Interview of Zhao Nengzhi: When Instant and Eternity Blending
Source:Artintern Author:Jiang Ming Date: 2009-01-01 Size:
Interviewer: Jiang Ming Interviewee: Zhao Nengzhi Time: March 10, 2007 Place: Zhao Nengzhi Studio, Feijiacun, Beijing Notes of the Interviewer: Zhao Nengzhi’s works are typically of eastern expressionism. Born in 1968, he is a contemporary of mine. People of our generation have rather comp

Interviewer: Jiang Ming

Interviewee: Zhao Nengzhi

Time: March 10, 2007

Place: Zhao Nengzhi Studio, Feijiacun, Beijing

Notes of the Interviewer: Zhao Nengzhi’s works are typically of eastern expressionism. Born in 1968, he is a contemporary of mine. People of our generation have rather complex understanding to China’s society. As a transitional group evolving from the end of idealism to the start of individual heroism, we have experienced unstable social changes and values adjusting, reconstructing and choosing, our hearts full of conflicts. We want to convey the value judgment of our generation to the society, and to present our personal unique historic values and complicated emotional states. The period of 1960s was full of passion and sense of righteousness, when from the East to the West, cultural revolutions took place everywhere. Through these “anti-culture” revolutions, social spirits and moral leadership have been retuned. The seeds of “cultural revolutions” have deeply buried in our deep hearts. In China, we can find that almost all the sparkplugs of comtemporary art revolution were born in 1960s. Resulting from the choosing of the time, it is not coincident, but inevitable outcomes of the significant historic genes. When it comes to Zhao Nengzhi, we should understand him by studying the developing road of Chinese contemporary easel painting. From 1990s after having formed its own trend, the main stream of Chinese contemporary easel painting have being taken realism as its main topic. Under this circumstance, Zhao Nengzhi’s expressionism still hold its continuous influence. His works’ artistic charm deserves our study and introspection. Nowadays when realistic paintings decline, and neo-expressism is gaining ground, we find Zhao’s expressionistic experiments, started from the mid-1990s, are of great value to the study of the diverse history that the main stream of Chinese comtemporary painting have possessed. Being a torchbearer of the eastern expressionism, he represents a branch of the evolving Chinese comptemporary painting. Through his work, we are really aware that maybe it is only expressionism that can express the inward power of human spirit with its language. The feelings in the deep heart of the artist can only be presented by those distorted images. These feelings may originate from certain genes of Chinese literati paintings, or even more from the West, especially the nervously insane genes of Munch, Schiele, Van Gogh and so on. The feelings manifest the state of human consciousness appearing when instant and internity blending. It is only this state that can completely express the various anxieties of people under the social pressure, and the general existing state of human being. I think from this perspective possibly we may get the key to the core of Zhao Nengzhi’s works.

Jiang Ming (hereinafter refer to as Jiang): When was you born?

Zhao Nengzhi (hereinafter refer to as Zhao): 1968. It seemingly was a very good period of time in the West.

Jiang: Yes, it was the time when the Cultural Revolution took place in Paris.

Zhao: It was also the time when China’s Cultural Revolution reached its climax. So I have had a little memory about it, and in 1976 I cried with the whole nation in the memorial meeting for Chairman Mao.

Jiang: Where was you born?

Zhao: Nanchong City, Sichuan Province.

Jiang: What kind of effect has the local natural environment had on you?

Zhao: Nanchong is located in the north of Sichuan. It is not a prosperous place but has rather beautiful natural scenery with a lot of hilly areas full of mountains and waters. In the ancient time, it was called as the City of Silk. Chen Shou, a famous ancient writer, wrote his A Record of Three Kindoms there. As one of the mountain passes between Shaanxi and Sichuan, it is an important town of northern Sichuan. There is a river named Jialing River, and I swam in it when I was a child.

Jiang: When did you come to get in touch with painting?

