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retarded 弱智[ruo zhi]

1.我觉得没有什么真正的接受,它只是成为时尚的另外一个门类,杂志报纸谈到这些问题的时候,你可以看到,它就只能三句五句的谈,但没有一句能够谈到点子上,也不能够深入下去,我觉得这个事儿挺可怜的,就有点像弱智了,中国当代艺术真是扮演了一个弱智的角色

I don’t think there is real reception. It only becomes part of fashion. When magazines and newspapers talk about art, you see, they always miss the points, and are never capable of understanding it in any depth. I think it’s pathetic, somewhat like retarded. Chinese contemporary art is really acting a retarded role

(摘自徐坦对艾未未的访谈   Excerpt from Interview with Ai Weiwei)

Interviewed: Ai Dongming

Time: Afternoon, January 31, 2007

Location: Ai’s place at Caochangdi, Beijing

 

 

do” engage in 25

可能 maybe possibility impossible perhaps may 21

社会 society social 19

问题 problem question 17

兴趣 fascinated interested uninterested interest 12

个人 individual 12

方式 ways approaches 10

市场 market 9

价值 value 7

 

政治的 political  1

国家 country  state  4

自由 freedom  free 7

个人表达 individual expression

地下 underground

民主 democratic  2

 

circle 3

money 5

时代 (information/Internet) age 5

play 3

资金 capital 1

poor poverty 4

弱智 retarded 2

face 3

 

 

Source of keywords:

 

 

Q: What’s your understanding or impression about the current situation of contemporary art in China?

 

A: I wouldn’t pretend to know much. In spite of the fact that I’ve been living in Beijing all along and always partaking in curating, that we have the Chinese Art Archives & Warehouse, and make friends in the art circle, still I’m not sure I really understand it. Recent two years it seemed hot and bustling, but not very long before nobody apparently cared to take a look at it, so it feels to me more like a state of sudden ups and downs. Maybe put it this way: because contemporary art as a matter of fact has a quite short history [in China], and the modern life in China [this country] – although it did exist – was characterized to a great extent by political and economic patterns. In a highly institutionalized [environment] country as such, the freedom of individual expression, political background and living conditions, as well as the functions and possibilities of art and culture in the society, were basically limited, therefore the surfacing of the so called contemporary art in China didn’t occur until five or six years ago. Before that there were people doing a lot of things, but only in a semi-underground way – that is, it happened in a small circle, out of the sight of the public discourse, and its social impact was in fact also only limited to a small sphere. Once it surfaces, its major scene is in overseas exhibitions, foreign media or even in overseas auctions. It does look exciting somehow, but has nothing to do with the environment where the art originated, its social patterns and its meanings. Few people have tried to discuss and probe into these questions, so it’s still a strange structure. But we can’t say any structure is reasonable or not. Be it a tree, a vine, a ferocious beast, or a parasite, it each has its own reasons. Although Chinese contemporary art did not self-consciously try to build a connection with this society, it still somehow reflects a few problems of the past decades.

 

Q: What problems do you think it reflects?

 

A: The fundamental collapses of Chinese philosophy, aesthetics, ethics in the past decades, and the possibility of discussion is yet to be established for the new. Because this large scale or large part of the society is still denying, or disagreeing some basic facts, and debating of many problems in these areas is almost [out of the question] impossible. Democratic society is still a long way to go. There is much freedom in there, but it’s the freedom based on the collapse of the old, a freedom out of control, but proactive [one] freedom. The art is characterized by all these problems.

 

Q: What do you think of the public reception of contemporary art?

 

A: I don’t think there is real reception. It only becomes part of fashion. When magazines and newspapers talk about art, you see, they always miss the points, and are never capable of understanding it in any depth. I think it’s pathetic, somewhat like retarded. Chinese contemporary art is really acting [an under-developed] a retarded role. Of course there are pretty good artists, there are artists doing interesting stuff all along, but what they do and the way they do it never got acknowledged or understood by the mainstream society. Basically it’s all messed up.

 

Q: Do you think your curating activities could be of any help to this mess?

 

A:There are many exhibitions in China now, but hardly helping with anything and making any sense. They are just peddlers, the peddlers you see on streets where everybody hucksters the same thing and provoke and compete against one another. It’s designed completely for the market, and has nothing to do with art. All those exhibitions, and their curators – take a close look and you see few that are half decent, all with their evil and varied intentions. This in particular is what makes me look down upon Chinese academia and the intelligentsia. [The total shamelessness. The out-and-out and open shamelessness,] They don’t care for face, literally and openly declare that they don’t care for face, which is so rare even here and now. A Chinese old saying goes, poverty stifles ambition, which makes a very good point here. But it’s more than just being poor, those people are actually degenerate. Poverty is just an excuse.

 

Q: Since you mentioned market, please comment on the art market.

 

A:Anything can sell, and the exquisite thing as art is no exception. Art sells in that it decorates the [rich] homes of people with lots of money, so it becomes commodity, which is quite normal. The question is the percentage. I mean, in the whole cultural environment, is commodity the only role to play or not? Is it so fragile that once it becomes commodity, it can’t be anything else? I think that’s a major problem in Chinese contemporary art. The way I see it, it’s kind of funny, because it’s like that even the reason why you do art in the first place got changed, the reason and principles of your life got changed, and eventually transformed into some other value. Too much attention and discussions have been driven to the market – of course, if you are not an artist but a speculator, there’s nothing wrong with talking about market too much, but if you are someone still creating works, or if you got into art because you felt like to express yourself, or fascinated with certain ways of expression, instead of just money, capital or status, then there is something deeply wrong. Now it seems to me that everybody is talking about market, which is bothering me. From stock market to the pricing of brand names, there’s nothing to blame market itself about. You sell something for five cents of money, five thousand Yuan of money, or fifty thousand, and it’s fine. But behind this market, behind the pricing of a certain product, are other values diluted by this market price? This is a question.

 

Q: What interests you then?

 

A:Honestly, I’m not interested in anything in particular. I’m not particularly uninterested in commercial stuff or some other things. Really there are not too many things that interest me; perhaps I am passive. But generally speaking, art is a profession that I have some interest in. What interests me there is the people who are less utilitarian and more characteristic, and living some sorts of self-conscious lives. But what about now? You see no difference between [this art] people in this art circle and their neighbor who peddle. It becomes boring. But after all, I don’t really care, and concern. For example, this country lives or dies, I don’t really care either. It’s just that you asked me, like you ask me anything such as weather, windy or sandstorm comes, it’s something out of your control. It’s just what this country is.

 

Q: Say something about your blog.

 

A: Blog is fun. I will upload the pictures I took for you right away. I don’t know anything about my viewers, even though they are just a click away from me – this is what I feel so straightforward, so real and at the same time delusional, so I keep doing it.

 

Q: You mean it’s a way to communicate your own information.

 

A:I think the information age is the best time for human being so far. Before this, mankind was in the dark or on a chosen path, and now for the first time it provides technical possibilities for the so called freedom and individual will. You [can] may choose to play alone or with those whom you like to play with, which is hard to imagine before. I think everybody should be welcoming this new situation allowing free expression and individual approaches – sounds cliché but still very important. Things like new possibilities of communication, including the possibilities of reshaping, absorbing and utilizing the power of the society, are great things.

 

Q: Speaking of art, do you think there is a distinction between geographical center and margin?

 

A:I think not, especially not in this information age and Internet age. In fact this is for the first time that mankind has an opportunity and possibility to topple the traditional value system of central power. This possibility springs up suddenly after a long history of human struggle, and it’s such a great thing.

responsibility 责任[ze ren]

当你从社会获利之后,虽然不想,但必然要去承担一定的责任,等于说我开始妥协,开始靠近社会,它可能也给予我更多,但我说不准之后的方向。原来我是排斥社会,现在也还有些许排斥,但是现在社会并不排斥我,这种关系微妙,但是我不知道,如果有一天当我变得非常接纳这个社会,它会不会反过来排斥我?说不清楚,反正都是随机的。

After you gain from the society, despite your unwillingness, [it's time] you are bound to take some responsibilities, which means compromise: I begin to move closer to the society, which, in turn, offers me more. But I’m not sure about the future. First I rejected the society, maybe I’m still rejecting it a little bit now, but it’s not rejecting me, this is really subtle relationship. What I don’t know is, if one day I start to embrace the society, would it reject me then? It’s hard to tell, everything is random.

(摘自徐坦对胡小玉的访谈   Excerpt from Interview with Hu Xiaoyu)

Interviewed: Hu Xiaoyu

Time: Afternoon, February 1, 2007

Location: Dushixin Hai’an Yayuan, Futong Xi Da Jie, Beijing

 

 

 

woman female 41

女性 female 32

女性主义 feminism 4

man 24

男性 male 18

男性艺术家 male artists 8

社会 society 38

生活(活着) life living lifestyle 33

个人 personal individual 21

感觉 (觉得) feeling 21

兴趣 interest 10

不一样(不同) different difference 9

责任 responsibility 9

关系 relationship 7

生命 life 5

感情(ganqing) emotion 3

情感(qinggan) emotion emotional 4

方式 way approaches 19

自己 self own personal 13

现实 reality 3

介入 intervention involvement 7

 

时政 political 1

自由 freedom 1

 

无聊 bored 3

空虚 empty (spiritually) 2

addicted 2

打交道 deal with 3

有意思 interesting 8

没意思 out the meaning 5

刺激 stimulation stimulated 2

 

 

Source of keywords:

 

 

Q: Talk about your life, society, and sociality.

 

A: Art and life do not necessarily have so many conflicts, and you don’t have to think of it as being logical and sensible. [A ] I feel that a lot of things should be allowed to evolve naturally so that they will straighten out in the best way. I think maybe the society is choosing marginal things, things in the outer limit of social norm. I started out rejecting the society. Granted, I myself am supposed to be rejected but the strange thing is, my role as an artist has probably prompted the society to pull me back from the margin. If I were in a profession in which people are required to frequently deal with the society, I might as well get filtered out. After you gain from the society, despite your unwillingness, [it's time] you are bound to take some responsibilities, which means compromise: I begin to move closer to the society, which, in turn, offers me more. But I’m not sure about the future. First I rejected the society, maybe I’m still rejecting it a little bit now, but it’s not rejecting me, this is really subtle relationship. What I don’t know is, if one day I start to embrace the society, would it reject me then? It’s hard to tell, everything is random. I’m especially afraid of having too much contact with the society. I never work with assistant, if I have an assistant does all the work, what’s the point of living? I have to be hands-on in order to figure out the meaning of my life during that period of time. I don’t have social skills and I fear dealing with people. I had depression a while ago. If I can choose my destiny at will, I think maybe nunnery is the best for me, but I can’t. Also, like I haven’t chosen to live the life I’m having now, but I ended up like this anyway, so I was forced to accept something I rejected, after a while, I got addicted to it. This is just weird and contradictory. But I believe everything will straighten themselves out in the end, so now I just try to go with the flow and be less sensitive, letting myself being pushed by other things. I try to be passive, just sitting at home waiting, and when something comes, I work with it as long as I like it. In the very beginning, making art was a way and reason of existence for me, I felt it’s more interesting than other things. Now that I have gained some recognition, you’ll need stimulation. Because your interest wears off during the process, so you need to be stimulated in order to extend it. It’s like a trajectory which will be extended by external intervention.

 

Q: [Market.]Does market have any influence on your artistic creation?

 

A: Not interested. If someone comes to me and offers to buy my stuff, I will have to consider whether I should sell or not, and that’s it. I haven’t studied the market systematically, and I don’t really care. I’m doing [okay] with my living state for now, and that’s enough.

 

Q: The object of your works.

 

A: I think they are directly connected to my personal emotion and feeling. A large portion of them share a lot of similar things, after all they are all done by myself. But the emotional sources of each work are complicated, it’s not a simple thread. Usually, when there’s a certain point in life that touches me deeply, I would create a work based on that experience. So it’s not something could be easily explained in words, what can be say for sure is that my art works are all related to my personal life. Sometimes I’m also quite puzzled, like a while ago a male friend questioned me, he thought a lot of “female artists” – of course I never call myself that – have a narrow range of concerns: emotion, pedigree, etc. We had some serious quarrel. Speaking of myself, most of my works derive from my own life experience. If you have to accuse me of that, the only reason I can think of is that I am female, so that I’m only concerned with, work on, and interested in those stuff, all the recognizable references in my works have their roots in my personal life. I didn’t think about these in the very beginning. I don’t know what’s going on with others, but I take a look at myself and I know what’s with me. A lot of male artists say that they don’t understand my works. Without having studied the history of Chinese feminism in details, I nevertheless think that women go through a lot of development and changes in a given period of time. For instance, me and my brother are all that’s in my mum‘s mind, children and husband are all that’s in my grandma’s mind, but I feel I don’t want kids now: I don’t even understand what life is about, how can I take the responsibility of have a child? I’ve been thinking what’s the meaning of life, this is perhaps a primary driving force of my art. There has to be meaning (in my works), so I keep searching for it every day. This is a male-centric society, female artists usually have normal and objective view on male ones; the opposite is rarely true, male artists always say they don’t understand our works, there is really no surprise here. Women always choose their ways of expression passively, as the range of their life experiences is limited, so the above judgment is unequally-based. Men‘s involvement in social, political and economic issues are much deeper than women, so of course they are confident in expressing their viewpoint. Women, for sure, are not confident and afraid to talk about those topics, they can only talk about themselves and their emotion. That’s why works by female artists tend to be more personal and intimate, thus difficult for men to understand. Many of my favourite Chinese female artists are very traditional, they have inherited a lot of fundamentally ‘Chinese‘ nature. The problem is not technique but what you are trying to communicate, whether you have a complete system of your own, and whether you manage to touch upon my heart. In most cases, these feelings exist only between women and are hard to describe with words. But I can feel them, they are too personal, detailed, and trivial, they are to be felt, not thought. The society is changing, there are currently many male artists (or non-artist men) paying attention to female approaches, they begin to think about those approaches they failed to understand before. I believe things will be a lot more [different] changes fifty years from now, maybe the demographic proportion would then be in favour of women, who would have more involvement in social life. When that day comes, we can expect the adjustment of social proportion or the right of ownership.

