HomeBiographyArtworksSealsArticlesPublicationsReviewsConversationColumnNewsChinese PaintingContact







Being A Contemporary Artist For Two Week


Hi Art , June Issue, 2011

Yin Lichuan, a friend of mine shot a city movie “Live with Fashion” days ago and asked me to be a walk-on acting a fashion contemporary artist. Vice director gave me a call and said that a night show walking through red carpet would be shot at the fashion square of 798 art district on that very day. In detail the plot is I come out of a Porsche car with two beautiful models at my sides and then the public is agitated and strobes flash on and on; then I stroke several poses smiling and after that, two beauties accompany me all the way into the venue. On hearing the description I got agitated, because I don’t have even one pair of decent trousers. The director required me to dress up with black suits, black leather shoes, black socks and I should also make up my face, too. About suits, another phone call followed to explain that if I have no proper suit they could prepare for me but I should go to try the suits in the very afternoon, I refused. To wait for the darkness at the site is terrible which would make one feel at loss; then when they come to shot, people would feel collapsed. Policemen often use this policy to trial prisoners who would be jailed in a small dark room where no one talk to him or give him anything to eat and drink, then feeling so helpless in darkness one would confess everything only half a day later. Others’ clothes would look too large on me and in them I would look like a conscripted soldier, which is really unnatural and strange. After a thorough search of my wardrobe, I finally found a pair of sport pants with which I went to the shot site.

Yin Lichuan did film studies in France and has directed a lot of movies after he came back. France as the cradle and father of film is known to all. It’s said that this film is commercial with a good cast among which famous stars like Zhou Yumin from F4 group, Xu Ruoxuan, Tan Yonglin, Chun Xiao are included, with Cui Jian, Chen Daoming and Jiang Wen as alternates.

I have also shot movies by myself. When I shot MV for Miserable Faith Band, photographer Wu Jing told me a story. Once when they were shooting in Sichuan Province, a guest actor was also needed in one scene to act a guy of triad gangs. Everyone recommended director Zhang Yuan to do by himself. Ready, go, suddenly the sound engineer shouted out, who is walking there? They walked all around but found no stranger at all. Listen carefully again, it was the drumming of Zhang Yuan’s heart transmitted by the microphone hidden under his clothes; differences in profession make people feel world apart. Even acting a movie directed by himself would make him feel anxious.

I have been an old hand as guest actor. In that year when Cui Jian shot his “I Love You Chengdu”, he asked me to act a guy in the masses. For my buddy I took an airplane through the night to Erwang Temple at Dujiangyan and haven’t reimbursed my travel expenses until now.

In fact I’m not really anxious for pants, but the title as a contemporary artist. All know I’m an ink and wash painter. During the last three decades, Chinese contemporary art has almost imitated all the patterned in western contemporary art, therefore theoretical basis could always be found to entitle anyone to be a contemporary artist. You won’t be wrong to say anything as contemporary art, because all could be found in Europe or America where artists have been explored painstakingly for many years and all have already been written in the history of contemporary art. Origins could always be found once you make a comparison. Although contemporary art started late in China, however it goes fast and swallow things without chewing, before digestion, a flower has been shit out, and some even takes on a kind of Chinese characteristics. Yet the West has no ink and wash painting. Without a reference, ink and wash painting especially the contemporary one lost its contemporary theoretical basis established on western standard, therefore people feel difficult to talk about and no one would like to take such a risk. Yet we who are exploring forward on the basis of tradition in contemporary ink and wash painting are still fighting for the success. Therefore once people regard me as a contemporary artist, I cannot but feel agitated.

Zhu Wei

Wednesday, May 18, 2011