FAMOUS, December 27, 2013 Cover Story "People of the Year Special Series " - Artist of the Year
How to Become A Big Shot
Edited by FAMOUS editorial team
By the end of each year, FAMOUS magazine editors will launch the selection of our "People of the Year". Every time when we look back the past 365 days, there are always some people who have drawn our attention, not just because of their fame, wealth, or glory, but of the real things they have accomplished, and these things are influencing and changing the industries they are in. the range of our selection covers various fields, including finance, culture, fashion, entertainment, etc. it is undeniable that these seemingly a little bit "crazy" people share common characteristics, such as being vigorous, sharp, passionate, creative... they are becoming a joint force to push the era forward.
This year the list of "People of the Year" includes: the influential people in culture of the year Guo Jingming, the movie star of the year Wu Xiubo, the musician of the year Wang Yujia, the filmmaker of the year Xu Zheng, the new artist of the year Wang Zijian, the entrepreneur of the year Yao Jinbo, the artist of the year Zhu Wei, the team of the year Crazy Guess Figure team, the dramatist of the year Tian Qinxin, the historian of the year Yuan Tengfei.
Editor's note: Bit Shot.
By Yang Fan
"In every issue of the magazine, you have to create a sense of excitement."
So, the FAMOUS saved the strength, and did a great thing at the end of this year.
In this special issue, we feature 10 madmen! Because of their craziness and fearlessness in this year, they have drawn everyone's attention and became big shots of their industries.
These big shots are waiting for verification. When new stars come on stage, people will see the best part of them, while time is the boss who in charge of verifying the overall value of each individual. Time will distinguish between temporary luck and enduring strength, and differentiate real pioneers from speculators. Although some big shots have been proved successful, they still confront the era diligently in their own ways. On the list of fame and fortune made by the onlookers, the temporary ups and downs are not important. Such people focus more on the basic value they have established, with their hearts floating above the fray.
These big shots are not masters. As Gao Xiaosong said, "Like all flowers bloom in the same season, and all stars shine in the same sky, masters in film, literature and music usually come together. And when they are gone, no one is left. This is the law of art, no matter in the East or West." With so many shining lighthouses lighting the sea, it's lucky to grow up in that era. Everyday Gao Xiaosong had 10 RMB in pocket to hesitate what to buy. A new record by Luo Dayou? A novel by Wang Shuo? Or a movie by Chen Kaige? Today he has 100 RMB, but doesn't know what he should wait for and who is worth to wait for? Fortunately, there are some people left. Under the light of those idealistic masters, when the lighthouses were all turned on, they have given the sea a second look. So, even when the lighthouses are put out, when the sea is dark, they know where to go. The road may be stained with dusts and mud, being swayed by commercial factors as well, but in their hearts there is high ideal. At least they know the direction without holding a flashlight.
The big shots often start from scratch, or even being strongly criticized. It's very simple, because when they started, they had not been forgiven by the crowd yet. It's common that people who think more and know ways to do more are considered as betrayers of literature ideal, music ideal, or a variety of other ideals, such as Wang Yujia, who dances on the classical music stage with short skirt and boots, or Guo Jingming, who knows how to produce "product". While those who get drunk every night crying out of dark and disappointment are praised for their pureness of insisting on ideal, nevertheless, in fact, they didn't do anything.
Angry idealists are more likely to mix their ideals with method. It seems that their ideals are unconditional and therefore, utilizing any methodology is unnecessary. For example, they never imagine that to become a big shot, one need to do more work than complaining about the degradation of society and the blind of people. Well, I don't mean to cater for public's interests when you just start your career. However, if what you do have become "product" eventually, it will need more intensive promotion to let people know its existence and importance. That is method, not about ideal. Publishing a magazine is the same. We want to spread our magazine to more readers, because only when our readers get the magazine first, then they are likely to read its elaborate content. The cover determines whether most readers will stop for it, and then, compared with the anxiety in news media, being interesting and relaxing is important as well. If we could not do that, since people have been bothered by financial problem, personnel dispute, flight delays and polluted air, no one will pick up our magazine. Being exciting, yes, being exciting in each issue. How to live an thrilling life - that's why people would like to read FAMOUS. Anyway, if I am a true idealist, I will stop complaining, and start to understand the way the world works, to read more books, to love those who deserve our love, for instance, to have a good chat with the 10 big shots here.
FAMOUS does not intent to record the fate of a people or the value of an era, either of which is too long for a year. In this issue every 12 months, we just hope to introduce some people you should know, such as Wang Zijian, who speaks jokes that take us self-examination, or Guo Jingming and Xu Zheng, who have been struggling in the arena long enough to know how to deal with the world. They are mirror to us, reflecting our own impatience and evil. All things are related to human hearts and human nature. These four words are commander of society. I hope you will have similar or even deeper feeling than us after reading their stories. Let's learn the insights of life together.
When Tian Qinxin drank Pu'er tea "slowly, seemingly relaxingly, while eliminating the irritability in rehearsals", and then she created the "Green Snake".
