A=艾未未 S=石婧 Z=张瑞
A=Ai Weiwei S=Shi Jing Z=Zhang Rui
A: Please introduce yourselves.
S: Shi Jing, from Inner Mongolia. Born in 1984.
Z: Zhang Rui, from Tianjin, 27, B Blood.
A: B blood. Shi Jing should be A?
S: O Blood.
Z: She is likely an A type.
A: Why you like drawing?
S: Because I think I’m good at it.
Z: Because I was attracted by drawing.
A: What kind of thing interests you?
Z: Too many. People and things around me.
S: To express my opinion of them through this way.
A: Why you want to do that?
S: Drawing is an independent action by oneself. It has something to do with my education background.
Z: Like a stray person runs into the closest bus and gets on.
A: Because this is the way you’ve learned?
Z: Sort of. I spent 4 years in an academy of fine arts. We were classmates in college.
A: You girls seem to have strong school complex. We studied the skills, always remember your college times. You decided to learn paintings at the very beginning. So, what kind of thing like drawing?
Z: It’s a mystery to me, sounds interesting?
A:Interesting things, like you think watching a movie is interesting, karaoke is interesting. So, drawing, as a human action, what’s the specialty? As a person involving this, How do you think of it?
Z: Drawing is an independent and creative art, needs the language of personality. How to eliminate the disturbance, misleading, elusion, contradiction, the process of absorbing what you need and turning into ones own language is my current situation of drawing. I often presume the relationship among all kinds of people, the world and myself.
S: One can ponder over through painting and drawing. It’s a way of thinking.
A: How can one think over through painting?
S: The choosing of events, selection of a picture, and what’s the angle of yours.
A: So, about the people in Xinjiang you describe, what do you want to show? And what’s your choice?
S: Those paintings are reflect the problem of nationality described in the politics excise book of my high school, it’s nothing about selection. I just drew them down. Looking at pictures of those wanted makes me think they are different comparing with other criminals. The July 5 Incident drew lots of attention at that time, while the difference of coverage between traditional media and the Internet, and the deleted articles and video clips form the whole story.
A: How you describe Crime?
Z: All anti-human activities.
S: They make charges against the people through power in this country.
A: So, what’s the difference?
S: Those wanted Uygurs all have belief, their violence seems to be horrible action, but it bases on belief, not simply on evil intentions, it reflects the kindness. I think to violet others’ belief on the behalf of kindness is the real devil. I’ve watched a video clip online, the streets of Urumqi are empty after the July 5, a person lying on the ground, you couldn’t tell it’s he or she, live or dead. For a long time, a troop marched by, one or two persons passed by, but no one gives a shit about the lying person.
A: Nice speech, but you can only clear a matter through this way. If I won’t keep asking , I become mentally blank. I notice that you depict people and scenes in many significant incidents, and they are good pieces. The works of Shi Jing is something like stick drawing, very soft and simple, adding the choice of materials and paper, it becomes a unitary piece. Those of Zhang Rui, her paintings contain implicit contents, delicately creating a tone, as grey as a dream, calm and quiet. It’s not only about the painting itself, your works reveals some other concept or value. So, what do you want to express?
Z: From an individual point of view, but the concept might be a universal value.
S: My paintings are on different kinds of paper sheets, casually, so the impression of those paintings are unpredictable. Regarding a certain incident, shooting and drawing could turn into two different things. I think through drawing, it’s more like my own story, or more subjective.
A: So, it shows us your internal truth. The truth is not the reality we normally call, the pictures is not the reality, because the pictures are used in different places. So conducting your arts based on pictures, it is your style of art, right? It must reflect your own ideas. You often use pictures, so you must be interested in photos. What kind of role do photos play in your art practice?
Z: Like seeds.
S: Photos show us what does the world like. After sitting in front a computer for a long time, when I walk out, I feel the outside world is not real.
A: How many hours do you spend surfing on the Internet?
Z: It depends. If I am on a project, less time getting online, trying to enclose myself in an undisturbed environment. It makes me more dedicated, otherwise, I always keep my computer online.
S: 70% of my time when I am awake, I am glued to the Internet, even at work.
A: How much time you are awake?
S: I sleep about 7 or 8 hours a day.
