lunedì 25 maggio 2015

Talking with Sheng Qi

While writing my final thesis, I realized two interviews: you have just read the first one with Zhang Hongtu, a Chinese artist now based in USA. 
Today I will report my speech with Sheng Qi. He is a Chinese artist too, and, as well as Zhang, he is a representative of Mao-art. In 1989 he moved to London, then returned in Beijing in 1998, but moved to London again in 2010, where he currently lives. 
His art goes through various medium. A relevant theme has been the study of the body language and its culture. The remarkable dripping pattern of paintings, inspired by Pollock, with which Sheng Qi portrays people and places, gives us a sense of decay and darkness. People are quite always hidden behind shadow (which sometimes is Mao-shaped), they seem scared, almost like if they feel obliged to certain actions, deprived of freedom. Looking at his paintings we may perceive the dark side of China, the same side that, even if ceaselessly running towards the future, actually remains blocked in its political mess. 
Sheng Qi is very famous all around the world, not only for his extraordinary art, but also for the brave action he performed during 1989’ protests, cutting off his little finger from the left hand and burying it in a flower pot. 
The interview you find below is focused on the use of Mao icon in his art. Hope you will appreciate it and find it useful. 

1. 1972年沃霍尔绘了《毛泽东》。您什么时候知道这样的信息吗 ??什么是您的反应?
In 1972 Andy Warhol painted “Mao Zedong”. When did you realize it for the first time? What was your first impression? 

I knew it only in 1991. I was astonished by his blue face. 

2. 毛主席图片的回忆怎么样?它的普遍怎么牵动的艺术风格?
What do you remember about his image? How does the diffusion of his icon weight on your artistic style?

They all were common images. Every poster had become ornamental. This was in the style of propaganda posters. 

3. 毛泽东去世的时候您很年轻了,为什么毛泽东还是那么勤的艺术任务?
When Mao died, you were still young, so why he is so important in your art?

I was brainwashed, he is impossible to remove. 

4. 90年代传播“毛热”,您觉得为什么? 艺术家想说什么? 你们的艺术品是一个对西方艺术家跟毛、中国政治有关的画的反应,还是你们要抒发你们的情面、愤怒、惧怕等等?
During the 90’s in China spread Mao Fever, why do you think it happened? What did artists really want to communicate? Were your works a reaction to the western art, rich of connection with Mao and Chinese History, or the wish to express your feeling, anger and fear?

That was a political campaign promoted by radicals. My art is ironic, it tries to ridicule the classic art. 

5. 很多跟毛泽东代没有关系的中国艺术家绘毛主席。您觉得为什么?
A lot of artists, even without a real contact with Mao era, paint Mao. Why do you think it is possible? 
  I don’t know. 

6. 什么让你第一次绘一幅画?怎么开始?
What encouraged you to paint for the first time? In which way did you begin to paint?
I just wanted to express something.

7. 您的画图片对我留下很深的感觉,特别是熔锍的燃料,让我想时间域过,中国域丢失它的元素。是这个意思吗?
Your works have a deep influence on me, especially the dripping technique. It lets me think that China is losing its original feature following the process of time. Is it that way? 
I appreciate your understanding. Yes, it’s quite right. 

8. 您的艺术技术是dripping。这个让我想杰克逊•波洛克的风格,跟他有关吗?
The technique you use is “dripping”. This lets me think about Jackson Pollock, am I right?


Yes, there is a connection between us. It is a way of painting, it is random. 

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