 

Q: The function of the artist?

 

A: I don’t have the sense of responsibility, don’t know how it feels to be functioning. But I’m sure a lot of people hope to function in the society, it’s about ambition. But what kind of function? That’s hard to tell. Artists have different way of expression, or shall we say different way of existencedifferent not only from the average people, but also from each other. Those whom I would consider good, who has touched me, are usually artists that base their works upon slices of personal life. From this aspect, I think all people are the same, the difference is that they have gone through different kind of life, thus coming out with different result.

relationship, involved with 关系[guan xi]

1. 现在很多艺术家做的东西感觉题材宏大、很尖锐,其实也跟社会没有很大的关系,有的只是很表面关系

Many artists nowadays produce works with grand, acute subjects, which in fact might not have anything to do with the society, or it might have a superficial relationship with the society at best.

(摘自徐坦对段建宇的访谈   Excerpt from Interview with Duan Jianyu)

2.我觉得理想的艺术家,和他的艺术观人生观都有关系

I think an ideal artist bears some relationship with his view on art and life.

(摘自徐坦对冯梦波的访谈   Excerpt from Interview with Feng Mengbo)

3.艺术家跟大众永远在形成一种独特的关系

The artist and the public are always form a special relationship.

(摘自徐坦对汪建伟的访谈   Excerpt from Interview with Wang Jianwei)

4. 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,

It’s a challenge, as well as the accumulation of public relation or social relation. Without this accumulation I couldn’t have created my “The Age of Empire”.

(摘自徐坦对郑国谷的访谈   Excerpt from Interview with Zheng Guogu)

Interviewed: Cao Lei

Time: Evening, January 31, 2007

Location: The blue building, SOHO New Town, Beijing

 

社会 society social 23

关系 relationship involved with 16

珠三角 Pearl River Delta 12

成长 长大 grew up 12

love 11

年青 young 10

合作 collaboration 9

影响 (作用) influence 9

普通人,观众,村民average (people, audience, villager) 7

环境 surrounding 11

自己 self 30

自我 myself 1

乌托邦 utopia 5

艺术圈 art circle 4

交流 communication 6

现实 现状 reality (realism) 12

现实主义 reality realism 2

国家 country 5+

fast 3

 

招安 sold souls 1

独立 independence 6

 

 

个人()   individual personal 12

中国 China Chinese 10

西方 the West 4

情感qinggan)    emotion 10

感情(ganqing) feeling 3

年代 时代 age 14

时尚 hippest fashion 7

流行 popular 5

周星驰 Stephen chow 1

都市 urban 1

政府 government 1

城市规划 urban planning 1

刺激 stimulate, excitement, stimulating 3

 

 

 

Source of keywords:

 

 

Q: Your works cut deeply into life in a direct fashion. Do you consider this intervention to be important? Is it an overriding characteristic of Chinese contemporary art or the art of the new generation?

 

A: We’ve heard a lot of discussions about the social aspect of contemporary art, but sometimes being social doesn’t necessarily mean making a piece of work to express his concerns about the society, or to emphasize the social pressure of the work’s concept, because it hasn’t really advanced social life. Maybe the artist has indeed cut into reality, but I’m looking forward to seeing the influence and dialogue to be more direct.

 

Q: I find your point very interesting, so you have a very positive attitude towards contemporary art.

 

A: I don’t mind artist being personal. Sometimes artists would try to isolate themselves from the society, and most of them have introverted personality, but I think there is room for other type of people or direction. Like Ou Ning and I, we do urban planning- and architecture-related projects, and we are even deeply involved with the residents in front of our camera, I think these are all interesting. So I think contemporary art should be more open and embracing. At the absence of an appropriate term to describe our works, we temporarily put up with ‘contemporary art’. But it might well be something else, [something freer] with a freer title.

 

Q: Let’s get back to the topic of engaging with other people, how do you see your relation when collaborating with someone else?

 

A: Gradually I come to realize that reality or realism is still powerful in China at present, and documenting is another focus and a way to approach the reality. It seems to me that European artists have already gone through the high speed economic development period. Chinese contemporary art was probably influenced by European conceptual art in the very beginning, but I think we are gradually developing our own expression and context, which fit better in this country and its social life. In the early days we saw a lot of tricks played with forms – typical western working method. But I think the changes in every country are different, artists of different countries respond and react differently to their social and artistic reality. I fully understand and appreciate the works of that German artist.

 

Q: How does the current social reality of China affect your art and Chinese contemporary art in general? What does it offer you? Does it obstruct you? How?

 

A: My generation doesn’t seem to like to go abroad, instead we prefer to spend time in our own cities or countries to observe. This is a time of drastic changes, and there are a myriad of information to stimulate your creation, that’s why I’m willing to stay in this city. The city has been accumulating and changing as I grew up, and I’m used to the speed and excitement of it. For me, it’s like a well deeply rooted in the residence. When we were making San Yuan Li and Dazhalan Project, we were more or less getting ourselves into sensitive topics such as demolition and forced eviction. Ideologically we were standing against government. We think these topics are about the development of the society. We have a difficult environment for this kind of artistic expression. In the early days of contemporary art we still find a kind of risking – the confrontation with government ideology, but today is a different story. How to put this……in old terms we said artists have sold their souls to the government. I think these days are witnessing the decrease of venturing spirit of that kind. Today’s venture is no longer the behaviouristic or conceptual ones, it’s rather about a way to probe deep into the core of the problems: the deeper and more difficult. This is a working method and direction chosen by the artists, and it’s the environment we are facing now.

 

Q: You are quite sensitive to the changes of contemporary art, and your experience and attention to them are rather unusual. Do you have other judgments towards contemporary art besides the change-focused one?

 

A: Let’s take my documentary Father for example. My father has been a sculptor for many years, after I have grown up, I started to looking for connection between me and his sculptures. I made a documentary on him, I documented how he made sculptures of Deng Xiaoping, and he traveled a lot of counties and towns and accepted larger and larger orders. Father is now making sculptures of Confucius, and there’s a large market for it currently. Although not a contemporary artist, he has a close tie with reality, and you can learn about the near future direction of the country from sculpture: Deng Xiaoping this year, Confucius the next, and the one after……all these are explicitly visible on the older generation of artists, you see the destiny of China and its development in their art, and how artists of that age compromise with daily life. They were more closely connected with reality than the younger contemporary artists. The real face of our society is better reflected by my father as an artist. I submitted the documentary on my father to Taipei Biennale.

 

Q: Why do you think that there’s insufficient love in Chinese contemporary art?

 

A: First there are social factors, which I just mentioned. We are living in a society without love, or one in which love is not advocated. This value is not proposed by the whole society. The education we had from the early years was only fake respect and fake love, so I don’t think art should take the blame – because the whole society is simply going into a wrong direction, the moral system is collapsing, I’m a little desperate in this regard. It’s not only in the art circle, but all walks of life. So sometimes I feel the reason of art‘s existence is to rub smooth the social cracks. As an artist, I will try my best in this direction, instead of producing more phony things.

 

Q: This is exactly the belief that is in short in this society, with consumerism culture and fashion prevailing. Do you think they have any influence on the value of our society?

 

A: Sure they do, both show biz and fashion industry have casted an influence on the younger generation and the society as a whole. In America and Europe, although show biz and entertainment occupy a certain portion of the whole culture, they also manage to preserve the traditional elements. For instance, New York has the hippest events, but there are also poetry reading sessions or traditional rock concerts every night. But China is simply moving too fast, rock is out-of-fashion now, people are more into electronic music, things get eliminated very fast, old stuff are despised. So I think this is rooted in the nature of Chinese people. We have gone through a lot of political campaigns so we are afraid of falling behind. As a result, we over-do a lot of things. It’s radical, really……and the communication with our time? It seems that artists have lost faith in the society, sometimes they even have no desire in creating art works. At the discovery of art’s helplessness and powerless against the society, they figure that it doesn’t really matter either you make this work or not, and they lack the desire of existence, a kind of boredom.

 

Q: What do you think should be an artist’s conscious to his/her social role? Do you really believe that art can function in the society? To which degree? Is this just a hope?

 

A: I believe as an artist, you can definitely have only limited and weak influence on the society, and it functions only within a small circle unless you really take advantage of all kinds of resources, be adventurous and work like an activist and not just an artist. I see myself mainly as a bridge, even I stop being an artist one day, maybe I can do something more intellectually stimulating? So it’s really about getting this role as a bridge more stable and focused.

 

Q: Last question: would you please offer us your statement as an artist? What are some of the key concepts of your artistic creation?

 

A: How should I put this……like the project I’m doing now, it’s a film called Who’s Utopia?. This is both an interrogative sentence and a simply statement. Utopia should be built by us in collaboration, or shall we say some of us do need a utopia. I think I’m the kind of person who still has this ‘utopia complex‘, I’m not into the dystopia thing. Although I can’t really see the future clearly, but there has always been a force pushing me forward towards Utopia. What’s more, it’s not impossible that, one day, I would ditch this identity as an artist in favor of that of an activist.

related 有关[you guan]

艺术……我们本来也不知道究竟什么才叫艺术,就是互相在利用嘛,因为大家知道有艺术这么一个事情,然后就会利用它去做一些跟利益有关的事情,如果大家都瞄准一个东西,……除了这个以外,艺术流行本来就不矛盾,就是一个事情的……就是说利益艺术发生关系以后,就可能是流行

Art… at first we didn’t exactly know what art is. It’s just taking advantage of one another. People know there’s such a thing called art, and then use it do certain things related to profit. If everybody aims at the same thing… Other than that, there is no conflict between art and fad, it’s the same thing. In other words, after profit and art make a connection, trendiness is the result.

(摘自徐坦对谢方明的访谈   Excerpt from Interview with Xie Fangming)

Interviewed: Xie Fangming

Time: Afternoon, Jan. 29, 2007

Location: Cave Cafe, 798 Art District, Beijing

 

 

集体 group 15

利益 profit 4

社会 society social 13

生活 life 5

公众 public 6

大众 the masses 2

普通人 ordinary person 6

别人 others other people someone else somebody else 15

自己 self 22

关系 connection (relationship) to do with relations 20

有关 related 9

当代 the state of contemporary contemporary 17

 

严打 crackdowns 1

政府 government 2

 

do” engage in 5

兴趣 interest interested 9

prosperous hyped 3

circle 8

圈子 circle 2

过瘾 high 3

流行 popular trendyfad trendiness 3

money 4

猥琐 indecency 2

 

 

Source of keywords:

 

 

Q: First, what’s your overall impression of the current state of contemporary art in China?

 

A: It’s hard to talk about the entire situation. I just feel it’s a little hyped. There is a lot of group activity. Other than that, there is nothing special I want to say, because what we usually see are just very trendy things.

 

Q: What do you think is the relation between the fashion and art?

 

A: Art… at first we didn’t exactly know what art is. It’s just taking advantage of one another. People know there’s such a thing called art, and then use it do certain things related to profit. If everybody aims at the same thing… Other than that, there is no conflict between art and fad, it’s the same thing. In other words, after profit and art make a connection, trendiness is the result.

 

Q: You said earlier that you feel contemporary art in China is very hyped. What aspects were you referring to?

 

A: It’s a matter of external factors, and has little to do with internal factors. It’s other people’s demands. Other people‘s profit has made a certain impact on contemporary Chinese society. Sometimes, something from overseas pays a lot of attention to the contemporary Chinese art. And more and more people are managing the circulation of the works of contemporary art in China. Now, everyone is talking about China, or Chinese art. In fact, this is the same thing as mining – where is suitable for mining? It’s not certain whether you can mine something good. As for internal factors, I think contemporary Chinese art is far, far away from being capable on such a level. It doesn’t have that energy. We can only say that it’s the external factors that make it run. It’s like a laundry machine – you throw your clothes in, and it’s only the tumbler that makes the laundry appear to be spinning so fast. The fact is, it doesn’t have that momentum in itself.

 

Q: What’s your view on the art circle in Beijing?

 

A: There are lots of circles in Beijing. But I found that the main circle is a group of close friends with good friendship. I think that’s probably the main group. Another possible group is the one [that's closer to] in close relations with the critics and curators – there’s some possible motives involved. Or there is a group that’s closer to the galleries, like a few gallery owners and agents. And some artists have a good relationship or collaboration with them, which is in fact a profit relationship. And in Beijing, many artists here are migrants. People need mutual support when in solitude. If seen from this angle, there forms a group that’s like an administration office for non-locals. Those are the two types of groups.

 

Q: So you’re saying that under most circumstances here in Beijing, each artist is merely a member of a group, and unimportant in himself?

 

A: I feel this is the best state, that is, no one feels himself to be really formidable, not a single one. Because when resources come, it dissolves immediately… just like water poured into sand – it’s gone right away. You can’t see anything.

 

Q: You are living, as a matter of fact, in art circle?