Zhao: I really began to paint at about sixteen year old. When I was a schoolboy, I studied very well and had excellent academic achievement. My deepest memory about painting in my childhood, is in my second year in primary school. In an art class, the teacher picked up a piece of leaf from out of the classroom. He drew its frame on the blackboard, and added some veins to it. Before our eyes vividly was a piece of leaf. At that moment I felt painting was amazing. It was very impressive. But I did not have any further art education until I studied in a normal secondary school, which specialized in cultivating primary school teachers. We had many courses to learn, among which music and art were very important. The government would assign jobs to students who graduated from this kind of school. We entered the school at our 14 or 15 years old with the idea in our mind that we were bound to have certain jobs three years later, so there was almost no pressure on our study. Every day we played, and later we were tired of this aimless activity. Afterwards we got in touch with an art teacher of my school, and found painting seemed very amusing. The teacher graduated from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. His hometown was Chongqing, but after graduation he worked in Nanchong because of his own family. Every day, especially in summer when I passed his office on my way to the class, I would see him drawing in it. I remember once he had drawn a sketch of Venus. It was so lifelike that at that time that I admired him very much because he could draw a thing vividly on the paper with a pencil. In my eyes his life was graceful and appealed to me very much. He could draw while smoking and talking with others. I went to tell him that I wanted to learn drawing. He said me if I could persuade some of my classmates to come and draw together he would give us the key to the art classroom, and we could stay there drawing at our spare time. Later I persuaded several classmates to form an art group and learn drawing from him. He was so cultivated and had read a lot of books. Once chatting with us, he said that you were so young, and it was a pity if you just wanted to be a lifetime primary school teacher after graduation. I asked him what should I do. He said you could go to take the college entrance examination. It was just at that time that I knew we could go to college to learn painting. I kept painting after I graduated from that school. After having worked for two years I took the entrance examination to study in Sichuan Fine Arts College.

Jiang: Did you major in painting in SFAC

Zhao: No, I learnt art education. Because I was an art teacher in a middle school before entering into SFAC. At that time the government had a regulation that if you was a teacher, you could attend the national college entrance examination, but only could major in the field same with your former occupation, that is to say, I had to learn art edecation.

Jiang: After you finished your college education, did you teach again?

Zhao: Yes, I taught after graduation from college.

Jiang: How long and where have you taught?

Zhao: After graduation from college, I have taught two years in a vocational high school in Nanchong. I went there willingly. In the first year in the college I felt giddy because I almost knew nothing and was excited at everything. In the second year I was puzzled and did not know what to do, what to paint and how to go my way of art. In the third year after I just got a little feeling I had to leave from the college. So I thought over where to go after graduation. Because when I was about to graduate, I found I was so weak and empty in my heart. There were a lot of things about the world I didn’t know, and a lot of book I should read. I knew I needed a very quiet place where my monthly expense was available, and I would not run for earning a living. Maybe a school is a good choice. I had been a teacher, so I knew at least in a school I would have salary every month, and after giving students lessons, I would have the left time at my own disposal. I could paint and read a lot of books as well. So I went to a school to be a teacher. Before I went there I told myself I would stay there for only two years. I resigned and left two years after I taught there….

Jiang: What did you do after resignation?

Zhao: I painted.

Jiang: As a professional painter?

Zhao: Yes. At that time it would take a big risk to resign.

Jiang: When did you resign?

Zhao: In1992.

Jiang: Most people had an iron rice bowl in the year of 1992….

Zhao: Actually I wasn’t mentally prepared well for the resignation. I just felt I should not stay there any longer, but I didn’t know where to go. What I knew was that I should leave to pursue my art. Then a group of friends in Chongqing wrote to me and asked me to go to there. Before that I just moved from school to school, I could have meals in the school dining hall, and life was very simple. As soon as I arrived in Chongqing, I found I had to rent a place for myself. In those days there was no gas in some places of Chongqing. I didn’t prepare myself well but suddenly life turned to become so practical. In Chongqing I mixed with a group of friends and we saw each other quite often. We kept on painting. But in order to live we needed money. Luckily life was cheap at that time, and you could live well with only one hundred yuan every month. I taught for the make up classes held before the college entrance examination. In those days computers weren’t as popular as today, so the huge advertising boards were painted by hand, with the reward of six or eight yuan per square meters. At a time I painted two or three hundred square meters and it could keep my pot boiling for a period of time. I lived on that.

Jiang: Did you start to create then?

Zhao: Yes.

Jiang: What were your works about?

