Keywords of dictionary is an artist’ work by Chinese artist Xu Tan, which I found at the library special induction. Above are some excerption of the text that I found interesting, and my own reflection (Italic).

  • Corruption – I found that the number of artists has been decreasing, really. Thinking, hard-working, self-sufficient and focused artists are getting fewer and fewer…I would call this corruption.

[Excerpts from the Interview with Xu Zhen]

I agree, the society is too fickle. Only if you calm down you could do something, not only artists, but everyone.

  • Relationship – 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.

[Excerpts from the Interview with Duan Jianyu]

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

[Excerpts from the interview with Feng Mengbo]

  • Profit – People know there’s such a thing called art, and then use it to do certain things related to profit.

[Excerpts from the interview with Xie Nanxing]

Should artists do something related to profit? I think as long as artists don’t forget their original self, don’t get lost when facing profit, they can. Everyone needs to make a living.

  • Rich, have money – 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 to do it for you.

[Excerpts from the interview with Xie Nanxing]

This makes me thinking: when I become rich, will I continue to paint, will I ask other to paint for me? I don’t know future, but at less now I think if I had so much money I will still insist on painting by myself, cause I think this is a very important feature for an artist.  Maybe I would ask others to make structures for me!

  • Society – My feeling is that contemporary Chinese art, including the entire painting profession, has always occupied a decorative position in the Chinese society.

[Excerpts from the interview with Lu Hao]

Why? Why decoration is a bad thing? Does decoration means that the artists follow the traditionally public-accepted way to paint, rather than making effort on thinking and innovation?


  • Performance (art) – Western and Chinese audiences are aware of this (Chinese) contemporary art thing, they know there is a bunch of people doing weird stuff, and their first reaction towards them are “Ah! Another performance are!” Thus art is reduced to term, when someone puzzles over something; he would call it performance art. He has this category in his mind, and can group it, and there’s easy for him to take in.

[Excerpts from the interview with Sun Yuan]


ziyin guan