 

A: More or less. If you really go to other circles, you’ll find that their game ruled are not suitable for you, and it’s not really a matter of acceptance. For example, the film circle that I saw; I feel that kind of weakness is even much more severe than any one of us artists. I just couldn’t bear listening to the kind of stories they tell. And if they even talked about film – for Christ’s sake, it got me really impatient, even more impatient than a complete outsider. So, in comparison, artists are somewhat more like intellectuals, although… Because artists are concerned about how he is structured, how to shape himself. I think this at least is good. Artists are relatively nice, and have more fun.

 

Q: Did you just say that the state of the society has no impact on your art?

 

A: How shall I put it… Certain things don’t influence you directly, but some other things do. For example, sometimes Beijing goes into a state of tension, like during government crackdowns. Then you start to feel a bit like “white terror”. Then you feel you are influenced. Other than that, the influence is indirect.

 

Q: You said that the general public in China can’t easily understand your art, and you don’t really care for such interaction, right?

 

A: No, not only my work. Most artists’ works are not understood. That is very normal. First of all, you’re not an ordinary person – no, I can’t put it that way – you’re not someone else, so you cannot create something that would fully interest somebody else. You can only see if others are interested in something you make. It can only be like this; that is, others are active, and you are passive. All you can do is to do a performance in nude, and the question remains whether people are interested in your nudity. That’s all.

 

Q: You have been doing painting before coming to Beijing, right? Over years, the social circumstances and the public have changed their views on contemporary art. Please comment on this from a more emotional vantage point.

 

A: This is a good question. Actually, I feel the audience has been well trained over all these years. In Beijing there is still audience who likes art. They are influenced because there are more exhibitions here, including government sponsored exhibitions, such as the exhibition from American museums, the exhibition on Italian Renaissance, and the exhibition on 19th-century Russian painting – all this hodgepodge of exhibitions. So the audience comes to accept them gradually – he might not really enjoy them, but he accepts the situation. He feels its richness. He might not understand it better, but he is more tolerant. In contrast, in the realm of contemporary art, the audience simply cannot be trained. Because under this particular social system and social condition at the present moment, it’s difficult for people to understand what is “contemporary.” First, put aside the question of what contemporary art is. Just as a person, an ordinary person, he doesn’t even know what he needs in this society. How can he know what contemporary art is? Now in China we see more and more training in the quasi-occupational social labor. The average young people getting prepared for the dedication into these 12-hour work day situations, either quasi-occupational or those of pyramid selling. He has no imagination about his own life, he is a stranger to art, yet one thing is good – he can accept whatever you give him.

 

There are lots of audience who talks to you about art… What is this art for? Have you painted the human body before? What do you feel when painting the human body? Can you make money at all with this painting? Anyway, the public‘s appetite for [triviality] indecency is much stronger than that of the artist. They really enjoy asking about everything.

 

Q: The art market is very “prosperous” now. How does it affect your art creation?

 

A: If I were to accept that many orders for works, then it’ll certainly have an impact. Of course, by then, when you have so much money, will you still want to paint? You’ll feel painting is such a clumsy job. When you have so much money, you wouldn’t need to paint yourself; you could totally have someone else do it for you. Because by then, it’s the other things that get you high. You would no longer get high on your painting; you’d get high on money.

reiki 灵气[ling qi]

Interviewed: Guo Danxia

Time: Afternoon, Jan. 27, 2007

Location: The artist’s residence, Xi’an.

 

 

 

理解 comprehend know 7

(画画 paint drawing 199

知道 know 22

文化 culture 12

文化层次 culture level 4

healing cure 11

understand 8

清楚 clear 8

感觉 feel 15

白血病 leukemia leukemic 6

白鳝 white eel 4

自己 self own 20

别人 other people others 18

感觉 feel 24

 

迷信 Superstition 2

 

中国 China Chinese 7

西方 the West Western 5

身体 health Body physically physical condition 8

Qi (energy) 6

spiritual 3

灵气 reiki 2

气功 Qigong 3

生殖器 genitalia 4

神秘 mysterious 3

科技 science 2

经济效益 1economic profit 1

女神 goddess 2

境界 level spiritual level 2

谋杀 murder 2

智(慧)     intelligence intelligent 4

开发 develop development 4

 

 

 

Q: How did you start painting?

 

A: May 21, 1989 – before that I had often been sick due to bad health. I had heard that even illiterates could write prescriptions, which amazed me, so I wondered if I could paint. That was how I started painting, ever since that day. What I painted was stuff related to healing: how do you cure leukemia? How do you cure toothache? How do you cure moodiness? I painted them out, and those works are still there. When painting leukemia, I felt I painted all the leukemic cells – that’s how it felt. I went to school in the 1950s; we were among the first group of students to wear the red scarf, and what we paint now are really interesting stuff. After that I could paint whatever comes to mind, and I’ve never put down my brush in the past 18 years. Now I paint whatever I want; I follow no rules; and sometimes I would even realize it after I finish the painting. I stopped going to work when I was forty, as I was always sick. I couldn’t help it, and then I opened a painting and calligraphy parlor to relax myself. Originally I was trained in chemical experiments chemical analysis; later I painted on paper and fabric scrolls. In 1991, there was an international imagery expo; they wanted to me participate, but I didn’t go. I later brought a few paintings over; and they were stunned, but I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t even know what I was painting myself; but sometimes you could figure it out, after you’ve finished painting it.

 

Q: Do you think there is any meaning to be discussed in your paintings?

 

A: There are some that I cannot explain, and some I do can explain. I used to think all the time about bodily spasm, about how to cure illness. Eventually I painted fetuses and the way the human body develops… Those paintings are composed with digits. So, since over ten years ago, I started to believe that the human body is made up of digits. And it was only recently that people started to say that chromosomes are made up of digits.

 

Q: Is your art influenced by tradition, or by something else?

 

A: I practiced Qigong before, which is a very good Chinese tradition. It helps develop your intelligence. Practicing Qigong is practicing the brain; but not everybody can succeed. I think I’m talented at this, because I’m totally honest – I’m not interested in ripping people off or making money; I just want to get into shape, and my body is in good shape now. To paint under such circumstances, I feel I could realize a lot. No matter what [people] others say, I feel I could paint the most important thing in my life. If I wanted to paint a brain, eventually I would finish painting a brain. I feel I’m too intelligent – learning by nurture is also a way to develop one’s intelligence. I never see this as superstition. It is a science.

 

Q: What kind of concept do you think contemporary art is?

 

A: I see contemporary art as very progressive, unlike painting from the past. I feel that they are all full of life, even though I don’t know much about traditional pedagogy in the field of art. But Western paintings of the nudebefore I painted, I felt that they were uncivilized. But after I painted myself, I understood that they were beautiful. More precisely, they reveal both the good and the bad.

 

Q: What do you think is the relation between art and society?

 

A: I feel we should study art with a tolerance towards all, whether it is traditional culture or anything else. As long as it exists in this society, it has value. I see this as the promise. I’m different from you guys: you people paint after you understood, and yet I understand only after I painted; that’s why I’m not interested in communicating with others. I paint whatever I want, especially things I don’t know about, which I paint best. I often watch science channels on television – those things that exist already in the West but not in China, I paint them. A guy from Taiwan once said that my paintings are frozen art, belonging to the highest level in art. I think there are very nice art in painting, but its value lies not in art, but something much better and deeper than art. For example, I paint whatever is in Xi’an, and I study whatever I paint; once a painting is done, there are still lots to be studied in the painting. When I painted Empress Wu Zetian’s tomb, the Shao Tomb, I painted a clown sitting on her navel, because “Shao Tomb” used to be “Xiao Tomb” (“Tomb of Laughter”), where a homophone was used to cover up the reality. Was this site chosen by her, or was it simply meant for her burial in the first place? I think there is a lot to study in this.

 

Q: What role do you think an artist should play?

 

A: I think an artist should cover all different aspects in his art. If you only paint the surface, without expressing the spirit, it’s not a good painting. I believe myself to be someone with multiple personalities, not simply a painter. Like I can diagnose myself; I can cure other people‘s illness through painting. I can also strengthen myself physically. I’m sixty-seven now, and in great shape. Many artists remain in good physical condition once they reach a certain spiritual level, and can live very long. They are also practicing the Qi (energy) to dredge their mind; that’s why painters have high spiritual levels.

 

Q: What function do you think artists have in a society?

 

A: Artists can express their own thoughts through painting, which propels the society forward. Stuff like contemporary art in particular, which I go see sometimes – I ask people, “What is Utopia“? They say it’s beautiful things. I feel my paintings represent eastern culture; they not only belong to me personally, but also to everyone else.

 

Q: Then do you care whether your art is understood by others?

 

A: I don’t. Everyone comes from a different cultural level. Some people of lower cultural levels can understand my painting, whereas those from higher cultural levels cannot. A director of an academy in Singapore once said that what I painted was genitalia, but I don’t even know how to paint genitalia. I hope to spread Chinese culture out to everywhere. I am someone with modern education; what I paint is contemporary painting. I’m not playing with feudalistic superstition.

 

A: Please describe the process of your creation.

 

Q: Like my painting a portrait of someone. I can paint someone just by writing his name once. With just a few strokes, I can paint with great resemblance, even people who I have never seen before. After I finish painting, I can even talk about that person. I can feel all these with my brush. These are what I receive from my subject. It’s not out of the blue. The world is too grand. Painting should include many things, including the universe. I want to paint everything that I know about, and after painting them I get to know something deeper about them, although not all. I’m curious to know about various things, especially things aesthetic. For example, the goddess in Hongshan culture – I’d like to know what that goddess looks like. We have is a long cultural history in Xi’an, and after the archeological site was discovered in Lintong, I did this whole series of paintings, to see whether it was really mysterious. Some painters really hate people asking questions, but not me. Whatever you want me to paint, I can do it; the less I know about something, the better I can paint it. For example, the pyramid in Egypt – only after painting it did I know that it was where the pharaohs were buried. I never knew that before painting it.

reality realism 现实主义[xian shi zhu yi]

1.慢慢的我觉得有时候现实或者是现实主义在中国如今还是一个强有力的东西。

Gradually I come to realize that reality or realism is still powerful in China at present.

(摘自徐坦对曹斐的访谈  Excerpt from Interview with Cao Fei)

2. 我觉得画画这种东西还是比较一点的好,而不是很实在很直接的“现实主义”。

I think painting would do better if it was less concrete, away from the solid, direct “realism.”

(摘自徐坦对段建宇的访谈   Excerpt from Interview with Duan Jianyu)

Interviewed: Cao Lei

Time: Evening, January 31, 2007

Location: The blue building, SOHO New Town, Beijing

 

社会 society social 23

关系 relationship involved with 16

珠三角 Pearl River Delta 12

成长 长大 grew up 12

love 11

年青 young 10

合作 collaboration 9

影响 (作用) influence 9

普通人,观众,村民average (people, audience, villager) 7

环境 surrounding 11

自己 self 30

自我 myself 1

乌托邦 utopia 5

艺术圈 art circle 4

交流 communication 6

现实 现状 reality (realism) 12

现实主义 reality realism 2

国家 country 5+

fast 3

 

招安 sold souls 1

独立 independence 6

 

 

个人()   individual personal 12

中国 China Chinese 10

西方 the West 4

情感qinggan)    emotion 10

感情(ganqing) feeling 3

年代 时代 age 14

时尚 hippest fashion 7

流行 popular 5

周星驰 Stephen chow 1

都市 urban 1

政府 government 1

城市规划 urban planning 1

刺激 stimulate, excitement, stimulating 3

 

 

 

Source of keywords:

 

 

Q: Your works cut deeply into life in a direct fashion. Do you consider this intervention to be important? Is it an overriding characteristic of Chinese contemporary art or the art of the new generation?

 

A: We’ve heard a lot of discussions about the social aspect of contemporary art, but sometimes being social doesn’t necessarily mean making a piece of work to express his concerns about the society, or to emphasize the social pressure of the work’s concept, because it hasn’t really advanced social life. Maybe the artist has indeed cut into reality, but I’m looking forward to seeing the influence and dialogue to be more direct.

 

Q: I find your point very interesting, so you have a very positive attitude towards contemporary art.

 

A: I don’t mind artist being personal. Sometimes artists would try to isolate themselves from the society, and most of them have introverted personality, but I think there is room for other type of people or direction. Like Ou Ning and I, we do urban planning- and architecture-related projects, and we are even deeply involved with the residents in front of our camera, I think these are all interesting. So I think contemporary art should be more open and embracing. At the absence of an appropriate term to describe our works, we temporarily put up with ‘contemporary art’. But it might well be something else, [something freer] with a freer title.

 

Q: Let’s get back to the topic of engaging with other people, how do you see your relation when collaborating with someone else?

 

A: Gradually I come to realize that reality or realism is still powerful in China at present, and documenting is another focus and a way to approach the reality. It seems to me that European artists have already gone through the high speed economic development period. Chinese contemporary art was probably influenced by European conceptual art in the very beginning, but I think we are gradually developing our own expression and context, which fit better in this country and its social life. In the early days we saw a lot of tricks played with forms – typical western working method. But I think the changes in every country are different, artists of different countries respond and react differently to their social and artistic reality. I fully understand and appreciate the works of that German artist.

 

Q: How does the current social reality of China affect your art and Chinese contemporary art in general? What does it offer you? Does it obstruct you? How?