When Wu Xiubo sang the song "Mountain", "climbing over the mountain turns my hair white", he wants to continue his acting career until 80, even "there is no immortal waiting for me as I wished".
Being noisy outside, I hope everyone can find quiet and peace, and sway the inner rage away.
See you next year.
The Artist of the Year Zhu Wei: He Makes Ink and Wash Contemporary
The Artist of the Year - Zhu Wei
Five years ago when talking about "ideal" in an interview, Zhu Wei melt his ridicule into seriousness and said that his dream was to make ink painting valuable. He always refused to give in and kept thinking - why the local things had not been accepted yet? He didn't care about market price, but chose to devote himself to ink and wash. Things have changed today. Being dressed up as "New Ink", the ink and wash has been popular and has stepped into the contemporary art circle. In November, Today Art Museum in Beijing held Zhu Wei's solo ink painting exhibition as a perfect ending of 2013. His friends made fun of him, "In the past you earned US dollar, and now you are earning RMB. You have taken two advantages."
"The past" refers to 1990s of the 20th century. He was among the very first group of contemporary Chinese artists who were influential overseas, and recognized by western commercial galleries and auction market. Since 1993, he has started his cooperation with Plum Blossoms Gallery, whose branches located throughout Europe, the United States and Hong Kong. Their contract was signed for 12 years. In the Western market, although what he painted were ink paintings, the price of his paintings was similar to those contemporary oil paintings painted by oil painters, such as Fang Lijun, which made him "become rich" very early. He is a real witness and beneficiary in the 30 years of Chinese contemporary art.
However, being described as "lucky" or "gaining advantage", he felt innocent. "I have always kept appealing for ink paintings like Mistress Xiang Lin. I even have written a column for it for 7 years!" He wrote a column for an art magazine, and wrote, "I said almost every day that we should not neglect ink paintings, the traditional form of painting is also a form of contemporary". He had been abroad for many years, knowing that when the Westerners look at an artwork, they don't care what materials the artwork uses. As long as it tells a contemporary story, and tells it in an interesting way, it is a contemporary artwork. But when he returned to China to attend exhibitions, he often encounters questions like: "Oh, how can someone paint ink and wash like this? What is this?" People don't know how to evaluate him. Some art critics labeled his works as "ink and wash of political pop" simply and easily just after a quick glimpse. He didn't know what to say. Discussion and classification like this has continued for more than 10 years without a result, while he has been at large for so many years. It is in an awkward situation even when his works come to auction houses, "they were classified into calligraphy and painting immediately, and then their price will obviously lower than oil paintings."
In the past two years the passion for ink paintings started to grow. Zhu Wei also wondered why it becomes so popular that everyone was surprised. "Ink and wash does not pop up recently, but must be an accumulation of predecessors' efforts. New Ink is not new. At such an age, we have been painting ink and wash for more than 20 years, and it grew basically in step with Chinese contemporary art and oil paintings. Ink and wash just had been neglected because people thought it's too traditional, too ethnic." His exhibition this time is to set the record straight, "some people just recognize it lately, but actually we are always in the game."
In the early 1990s, Zhu Wei, a fan of Rock n Roll, was painting Chinese traditional boneless meticulous painting while listening to Cui Jian's rock music, which sounds completely contradictory. Figures in military uniform or Mao suit, the red flags, fresh flowers, uplifted arms, red curtain, and dull look of people in meeting that often appeared in his works created a sense of irony and conflict. It naturally reminded viewers of ideology and politics, and art media and art critics overseas were also willing to portray him as a rebellion characteristic against the system.
Zhu Wei thinks the reason why ink and wash was looked down upon is it has been separated from real life for a long time, not representing the vigorous social reality but "limiting itself within some small sentiments". He makes the ink painting connected and communicated with contemporary society, full of flesh and blood, cry and laughter. Chinese society is an authoritative society, and politics is everywhere, thus artworks should reflect this kind of social phenomenon. "A lot of my works are accepted by the Western collectors and audiences, which shows that the ink and wash as a media is not a problem. The most important is what you want to express."
Zhu Wei was unusually busy in 2013. He had solo exhibitions in Singapore, Indonesia and Beijing. Now he is preparing for his new solo show. However, he said half self-deprecatingly and half seriously, that painter is nothing more than a skilled worker. "I have been in this career for more than 20 years. It's like travelling on a roller coaster, in which one is stuttered and has no time to consider anything deeply." The only thing satisfies him is his work. Beyond its decorative feature, it conveys some concepts to the audiences and makes them feel touched.
About the past year
A thing that concerns him the most:
My principle concern is whether ink painting can be contemporary. If the problem is resolved it's probable unprecedented, and there must be followers coming up.
A people that he admires the most:
Ink painter Gu Wenda. He used to paint landscapes, and later experimental ink, such as installation. He turned ink and wash into a cultural symbol, and he had already jumped out of ink and painting. He has walked in another way, but you still can find elements of ink in his works. His innovation is form.
A moment that he enjoys the most:
Enjoying the relaxing moment with friends. I have been in a place which is not so complicated, and I don't want to squeeze myself into the fame and fortune scene, which is too tiring.
文 / 杨帆