creating this wondrous sight of them lying like reclining Buddhas in the Lotus Sea? Did the Creator intentionally make me Buddha-like that day? Or, for no discernible reason, make me become paralyzed, only to allow me to walk again? And allow me to discover these spectacular wonders of the world?

   I have sobbed and sighed up to now.

   Over the course of time, human beings have expanded their nearly boundless dominion. I'd certainly prefer to end this snuffing out of Nature's masterpieces of the wide open sea.  The growing strength of the Chinese yuan cannot be stopped. This allowed me to consider how to help those who are less fortunate. I was indecisive, but after years of rushing about to no end, in 1992 I rowed out alone to the island. In 1996, I finally decided to buy it, becoming the first person in China to own an island. 

   I sat cross-legged by the sea. The sepia-toned rocks stared quietly at me, this commander-in-chief, their “governor.”  Did they stare in eager anticipation? In doubt? Or in wordless surrender to my rule? The waves sucked on the rocks, salt staining the pebbles. A Chinese sweet gum tree, a sisal plant, and an unbending Australian laurel, embraced one another and became as one. A meditative stillness descended on the island.  The Lotus Sea remained as it was before: the tide rolling in twice each day, as it has always been and will always be.

   Here my heart trembled a bit. The changes to this little island will be my life's achievement. Anywhere in the world, it is a most ideal medium with which to express one's artistic talent and mentality. From then on, I had to force myself to abandon the last couple decades’ impulse and hope of becoming a “pure artist.” I had to cultivate the expansive knowledge of an architect, the deep insight of a philosopher, the precision of an engineer, the keen senses of an entrepreneur, and the imagination of an artist. I had to prepare to deal with both nature and society, and come to grips with decades of my personality. I lumped myself in with all the rest, as something useful for the island’s conservation effort, “art saves ecology.” 

   For me, loneliness and inspiration are inseparable. I’ve spent the second half of my life steeling myself to face the outside world. I made up my mind to exchange pain and suffering for creative pleasure. My lonely heart is like alum, causing red silt deposits.  One day, I conquered the pain of this struggle. Standing on the high point of Lotus Island, I raised a banner that stated, "art saves ecology," and looked backed. I was qualified to smile —— one of those brave and wise human beings.

   The plans were set. I started on this secluded island like an Henri de Saint-Simon or Charles Fourier-type, implementing my own Utopian vision. Using all of my strength, my heart fluttered at the raising of a great four-sided banner: humanism, naturalism, heroism, and a sense of calling. 

Early Stages and Planning

  In fact, the planning and design of Lotus Island Sculpture Garden happened as if glutinous rice wine had been in my heart for years. It seems that "one's mind has one million formidable troops." I impatiently hoped that other great ideas would pour down on me like a torrential rain. There were three or five months during which time I suspended the majority of fundraising, supervising, painting and all forms of social contact. I would study intensively at a private farmhouse on Hangzhou’s Yuhuang Mountain. There I would draw up plans and make calculations, make surveys and take samples, consult various materials, seek expert advice, and basically work in total isolation.  Drafts piled up high, burying me beneath them. In the depths of the creative process, I  came to realize the project’s own uniqueness and universal breadth. The designer and staff were amazed at my inexhaustible drive. My creative spirit operated around the clock, with inspired works of hand-drawn maps and sketches.  I, too, was astonished: How could I have this kind of extraordinary drive?  That’s the kind of nerve of Don Quixote, the pipe dream of Saint-Simon. 

   After more than six months, the plan was issued. I had really taken off a layer of skin and examined it in detail. In fact, the plan’s content went beyond the scope of just planning. It took into account engineering, design, and production, too. 

   Mr. Shi Tinghui, Chief Engineer of the Giant Buddha on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island, came to Hangzhou and talked with me over the course of several nights. He reviewed my drafts and plans, and praised them highly.  I decided to hire him to help me supervise the construction, and had to lobby at home and abroad. 

