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采访对象:郑广/Interviewed: Zheng Guang

采访对象:郑广

采访时间:2007120日晚上

采访地点:于阳江郑家

 

设计 design 12

建筑 architecture buildings 15

drink 6

(交 exchange 11

(用地 基地 根据地) land(for certain purpose) base 11

朋友 friend 15

relation 29

公共 public relation 8

搞关 developing relation 6

generation 30

一代 their days 4

需要 need 5

game 7

department industries

地方 provincial 13

 

章(建筑) unauthorized (architecture) 3

平等 equality equal 5

自由 freedom 3

gambling 3

 

 

个人 individual 10

帝国*   Age of Empire 19

地主(斗地主*) landlord (fight against the landlord* ) 4

农业人口 agricultural population 1

活(活着 生活 干活)  live life activity work 15

money 23

双年展 Biennale 3

线 whistle-blowers 6

产阶级 proletariat 2

产阶级青年 proletariat youth 2

社会 society social 4

 

*帝国时代:微软游戏,简称“帝国”,Age of Empire: computer game by Microsoft

*斗地主:1,斗争地主,2,纸牌游戏, fighting against the landlord: 1, a communist activity 2, a card game

 

 

Q:你觉得艺术对于你的生活来说意味着什么呢?

A:就是把艺术融进自己的生命里面,每天着……什么都可以是作品

Q:在《帝国时代》(微软游戏)里,你看到了这样的一个艺术与生活的交点,那你觉得我们整个生活也处于一种游戏的状态吗?

A:应该是吧。其实我里的每个人,我弟弟,我妹妹都生活游戏里面,……每天连网打游戏——《传奇》(韩国网络游戏),连我妈妈、爸爸,又在另外一个叫“鼠牛虎兔龙蛇”的网络游戏里,就是隔两天开一次的地下赌博,可以在电脑上下注的,大家都生活游戏的世界里,的时候就觉得活在这世界里太了,但是的时候就要回到现实了,接受现实,明天要交了……有时会输得太了,付不起就觉得现实残酷,上次我在北京的展览,“鼠牛虎兔龙蛇”,表面是一个书画展,其实是以这个赌博做主题的,每天晚上都出鼠牛虎兔龙蛇,玄机重重啊。

Q:你刚才谈到的,生活与艺术工作都是混在一起了,那么你怎么看它们之间的关系?

A:我觉得通过赚工作,和帮别人干的经验,说不定哪天就会归纳到你自己的艺术创作上了,其实艺术很多都是来自于生活视而不见的东西,很多有意思的艺术家作品就是来源于生视而不见的东西。就是你要发现,很多一晃而过的东西,他留意到了和发现到了,就是他的东西了。

Q:你做一件双年展的作品和你为一个朋友做的定件有什么不一样?

A:不同之处只是在于在两个行业里面吧。双年展艺术……是进入策划人的情境里边的东西,而我为一个朋友设计是进入我朋友需要,我觉得都一样的,应该只是在两个不一样的情境。比如双年展主题,而我朋友设计也有主题,都有一个规划在里面,我觉得都是在接一单活,一接手就都要为他着想,而他们都要付我制作费,我都是拿了别人做自己事情。有时候也会有很多可以流通的想法,比如这次帮朋友做的东西,下一次就可以流通到某个双年展里去了,因为我已经测试过的了,比如做一些空间的作品,我们觉得这样流通着做空间也比较有意思

Q:你是生活于阳江这样的地方,你在这里是个什么样的形象或是角色?你和周围的环境的关系如何?

A:我一般是在酒的地方面对各行各业的人,比如税务局的、警察、工厂的老板等,而我在这里就只是一个设计的角色,但是在那里就不管你是什么身份了,到一定的程度大家就都平等了,他们对“艺术家”这个词也都不了解,有时候我们要穿得像古惑仔一样——是一种很好的保护色,和黑社会有时候也在一起了。他们很多行规或者很多行业里外界不知道的事情,我都知道,要不是跟他们打交道,我也不知道他们的内心世界是这样的,有时一些很大的丑闻,我是从警察的口里知道的,这些都会刺激我的想象力。在阳江,刚发生的事情我很快就会知道了,因为我有很多线人在起作用,工商各部门……昨天发生什么事情,第2天我就知道了,

Q:为什么你会觉得做这种违章的建筑有意思呢?公共关系就是你和社会的这种关系吧,感觉整个社会像一个城堡或大厦一样复杂,那么你对这种社会对象有什么感受?