A: I sleep 8 hours, that means you keep yourself online more than 10 hours a day, everyday?
S: Pretty much.
A: What are you doing on the Internet? Like after our dialogue, which pages will you open when you get access to the Internet?
Z: Checking emails, watching news, twittering, and online shopping.
S: Twitter, reposting articles on kaixin.com.
A: What’s the kaixin.com?
S: You will meet some friends there, create a social circle, exchange posts and play games.
A: How many friends do you have?
S: About 100.
A: Why you two like bean and
S: We live together.
Z: We were close friends at college.
A: She (Shi Jing) is from magnolia, you(Zhang Rui)are from Tianjin, how you two can get along so well?
S: I am Han nationality born in Inter-Magnolia.
Z: We smell like the same type of ordour.
A: Haha, are you both stinking?
Z: Fair enough.
A: How did you end up in Beijing?
S: One of my classmates in high school studied in Beijing she said, when we graduate from college, let’s rent a studio in art districts as freelance artists. It sounds so appealing to me. And I passed the idea to Zhang Rui. It’s near the end of our junior year.
Z: After hearing the suggestion, I was very exciting. We three girls planed to rent a studio. Before graduation, her friend went to study in Russia on public fund. So only two of us could finish the plan. The reality and imagination are not the same thing.
A: So what’s your plan?
Z: Rent a room, without elaborate renovation, and moving in. But you must face the specific matters, like building the walls, water and electricity. We almost spent every minute with the workers. We’d built a new house.
S: I didn’t think too much. I just hoped to have a studio to practice my arts.
A: I suppose you two are luck of living skills, am I right?
S: I think so.
A: It’s not a shame. Because your generation is during the time of implementing the one-child policy. So, as the only child in your family, could you explain what’s the definition of one-child policy, what are their characteristics, your generation.
S: One family, one child. Otherwise,(the parents would lose their job.))
A: Of course. Growing up in environment like this, what’s the feature of your generation? Never mind, we are all born in the 80s, shoot it.
Z: More self-centered, more simple.
A: Oh.naive.It's because that you are ignorant or just silly?
S: Both. long time in compus, I knew little about the outside world, no wander I am silly. And because I'm the only child and spoiled, it's not strange to be selfish and self-absorbed.
Z: When I walked out the compus, life is much better. I led a muddleheaded life when I was in college, it's not easy for me to figuare out what is pain or happiness.
A: What kind of persons are you parents?
Z: They are working couple.
S: The same.
A: They must be very laborious in raising their kids.
Z: My parents respect my chioce since I was a little girl. The children of other relatives are never letted go. But my mom and dad support me completely. In fact, there is a big gap between me and my parents, we are always quarrelling when we togather.My parents think my career is a bad choice. They never hope I could stand out among my fellows. When we on the phone, the only topic is about my personal life, such as what you did you eat today, do you need money, etc.It’s lucky to have them.
S: My parents never give me pressure too. Before your blog was blocked, my dad often paid a visit, and printed out articles he likes.
A: So he knew my first?
S: When I joined the “Fairy Tales”, he knew you then.
A: Tell me the story why you joined, what do you think of the “Fairy Tales”?
S: Zhang Rui told me during the winter holidays.
Z: I was informed from you blog. So I decided to take part in it. That was the first time I went abroad, it’s like a dream. Everything was free. I was wondering at that time—is this the so called communism.
S: It’s like pennies from the heaven.
A: That’s the event in 2007.
Z: We were following you when you opened your blog.
S: You left a comment for me in you blog, after that, I paid more attention to your articles.
A: What’s the comment about?
S: “Good pics, and good words.”
A: That’s nice.
S: Celebrities seldom reply to comments, there are no way for communications, so I was very excited at that time.
A: Which year?
Z: She told me this. We were sitting in the classroom. I still remember the scene now.
A: You were at school?
Z: The last year in college. We’ve red every articles in you blog.
A: So you were brainwashed?
Z: It’s like a bean of light into my head. We have many thoughts in common, but we couldn’t get that feelings from our teachers.
A: Do you think you are going extreme? Or misled by someone?
S: Maybe someone in college have the idea. But they are the group who don’t have the capability of independent thinking. If your ideas differ from the mainstream of the society, they would think you are out the line.