   Carrying piles of project plans, I shuttled back and forth between Zhejiang, Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, and Canada, looking up files, doing textual research, conducting on-the-spot investigations, and collecting models of Guanyin as well as project materials for the five hundred arhat molds.  I went to the United States and Japan to gather information on the Statue of Liberty and the 120-meter Buddha in Tokyo.  I requested Tongji University to conduct wind-driven experiments, and asked the United States to test certain materials' resistance to corrosion. I spoke with leaders at the Chenguan aerospace machinery factory about arranging a contract for the main project. I asked the State Oceanic Administration and the Beijing Institute of Geology to do geological surveys. So after about two years or so, the information and documents piled up in half of a van. I had squandered the money I’d made selling paintings, but much had been accomplished.  In 1996, at the same time the site permissions for the two planned large Guanyin statues in Hangzhou and Putuo were revoked, the Zhejiang Lianhua Yang Industrial Co., Ltd. was inaugurated by Yang Tongxiang, director of the State Bureau of Religion, and was established in Hangzhou with a registered capital of ten million yuan. I smugly assumed a position there in corporate law, with plans to turn the whole thing upside down.

Building Layout

   Because of the distinctive shape of Lotus Island, the water level absolutely must not damage the outline of the reclining Guanyin.  Because the island is in the typhoon area of the East China Sea,  it is simply not feasible to construct buildings on the mountain ridges or slopes. Instead, I focused on the island’s alcoves.

   Generally speaking, on every island in the world, alcoves make the best place to take cover from the wind and water. These are the natural places that island peoples worldwide use to seek shelter from typhoons and storms.

   On the third day of the third month in the lunar calendar, the sun, the earth and the moon seem to conspire together. At this point, the distance between them is at its maximum, and their magnetic pull is decentralized. Sea levels are at their lowest. Tidal waves recede into their farthest recesses, reserving their strength. 

   On the eighteenth day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar, the sun, the earth and the moon are pulled together in a straight line. The sun makes the sea levels rise about half a meter. The moon makes them rise a quarter of a meter. Together they make the sea level rise nearly an entire meter. It seems like every year a typhoon strikes sometime between the eighth and tenth months. The tide of the typhoon crashes madly with giant rough waves, surging over the entire island.

   Like a loving mother, the beachside cliff alcoves embrace the storm, calming it. This cycle repeats itself again and again, over millions of years.

   Altogether, Lotus Island has five alcoves. They are both valuable and beautiful. I have planned a trail around the island that connects each alcove. This project will focus on key sites around the island, linking together the center, the art museum, Hui’e Square, the lookout point, and the art studio. It will use rectangular bricks. 

   Tiny Lotus Island, just a bit of reef and hillside sloping into the wide open sea, reveals a wild expansiveness. I made it so that the area between the two major mountains acts as an open corridor. The command center, the art museum and the management staff are all located here. I have made full use of what the Creator has unevenly bestowed upon this land. Three buildings sit here in this roundabout. They work in tandem with their environment. The green of the cliffs and the buildings’ stone gables together suggest strength. A steep trail cuts through the center. Combined this creates a small public space that evokes an island fishing village. The expansive wilderness at the center of the island makes the incoming flow of people immediately forget the desolation of the reef. As they enter, each becomes a part of the buildings' function.

   Passing through this small center region, one feels as boundless as the sea and sky. Looking into the distance at Mount Putuo, the island seems to float gracefully among white waves. This makes one feel happy and carefree.  The arhats guide you forward in your journey along the cliffs. Turn around on the mountain path, and step through into the alcove. Here you will find Hui'e Square.

   Hui’e Square was built in commemoration of the Japanese monk Hui’e, the first to burn incense for Guanyin on the island, some 1200 years ago (late Liang Dynasty, 907-923). In order to honor the Japanese monk Hui'e, this square uses elements of Japanese landscape architecture.  The square's ground is paved with local pebbles and bluestone. The original plan was to produce a bronze casting of Hui’e in his sailing vessel, more than 1200 years ago. This was to be a magnificent sculpture in the style of a monument. However, it was impossible to find the ship’s prototype, so this plan was abandoned in favor of a more metaphorical design. 