A:因为是一种挑战,也是一种公共关系或者跟社会交往关系积累,如果没有这种积累,我的《帝国时代》就根本没办法做,我建立的这种关系现在已经很不得了了,我已经认识了阳江部门的各大领导,全部关系已经稳定了,就为我的“帝国”的顺利建成铺了路,那里那是一种农民,是不能转换商业住宅的,这块转卖到我们这些非农业人口的手里,城里的人就会关注你,你要在那里建立这么庞大建筑不可能的,根据什么规定就可以来你的,我就是突然有一天接到电话,要罚款……我马上要去公关,那些部门的人放了很多线人,都是线人起的作用,线人拿了的,为他们报信,比如你在家里秘密赌博他也会知道,所以,被的人就还要付线人,我这个帝国时代被罚了好多,说这个东西是非法的,通过罚款,它就变成模棱两可的东西,这个部门,你收了我交的,就要承担一些东西,但是它也不能承认你,就被默认为是半合法的,所以钱交得越多的越好。而我这些年面对的或者请客吃饭56人——当地的国土局规划局城建部门——我还知道城建部门有几个派系……真的把“帝国”做成了,那我在阳江就真的不得了了,以后就不知还会建什么了……,主要靠一种公共关系的建立。

Q:你刚才说了很多公共关系方面的东西,那你觉得和这些人打交道的这种状况会不会很荒诞?

A:是很荒诞,你不做这些就不会遇到这些东西,而你一跟他们接触了就很容易理解他们了……,比如开始你说是在建一个“猪栏”,怎么现在就变成一个“牛栏”了?——以前你说是建几个房子,现在突然看到你建了这么巨大的建筑出来,他就会来管,但是还是会默认你,就会和你商量怎么交差。

Q:你是很容易和周围的社会的人沟通和发生关系,那么你觉得做当代艺术这一点来说,艺术家是容易被人理解和接受的还是不容易的?

A:挺容易的,因为醉了就很容易把老底端出来了,我可以跟酒店或工厂的老板,跟武警小混混聊聊天,聊天的时候就会无意识谈到艺术展览,他们也会很好奇,所以我觉得很容易和他们沟通,这是小城镇的一种现象,只要你跟他建立了朋友关系,他很容易接受懂不懂没关系,起码他知道有这样的信息和状况。

Q:现在很多媒体、报纸都说公众对当代艺术不理解,你怎么看?

A:那只是一个表面的信息,一交了朋友就……说什么都会认可,他们也不是完全的了解你,只是好奇而已,反正他们也很闷,我经常会带一些朋友去看展览——他们去旅游顺便去看展览,比如说在展览上碰到很多老外,还跟他们合影,就觉得很新鲜,喜不喜欢都好,反正他挺高兴的,回来就很不一样了。

Q:他们对那些“恶心的”当代艺术作品有什么反应吗?

A:可能也都见怪不怪了吧,有什么比他们看到的更恶心呢?他那个行业里面那么真实的事都发生了,在他看来,一点也不会住他了

Q:你是在做这些建筑的时候玩公共关系的,但是你从来不跟那些策展人玩公共关系的是吧?

A:对,很多艺术家就把公共关系放在艺术方面了,但是我坚信一点,只要作品做得有意思,策划人是不会管这些东西的,因为他们太公正了。我们在艺术方面不要搞关系,一搞关系就觉得不好意思了,北京(的艺术家)应该挺会搞的,但是搞了那种关系其实也没用,一搞关系反而会被认为你有怎么样企图,因为我们和策划人都是平等关系,他需要我们,我们也需要他,配合好的话,对他来说更有好处, 我们在扮演什么样的角色他们都安排好了,所以不用去搞关系,搞了反而会

Q:以前搞艺术都是跑到中心的地方,而阳江作为比较边缘的地方,资讯也比较不发达……那么这个时代的所谓中心和边缘,以及乡下和城市这种问题,你能谈下你对这些问题的经验吗?