 

A: My generation doesn’t seem to like to go abroad, instead we prefer to spend time in our own cities or countries to observe. This is a time of drastic changes, and there are a myriad of information to stimulate your creation, that’s why I’m willing to stay in this city. The city has been accumulating and changing as I grew up, and I’m used to the speed and excitement of it. For me, it’s like a well deeply rooted in the residence. When we were making San Yuan Li and Dazhalan Project, we were more or less getting ourselves into sensitive topics such as demolition and forced eviction. Ideologically we were standing against government. We think these topics are about the development of the society. We have a difficult environment for this kind of artistic expression. In the early days of contemporary art we still find a kind of risking – the confrontation with government ideology, but today is a different story. How to put this……in old terms we said artists have sold their souls to the government. I think these days are witnessing the decrease of venturing spirit of that kind. Today’s venture is no longer the behaviouristic or conceptual ones, it’s rather about a way to probe deep into the core of the problems: the deeper and more difficult. This is a working method and direction chosen by the artists, and it’s the environment we are facing now.

 

Q: You are quite sensitive to the changes of contemporary art, and your experience and attention to them are rather unusual. Do you have other judgments towards contemporary art besides the change-focused one?

 

A: Let’s take my documentary Father for example. My father has been a sculptor for many years, after I have grown up, I started to looking for connection between me and his sculptures. I made a documentary on him, I documented how he made sculptures of Deng Xiaoping, and he traveled a lot of counties and towns and accepted larger and larger orders. Father is now making sculptures of Confucius, and there’s a large market for it currently. Although not a contemporary artist, he has a close tie with reality, and you can learn about the near future direction of the country from sculpture: Deng Xiaoping this year, Confucius the next, and the one after……all these are explicitly visible on the older generation of artists, you see the destiny of China and its development in their art, and how artists of that age compromise with daily life. They were more closely connected with reality than the younger contemporary artists. The real face of our society is better reflected by my father as an artist. I submitted the documentary on my father to Taipei Biennale.

 

Q: Why do you think that there’s insufficient love in Chinese contemporary art?

 

A: First there are social factors, which I just mentioned. We are living in a society without love, or one in which love is not advocated. This value is not proposed by the whole society. The education we had from the early years was only fake respect and fake love, so I don’t think art should take the blame – because the whole society is simply going into a wrong direction, the moral system is collapsing, I’m a little desperate in this regard. It’s not only in the art circle, but all walks of life. So sometimes I feel the reason of art‘s existence is to rub smooth the social cracks. As an artist, I will try my best in this direction, instead of producing more phony things.

 

Q: This is exactly the belief that is in short in this society, with consumerism culture and fashion prevailing. Do you think they have any influence on the value of our society?

 

A: Sure they do, both show biz and fashion industry have casted an influence on the younger generation and the society as a whole. In America and Europe, although show biz and entertainment occupy a certain portion of the whole culture, they also manage to preserve the traditional elements. For instance, New York has the hippest events, but there are also poetry reading sessions or traditional rock concerts every night. But China is simply moving too fast, rock is out-of-fashion now, people are more into electronic music, things get eliminated very fast, old stuff are despised. So I think this is rooted in the nature of Chinese people. We have gone through a lot of political campaigns so we are afraid of falling behind. As a result, we over-do a lot of things. It’s radical, really……and the communication with our time? It seems that artists have lost faith in the society, sometimes they even have no desire in creating art works. At the discovery of art’s helplessness and powerless against the society, they figure that it doesn’t really matter either you make this work or not, and they lack the desire of existence, a kind of boredom.

 

Q: What do you think should be an artist’s conscious to his/her social role? Do you really believe that art can function in the society? To which degree? Is this just a hope?

 

A: I believe as an artist, you can definitely have only limited and weak influence on the society, and it functions only within a small circle unless you really take advantage of all kinds of resources, be adventurous and work like an activist and not just an artist. I see myself mainly as a bridge, even I stop being an artist one day, maybe I can do something more intellectually stimulating? So it’s really about getting this role as a bridge more stable and focused.

 

Q: Last question: would you please offer us your statement as an artist? What are some of the key concepts of your artistic creation?

 

A: How should I put this……like the project I’m doing now, it’s a film called Who’s Utopia?. This is both an interrogative sentence and a simply statement. Utopia should be built by us in collaboration, or shall we say some of us do need a utopia. I think I’m the kind of person who still has this ‘utopia complex‘, I’m not into the dystopia thing. Although I can’t really see the future clearly, but there has always been a force pushing me forward towards Utopia. What’s more, it’s not impossible that, one day, I would ditch this identity as an artist in favor of that of an activist.

reality 现实, 现状[xian shi , xian zhuang]

Interviewed: Cao Lei

Time: Evening, January 31, 2007

Location: The blue building, SOHO New Town, Beijing

 

社会 society social 23

关系 relationship involved with 16

珠三角 Pearl River Delta 12

成长 长大 grew up 12

love 11

年青 young 10

合作 collaboration 9

影响 (作用) influence 9

普通人,观众,村民average (people, audience, villager) 7

环境 surrounding 11

自己 self 30

自我 myself 1

乌托邦 utopia 5

艺术圈 art circle 4

交流 communication 6

现实 现状 reality (realism) 12

现实主义 reality realism 2

国家 country 5+

fast 3

 

招安 sold souls 1

独立 independence 6

 

 

个人()   individual personal 12

中国 China Chinese 10

西方 the West 4

情感qinggan)    emotion 10

感情(ganqing) feeling 3

年代 时代 age 14

时尚 hippest fashion 7

流行 popular 5

周星驰 Stephen chow 1

都市 urban 1

政府 government 1

城市规划 urban planning 1

刺激 stimulate, excitement, stimulating 3

 

 

 

Source of keywords:

 

 

Q: Your works cut deeply into life in a direct fashion. Do you consider this intervention to be important? Is it an overriding characteristic of Chinese contemporary art or the art of the new generation?

 

A: We’ve heard a lot of discussions about the social aspect of contemporary art, but sometimes being social doesn’t necessarily mean making a piece of work to express his concerns about the society, or to emphasize the social pressure of the work’s concept, because it hasn’t really advanced social life. Maybe the artist has indeed cut into reality, but I’m looking forward to seeing the influence and dialogue to be more direct.

 

Q: I find your point very interesting, so you have a very positive attitude towards contemporary art.

 

A: I don’t mind artist being personal. Sometimes artists would try to isolate themselves from the society, and most of them have introverted personality, but I think there is room for other type of people or direction. Like Ou Ning and I, we do urban planning- and architecture-related projects, and we are even deeply involved with the residents in front of our camera, I think these are all interesting. So I think contemporary art should be more open and embracing. At the absence of an appropriate term to describe our works, we temporarily put up with ‘contemporary art’. But it might well be something else, [something freer] with a freer title.

 

Q: Let’s get back to the topic of engaging with other people, how do you see your relation when collaborating with someone else?

 

A: Gradually I come to realize that reality or realism is still powerful in China at present, and documenting is another focus and a way to approach the reality. It seems to me that European artists have already gone through the high speed economic development period. Chinese contemporary art was probably influenced by European conceptual art in the very beginning, but I think we are gradually developing our own expression and context, which fit better in this country and its social life. In the early days we saw a lot of tricks played with forms – typical western working method. But I think the changes in every country are different, artists of different countries respond and react differently to their social and artistic reality. I fully understand and appreciate the works of that German artist.

 

Q: How does the current social reality of China affect your art and Chinese contemporary art in general? What does it offer you? Does it obstruct you? How?

 

A: My generation doesn’t seem to like to go abroad, instead we prefer to spend time in our own cities or countries to observe. This is a time of drastic changes, and there are a myriad of information to stimulate your creation, that’s why I’m willing to stay in this city. The city has been accumulating and changing as I grew up, and I’m used to the speed and excitement of it. For me, it’s like a well deeply rooted in the residence. When we were making San Yuan Li and Dazhalan Project, we were more or less getting ourselves into sensitive topics such as demolition and forced eviction. Ideologically we were standing against government. We think these topics are about the development of the society. We have a difficult environment for this kind of artistic expression. In the early days of contemporary art we still find a kind of risking – the confrontation with government ideology, but today is a different story. How to put this……in old terms we said artists have sold their souls to the government. I think these days are witnessing the decrease of venturing spirit of that kind. Today’s venture is no longer the behaviouristic or conceptual ones, it’s rather about a way to probe deep into the core of the problems: the deeper and more difficult. This is a working method and direction chosen by the artists, and it’s the environment we are facing now.

 

Q: You are quite sensitive to the changes of contemporary art, and your experience and attention to them are rather unusual. Do you have other judgments towards contemporary art besides the change-focused one?

 

A: Let’s take my documentary Father for example. My father has been a sculptor for many years, after I have grown up, I started to looking for connection between me and his sculptures. I made a documentary on him, I documented how he made sculptures of Deng Xiaoping, and he traveled a lot of counties and towns and accepted larger and larger orders. Father is now making sculptures of Confucius, and there’s a large market for it currently. Although not a contemporary artist, he has a close tie with reality, and you can learn about the near future direction of the country from sculpture: Deng Xiaoping this year, Confucius the next, and the one after……all these are explicitly visible on the older generation of artists, you see the destiny of China and its development in their art, and how artists of that age compromise with daily life. They were more closely connected with reality than the younger contemporary artists. The real face of our society is better reflected by my father as an artist. I submitted the documentary on my father to Taipei Biennale.

 

Q: Why do you think that there’s insufficient love in Chinese contemporary art?

 

A: First there are social factors, which I just mentioned. We are living in a society without love, or one in which love is not advocated. This value is not proposed by the whole society. The education we had from the early years was only fake respect and fake love, so I don’t think art should take the blame – because the whole society is simply going into a wrong direction, the moral system is collapsing, I’m a little desperate in this regard. It’s not only in the art circle, but all walks of life. So sometimes I feel the reason of art‘s existence is to rub smooth the social cracks. As an artist, I will try my best in this direction, instead of producing more phony things.

 

Q: This is exactly the belief that is in short in this society, with consumerism culture and fashion prevailing. Do you think they have any influence on the value of our society?

 

A: Sure they do, both show biz and fashion industry have casted an influence on the younger generation and the society as a whole. In America and Europe, although show biz and entertainment occupy a certain portion of the whole culture, they also manage to preserve the traditional elements. For instance, New York has the hippest events, but there are also poetry reading sessions or traditional rock concerts every night. But China is simply moving too fast, rock is out-of-fashion now, people are more into electronic music, things get eliminated very fast, old stuff are despised. So I think this is rooted in the nature of Chinese people. We have gone through a lot of political campaigns so we are afraid of falling behind. As a result, we over-do a lot of things. It’s radical, really……and the communication with our time? It seems that artists have lost faith in the society, sometimes they even have no desire in creating art works. At the discovery of art’s helplessness and powerless against the society, they figure that it doesn’t really matter either you make this work or not, and they lack the desire of existence, a kind of boredom.

 

Q: What do you think should be an artist’s conscious to his/her social role? Do you really believe that art can function in the society? To which degree? Is this just a hope?

 

A: I believe as an artist, you can definitely have only limited and weak influence on the society, and it functions only within a small circle unless you really take advantage of all kinds of resources, be adventurous and work like an activist and not just an artist. I see myself mainly as a bridge, even I stop being an artist one day, maybe I can do something more intellectually stimulating? So it’s really about getting this role as a bridge more stable and focused.

 

Q: Last question: would you please offer us your statement as an artist? What are some of the key concepts of your artistic creation?

 

A: How should I put this……like the project I’m doing now, it’s a film called Who’s Utopia?. This is both an interrogative sentence and a simply statement. Utopia should be built by us in collaboration, or shall we say some of us do need a utopia. I think I’m the kind of person who still has this ‘utopia complex‘, I’m not into the dystopia thing. Although I can’t really see the future clearly, but there has always been a force pushing me forward towards Utopia. What’s more, it’s not impossible that, one day, I would ditch this identity as an artist in favor of that of an activist.

reaction (feedback response respond) 反应[fan ying]

Q:你们在意那些对你们作品的反馈意见中的非议的东西吗?

A:(孙)其实我在意的就是观众反应

(彭)但是他们反应成什么样不重要,他一定反应就行了。我们不注重他们的反应赞扬批评,只注重他们反应

(孙)或者说这种东西最好混杂的,就是说既有强奸又有通奸嘛,如果说强奸它又有高潮了,而通奸却又带有被动性,就是它是很混杂的比较好,我不太赞成纯粹强迫的东西,但是一定要有反应

Q: Do you care about the negative part in the audiences’ feedback?

A: (Sun) The audiencesfeedback are exactly the thing I care about.

(Peng) But it’s not important how they respond to our works, as long as there is response at all. We don’t really care whether they are positive or negative, we care about the fact that they do have reaction.

(Sun) Or shall we say the best case is that we have mixed response; rape mixed with adultery, if you will. Being raped and yet reaching orgasm, committing adultery but with a bit of passiveness, that’s a good mixture. I’m not into pure compulsory stuff, but reaction is a must.

(摘自徐坦对孙晋、彭尧的访谈   Excerpt from Interview with Sun Jin, Peng Yao)

Interviewed: Wang Guanzheng

Time: Noon, Feb. 3, 2007

Location: Grass Green 2607, SOHO Modern City, Beijing

整体 totality total picture overall 12

集体(主义) collectives collectivity 11

一致 homogeneity homogenous 7

时间 time period period of time 15

社会 society social societal 26

个人 individual individualistic 30

经验 experience 13

公共 public 11

大众 public (populace)   15

倾向() tendency inclination 7

语言 language 9

怀疑 doubt suspicion 5

质疑 suspicion question questioning 10

方法 method way  17

方式 manner way 43

(有)问题 problem questionable issue 54

() change become modification 8

状态 status 8

秩序 order 8

判断 judgment judges 20

创造() creative creativity 4

知识(分子) knowledge intellectuals 11

明确() clarify clarity clear 20

针对 focus 9

角度 angles 5

态度 attitude stance 9

身份 identity 22

后身份 post-identity 9

可能性 possibilities 14

话语 discourse 5

权力 power 5

实验 experiment 6

国家 nation 6

概念 concept

 

 

独立 independent 1

意识形态 ideology ideologism 11

安全 safe unsafe safety 4

审批制度 censorship system 1

 

 

 

 

市场 market 8

传统 traditional 5

中国 China 31

money wealthy 2

机会 opportunity 8

诱惑 temptation 1

post 33

关系 relationship 39

生存谋生 survive living 4

商业的 commercial 2

 

 

 

 

Q: Could you please first talk about your view on the current state of contemporary art in China?