Zhao: My earliest works created for graduation was related to Chongqing. I painted a group of people in a teahouse. At that time my favorite artist was Giotto, an artist in the Italian Renaissance. Influenced by him, my painting presented a religious feeling, a group of people of the same height, standing in a line and watching a person performing. In the painting existed a ritual feeling. Actually, in those days I felt if we stripped off the images of life, the essential part is common. Chongqing is a mountain city, so people do not use bicycles. If you wanted to go somewhere, you had to take bus. All the people walked. At commuter times, usually you could see a flock of people heading for a same direction. That was my impression of Chongqing, as if unchanged all along from the ancient to now. You felt that it looked like a group of people was watching something or someone was performing in the street. Once got rid of its background, the scene especially looked like that a religious ritual was being held. This stuff appealed to me very much…. In the early 1990s, I have created many about this. For instance, the painting of two persons sitting gawkily in a place and watching something, or the painting of a group of people sitting somewhere and watching TV, idiotically, with which I took part in the China Biennial Oil Painting Exhibition in 1993.


Jiang:, When did you form the style of your former series?

Zhao: I made some works of this style in 1997 or 1998. I focused on painting these facial expressions in 1999 by enlarging the specific areas of human faces.

Jiang: Do you remember when you created the first work of this style?

Zhao: In the year of 1997. It was very small. I painted a little bigger one in 1999.

Jiang: Do you still have it?

Zhao: No, I took it to participate in an exhibition of that time. Now I don’t know where it is.

Jiang: Is it very important in the style changing of your creation?

Zhao: I don’t think so. Because the style was immature at the beginning, and I just had a little feeling about it. I am slow in life as well as in creation. It is impossible for me to find the very precise feeling immediately. I need a period of time to form something slowly, and then complete it gradually.

Jiang: Did all of your works start to turn to this direction after that?

Zhao: I had painted the series of this style for about four and five years until 2002 when I felt very confused of it and felt I have painted almost enough.

Jiang: Why did you feel confused? What led to that?

Zhao: It felt like if I continued to paint in this way, I was just repeating a certain thing. I especially feared the feeling that I had almost enough to do something but couldn’t find any new idea. I painted reluctantly until 2004. Most of them were destroyed because I was not satisfied. There were many conflicts in my heart, so I painted unwillingly. Actually in 1993 I had tried to freely paint something new on paper, something in color. I thought that paper was cheap and convenient. As long as you had a feeling, you could doodle on paper, not considering whether or not what you have made looks like your work, or it is your work. Sometimes a painter would feel restricted facing a huge canvas , because the usual habits would work, such as how to deal with each part on the canvas. So I thought it was easier to buy a stack of cheap paper and discard it after I used up. At that time I tried to find another thing rather than work in my habitual method. Occasionally I could get a little feeling. From 2003 to 2004, I have made about twenty or thirty pieces of such things which I had taken to participate in an works on paper exhibition held in Singapore later. I really reaped a lot benefits from that experiment. People thought I was painting in the old way, but I was trying something different. The experiment has had significant impact on my later creation. Actually my present works derived from it. The free, smooth, emotional and nervous stuff evolved from those paper works.

Jiang: Could you expound your works? Are they something about completely individual emotions or something by which you want to have relation with the society in some way?

Zhao: Frankly speaking , it is puzzling me too. Personally, I don’t have any special interest in the outward social reality, because I am always attracted by the mental states in people’s inner hearts. I still remember when I was in the college, I wrote all my classmates’ names on a small notebook, and in my spare time I analyzed their characteristics, their feelings and their inner hearts. I had used up a notebook to write these analyses. In my opinion the outward reality is a kind of background hiding in our blood, because we are in the life. Take our generation born in 1960s for example. The outward reality was completely beyond our control. Just now I have talked about the later period of China’s Cultural Revolution. We witnessed the sudden changes in political situation. It was in the middle of 1980s that our generation were forming our world outlook. We were affected by various western cultures and philosophic thoughts. There were many lectures held on the campus, and I read a lot of philosophic books translated into Chinese. It was an exciting time of idealism. In 1989 it reached its climax…Suddenly in 1990s China’s whole society changed again, shifting to a society of commodity, of economy, and people’s values were modified too…. Accompanying the changing outside world, people are continually constructing and correcting their values and world outlooks. All along our generation have been experiencing such a reality. I have formed the opinion that the outside world is uncertain and distrustable. I think the only way out is to return to human inner heart.

Jiang: That’s why a feeling of unsteadiness can be felt in your pictures.

Zhao: Yes, maybe that’s one reason.


Jiang: I observed that your latest works are different from the former ones. It seems in the former there is a feeling of unsteadiness, while the inwardly emotional anxiety becomes stronger in the latest ones. Is this a conscious change?