A:现在应该没有以前那么封闭了吧,慢慢地你发现可以通过网络,可以每天睡觉都不用管什么中心边缘了,因为中心也会,像毛主席也会派人来找到你,你有一个,有一个根据,中心知道你已经慢慢地建立了这样一个导弹的发射,你这个乡下导弹也可以发射到中心里了,不管是不是在乡下,你的思维也可以传达到中心或者跟中心在一起?……上一艺术家他们是怀着接近中心的愿望去的,他们不适合在家乡的周围活动,而是必须离家出走的,他们是一代人,要是他们呆在他们家乡的话,可能就真的没有创造性,他们只能离家出走,跟着中心,看怎么玩,的,机会会多很多,可以马上向中心,向党中央靠拢,或者省很多时间,我们这种人就真的是黑灯瞎火,什么都看不清,只是有一种……我也不知道是不是一种创造力,我们也不管它是什么,但是拿出去之后别人会觉得很有创造性也有可能,我们乡下的嘛他们没有,反而他们会更喜欢乡下的也有可能。

A:以前,我还经历过计划经济的时代,那个时候都是用粮票换东西的,我每天早上都要着一袋米跑到很远的地方去排队粉皮——其实也都是米做的,把机器一过,就变成粉皮,但是到了80年代末期,就突然有了很多超市之类的,只要有就什么都可以消费了,我就觉得这个商品的交换自由了,我就提出了“消费就是我的理想消费解恨”,其实消费……你就认定一个产品,或者认定一个设计,其实我买一个东西,有时候还会觉得“这个东西怎么设计得这么好?”,所以说消费对我还是有一些启发,我每天面对这个产品的时候都有启发,因为它包含了设计的成分在里面——就摆脱了我那个时候的一种关于商品交换沉重感,但是这个记忆还是很铭心的,我永远都记得那时候每天都要驮一袋米去粉皮,还要6点多就起来了,起得那么早,但还是要排很长的队,现在再也不会干这种事情了……但是我妈妈那一代也是这样,就是说我爸爸和我妈妈是两个阶层的,我妈妈是那种地主妹,我爸爸就真的是那种种地无产阶级,说起来……我爸爸是耕完一天的田,没有东西吃,拍拍脚就上床睡觉了的那种阶层,但是我妈妈,在中国那个食物缺乏的时候,她们家里都还有洋参、鱼翅,吃不完倒进垃圾桶去,我爸爸说“哇,真是太幸福了”——真的是两个阶层的人,但是为什么他们两个人结合了呢?这是一种政治斗争的结果。阳春那边斗地主,是把地主捆绑起来,用棍子一敲,晕了,推到河里面,就流到阳江,也不知道这是不是当年阳春的一种做法,所有地主尸体都搁在那条河里面了,村里的人都不敢里面的水了,只喝从地心的井里挖出来的水……我妈妈那个时候还在读中学,听到消息之后就连夜逃跑了,因为一被抓起来也可能会被斗,就和我妈妈的妈妈逃出来起来了,然后说最好是给一个无产阶级的青年,然后就找到了我爸爸。

 

Interviewed: Zheng Guang

Time: Evening, January 20, 2007

Location: Zheng’s Residence at Yangjiang, Guangdong province

 

设计 design 12

建筑 architecture buildings 15

drink 6

(交 exchange 11

(用地 基地 根据地) land(for certain purpose) base 11

朋友 friend 15

relation 29

公共 public relation 8

搞关 developing relation 6

generation 30

一代 their days 4

需要 need 5

game 7

department industries

地方 provincial 13

 

章(建筑) unauthorized (architecture) 3

平等 equality equal 5

自由 freedom 3

gambling 3

 

 

个人 individual 10

帝国*   Age of Empire 19

地主(斗地主*) landlord (fight against the landlord* ) 4

农业人口 agricultural population 1

活(活着 生活 干活)  live life activity work 15

money 23

双年展 Biennale 3

线 whistle-blowers 6

产阶级 proletariat 2

产阶级青年 proletariat youth 2

社会 society social 4

 

*帝国时代:微软游戏,简称“帝国”,Age of Empire: computer game by Microsoft

*斗地主:1,斗争地主,2,纸牌游戏, fighting against the landlord: 1, a communist activity 2, a card game

 

Source of keywords:

 

 

Q: What does art mean to you in your life?