   On the central axis of the square, The bronze statue of Hui’e sits on a gigantic cement-reinforced rock suggestive of the ship’s prow. One hundred Guanyin statues form a stupa that evokes the ship’s mast.  An exhibition hall featuring Hui’e’s great achievements serves as the ship’s hold.  Pebbles arranged in a lotus pattern mosaic pave the entire ground.  The symbolism of the story “the lotus blocks the way so the ship can’t sail”,  shows how the landscape and the architecture seep into and structure one another, forming a good artistic and cultural climate.  It tells the story of Hui’e sailing eastward to Japan, asking Guanyin to return home, and of leaving behind on Mount Putuo a century of regretting not going to Guanyin. 

   In my heart, I quietly told Hui’e: today, a thousand years later, the voice of the Lotus Sea sounds the same. Someone remembers you, engraves your name on their heart, and is willing to spend their own life to complete your glorious, long-cherished dream. The white stupa behind you is made of more than one hundred statues of Guanyin, and these will always follow you east to Japan. 

Architectural style

   Like my fellow countrymen, I had no chance to take part in the scholarly debates of the past century, such as on classicism, modernism, postmodernism.  I also did not have the ability to take “The Garden Treatise” methods onto this ferocious little island. The open sea never accepts the sentimental, quaint atmosphere of traditional private gardens. 

   Drawing on limited funds and my own creative work, how can I produce a truly comprehensive architectural style, one that is in accordance with local hydrology, geology, customs, philosophy, aesthetics, etc.? I have been thinking about this problem continuously for two years, working it out by drawing more than a hundred sketches.

   The secular world has shaped me. In any case, I cannot cast off the historical inheritance of the words "architectural designer," though they mock me. This has made me ashamed for a long time.  Finally that day, I shook the big oars and sailed off alone, steering a sampan to the island. A huge swell lifted me together with the sampan, and placed us on the beach. I did all I could to enter this huge, intangible figure of the reclining Buddha's sacred body. Looking towards the open sea, Mount Putuo rises just opposite. A spiritual light filled me with an intense fervor, near excitement: with Mount Putuo so close, echoes rang out. This close to Mount Putuo, how does one’s thinking not draw closer to Mount Putuo’s Zen Buddhism? I had settled into the meaning of Zen.  Zen Buddhism tells us that the aesthetic tensions between mind and matter, material form and spirit, man and nature, will never change. Zen Buddhism pays particular attention to the act of shattering the void. It dares to break the shackles of the material world, and ultimately free one from all material needs. When this succeeds, form becomes formless. The law of this realm is no laws.

   I have not reached some higher plane. But I do have a familiar grasp of the six laws of Chinese painting, along with an ability to understand and express myself through sculpture, gardens and folk customs.  I carefully hold these together. I seek to emphasize the spirit, the function, and the artistry; pay attention to the ecology, the context, the spatial function, and the local specifics of the hydrology and meteorology. The rest are ever-changing. What schools or doctrines have kicked up a fuss? Over the past several centuries, what has relevance for me?

   Once I rule out these boring disputes, the plan resolves itself.

   The main building is the least defined space.  Following along the alcove, an alcove as large as me--one capable of providing me with some form of a plane-- I, too, become flat in form like a plane, making full use of the shelter from the wind and waves. The scaffolding above rests gently between two cliffs. The building's outer facade is obviously its face. I used local stone as construction material to make a painting surface that can withstand stormy weather. Traditional houses in the local style combine as a whole to create a form like a mosaic in the rubble, centered in the frame of the plane. Original brick and tile work gathered from dilapidated local houses decorate the roofs.  The walls on the side have been roughly painted an uninhibited, almost boorish, pink. Arhats made of brass look like Daoist priests from Shandong Province's Lao Mountain, with kindly smiles as they freely move between the walls. The atmosphere overflows with celestial exuberance.

   The combination of the buildings and the mountains often creates a site where hard and soft, natural and artificial mix. To avoid an abrupt harshness, I make use of original materials found here on the mountain and in the sea, such as local grasses. That way the bronze sculptures of arhats naturally meld with the mountain, extending to the walls.  Consequently, the chalk-white wall, the bronze-colored sculptures combined with the green of the mountain, create a refined yet simple, naturally unified elegance.  They are both distinct from natural religion and a part of it, as in folk religious traditions, resulting in a familiar sense of artistry, Zen Buddhism, and nature. 