Zhao: Maybe it results from the change in my life. Before I came to Beijing, I lived in Chengdu. It is a comfortable and slow-paced city of leisure tastes, with the customs left from Ming and Qing Dynasties. It looks that people there lead a cozy life. Time there seems to pass very slowly. During the time I lived in Chengdu, my paintings appeared calm, with unsteady elements hiding beneath. Now that I have stayed in Beijing for about one and half a year since the year of 2005 when I started to establish a studio in Beijing. Obviously I have felt the pace of life here is faster. It is such a big city that you feel it is lively and you feel lonely as well. It seems that you have known many people, but actually you have nothing to do with them. It is impossible to trust a person you just come across. People are strange and remain aloof to each other. In the morning when it is sunny, you can go to the studio with passion. But at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, or later when it turns dark, you feel everything so boring. The long and dark nights make you feel especially lonely. Dazzledly, when you open your eyes, you find the sun also rises…. The change in my works has close relationship with the change in my heart. So in my paintings I am pursuing a sense of speed, something passing time smoothly and thoroughly, something hidden beneath before. I tried to paint like before but I felt I couldn’t, because my state has changed.

Jiang: In terms of the language of painting, who have made influence on your first work?

Zhao: I never especially worship any artist. I mean that I never worship some artist to such an extant that I even work in his way involuntarily. The basic element in my paintings, the mass-like or lump-like stuff, came from enlarging parts of my earliest works. At beginning I just wanted to use this simple element to paint a person or organize a picture and then look what would happen. I had read an article, but it was not about art. It was about pixel, the theory of image forming. In those days, computers were not as popular as today. I thought its thoery is a matter of methodology. On the screen of computer we see a picture of a landscape, or a building, but their smallest part is just the same and small dot. When these dots are organized differently, appear different pictures, like a landscape, or a building. To any concrete image, its basic element is abstract. I wondered what would happen if I produced a human face with the element. In this way I could paint anything, such as people, landscape, and so on. Theoretically it was feasible to look at all the things of the world in this way. My former works were accomplished on the basis of this idea. In fact the idea of basic element is rather abstract, hard for me to communicate it with others. At the same time I feel something dangerous in it, that is if I just work with it, breaking away from the content and target it wants to express, the pure language possibly would end up transferring into a kind of decoration at last. I have seen such example before. The working methods of some artists’ works look very special, but you can feel that there is no strength in their works. Seperated from the described emotion and target, they have turned out to be a kind of formalistic stuff. It is dangerous. In my opinion, your expression should point to a direction, and you should have a language, a certain way to express. It should be your own way. I am managing to work in this way. When I was working on a human face in my series of Facial Expressions, I told people I was painting a human facial expression. I wanted to tell a certain thing in a simple way. In fact the truth was that I didn’t just paint a facial expression. I hoped it is a door for people to enter into my works, and then they can find the inner things quite different. I like Rothko very much. He got used to paint several abstract color blocks. You can simply tell others that he was just a painter who made squares. But once entering into them, face to face with them, you will find his works aren’t that simple. His understandings of the world, as deep as a black hole, run through the simple pictures very fiercely.

Jiang: What would you call your new series? Facial Expressions too?

Zhao: It is always the most difficult problem for me to name my works. Maybe the simplest way is to number them, or give them an especially ambiguous name, looking like nothing.

Jiang: Why do I seem to see a little of Schiele and De Kooning in your new works? Suddenly I think of these two artists when facing your works.

Zhao: I liked this type of artists before I went to college. Look at the history of art. We would find in fact artists could only be divided into several types. Maybe I favor the type of expressing the stuff related to nervous psychologic emotions.

Jiang: What is the feature of the creation language in your works?

Zhao: For some time past, I used grey to pain everything, deliberately confining myself to produce a picture with a very simple element. I intended to restrict or control myself. Now I am going the opposite. Now that I walked away from that, I can attach more importance to the overall emotion and smoothness in the process of creation.

Jiang: There is distinct style in each of your new works. For instance, you have used colors and lines as well. Do you intentionally use them to stress the style of this series?