 

A: To make art as an integrated part of life, just live the life everyday……anything can be a work of art.

 

Q: In The Age of Empires (game by Microsoft), you see the juncture where art and life cross. Do you think our whole life is in a state of game?

 

A: Probably yes. Actually all my family live in games. My younger brother and sister immerse themselves in The Legend of Mir (MMORPG game from Korea) every day; even my parents are game addicts, they are obsessed with an online game called “Mouse, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon and Snake”, which is about underground gambling, taking place every two days. You can bet via computer. So they all live inside the virtual world game, exhilarated upon winning and pulled back to the reality when losing – time to pay for the cost. Sometimes they lose too much and get totally broke, frustrated by the cruelty of reality. Last time I did an exhibition entitled “Mouse, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon and Snake” in Beijing. Seemingly, it is an ink painting and calligraphy exhibition, but it’s actually about that gambling game. You see, “Mouse, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon and Snake” appear every day, it’s really esoteric stuff.

 

Q: You just mentioned your life and art are mixed together. How do you see their relation?

 

A: I think the experiences of working for others to make money would someday inspire my creation of work of art. Actually art is principally based on overlooked things in life. A lot of interesting artists work with those materials. Those who are able to discern the transitory daily matters will turn them into their works of art.

 

Q: What’s the difference between a work you do for the biennale and those you do at the request of friends?

 

A: The difference is that they are in two different fields. Biennales are about art, and you work within the context set by the curator. Things I design for my friends are based on their needs. I don’t think there’s any difference with working method, it’s just different context. For instance, both biennale and my friend will set the subject for me, there’s planning in both. In both situations, I feel I’m being commissioned to do something, and I have to think about the requirement of my client, who covers my production expense. So this is how it is: I take someone else‘s money and do my own art. Some of the ideas I came up with are portable – a design I did for a friend may as well be presented in some biennale next time. This has been tested, there are some works done for some art spaces (which eventually went to biennales). We find porting works between spaces like this interesting.

 

Q: Living in a place like Yangjiang, what’s your image or role in the city? What’s the relationship between you and the environment?

 

A: Usually I deal with people from different fields when drinking, they are some one from tax bureau, policemen, factory owners, etc. My role here is ‘designer‘. But actually no matter what identities you bear, after a period of drinking all are equal. They all have no idea of what the term ‘artist‘ means, and sometimes we have to dress up like hooligans, it’s very useful camouflage, with which you’ll be able to hang out with even local mafia. I know a lot of hidden rules and insider’s secrets from them, and I wouldn’t have understood their inner feelings had I not “befriended” them. Sometimes I learn about scandals from some policemen, these things will all stimulate my imagination. I’m pretty well-informed in Yangjiang, because I have a lot of whistle-blowers working for me, they work in every industries……so I always get yesterday’s news in the morning of the second day.

 

Q: Why are you interested in building unauthorized architectures? Public relation is the relationship between you and the society. The society in which you reside is as complex as a castle or skyscraper, how do you feel about this kind of social object?

 