 

A: On a macro level, I think we are now in the middle of a process of development. And this is a process of undergoing a transition from seeing the total picture to getting to know individual artists and individual arts, a stage from which I feel we are still very far away. There are pros and cons when a country‘s contemporary art scene appears as a group. The good part is that it attracts more audience and more attention, and the negative part is that it can only appear as a totality. And that, to me, is a problem, which also points to the difference between traditional art and contemporary art. Think about it – over a decade ago, the image that Europe had about Chinese art was an overall impression. If we were to continue our insistence on this totality, it could end up replacing materials or images of one kind with those of another kind– for example, dragon, phoenix, bamboo, porcelain, silk were used in a certain period, which were, eventually, replaced by some other materials. This is the risk you have to take when you present yourself as a totality. I myself am frightened by collectives, because I used to serve in the military, and I lived together with over 60 persons for many years. I’m left with two aftereffects from that experience. The first one is my hatred for homogeneity. I think I’m naturally immune to all things homogenous, either internally or externally. Basically I think a positive view on homogeneity is itself questionable. The second one is my suspicion for collectives.

 

Q: What then should an artist focus on, in your opinion?

 

A: That would be different to each artist. For myself, what I’m interested in is, simply speaking, possibilities. Like I just said, my suspicion for the existing order, and if I question order, which includes any form of order: governmental order, societal order, knowledge order and rules, if you [think this way] take this attitude, then what we often discuss, insofar as   where art is now, is no longer important. What’s important is [how] the way you display your method of questioning such orders.

 

For instance, through the clarity of commercialization and ideology (we) can understand the society in the simplest way. These have become our internalized way of recognizing the world, i.e., the only Weltanschauung. For me, I call this “New Ideologism,” which is a perfect collusion between commercial standards and political standards. It has a monopoly on everything. In that case, I think the way that contemporary art judges the uncertainties, can hardly survive in such a language context. And what is most fatal, I believe, is that when an ethnic group wants maximum progress… The maximum lies in your demands for possibilities. And possibility can exist only in uncertain domains. When everything in this world is within your grasp, when it offers you no possibilities, do you think you still have creativity?

 

Q: In these exhibitions, do you care about the communication between your work and the audience?

 

A: As a matter of fact… this involves a lot of questions. The first one is what we discussed earlier: whether the public exists or not. We always talk about art and the public. But first of all, does the public exist? Take our talking for example, are you the public or am I the public? If you are and I’m not, then why? On the other hand, if I am and you’re not, then what is that based upon? If neither of us can find a clear basis, then we both are the public. Then it does not exist a kind of…The artist and the public are always form a special relationship. This is the first question, which in itself is very conceptual.

 

The second question is, if there really exists a relationship between the artist and the public, then in fact the public is not communicating directly with the artist. The public and the artist…If we are to discuss relationship, then we need to talk about the system that underlies the relationship. The first system is the education system. Yet our educational system does not support any education on contemporary art… And secondly, in China, strictly speaking, we do not have any art museums – all our museums are organizations that rent spaces in order to survive. And such spaces do not bear any responsibility to educate the public. Consequently, our media always interpret the art experiences as a kind of public voice. Now think about it, the principal relationship between the public and the artist is formed under such circumstances. As a matter of fact, the relationship is produced by these three different systems. If the systems cannot be established, then you can imagine what the relationship will be look like. The third question is that I don’t think there exist a stable relationship between artists and the public.

 

Q: Do you have any views on your living conditions?

 

A: Take our views on cities for example. Artists, intellectuals, and even architects, all talk about cities, but what makes it absurd is not the criticism on cities, but the way of criticizing cities that has become completely homogenous. Sometimes criticism on this city becomes very homogenous, without any characteristics and distinctions. What’s more interesting is, the language and method of criticism have become more homogenous. I’ve attended many symposia on cities, which are essentially “criticizing galas”. And suddenly I noticed two things here: first, it’s very safe to criticize the city, from whatever angles. You can criticize it fiercely or call it bullshit. Because it’s very safe, because it does not involve any people, nor anything concrete things, and at the same time it declares your critical stance. This, to me, is opportunistic way. So, in such contexts, I always refuse to criticize in this manner, because it turns into a collectivity, a way of proving your stance – if you don’t criticize, you’re not… So, now I think another question arises. To criticize cities, but why? The English word “Why?” What is your stance? I hope to see you speak in your own manner, instead of in a public manner, even though what you criticize is a public space. With such an attitude, I think you can have your own judgment on this city. As a matter of fact, to me, cities are man-made landscapes, a product of our Utopian spirit. Idealism and Fascism are on this line, this steel wire; in fact, our entire city is built on this steel fire, its Utopian spirit and Fascist inclination just have a little distance. On this issue, what exactly is your attitude? Whether you’re an artist, a writer, you would use your own language and your own way to present your attitude. And it’s not just a declaration of attitude, because I’ve been hearing a lot – about this “attitude decides everything” thing, which is actually full of problems itself. Because “attitude decides everything” means it all depends on whether you raise your hand or not on every issue. That means going back to a public… In fact, when I worked on “Production” in 1996, I did an investigation on this issue. Why did I go to a lot of sites and public spaces? Why did they sit there all day and listen to the others talking about themselves? They are in fact sharing a daily discourse. In other words, certain individuals have become unimportant in such voices, or that they think it unsafe, so that through this collective site and collective discourse, certain individualistic things are transformed into a public voice with some [attitude] tendency. Thus, everyone shares this safety of public discourse. It’s the same with different ways of living. I think, first of all, living is not a kind of conceptual living; you don’t have to be lured by some hidden temptation, or challenged by some hidden theory. You put your life on a certain hint, and this hint reveals your cultural attitude of some sort. I think this is quite obvious in Beijing, and this is realized concretely in dressing, cigarettes you smoke, eyeglasses you wear – they are all injected with some kind of cultural identity. And I think cultural identity is also lethal: sometimes your attitude is determined by your cultural identity; when you become satisfied with your representing certain cultural identity, you actually stop thinking any further… This is how I feel I am living.

 

Q: Does the generalization of the Chinese art scene by those outside China have something to do with the situation in China now? And, apart from the external forces, does the strong similarity among artists actually have its internal reasons?

 

A: Well, actually I think, to me at least, this question… Like just now you wanted me to talk about my judgment on this thing at the present moment and what the basis of my judgment is. For example, sometimes we say a day is a long period of time, but that depends on specific events, such as brushing one’s teeth once, having a meal, which might take an hour. That is the relationship between time and events. But when something cultural is judged, or judged precisely, I think the time involved here is very long. Actually it’s like our show in 1997… all the way up to now. As you just said, this overall judgment on contemporary art in China, it’s still going on strong. I feel that this process takes more than ten years to finish; it might continue, because of the relationship between China and the world, such development…  So actually culture development is very very slow, especially in this country, where you see sometimes on the streets very fashionable cars and very fashionable cellphones, but many of our cultural institutions and regulations in fact date back to more than 20 years ago, without any modification in between. I’ll give you a simple example – films. Our censorship system on film has stayed virtually the same, and perhaps even more… Therefore, there is a large amount of things this society.. in fact, what have not changed do not show up, so what we do see are those that have changed. Then, seen from this angle, this society has in fact let certain things return to a basis where there are no such huge differences, which takes a very long time (to change). On the other hand, I think contemporary Chinese art is facing this same problem. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, when we were in the Netherlands, after the exhibition, I remember clearly, we felt shows of such large scale wouldn’t be happening ever again. Then, ten years later, to our great surprise, there are shows even more shocking than that one. There might be two factors at work here: the first one is that more countries, or more organizations, or more wealthy people have become interested in China, maybe then, partially… for instance, a certain genre of art, a certain foundation, started to get interested in the overall contemporary Chinese art. Now, due to the myth of China, more people and organizations have focused on China from various different angles. This might be another kind of change. Second, as more people get involved in this field, more artists would… they would make a relationship with it. This is a process that we must undergo; and I have noticed at the same time, that many artists have already started their work, who I think outnumber those of ten years ago.

rape raped 强奸[qiang jian]

Q:你们在意那些对你们作品的反馈意见中的非议的东西吗?

A:(孙)其实我在意的就是观众反应

(彭)但是他们反应成什么样不重要,他一定反应就行了。我们不注重他们的反应赞扬批评,只注重他们反应

(孙)或者说这种东西最好混杂的,就是说既有强奸又有通奸嘛,如果说强奸它又有高潮了,而通奸却又带有被动性,就是它是很混杂的比较好,我不太赞成纯粹强迫的东西,但是一定要有反应

Q: Do you care about the negative part in the audiences’ feedback?

A: (Sun) The audiencesfeedback are exactly the thing I care about.

(Peng) But it’s not important how they respond to our works, as long as there is response at all. We don’t really care whether they are positive or negative, we care about the fact that they do have reaction.

(Sun) Or shall we say the best case is that we have mixed response; rape mixed with adultery, if you will. Being raped and yet reaching orgasm, committing adultery but with a bit of passiveness, that’s a good mixture. I’m not into pure compulsory stuff, but reaction is a must.

(摘自徐坦对孙晋、彭尧的访谈   Excerpt from Interview with Sun Jin, Peng Yao)

Interviewed: Wang Guanzheng

Time: Noon, Feb. 3, 2007

Location: Grass Green 2607, SOHO Modern City, Beijing

整体 totality total picture overall 12

集体(主义) collectives collectivity 11

一致 homogeneity homogenous 7

时间 time period period of time 15

社会 society social societal 26

个人 individual individualistic 30

经验 experience 13

公共 public 11

大众 public (populace)   15

倾向() tendency inclination 7

语言 language 9

怀疑 doubt suspicion 5

质疑 suspicion question questioning 10

方法 method way  17

方式 manner way 43

(有)问题 problem questionable issue 54

() change become modification 8

状态 status 8

秩序 order 8

判断 judgment judges 20

创造() creative creativity 4

知识(分子) knowledge intellectuals 11

明确() clarify clarity clear 20

针对 focus 9

角度 angles 5

态度 attitude stance 9

身份 identity 22

后身份 post-identity 9

可能性 possibilities 14

话语 discourse 5

权力 power 5

实验 experiment 6

国家 nation 6

概念 concept

 

 

独立 independent 1

意识形态 ideology ideologism 11

安全 safe unsafe safety 4

审批制度 censorship system 1

 

 

 

 

市场 market 8

传统 traditional 5

中国 China 31

money wealthy 2

机会 opportunity 8

诱惑 temptation 1

post 33

关系 relationship 39

生存谋生 survive living 4

商业的 commercial 2

 

 

 

 

Q: Could you please first talk about your view on the current state of contemporary art in China?

 

A: On a macro level, I think we are now in the middle of a process of development. And this is a process of undergoing a transition from seeing the total picture to getting to know individual artists and individual arts, a stage from which I feel we are still very far away. There are pros and cons when a country‘s contemporary art scene appears as a group. The good part is that it attracts more audience and more attention, and the negative part is that it can only appear as a totality. And that, to me, is a problem, which also points to the difference between traditional art and contemporary art. Think about it – over a decade ago, the image that Europe had about Chinese art was an overall impression. If we were to continue our insistence on this totality, it could end up replacing materials or images of one kind with those of another kind– for example, dragon, phoenix, bamboo, porcelain, silk were used in a certain period, which were, eventually, replaced by some other materials. This is the risk you have to take when you present yourself as a totality. I myself am frightened by collectives, because I used to serve in the military, and I lived together with over 60 persons for many years. I’m left with two aftereffects from that experience. The first one is my hatred for homogeneity. I think I’m naturally immune to all things homogenous, either internally or externally. Basically I think a positive view on homogeneity is itself questionable. The second one is my suspicion for collectives.

 

Q: What then should an artist focus on, in your opinion?

 

A: That would be different to each artist. For myself, what I’m interested in is, simply speaking, possibilities. Like I just said, my suspicion for the existing order, and if I question order, which includes any form of order: governmental order, societal order, knowledge order and rules, if you [think this way] take this attitude, then what we often discuss, insofar as   where art is now, is no longer important. What’s important is [how] the way you display your method of questioning such orders.

 

For instance, through the clarity of commercialization and ideology (we) can understand the society in the simplest way. These have become our internalized way of recognizing the world, i.e., the only Weltanschauung. For me, I call this “New Ideologism,” which is a perfect collusion between commercial standards and political standards. It has a monopoly on everything. In that case, I think the way that contemporary art judges the uncertainties, can hardly survive in such a language context. And what is most fatal, I believe, is that when an ethnic group wants maximum progress… The maximum lies in your demands for possibilities. And possibility can exist only in uncertain domains. When everything in this world is within your grasp, when it offers you no possibilities, do you think you still have creativity?

 

Q: In these exhibitions, do you care about the communication between your work and the audience?