Zhao: As to the matter of style, I seldom think about it, because I don’t feel I have that problem. Although among my new series, they look very casual, with strokes randomly presented, some works are delivering a kind of smell, or temperament, which I believe is the most precious in an artists’ works. At last what he have painted is no longer important. The teapot or something else painted is just a superficial presentation. The unique temperament of the artist should exist in his products from the beginning to later. It is the most valuable thing why he is there. But most people can only see the presentation. “He is an artist who paints the teapot”, what amateurs tend to notice is livliness , but actually the teapot itself doesn’t count.

Jiang: Have you had any special experience or has anything special taken place in your life?

Zhao: My whole life goes rather smoothly, from my primary school time to my graduation from college, and to later I pursued my art. It mainly develops in accordance to my intention and I never have experienced very difficult time in life. In the summer of 1993 it was very hot and I had no opportunity to sell my paintings. At that time I was growing a kind of malignant ulcer on my body. It was said it is fatal if it spread to the whole body. My skin was really hurting and hardly I could put on clothes. So I went to the hospital. But I really had no money in my pocket. After having seen the medicine prescribed would cost over RMB 20 yuan, I tore the prescription into pieces. But I was lucky that day. Just as I went back my place, one of my former friends visited me. We hadn’t contacted each other after graduation from college. She was distributed to work in Chongqing after graduation. As she heard I was in Chongqing, she came to see me that day. To her surprise, she found me at last. Then she dragged me to the hospital to have an injection. I was cured. Every time when asked, I would mention it. It was too important to me at that time. In that year the China Art Gallery held its only-once China’s Bennial Oil Painting Exhibition. I sent over one of my works. I won the third award and got RMB ten thousand yuan. It was a huge sum of money in 1993. I deposited it in the bank. After having returned all the money I had borrowed before, I had three or four thousand yuan left, which was completely enough for me to live several years. This was a turning point. Besides, other aspects of my life have been very normal without any big difficulty. I have been doing what I especially want to do.

Jiang: What is the most important in your outlook on life?

Zhao: Emotion, I think. Friendship is of the most importance while other things, like fame and gain, are vanity. You should have several bosom friends. There is no conflict of interest between this kind of friends. You needn’t think about helping him, so does he. But in spare time, you can sit together to have dinner or chat. Maybe you have had out of touch for years. But once seeing each other, you can still feel the warm feeling. This emotion is really very important. No matter how successful you are, life is meaningless without emotion.

Jiang: In your eyes, what is the essential quality for an artist?

Zhao: Among many qualities, the essential is that an artist should not inwardly try to be a normal person. He should open himself to accept and understand various things, and he should face himself truthfully. It can be felt whether you make your works to please others or just for yourself. I think the difference lies in here. You can make a certain thing according to other’s idea, for a curator, or an idea of an organization. It does matter. But in the end it has nothing to do with you. Temporarily you can take it to an exhibition or the like, but it does have no relationship with your own life.

Jiang: Have you made that kind of thing?


Zhao: I was asked to do that, and I am asked too. Someone said he liked my former works. I told him I couldn’t paint that again. In fact I did not want to do that. An artitst should use his works to guide rather than please people. Pleasing others will hurt the artist. A HD TV set is a commodity, and an art work is a commodity too. The difference lies in that you should make an art work at first, then let others judge whether or not they like it. If you make according to other’s preference, what kind of artist are you?

Jiang: Is it true that your former works have been sold better than your latter ones?

Zhao: I seldom think about the market, because it is beyond my control. When I painted my former works, all the people thought they are too horrible. When I created new things, they felt the new ones more horrible and the former ones more attractive. Maybe after two years if I change my style again, they would think the second better. It is true my former works look quieter and more pastel and visually pleasing. My works only appeal to a very small group of people. It is a rather narrow channel. I think an artist should go beyond his time. Being an artist, you should create truthfully. Now many people are talking about the art market. But where is the so-called market, in Tiananmen or any street in Wangjing? Actually we can’t find. If you really do what you want to do, I am sure that a certain type of people would like your works. But don’t try to please someone. You can never find where they are.

Jiang: How do you think about the situation of today’s China?

Zhao: The whole society is very impetuous and confusing, but meaningful and energetic, with hormone secreting abundantly. In terms of culture and society or people’s sense of value and so on, the society is very confusing. But this is a necessary stage. Even the so-called bubbles are normal and good things actually. Under the messy circumstances, I think, the problem of today’s China is how to find a safe and stable method to pass this stage and then enter into a more reasonable society, in economy and other apects.

Jiang: You mean the pattern of western society?