   For artistic reasons as well as in order to prevent damage from the tides and sea spray, and as a way to endow these buildings with a spiritual energy, the buildings here have been constructed overhead.  I delegated the building of the steps behind the entrance to some migrant workers. In a stroke of inspiration I told them, “You do this yourselves. Treat it as if you were repairing the steps to your own home.  What is economical, what is beautiful, you guys decide." I want my creative method to embody the same tension between intention and non-intention that we see in Zen Buddhist painting. History clearly warns us: after three decades during which skyscrapers have popped up across new cities, we have tons of leftover waste from construction. Today only those old local-style houses are still connected to the earth. They are timeless. 

   The migrant workers built steps that were downright rustic. They chiseled the rock, and built a simple, unadorned cement handrail. The eaves are striking in their local style, the entrance exhibits an unmistakable bucolic quality: humble, plain, and lovely, and in harmony with the main building. I am delighted with this.    The next buildings will definitely also be based on this kind of collaboration.  This kind of primitive yet spiritually profound method is something that no proprietor or designer can carry out himself. 

   When the first phase of the project was completed, it was obvious that the architects who spoke for me sought to defend nature, and to return to nature. They worked hard to balance function and concept. They hardly impacted the island’s natural environment. Not a blade of grass was harmed. They maintained the reef and native life. They were partial to the sea, to the natural world, and they humbly saluted the spirits of heaven and earth. Is this not my spiritual homeland?

   How many months later did I try to seek the rational basis for this practice? Reviewing Western philosophy, architectural history... how silly! For how many years will buildings and architectural structures range back and forth between various Western trends of thought, like figurativism and neo-localism, etc.

    I heard the snickers of Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Aalto, and Robert Venturi. I am truly poor and helpless.


 

缘起

 1983年,在倒闭的隐修庵病瘫了五年多的我挪动刚能移步的身躯,转道至普陀山的西面塘头山下息心趺坐。这里是我少年海滩谋生的所在,抬头见普陀,年年说陌生,而今我病瘫五年却从普陀山站起,柱杖下山,步出山门,人在庐山不识面目。当我准备离开普陀山之际,不知是谢恩还是真想看一遍普陀的真面目。我习惯地注视着莲花洋海面上一座孤独的小岛,渐渐地视线模糊,神驰天外。倏然间,海天间轮廓清晰,天天注视的那座小岛分外奇特,没有比这个大自然天成的雕塑更伟大的作品了:一座惟妙惟肖的东方女神观音平静地躺在普陀山与沈家门之间的海面上,独立海天,自成一体,没有丝毫拖泥带水的牵强与延伸。真可谓天工开物、大象无形。我激奋不已,这不是我多少年来心灵中的图像吗?这不是我“三个生态”修复学的一个好大践行起点吗? “我即佛,佛即我,艺即禅,禅即艺!”——我不由自主地站起又趺坐在大青石上。

   那是十几年前惊人的重现。

   1966年红卫兵破四旧,将普陀山千万尊菩萨,一尊不留,砸个精光。我失神地独坐在普陀山海边礁石上凝视东方,时旭日东升太阳沾起一滴海水弹出海面。霎时,长空金光万道、绚丽缤纷,普陀山东方海面上黑樾樾的洛迦山,好象什么事也没发生过,平静廖寂地躺在水面上,我细眼神往,啊!分明是一尊伟岸无比的释迦牟尼佛平卧在东海洋面上。

   我怀疑自己真有佛性,何以能慧眼独俱,相隔十几年的两次海边趺坐均能发现大自然中的这一伟大与神奇。造物主是否有意识在普陀山这一观音道场的东、西两端设置了释迦、观音两座海上卧佛之天下奇观?是否有意识让我这天地佛子,在无端的创作中跌下致瘫,又无端的让我站起,发现这一天下奇观。