 

A: As a matter of fact… this involves a lot of questions. The first one is what we discussed earlier: whether the public exists or not. We always talk about art and the public. But first of all, does the public exist? Take our talking for example, are you the public or am I the public? If you are and I’m not, then why? On the other hand, if I am and you’re not, then what is that based upon? If neither of us can find a clear basis, then we both are the public. Then it does not exist a kind of…The artist and the public are always form a special relationship. This is the first question, which in itself is very conceptual.

 

The second question is, if there really exists a relationship between the artist and the public, then in fact the public is not communicating directly with the artist. The public and the artist…If we are to discuss relationship, then we need to talk about the system that underlies the relationship. The first system is the education system. Yet our educational system does not support any education on contemporary art… And secondly, in China, strictly speaking, we do not have any art museums – all our museums are organizations that rent spaces in order to survive. And such spaces do not bear any responsibility to educate the public. Consequently, our media always interpret the art experiences as a kind of public voice. Now think about it, the principal relationship between the public and the artist is formed under such circumstances. As a matter of fact, the relationship is produced by these three different systems. If the systems cannot be established, then you can imagine what the relationship will be look like. The third question is that I don’t think there exist a stable relationship between artists and the public.

 

Q: Do you have any views on your living conditions?

 

A: Take our views on cities for example. Artists, intellectuals, and even architects, all talk about cities, but what makes it absurd is not the criticism on cities, but the way of criticizing cities that has become completely homogenous. Sometimes criticism on this city becomes very homogenous, without any characteristics and distinctions. What’s more interesting is, the language and method of criticism have become more homogenous. I’ve attended many symposia on cities, which are essentially “criticizing galas”. And suddenly I noticed two things here: first, it’s very safe to criticize the city, from whatever angles. You can criticize it fiercely or call it bullshit. Because it’s very safe, because it does not involve any people, nor anything concrete things, and at the same time it declares your critical stance. This, to me, is opportunistic way. So, in such contexts, I always refuse to criticize in this manner, because it turns into a collectivity, a way of proving your stance – if you don’t criticize, you’re not… So, now I think another question arises. To criticize cities, but why? The English word “Why?” What is your stance? I hope to see you speak in your own manner, instead of in a public manner, even though what you criticize is a public space. With such an attitude, I think you can have your own judgment on this city. As a matter of fact, to me, cities are man-made landscapes, a product of our Utopian spirit. Idealism and Fascism are on this line, this steel wire; in fact, our entire city is built on this steel fire, its Utopian spirit and Fascist inclination just have a little distance. On this issue, what exactly is your attitude? Whether you’re an artist, a writer, you would use your own language and your own way to present your attitude. And it’s not just a declaration of attitude, because I’ve been hearing a lot – about this “attitude decides everything” thing, which is actually full of problems itself. Because “attitude decides everything” means it all depends on whether you raise your hand or not on every issue. That means going back to a public… In fact, when I worked on “Production” in 1996, I did an investigation on this issue. Why did I go to a lot of sites and public spaces? Why did they sit there all day and listen to the others talking about themselves? They are in fact sharing a daily discourse. In other words, certain individuals have become unimportant in such voices, or that they think it unsafe, so that through this collective site and collective discourse, certain individualistic things are transformed into a public voice with some [attitude] tendency. Thus, everyone shares this safety of public discourse. It’s the same with different ways of living. I think, first of all, living is not a kind of conceptual living; you don’t have to be lured by some hidden temptation, or challenged by some hidden theory. You put your life on a certain hint, and this hint reveals your cultural attitude of some sort. I think this is quite obvious in Beijing, and this is realized concretely in dressing, cigarettes you smoke, eyeglasses you wear – they are all injected with some kind of cultural identity. And I think cultural identity is also lethal: sometimes your attitude is determined by your cultural identity; when you become satisfied with your representing certain cultural identity, you actually stop thinking any further… This is how I feel I am living.

 

Q: Does the generalization of the Chinese art scene by those outside China have something to do with the situation in China now? And, apart from the external forces, does the strong similarity among artists actually have its internal reasons?

 

A: Well, actually I think, to me at least, this question… Like just now you wanted me to talk about my judgment on this thing at the present moment and what the basis of my judgment is. For example, sometimes we say a day is a long period of time, but that depends on specific events, such as brushing one’s teeth once, having a meal, which might take an hour. That is the relationship between time and events. But when something cultural is judged, or judged precisely, I think the time involved here is very long. Actually it’s like our show in 1997… all the way up to now. As you just said, this overall judgment on contemporary art in China, it’s still going on strong. I feel that this process takes more than ten years to finish; it might continue, because of the relationship between China and the world, such development…  So actually culture development is very very slow, especially in this country, where you see sometimes on the streets very fashionable cars and very fashionable cellphones, but many of our cultural institutions and regulations in fact date back to more than 20 years ago, without any modification in between. I’ll give you a simple example – films. Our censorship system on film has stayed virtually the same, and perhaps even more… Therefore, there is a large amount of things this society.. in fact, what have not changed do not show up, so what we do see are those that have changed. Then, seen from this angle, this society has in fact let certain things return to a basis where there are no such huge differences, which takes a very long time (to change). On the other hand, I think contemporary Chinese art is facing this same problem. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, when we were in the Netherlands, after the exhibition, I remember clearly, we felt shows of such large scale wouldn’t be happening ever again. Then, ten years later, to our great surprise, there are shows even more shocking than that one. There might be two factors at work here: the first one is that more countries, or more organizations, or more wealthy people have become interested in China, maybe then, partially… for instance, a certain genre of art, a certain foundation, started to get interested in the overall contemporary Chinese art. Now, due to the myth of China, more people and organizations have focused on China from various different angles. This might be another kind of change. Second, as more people get involved in this field, more artists would… they would make a relationship with it. This is a process that we must undergo; and I have noticed at the same time, that many artists have already started their work, who I think outnumber those of ten years ago.

弱智[ruo zhi] retarded, slow

This movie requires Flash Player 9

1.我觉得没有什么真正的接受,它只是成为时尚的另外一个门类,杂志报纸谈到这些问题的时候,你可以看到,它就只能三句五句的谈,但没有一句能够谈到点子上,也不能够深入下去,我觉得这个事儿挺可怜的,就有点像弱智了,中国当代艺术真是扮演了一个弱智的角色

I don’t think there is
real reception. It only becomes part of fashion. When magazines and newspapers
talk about art, you see, they always miss the points, and are never capable of
understanding it in any depth. I think it’s pathetic, somewhat like retarded. Chinese contemporary
art
is really acting a retarded
role

(摘自徐坦对艾未未的访谈 Excerpt from Interview with Ai Weiwei)

采访对象:艾东明

采访时间:2007年1月31日下午

采访地点:于北京草场地艾家

do” engage in 25

可能 maybe possibility impossible
perhaps may
21

社会 society social 19

问题 problem question 17

兴趣 fascinated interested uninterested interest 12

个人 individual 12

方式 ways approaches 10

市场 market 9

价值 value 7

政治的 political 1

国家 country state 4

自由 freedom free 7

个人表达 individual
expression

地下 underground

民主 democratic 2

circle 3

money 5

时代 (information/Internet) age 5

play 3

资金 capital 1

poor poverty 4

弱智 retarded 2

face 3

Q:先请艾老师说下你对中国当代艺术现状的看法或印象。

A:我不能装作很了解这个事,虽然我一直在北京,经常参与一些策展,我们有艺术文件仓库,有很多艺术的朋友,但是我还不是很了解这个东西,但这两年好像很热闹,而前几年好像都没什么人去搭理它,所以我觉得好像它是一会儿发高烧,一会儿发冷的状态,我觉得可能像是这样,因为现代艺术这一块实际上时间也是很短的,中国实际上虽然有它的现代生活,但这个现代生活在很大程度上是已经由政治的经济的特征定下来的,是一个已经是什么样的体制下的国家了,那么这种个人表达自由政治背景生活条件,以及文化艺术社会中的作用可能,我觉得基本上都是已经限定下来的了,那么通常所称的当代艺术,实际上它能浮出水面,也只是近五、六年的事情,而之前很多人了很多事情实际上都是处在一种半地下的状态的,就是说只是一个很小的,没有被公众话语所关注,对社会的影响实际上也只是在非常小的范围内的,一旦浮出来之后,它主要是在国外的很多展览报导甚至拍卖,好像搞得很热闹,但是这些并没有涉及到这些作品生存环境和所表达的社会形态含义,这些问题探讨并不是很多的,所以它还是一个非常奇怪的结构,但是我们也不能说任何结构是否就是合理的,比如说有的是树,有的是藤,有的是自然界生猛的动物,有的是寄生的动物,而它们都有其自身的合理性,所以尽管中国当代艺术它不是主动有意识地去和这个社会建立某种关系,但是实际上它也反映了过去这几十年的一些问题

Q:你觉得它反映的是一些什么问题呢?

A:反映了中国近几十年中的哲学美学伦理学的彻底解体,新的甚至探讨的可能都还没有建立,因为这个社会仍然是处在大面积的或者主体地否认事实,或者说不承认一些基本的事实,在很多问题上几乎是没有争论的可能,它离民主社会还是很远,虽然它有极大的自由,但这种自由只是建立在旧体制瓦解上的自由,是没有能力控制下的自由,并不是一种很主动的自由,这些都给艺术一些特征

Q:那你怎样看待现在公众对当代艺术的接受方面?

A:我觉得没有什么真正的接受,它只是成为时尚的另外一个门类,杂志、报纸谈到这些问题的时候,你可以看到,它就只能三句五句的谈,但没有一句能够谈到点子上,也不能够深入下去,我觉得这个事儿挺可怜的,就有点像弱智了,中国当代艺术真是扮演了一个弱智角色,当然它有很好的艺术家,有从开始到现在还在很有意思的事情的艺术家,但是这些艺术家,他们探讨的方式都没有得到主流社会认识,甚至连了解也谈不上,现在基本上就是乱七八糟的吧。

Q:那你觉得你参与策划展览之类的活动能否对这种乱七八糟的状况有所作用呢?

A:现在中国展览很多,但是一点帮助和意义都没有,它变成了一些摊贩,就是说像你经常看到的一些摆摊的,一条街卖一样的东西,互相叫板,互相竞争,我觉得这个是为市场设计的,跟艺术没什么关系,完全是为市场设计的,那么这些展览,你仔细看看这些策展人,有几个是像样的?都是心怀鬼胎,怀着各种各样的目的,我觉得这是中国的学术界和知识分子最让人看不起的一点,就是总体不要,整个儿就是彻底的公开张扬不要,这也是少有的一件事,但是啊,就像中国人说的志短,说得太准了,“”还好听点,实际上就是人都很“”了,没什么问题,但它只是一个借口

Q:你刚才讲到市场,那请谈下你对艺术市场的看法。

A:什么东西都能卖,艺术这么高雅的东西当然也能,因为能卖就主要是为了装饰有的家,那么艺术品就成了一个交易的货品的东西了,这个本来挺正常的,只是这个比例有多大?就是在整个大的文化环境当中,它是否变成了唯一问题,是否脆弱到只要它一出现,其他东西就都消失了?我觉得这个是中国的一个很大的问题,当然……我自己这样看,这个事闹成这样挺好笑的,因为好像你这个事的理由都变了,这个东西让你生活的原则和理由都发生变化了,最后就变成好像转换成另外某种价值了,太多人谈论关心这个问题了,如果你不是一个艺术家,只是一个投机商,这个就很正常了,如果你还是一个创作的人,或者说你本来是一个觉得有话才去从事这个行业,觉得对一种方式兴趣——而不是说简单的财、资金和地位可以替换你的那些最早的东西,就不正常和奇怪了。现在我感觉好像都在谈这一块,是挺烦的一件事,市场本身就是不正常的东西,从股票到名牌定的价格,市场本身是无可非议的,一个东西卖五分和卖五千块和卖五万块都是无可非议的,只是说在这个市场背后,这个产品本身的其他价值是否被这个市场价格给彻底冲淡了?这是一个问题

Q:那你自己感兴趣的其实是什么?

A:说老实话,我没有什么兴趣的事,比如我并不是说不喜欢商业这一块或者说对别的什么东西感兴趣,我确实没有太多兴趣的事,可能是我还是比较被动吧,当然总的来说,艺术是我比较兴趣的一个行当,本来我比较感兴趣是因为这里的人比较不功利,比较还有自己的特征,还活得你是你我是我的,但是现在呢?你可以发现,这个艺术的人跟隔壁卖菜的农民没什么差别,上市之前抖点水啊,称的时候再抖两下,我觉得都差不多,这是让人觉得挺无聊的一件事,其实我才不在意这件事,我也不搭理它,比如这个国家是死是活,我也不太在乎,只不过你问到这个问题,就像你问我今天的天气如何,什么沙尘暴啊或者刮风啊,但是这种事又不是你能控制的,这只是国家的一个现状

Q:讲一讲你的博客吧。

A:博客很有意思,待会儿就把给你拍的照片放上去,然后很多的人我也都不认识,反正他们一点击就看到了,我就觉得这个是很直接现实同时又是很幻觉的一个事情,所以我就一直在这个事。

Q:就是说它是一个你传播你自己信息的途径?

A:我觉得信息时代是人类遇到的最的一个时代,是第一次给所谓的自由个人意志技术上提供了可能,在这之前,人类一直是在黑暗当中或者是在独木桥上,或者是在一个必由之路上,那么这个信息时代第一次让人有可能自己或者和愿意一起的人,这在过去是没有的,所以我觉得我们应该是很有兴致和很有机会进去这么一种状态,就是说它有几点是非常重要的:自由地表达个人方式。这听上去虽然很俗套,但是这个是很重要的事情,包括交流可能,包括把社会的力量重新地施以影响吸收运用可能,这是很了不起的一件事情。

Q:你觉得在艺术上有没有地域的中心边缘之分?