A: It’s a challenge, as well as the accumulation of public relation or social relation. Without this accumulation I couldn’t have created the The Age of Empire. The relation I have established is very strong and effective now: I already know all the major government officials of Yangjiang, we have stable relationship. This forms the basis of my ‘empire‘. The land I have is originally for agricultural use, and it’s against the law to use it for commercial or residential purpose. So when people like me, i.e.: non-agricultural people, obtained the land, there would inevitably be some attention drawn to you, and it would be impossible for you to build large-scale architectural complex as there are a lot of regulations according to which you’ll get fined. One day, I got a phone call about penalty, I have contact some of the government officials immediately. There are whistle-blowers in many departments, they are very helpful. They are paid so they do their job, like if you do illegal gambling at home, the government will know. So the fined will have to pay the whistle-blowers too. I was fined for this Age of Empire, they said it’s illegal, but after I paid my fine, it became something ambiguous. Since you received my money, you must do something for me. But the government can’t just legitimize my unauthorized architecture, so they ended up being quasi-legal. The more you pay, the better. Over the past few years I “befriended five or six groups of government people, including guys from the National Land Bureau, the Planning Bureau and the Department of Urban Construction. I even know how many factional circles exist within the Department of Urban Construction……If I do manage to realize this Empire, I would become really formidable in Yangjiang, there’s probably going to be wildly ambitious projects in the future……So it’s all about public relations.

 

Q: Do you feel ridiculous to have to deal with these people?

 

A: It is ridiculous indeed. You wouldn’t have to deal with these if you hadn’t done what you did. But once you got to know these guys, you would find it easy to understand them. For example, I started by telling them I’m going to build a pig sty and I ended up with a cattle shed. Also, I said I want to build a couple of houses but ended with this huge complex of buildings. The government people will come to you for these discrepancies, but they’ll serve as the buffer between you and the government, negotiating with you for a solution.

 

Q: You have frequent communication with other people, do you think contemporary artists have problem being understood?

 

A: It’s actually easy, it’s all about alcohol! Once you get drunk, you can talk about even the most intimate things. When I’m having conversation with hotel or factory owners, policemen or local hooligans, I would unconsciously mention art or exhibitions, and they are usually very curious. So I find it easy to communicate with these people. This is an unique phenomenon in smaller cities; once you befriend a person, he/she would accept what you do regardless of whether he/she understands it or not. At least they know something about that.

 

Q: A lot of media are saying that contemporary art is not understood by the public. What do think about this?

 

A: That’s only superficial information. Once you become friends, they will accept anything you say. They don’t really know what is going on, they are just curious. I often bring bored friends to exhibitions, they are traveling when there happens to be this exhibition in town, and I’ll show them to it. Usually they see a lot of foreigners on the exhibition and they take photos with them. This is something new for them, and I think whether they like the exhibition or not, they find a lot of fun in it, and they will go home as a new person.

 

Q: Do they have any strong reaction to those ‘disgusting’ contemporary art works?

 

A: I guess they have seen too much of those. Is there anything more disgusting than what they have seen in their life? They saw real heavy shit happens in their fields, and the stuff on the art exhibitions are nothing to be scared of.

 

Q: So you build up your relations for your architectural projects, but never do PR activities to those curators, right?

 

A: Right. Many artists reckon that you’ll need relations to survive in the art scene. But I strongly believe that as long as you come up with interesting works, the curators don’t care about this relation stuff, they are too unbiased. We shouldn’t focus on relations when doing art, it’s very embarrassing. Beijing (artists) is good at these things, but actually it’s of little help, people would think you have an axe to grind. We artists and curators are equal, we both need each other, so working cooperatively would do good to them, who has assigned roles to us early on. So it’s really unnecessary to work yourself up on relations, it will only make things worse.

 

Q: Artists have this tradition of swarming to the centre, but Yangjiang is a relatively marginalized city with limited flow of information. Would you like to comment on the experience of centre vis-à-vis fringe, countryside vis-à-vis city?

 

A: I think it is less closed than before. Eventually you’ll see that, with the aid of the internet, you don’t have to be concerned about the problem to centre as opposed to fringe. In the centre, even Chairman Mao would send someone for you. You have this base and the centre knows that, they know you have this missile base set up, and you are able to fire homemade missiles to the centre. It doesn’t matter where you are physically, your thoughts can be transferred to the centre……the last generation of artists were aiming for the centre; they were destined to leave their hometown. In their days, it was probably a good thing to do so, as staying at home would have stifled their creativity. So you have to follow the centre and the communist party, it was the more effective way. People like us are really clueless, we are totally in the dark, but we have this, shall we say creativity? We actually don’t know what it is, but other people might as well perceive it as creativity. After all, we are in the countryside, and who knows, they might be interested in something from the countryside.

 

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