Zhao: It probably can’t work to completely copy western pattern, with China’s present reality, its culture and history, especially what it has experienced in near one hundred years. Maybe we should explore another patten. Take the booming of China’s art market in recent two years for example. Analyze the people in the market. They have various motives and most of them are investers or opportunists. It is not a bad thing. Suppose ten people have invested. Maybe after two or more years one of them would change into a collector, a true collector. But the situation would be worse if we only have one person to seek his fortune. Last time a Japanese said China’s art market is bubbles. I told him that they are small bubbles, and too small for such a big country. The problem of China’s art market doesn’t lie in whether or not there are bubbles, but the bubbles are too small and we really need bigger ones. Take pouring beer for example. If we just pour peer into half of the cup, we only have a little beer besides bubbles. If we pour a full cup of beer, we would have more bubbles as well as half cup of beer. China’s art market does need the similar process.

Jiang: It is the best time for artists. In your eyes, China’s future is hopeful. After five or ten years, in your opinion, will China’s situation turn better or worse?

Zhao: Maybe it would be better? All of us hope so. But who knows?

Jiang: Is it possible that certain exsiting problems would be solved slowly?

Zhao: I think it is positive. There are many elites in every fields of China’s society. For example, about the high rate of economic growth. I have read a report about it. In fact several years ago Chinese economists had started to research how to go through this stage gently. They have gone further. But common people don’t know that because they actually live in the superfacial level of the society. Many experts are working on these in advanced. They can look at the international world with farsighted eyes. By studying the experiences of development of some developed countries, they are trying to find a Chinese solution to the problem. So I am optimistic. At present it is probably a very good time for artists. At least in China an artist can be an occupation and he is able to do what he wants. Because people have to eat, the first thing to solve is how to exist. If everyday you have to worry about this, I think it is impossible to create anything good. At present it is not very big problem for an artist to live. An artist can do what he wants. Maybe different people have different choices. Someone hurriedly finish their works for sale, while others don’t want to be limited by this, and they really want to create his inwardly needed work. Only by this good works can be produced, and I think this kind of artists are good ones.

Jiang: How do you arrange your daily life? how many hours do you work everyday?

Zhao: I get up at about 9am every morning. After having had simple breakfast, I go to my studio and stay there until 7 or 8pm.

Jiang: Why don’t you hire an assistant? Many artists have assistants.

Zhao: I do want to find a beautiful femal ansistant, but someone would be unhappy of that.

Jiang: Can you enjoy the pleasure of painting when working?

Zhao: Yes, I can enjoy the pleasure. As long as you really fall into the state, you will forget everything, time, space and etc. it seems that you really forget all the world.

Jiang: I find that your works are in similar style. One looks like another. Repeatedly painting similar images, can you still feel the pleasure? Or painful after long time?

Zhao: Let me think whether there is an artist with every piece of his works in different style. Of course it is painful to repeat painting similar images. But any thing has its time. Something can change quickly but painting is different. It changes very slowly. Some feeling emerges slowly after you have painted ten or twenty pictures. Only the painter himself can feel that. At a certain moment you find you are empty of the feeling, you will feel very painful and confused, and even can’t work any longer. You have to transfer to something else. Everytime facing a new canvas, the artist should have an exciting point. It can be sensed. It is the exciting point that pushes you to work. Without this, a work would look very boring.

Jiang: Every work has its point.

Zhao: When an artist is working, if he is really working, there must be something making him exciting. Maybe in an onlooker’s eyes, it is very normal, or it is nothing special. But the aritst can sense the excitement. For instance, he can feel the passion himself even when arranging a single line. With this exciting point, he can complete a coherent work and we can see the state from his work. But it also can be sensed if the work is finished reluctantly.

Jiang: Besides painting, do you have any personal pastime?

Zhao: I am a dull person. My hobby has been stripped many years ago. It is with great difficulty that I finally manage to love painting, but later it turned out to be my occupation.

Jiang: Why do things like that?

Zhao: Because when I was a little boy, my parents taught me I must study my courses hard, and Chairman Mao also said “A student should study his courses hard every day and get progress day by day”. Although as a little boy I liked to play by nature, but I was scolded often because of that. Finally I was brainwashed and have no interest in others.

About the author: Jiang Ming, also Wang Baoming, contemporary art theoritician, independent exhibition curator, artist. He has written the book titled China’s Post Modernism Art.

[Editor] Zhang Shuo