A:我觉得不存在,尤其是在这个信息时代网络时代就更不存在了,这是人类第一次有机会和有可能把这个传统价值,即所谓的传统的原始、中心和权利彻底瓦解,这个可能性确实是人类挣扎了很多年以后突然蹦出来的,这是一个很了不起的东西。

 

弱势群体[ruo shi qun ti] disadvantaged group

This movie requires Flash Player 9

1. 艺术家基本上都是弱势群体

All artists basically all belong to under-privileged groups.

(摘自徐坦对卢昊的访谈 Excerpt from Interview with Lu Hao)

采访对象:卢思沉

采访时间:2007130日下午

采访地点:于北京四环辅路梵思西餐厅

社会 social 18

市场 market 11

机构 institutions organizations 11

边缘 periphery 7

居住 housing living 5

北京 Beijing
63

邻居 neighbors 5

符号 symbol 10

中国符号 China symbol 6

胡同 Hutong alleys 10

国家 country 5

弱势群体 under-privileged
groups
7

日本 Japan 6

热门 hot 3

老百姓 citizens residents 5

环境 context 13

拍卖 auction 8

价格 price, worth 5

价值 value 8

关系 relationship 21

人际关系 interpersonal relationship 2

拆迁 demolishing
and rebuilding
3

西方 the West 4

建筑 building 9

位置 status 4

装修 decoration
project
interior decoration 3

circle 1

Q:先请卢老师谈一下你对现在中国当代艺术发展状况的一些看法。

A:这问题挺大的。我觉得现在中国当代艺术发展正处在一个比较好时期,很热门,很多机构收藏家都非常关注当代艺术。从这一点来讲,它是一个比较事情。但是就这两年来看,作品反而出得,不多,有人就觉得现在是中国当代艺术最低潮的时候,

这要做到也挺难的,因为我觉得,对于很多艺术家来说,他们需要卖画社会诱惑力太了。以前大家还关注怎么去制作一件好作品,关注学术;现在讨论的全是拍卖拍卖价格的问题、市场问题

Q:谈一下你的创作主要关注的东西。

A:我觉得我自己创作主要是关注北京居民邻居之间的关系城市变化以及从城市变化中了解人与人之间的关系北京很多艺术家,但真正的北京职业艺术家不多。作为北京职业艺术家也不是想成为国际艺术家。在北京生活周围一切,那些胡同里面的邻居、周围的亲戚朋友、在街道卖东西的人,这些都是作品想法来源。我对这些都是有感情的,所以我做作品的时候就会从这个环境中来考虑问题。

Q:你很重视跟周围环境接触的关系,那你觉得你的作品跟观众之间的互动是一个怎样的情况?

A:我也不知道。虽然我在北京了这么多年,但我觉得真正北京,就是看过作品北京老百姓,真正看作品的还是面的。例如我做室内或者室外装置,他们把它当成是装修理解,所以我觉得做装置开始就像是装修的,我在北京做了很多跟这个有关的作品,但我觉得它的影响力还是很有限的。

Q:你觉得西方那边是怎样看待中国当代艺术的发展的?

A:我也跟一些人聊过,他们觉得现在这种现象可怕的,现在作品价格很高的,高出市场承受能力,这就有点像股市

Q:之前你强调了你和周边生活环境的密切关系,那么作为艺术家来讲,你觉得自己在社会扮演什么样的角色

A:弱势群体艺术家基本上都是弱势群体。现在可能因为市场炒的原因,或价格拍卖了,有的人就开始关注艺术家,但以前根本没有谁有这个概念当代艺术以前没有什么位置,不过这两年是因为价格原因……最终大家都关心一个问题,就是价值是多少?这个也就是目前中国对艺术欣赏水平的程度了。

Q:那么从你的角度来看,其实这个社会环境对当代艺术的接受还是很有限的。

A:我的感觉就是,中国当代艺术,包括整个绘画行业中国这个社会里始终处在一个装饰性位置生活条件好家庭需要装饰画,但对于有钱人来讲,他不知道价值,他也不需要了解,他有钱,能买画,就掌握跟艺术家讲话的一个话语权,除此之外,他不关心别的问题。……我感觉就是,很多人里面给自己获取了不同的利益,比如像宋庄就是最典型的例子,那以前就是一个很穷,一些艺术家去了,这个里的领导就慢慢地发现了他们,这个事就成一个了,但这个领导是从自己想升官这个角度发展艺术的,现在就有很多国外收藏家收藏机构都去那了,然后慢慢地那个地方影响就不断扩大了,然后这个领导一下子就成了全国政协委员了……当代艺术国际上某些事挂在一起的时候,这事就挺有意思了……但是这些人是真的那么关心文化吗?我觉得不是

最近画了一张。我觉得有个话题挺有意思的,叫“中国符号”,很多人谈论中国艺术家应不应该用“中国符号”这个问题,它相对的是全球化的符号——我也不知道全球化符号大概是什么东西,就只有一个概念。我的感觉是,中国符号没什么不好的,……美国人每天到处都在他们的符号,也没有问题,那为什么中国人用符号就有问题呢?我觉得就是有志于中国符号进行到底的那种人……作为一个中国艺术家,目的是什么?是张扬自己的文化还是消灭自己的文化?这是一个问题。所以我想用最传统中国方式去做当代艺术。我画了一幅长卷,这长卷大概有五十米长,是长安街的街景,把长安街每一个建筑都同时记录在里边,因为长安街大概是十五公里长,我是按1300的比例做,就正好五十米长。同时我按中国画以前方式——我了好多个图章,那些图章都是北京消失胡同名字。这就是我最近做的东西。

Q:你怎样把它转换成装置?

A:这个作品转换不成装置。我的一个装置作品就是2002做的一个很沙盘100左右,是北京二环的一个大致的模型,当时做这个作品的想法,就是看了很多售楼处,售楼处到处都是盖的高楼模型,做得特别漂亮,我做了沙盘,沙盘实际上就是一个陷阱、一个,巨大的一个坑,很多人一辈子辛辛苦苦挣的可能就全进那个坑里了,我想沙盘这种骗人方式好玩,就按照它做了一个北京沙盘,因为当时北京申办2008奥运会

其实我觉得,政府就是打着“改造改善老百姓居住条件”的口号来进行大面积的拆迁。我以前曾经做过一个作品方案,就是想先胡同里面大杂院里的老百姓全部都请出来,给他们一个楼房,然后我们把院子重新装修,在外结构不动情况下,请很好的室内设计师做室内的规划设计,然后再把他们请回来,再到他们自己每个人的。我觉得在不改变他们生活习性的情况下来改变居住条件,是有可能的。现在政府的这种做法,实际上是派遣性迁移,就是说老百姓是一个弱势群体,他们没有办法去面对政府和开发商时,就只能搬家,搬得很远,政府给他们几万块十几万块拆迁,从此就把他们城市边缘去了,我觉得相对理想化一点的方式就是能不能按做作品方式,我们一个投资商来投一笔,把杂院里的老百姓居住条件全部改变。我曾经就有过这样的一个方案,是我当时一直想做的一个作品,如果这个作品有被实施,它最后成功了,那我们实际上就是给规委提出一个问题,我觉得这挺好玩的。

 

 

日本[ri ben] Japan

This movie requires Flash Player 9

1. 我记得96年有个资料显示,海口的妓女日本

According to a statistics in 1996, there
were more prostitutes in Haikou than that in Japan.

(摘自徐坦对野牛的访谈 Excerpt from
Interview with Ye-niu)

采访对象:野牛,地下及枪手作家(无出版署名劝,为他人代笔写作)

Interviewed: Ye-niu
(mossback): an underground writer, and a writer who write for other persons
without own signature.

时间:Time: January, 2007

地点:Location: Guangzhou

中国 China Chinese 24

社会 social society 19

生存 living live 10

生活 life 11

财富 wealth 8

知识分子 intellectuals 7

利益 benefit 7

身体 body 6

文化 culture 6

改革(开放) reform opening 5

知识 knowledge 4

制度 system 4

政治 political politic 5

矛盾 contradiction 4

直接 directly 4

自由 free freedom 5

妓女 prostitute 4

六四 June 4th 2

人权 human rights 2

卖淫 sell oneself 2

党禁 prohibition of parties 2

性服务 erotic service sexual service 2

器官服务 deal with one’s organ 1

性交易 make sexual intercourse 1

扫黄 anti-eroticism
campaign
1

意识形态 ideology 1

市场(化) market 3

消费 consume 3

资本主义 capitalism 3

社会主义 socialist 2

传统 tradition 2

野牛:我们曾谈到这个问题,就是目前国情下知识分子启蒙已经没有了,已经没有太大的意义了。就是民间直接生存矛盾已经非常激烈了。像那个工人下岗,待业青年,包括大学生毕业面临综合性的失业。那么生存的第一性要求引出很多社会问题。远远超出我们所说的知识启蒙.比如一个妓女她有什么呢,没有什么,就好像扫黄中,她连买淫的权利也没有.一方面你不给她吃,她必须从农村山区跑出来,跑到城市来。你说她可以凭什么生存呢?她除了青春和身体,什么也没有.中国目前的这个社会问题,在改革开放中,财富私有化过程中出现的不公平。本来在去几十年的政治斗争中,它们财富创造是有限的。在快速的财富分割中不公平。那只有少数人能获得巨大利益。大多数民众没有获得利益。那种直接生存威胁感,和生存利益失落感,不需要谁教育,也就能明白。所以大量农民要造反游行抗议暴动。社会底层的矛盾已经非常尖锐,直接生存对抗,不像改革开放初期,包括六四时,生存矛盾还较小,社会财富两极分化较小,知识份子认为知识成一种公共性质的一种普及性质价值观,作为一种社会理想,普通老百姓不知道,只有一种呼吁,一种从政治改革,和从尊重人权角度,还有些意义。当年江泽民还提出维护所谓的生存权,你说那些打工的来广东,他连都没得吃,他连卖淫都不允可的时候,他还能这个社会吗?还能这个制度吗?不可能。这就让中国知识份子存在于一个很尴尬的社会地位,生活已经超越他们这些做为社会的进步力量了。

你刚才说这个社会已经很自由了,那么从党禁和新闻自由来看还非常有限。和文革比较,只是你现在能说了,但只是私人性的,你不能进入交流渠道,不能进入媒体渠道。身体是每个人的私有财产。在社会主义计划经济下,你什么也没有,有的只有你的身体。但这个身体也有很多限制不属于你的,你不能提供性服务,你什么都不能。因为违背道德,违背我们的治安条例。但改革开放以后,大量的西方文化的融入,对中国人的影响很大,再者是财富的快速分化,有财富的阶级他们的生活就自然打开,打开的标准之一,就是他婚姻之外有需要,外面可以有妓女情妇二奶。也就是说,他有能力有资格享受这种多元性的生活。他有这个需求,但作为那些到广东的打工妹,他们有什么呢?什么都没有。但为了活命,总该有点什么,要么有知识,要么有体力,什么都没有怎么活命?最终发现她有身体,她可以提供器官服务。在一方有要求,一方可以出售情况下,加上这旧社会已经有的这种生活,现在又被恢复了,全世界的人都在这么,为什么中国人不能这么呢?所以关于现在的中国,我认为你谈得很文雅,我认为70年代出生的这些20多岁的人已经不是这种看法。我们和几个中年女知识分子,著名女作家争论的时候,她们还在扭捏作态,而我说,你看这些十八十九的年轻人直接器官做交易了,你还在遮遮藏藏作甚么,谁会去找你呢。我认为和我们的文化传统关系很大,我们这个道德和伪道德的传统是很有害的。每个人都愿意男盗女娼,从自我出发,谁都是这样的。如果许可他男盗女娼,他一定男盗女娼。当面对别人的时候,当面对是第三者的时候,哪怕一个很开明知识份子,他都会用很尖刻的语言嘲笑你。譬如一个人他嫖妓,吃喝嫖赌他都来的。但他说别人的时候,他总会用很尖刻的语言,其实他比这个人还烂,我认为这是中国文化一个可悲的地方。

徐坦: 那你觉得这仅仅只是中国传统的问题了?跟共产主义运动没关系了?

野牛: 没关系,我认为共产主义意识形态强化了它。

徐坦: 我认为有关系吧, 比如60-70年代的党报元旦社论,就会谈到我们中国是全世界唯一一个没有妓女的国家。这是否跟共产主义原则有关系,否则这有什么好宣传的?