   我唏嘘至今。

   时代的发展,人类漫无边际的扩张,定然想倾吞消亡这座天工开物的大海杰作。人民币的列车以无可阻挡的力量让我这档草民无奈、彷徨,在奔走无功的岁月间,1992年我独自摇船上岛,1996年我咬紧牙关终于买下了莲花山成为全国第一位“岛主”。

   我趺坐礁上,棕褐色的礁石们静寂地盯着我这位统帅他们的“总督”。期待?疑惑?还是无言的臣服?浪花吮吸着礁岸、盐花渍浸卵石;大吴枫、剑麻和倔强的海桐相拥成团,岛上如同禅述般地空寂。莲花洋依然一日两度潮,自来自去。

   我的心在这里震颤了一下,这座物化的小岛将是我人生感悟、天下意识、艺术才华的最理想载体。从此我必须强行剥离几十年“纯艺术家”的冲动和妄想,强化起建筑师的广博,哲学家的深邃,工程师的精确,企业家的敏锐和艺术家的幻想,准备与自然、与社会、与个性几十年交手,将自己一并埋入于用艺术拯救生态的护岛行动。

   我明白孤寂与振奋将形影不离伴我下半生的闯荡,我决意用痛苦换取创造的愉悦,用孤寂的心像明矾一样沉淀红尘的泥沙。有那么一天当我跨越了奋斗的痛苦,高举起“用艺术拯救生态”的大旗,站在莲花岛的高地回望,我有资格微笑——属于那种勇猛智慧的人类。

   计划既定。我开始在这封闭的悬水岛上如同圣西门、傅立叶一般实施自己的“乌托邦”构想,尽自己的蚁力,在心中飘扬起人文主义、自然主义、英雄主义和使命感的四面大旗。

前期与规划

  莲花岛雕塑公园的规划与设计,其实如酒酿在我心中已多年,似乎“胸中自有雄师百万”,我迫不及待地希望将其倾泻在图文并茂的可视性文本中。有三五个月里我暂停了大多数的筹资、管理、画画和所有的应酬,钻在杭州玉皇山的农民房中,绘制计算、踏勘取样、查阅资料、请教专家,干得天昏地暗。稿子堆成小山,人埋在小山中,在创意的深入中我更感悟到项目本身所蕴涵的独特性和宇宙般的广袤。设计师和员工们惊奇我那没完没了的精神动力,日以继夜的创作精神和一幅幅神来之笔的手绘图稿。我诧异:自己如何会有这般惊世骇俗的精神动力,那是唐·吉可德的勇气是圣西门的妄想。

   半年余,方案出台。我真像脱了一层皮,细眼看去,其实内容已非规划所能涵及,策划、设计、制作全在里头了。

   建造香港大屿山大佛的总工程师史庭惠先生来杭州,与我几夜长谈,几阅方案文稿,狠狠地褒赞了我一顿。我定下聘他来帮我负责营造,自己素面朝天游说海内外去了。

   我背着一摞方案文本哑巴卖刀似地穿梭于浙江、上海、北京、南京、苏州、台湾、香港、澳门、新加坡、加拿大,查阅、考证、核实,搜集大观音造型、五百罗汉造型的设计资料。跑美国、日本取得自由女神和东京120米大佛的资料。请同济做风动试验,请美国做材料的耐腐试验,与航天部晨光机械厂领导谈主体工程承建事宜,请国家海洋局、北京地质学院做地质调查。如此前后两年左右,图文数据堆了半个面包车,卖画攒的钱挥霍一空,但办公桌前“硕果累累”。1996年,撤销杭州、普陀两地大观音筹建处的同时成立浙江“莲花洋实业有限公司”由国家宗教局局长杨同祥题字,在杭州挂牌宣告成立,注册资金1000万,我踌躇满志地担当公司法人,捋起双袖,天翻地覆地干了起来。

建筑布局

   因为莲花岛尊贵特殊的外形,这尊天孕地育的水上卧观音天际线是绝对不能有一丝一毫的损伤。也因为小岛处于东海台风区的原因,在这小岛山脊或坡上没有任何营建建筑和构件的可行性,我将目光盯在岛上的凹口。

   大凡世界上每个小岛的所有凹口都是藏风止水的最佳场所,是所有岛民们抗拒台风巨浪,夏雨雷电的自然蔽障。

   农历三月三,太阳、地球、月亮的合谋,三星分成最大角距,磁力分散,海水落泽最低,退得老远虎视凹口,积蓄着下一浪头的力量。

   农历八月十八,太阳、地球、月亮三星拉成直线,太阳引海水上升半米左右,月亮引海水上升四分之一米强,它们合力将海水上涨近一米。若逢八到十月台风来临,大潮驾着台风,滔天的巨浪,发了疯,撞碎的浪花罩上整个岛的山头。

   山崖滩边的凹口却如同慈母般张开双臂将每个恶浪搂入怀中,柔化、抚平、放其还去。周而复始,不厌其烦,亿万年忠实地履行着自己的职责。

   莲花岛共有5个凹口环岛而生,珍贵而美丽。我环岛划了个圈以一条石砌小道环岛而行,连通每个凹口,按项目功能的需要,管理中心,艺术馆,慧锷广场,观海台,艺术家创作室,如同一条纤线连起闪光的珍珠项链挂在莲花岛之上。

   小小的莲花岛,几片大礁坡岗向大海袒露着荒蛮与空旷,我将小岛的两块主山之间作为主要的开合入口拢气之所在。指挥中心、艺术馆和管理人员用房结集在此。我充分地利用了造物主赐予的坡落参差。三幢建筑在这里转弯抹角中互相谦让,互相呼应,绿色的山崖和石砌的山墙在这里因势而立,一条陡坡小道在中心穿过,组合出浓重的海岛渔村式狭小的公共空间。在空旷、荒蛮中建立了岛上中心的空间,使进入的人流随即忘却野礁的荒芜苍凉,各自分流进入功能建筑之中。

   穿过小小的中心区域,顿感海阔天空。遥望普陀山,岛在白浪间青黛绰约,令人心旷神怡、豁然开朗。沿山崖步道一路罗汉导引你向前。转过山道即踏入风口浪尖中的凹口,这里是慧锷广场。

   慧锷广场为纪念1200年前(后梁)第一位点起普陀山观音道场香火的日僧慧锷而建。因为纪念日僧,故广场采用了日本枯山水的元素。以就地取材的卵石和青石间铺。原本计划,将1200年前慧锷搭乘的帆船以锡青铜原貌复制铸造,作一宏伟的纪念碑式雕塑,可寻它千百度就是找不到该船的原形资料,只能放弃原计划作意喻性的场景布置。

   广场的中轴线上,慧锷的铜像坐于水泥塑成的巨型礁石上意喻船头,百尊观音组成的佛塔权作桅杆。广场后的慧锷事迹展览馆为船舱。莲花图案拼铺的卵石满地铺设。制造故事中的“莲花挡道,船不能行”的象征景象,景观与建筑相互渗透,相互结体,形成良好的艺术文化气候。讲述着慧锷东渡请观音回国,在普陀山留下“不肯去观音院”的世纪之憾。

   我心中悄悄地告诉慧锷,千年后的今天,莲花洋涛声依旧,有人记得您,将您铭刻在心,并愿以自己的人生作代价,完成您的美好夙愿。您身后的白佛塔中百余尊观音将永远随您东渡扶桑。

建筑风格

   与国人一样,我无缘参加这世界上从古典主义、现代主义、后现代主义千百年风格流派之争论。我也没本事将计成的《园冶》移花接木到这风口浪尖的小岛上来,大海从不接受风花雪月、小桥流水般的传统私家园林情调。

   我该如何以自己一笔笔画出来有限的资金,创作出符合当地水文气象、地质地貌、风俗民情、哲学美学等全方位统筹兼顾的建筑风格?两年间我没间断这一课题的思考,构思了不下于上百张的草图。