野牛:我认为生命是属于自己的,每个人都应为自己的生命负责负责也包含了他可以自由使用自己的身体伦理道德没有权力干涉。一个人为了生存性交易。像广州许多酒巴,很多中年男人和年轻女子,他们就是快速消费,你陪我喝茶,我买单,然后给小费。我认为这种交换是正当的,那些从农村来的女孩,知识文化都没有,她能给别人什么呢?她只能给别人抚摸肉体。 而那些中年男子他们有剩的财富,在那没有新鲜感的婚姻之外找另外的一种刺激。我认为是正当的,而它对社会带来的危害言之实,夸大了。搞专业的知识份子玩的那点小东西跟政治没有关系,经济利益没有关系,甚至跟老百姓

的观念也没有异议。譬如老百姓提出一个问题:当我只是一个打工的,我什么都没有的时候,我可不可以用我的器官来和你作交易。如果表达这样一种主题的,很多打工妹的都愿意看。因为他们都面临这个问题:我什么都没有,给你亲一下,你给我10块钱。一个人为了生存可以投降当叛徒的话,你在她的奶头上下有什么大不了的呢?况且首先你得先着,在自然界,为了活命任何伪装都可以做的出来的。

徐坦:而且我认为妓女不是一个肮脏的职业。因为我在8年前在上海和上海的一个艺术家争论这个问题。我并不会尊重某个国家总统超一个妓女。因为这个职业是干净,是单纯的。但作为某些总统,他只是一个政客。但我没说中国的总统怎样,因为都不在你的话题之内。

野牛:因为从社会需要的角度看,如果没有性服务工作者的话,大量的弱势阶层、老人,他们的性生活得不到满足,我们看到的更多是有钱的消费阶层为比消费。我们心里感到不平衡。譬如说一个瞎子没机会做,在毛泽东时代大量光棍没看到一个女人。中国的统治者为了所谓的社会稳定,他把他的权利看的太高太重要了,把他的己得利益太重要了,因此他给人民一点自由也没有。他有十个女人他也不会让你一个。

可以说六四以后中国智识阶层就所有文明开明方面的语词都使用尽了。中国政治体制上的笵式和理念可以说也很完备了。我认为关键在于,利益上他们,既得利益者不愿意真正把利益放给社会,放给人民。而不是没有观念,没有一种理想,没有一种可运用性的体制之类的东西,很多方案。像人大、政协,还有比较开明的,比较追求社会进步的知识份子提出了很多运用性很强的制度性东西。但实际上不能实施,就算拟了法也不能实施。我觉得中国还是个很的国家,财富有限,人们对风险这种概念也有限,我们有很多制度盲点,至少是制度理想盲点。大家知道应该怎么做,知道什么是天下为公,但很多人不敢那样去做,不愿那样去做. 我认为症结在这里。外国人看到中国变化,和中国人自己感到的变化,我想是有很大区别的。中国历来都崇洋媚外共产党批判洋奴哲学,大家对外国人有种看法,外国人在中国享受很多,譬如说社会待遇啊、人权上的认可啊、对他们的服务是很周到的。中国人自己感到一定两样的。另外我认为吸引外国人来中国是因为中国廉价肉体中国有大量人口人口是一种资源。一个老外中国就是认识几个中国女孩或妓女。作为一个普通观光者,别的东西,中国文化对他没太大的意义,而中国这个几千年文明的东方大国,她有很多东西可以看,有很多文化遗迹。另外我认为人种是一种资源。这样一些东方瓷娃娃对西方人正是有很大吸引。而不是我们的改革政策对他们的吸引。我们这些东西在他们面前没什么值得炫耀的,就是些泊来品。另外就是中国这个市场,它对那些大资本集团公司还是有吸引力,对后二十年的市场战略性投资,我认为它有它的道理。但你说的,中国现在社会莺歌燕舞?那倒未必。现有个非常矛盾的地方,就是生活已经前进了。譬如广州,我认为广州城市建设水准非常高了,就广州这个城市市场化程度很高了,它已经全球化了。它和资本主义国家的工业文明和后工业文明,没有太大区别。甚至在有些方面,因为“社会主义特色”有之而无不及。我记得96年有个资料显示,海口的妓女了日本。当然按百分比来计算的话,那还有问题,如果我们用其他的衡量标准看,比如说党禁这个角度,一个政党和社团不能自由形成,这个社会资本主义有很大区别。言论出版都受到限制一个社会,肯定不能用资本主义的概念来衡量。

 

人气[ren qi] popularity

This movie requires Flash Player 9

1. 就觉得人气还不够,然后就是觉得大学之间的衔接比较多。

But you feel like
here should be popularity. The connection
route between universities are abundant.

(摘自徐坦对胡薇的访谈 Excerpt from Interview with HuWei)

采访对象:胡薇(张江某设计公司设计师)

采访时间:2006年8月17日

亲戚 relatives 3

朋友 friends 3

艺术 art artistic 7

员工 employee 3

政策 policy 4

政策优惠 preferential policies 3

car 7

创意 creative 4

eat food 5

园区 park 5

高科技园 Hi-tech Park 3

地铁 subway metro 6

发展 development 1

技术 technical 2

上海人 native Shanghai citizen 2

浦西 Puxi(central Shanghai) 4

人气 popularity 1

大学 universities 1

公交 bus 2

宣传() publicizing films 1

节奏 tempo 1

商业感觉 commercial
sense
1

别墅 villa 1

圈子(朋友圈) circle
2

关系 related 1

人才 gifted 2

房租补贴 rent
allowance
1

特色 characteristics 1

品牌 brand 1

fast 2

我在张江工作是过完年一月份开始的, I started my work in Zhangjiang since January, after the
Spring Festival.

我是上海人,Though I am a native Shanghai citizen,

对张江的发展我是到了这里才知道的,I had had no idea of its development until I came here.

以前我是在地铁里知道有一个叫张江高科技园的站点, All I had known is merely a subway stop named Zhangjiang
Hi-tech Park.

而且只知道张江是高科技园区,I had only known Zhangjiang is a hi-tech park,

但具体张江是赶什么的我也从没来过,As to what exactly it is for I had not known for I had never been
here.

不来这里工作就不会到这里来。I would’t have be here if I had not
worked here.

虽然我自己是上海人,although I am a native.

在张江我觉得空气比较好,In Zhangjiang the air is quite fresh.

之间的间距比较大,The distance between buildings
are long.

如果是浦西看见前面有一栋楼,大概两分钟就能走到,In Puxi(central Shanghai) if you see a building in
front of you, it usually takes a two-minute walk,

而在张江可能要走十分钟才能走到,while in Zhangjiang it could take you ten minutes,

这边感觉比较开阔一点,giving people an open view.

然后就是觉得地面的灰尘比较少,没什么纸屑,比较干净。The ground is clean with little dust or rubbish.

但是就觉得人气还不够旺,But you feel like here should be more popularity.

然后就是觉得大学之间的衔接比较多,The connection route between universities are abundant.

比较重视比如像大桥五号六号Bridge No.5 and No.6 are
given emphasis.

五号是连复旦六号是连交大的。The former connects to Fudan University and the latter to Shanghai Jiao
Tong
University.

我觉得可能还是要多开发一些公交线路,I feel like there should be more bus routes,

浦西的人能多往张江来。encouraging more people come from Puxi.

然后张江还可以再做一些资料片宣传片,In addition, Zhangjiang needs more documentaries and publicizing films,

介绍一下张江有那些基地。to introduce the bases in it.

其实,不来张江的话,对张江是有创意文化这个概念并不是很清楚的,Actually those who have never been here know little about the
concept of creative culture in Zhangjiang.

只知道张江有生物资料这块基地,but the base of bio resources.

慢慢是正大九城的兴起才知道张江有游戏产业。The e-game industry became known with the development of Zhengda
City 9.

我们是做电子杂志的,We do e-magazine,

就是做文化网络出版,i.e the online cultural publishment.

早前我在出版社工作过,I used to word in a publishing house,

所以这份工作对我来说等于是把我前面两份工作的经验结合起来。so this job is a combination of my previous two working
experiences.

和以前比起来,应该说有一个技术门槛,是要有技术支持的,Compared with the previous ones, it needs a technical support.

我觉得这里的节奏浦西很多,I feel the tempo
here is much slower than that in Puxi,

不像在人民广场和淮海路,different from places like the People’s Square and
the Huaihai Street,

人们的步伐都是那么的,感觉什么事都急匆匆的,where people walk at a fast pace and seem always in a rush,

特别我以前的广告公司在市中心,especially downtown, where my ex ads company lies.

让人感觉城市的速度很。You can feel the high speed of the city.

但在这里我觉得有种校园的氛围,But here is a phonomenon of campus.

有种回到校园的感觉,I feel like going back to school.

而且这附近的学校也比较多,With quite a few schools nearby,

商业感觉还不是特别强。its commercial sense is not that strong,

应该说给人一种比较缓慢的感觉,giving people a feel of slowness.

如果是有子的话,能住在这里还是蛮的,It would be quite good to live here with a car.

如果有钱的话在这里买别墅还可以,or if one is rich enough to afford a villa.

比如说周末住一下,但不大可能会搬过来,One can spend the weekends here,
but probably not move here,

因为一般住的话和圈子关系,for living place is related with one’s circle.

比如我要搬新家,也要离我原来的居住地比较近,If I move to a new place, it would
not be far away from the previous one,

和我的家人与亲戚朋友要比较近。from my family, relatives and friends.

如果住的很远,和他们的沟通就不会太方便。If I live far away, it would be difficult to communicate them.

好像外地来的人,他们也会是找一个适合他们朋友圈的地方,The non-natives also find the place proper for their group of friends,

除非在张江至少有一两个朋友,或是有亲戚在这里,unless they have at least one or two friends or relatives here.

基本上是以工作为主的。Basically most people come to work.

因为我来上班是搭的,我有邻居在易贝上班,所以我是搭他的上班,

I come by car of my neighbour, who works in E-bay.

如果是搭公交和做地铁就比较麻烦,It would be troublesome to take bus or subway,

因为我家在大华那里,for I live in Dahua,

过来要换一辆再换地铁这个路途上单程就要花一个半小时,It takes an hour and a half to transfer the bus and then the subway,

来回要三个小时。which means 3 hours per day.

在路上花很长的时间,特别在地铁里花很长时间, To spent such a long time,especialy in the subway,

对我来说是不大好忍受的,应该说是比较痛苦的。is unbearable for me, a pain indeed.

如果有,我情愿走地面上的,因为在地面上可以看到外面的风景。I prefer to go on the ground if I
have a car, for the view up there.

我觉得在张江上班能够呼吸到比较好的空气,I feel in Zhangjiang we have fresh air.

而且这里绿化也比较好,眼睛也比较舒服。Eyes feel good with the green belts here.

总的来说,张江离我们的生活区太远,In a word, Zhangjiang is too far
from our living place.

刚来的时候感觉离开了上海来这里工作,At the beginning I felt like I left Shanghai to work here.

就好像到了苏州这样的地方上班,上海的影子不太多。as if I was working in a place like Suzhou, with little Shanghai
personality in it.

但在这里工作很理想到是没有的,But it’s not really ideal to work here.

因为张江的确有很多政府的支持,Although it has the support from government,

就是给这些企业一些比较好的优惠政策来吸引他们过来。which gives companies preferential policies to attract them,

但问题是如果很多配套设施没有跟上的话就不好了,it is still a problem without supporting facilities.

从公司老板来说,他们是得到好处的,有房租补贴,能得到优惠政策。The employers
are given rent
allowance
and preferential policies,

但对于招聘员工来说条件并不是很好的。but for employees it is not that good.

一些稍微好一点的人才如果看到特别是公司没有的话就不太能招到好的人才,Some gifted
applicants would not come without company regular buses.

所以对于招人来说还是有点限制的,So it is a restriction for employment,

这肯定是跟公司有关了。and of course has an effect on the company.

如果公司能给员工一些比如交通上的福利政策那还可以,It could be acceptable if the employees are given welfare
commuting
policy.

如果没有,而是硬生生的让浦西的人来上班,Without which, one who comes from Puxi,

每天要花三个小时在路上的确是很辛苦的。has to spend 3 hours in commuting which is such a pain.

我觉得政府的优惠政策最好能给到每一个员工的身上,I think the preferential policies should be
applied to each employee.

我觉得这里的园林的感觉还不错,I feel the garden here is nice,

但是要上升到艺术的话就——,while as to the art,

好像在张江没有看到什么艺术的气息,I do not feel much art here.

我看到的只有张江的政府大楼还有浦东软件园区吧,那里的几栋楼做的还可以,Only a few building like its government building and some in the
Pudong software park are not bad.

而我们这里的就没有什么特色了。There is little characteristics
here.

张江的广告也很少,没什么户外广告,Not many ads here, nor the outdoor
ones.

但从另外一个角度来说他没有被广告污染,这一点比较好。On one side it has not yet been contaminated by the
ads, which is good,

如果是从艺术创意来讲,就如从地铁下来,but from the view of artistic creativity, down from the metro,

没有给人一个这里是创意艺术园区,这个感觉还没有。you would feel little of a park of creative art.

这里只能给人感觉离城市比较远,然后空气比较好,People only feel it far from city
with fresh air,

要上升到艺术创意这个概念还需要有些改进。and more needs to be done to elevate it to the concept
of artistic creativity.

如果说是科技园区的话那还可以理解,Call it a hi-tech park is acceptable,

但要说是艺术园区好像还没这个概念。but there is nothing like a artistic park.

第一我觉得空气比较好,第二需要提高他的艺术品牌,First the air is good, and secondly
the art brand
needs to be elevated.

还有就是张江的一些附加值,比如说他的交通还有,Then the add-ons, like the
transportation and the food here,

因为我们在这里工作中午很难到东西,for we have little to eat at working noon.

我们这里有一句话Here we have a saying,

“你在市中心上班,肚子饿了可以到东西, ‘If you work downtown, you can eat when you are hungry,

在张江肚子饿了是利于减肥”。while in Zhangjiang
you are on diet.’

因为有钱也买不到东西,for money can not buy food here.

点东西要走很远,要到地铁站,You have to walk to the subway stop to find foods,

我们这里走过去要二十分钟的路程,which takes us twenty minutes from here.

我们都懒的走这些路了,基本上就这样了。Usually we are too lazy and just let it be.

關於 / about

詞典 / dictionary

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email

xutanxt@hotmail.com

manufacturas.studio@gmail.com