   世俗框定了我,我无论如何摆脱不了历史延承下来的“建筑设计师”几个字对我的嘲笑,在这里我羞愧了好长时间。终于的那一天,我摇着大橹,独驾舢板上岛,一个涌浪将我连同舢板抬上礁石,搁在滩上。我奋力进入了这大象无形的卧佛神圣的身躯,视线向着大海对面的普陀山升华。一道神光使我满怀激情,近乎亢奋:既与普陀山千米之隔,东西呼应,思维的定向咋不向普陀山的禅宗靠拢?我落定在禅义。禅义告诉我,心与物、形与神、人与自然的审美思辩永远不会改变。禅义讲究虚空粉碎,要敢于冲破一切程式的束缚,完全从表达的需要,水到渠成,才能进入无形之形,无法之法的境界。

   我没有什么高的境界,我却具备捻熟的中国绘画六法和雕塑、园林、民俗的理解和表达能力。我将它们小心翼翼地捏在一起。强调精神、强调功能、强调艺术性;注重生态,注重文脉,注重空间功能和这里特殊的水文、气象。其他的千变万化,什么流派什么主义吵翻天了几个世纪与我有何相关?

   当我排除这些无聊的争执障碍,方案落定。

   主建筑是最不确定的空间。沿着凹口走,凹口多大我也多大,凹口能给我什么形的平面,我也就做什么形的平面,充分地利用了岛上金贵的避风抗浪空间。将建筑架空,轻轻地搁置在两片山崖之间。建筑的外立面,当然是建筑的脸面,我用就地取材的石料,做成抗拒风浪的绘画式平面;将传统民居的整个形式如同浮雕一样嵌镶在毛石的画框式平面之中,披顶的砖瓦是捡了正宗民居的破败屋顶砖瓦利用的。侧立面的墙面上乱刀刮出粗犷的粉色。黄铜制的罗汉们如同“崂山道士”般带着慈祥的微笑自由自在地在墙间遁入化出,仙气盎然。

   建筑与山体的结合口往往是自然与人工的硬软交接之处,为避生硬突兀,我利用山体原有的海桐、山草,将青铜罗汉雕塑自然地溶入山体,延向墙面。于是粉白的墙体、金铜色的雕塑,合着翠绿的山体呈现出一派典雅高贵古朴自然的统一性。它们既区别于宗教自然,又为民俗认可为宗教自然,获得了艺术上、禅宗上、自然上的亲和感、熟悉感。

   因为试图让所有的建筑在精神赋有仙气,又因为艺术上和防潮抗浪的功能上的必须,这里的建筑以架空为原则。我将架空后入口的台阶设计建造直接交给了民工,寄厚望有神来一笔,  “你们自己做吧!权当你自己的家要修这一转角台阶。如何节俭,如何美观,你们定。”我希望体现和禅宗绘画一样从有意到无意再进入有意的一个创作手法。历史很明确地警示我:这些新都市雨后春笋般的楼厦,三十年后又是一批建筑垃圾,唯有那些古老的民居至今还紧贴大地,唱着亘古不变的歌。

   民工们大胆地给了我一个彻头彻尾的乡土式台阶,一个就地取凿的石头,朴实无华的水泥扶栏和民俗性很强的入口屋檐,一个乡土气很浓的入口处理,谦逊平和、质朴可爱,与主体建筑吻合得默契而无缝,有了这第一个愉悦的尝试。接下去的建筑就一概采用此类性质的 合作。这是任何业主和设计师不可能实施的方式,原始而精深。

   当第一期工程收工的那天,显然看到了这些替我说话的建筑们,在那里维护着自然,回归着自然,在功能和理念之间做着努力的平衡,实在得很。它们几乎没有碰撞过岛上的一草一木、一山一石,保持着礁岸间土生土长的生物形态,向着大海,向着自然,向着天精地灵作了个谦逊的敬礼这不就是我的精神家园吗?

   多少个月后,我企图在这一实践中寻找理性的依据,重温了西方的哲学、建筑史,傻了!眼前折腾了多少年的建筑和构筑物如同中了隐喻主义、新乡土主义等西方思潮的埋伏俘虏而去。

    我听到赖特、阿尔托、文丘里们的嗤笑声,我真的很贫乏,很无奈。