Z: I was not good at communications in campus. My family said I was special comparing with others. I have no strong bounding with the schools.
A: No body cares other people or things.
Z: There were no real trust between the students and the teachers.
A: If you don’t talk to each other by heart.
Z: That’s true.
A: I witness that you are always very happy since you came to Beijing. You have a wider view of life. Later, you joined the citizens’ investigation, and other social activities. Why you want to do this?
S: Just want to take part in, thinking they are the right things.
Z: Yeah, I think the same way.
A: Are you scared?
Z: It might be in tense but I don’t feel scared.
A: Do you think many people born in the 80s, when they get certain information, they will feel the same? Actually, I have the impression that, they are self-centered, they want to do what they really want.
S: I think so. No long ago, the video of Yuan Tengfei was an online sensation, many young people are affected by him, some of the contents are really shocking.
Z: The environment in discussing a topic becomes suddenly became active, many people are encouraged to find the truth.
A: Is his name becoming a sensitive word?
S: Not yet.
A: How about my name?
S: You tell me .
Z: Using some symbols to separate you name will solve the problem. Sometimes.
A: What’s you opinion on this ?
S: I was outraged. Deleting, blocking can not make those sensitive words.
Z: When you stuff was deleted, I would think why did the do this?
A: How do you deal with you angers?
S: What they don’t let us do, I have a strong intention to carry it out.
A: That’s why?
S: The words you say on the Internet will be censored, that’s horrible.
Z: Someone told me to run away from politics, environment protection and charity are the right things to do .we were at quarrel in a gathering party. In fact, I agreed with her before I looked into some social events.
A: You talked about anger. What is it like?
S: An human emotion.
A: How do you handle the anger?
Z: Sometimes went on twitter.
A: Pretty much like this. It won’t hurt others.
Z: No .
S: If I was hurt directly, I would take actions?
A: Haha ,what kind of actions?
Z: You are at danger.
A: Twitter is a free soil, you can say what you want to say.
S: Couple of days ago, I said on twitter that I would accept any donations from anybody. The next day, someone sent my 300 RMB.
A: Glad to hear that.
Z: Such a human kindness.
A: The way of accepting donations is putting you bank account on the Internet?
A: I should try sometimes. I can collect a great fortune.
Z: We donation some money to Zhao Lianhai by twitter.
A: He led a hard life. Running a illegal taxi to support his family. His family is bankrupt after he was end up in jail.
A: The participation in social events, the sympathy of public incidents, will they affect your works?
Z: Of course.
A: Many people hold a attitude that art is art, don’t politicalize it. How do you think about that?
S: It’s a silly statement. How can they define the art?
A: Of course not. But how can they define the politics?
Z: When mentioning politics, someone would say it’s dirty. But we are living in a real world. We are facing different people and things. I think a person who is not willing to stay away from the society, he or she cannot stay away from politics. For example, if they care about the environment protection, a beautiful surrounding is what they want. But, the garbage in people’s minds should be removed too. Don’t you think its unacceptable when you encounter an ugly action?
A: Do you fell you are great suddenly?
S: Yes. Someone will very surprised, saying that two girls care about politics so much. Girl, politics.
A: You are artists too.
S: When you evaluate a thing, you always mention the gender, is that so important?
Z: First thing first. We are human beings. If you don’t want to look into an incident, so, you won’t care about it.
A: If one knows the truth, but he or she won’t stand out, what kind of man do you think?
S: Might be family reasons, or just selfish.
A: But they can’t protect anything and they have nothing to save. Its nothing to lose. Talking about the exhibition, how do you want to tell the audiences your stories, or what;s your best prediction?
S: The relationship between me and the society, my voice to the public.
A: How about Zhang Rui?
Z: Bringing up some questions to our viewers. Every painting tells its own story. The content is stripped from social events.
A: What do you get from those events?
Z: After seeing something, you have the impulse to express something. Drawing is my choice. Before you finish you works, you should take a long time to describe you actions .sometimes I am clueless, just using my brush to waste the time, and finally, it will be deleted.
A: Thinking and emotion are the basic things.
Z: I like my paints show more power.
A: Does you current life makes you exciting.
S: What makes me feel exciting is that I am constantly abandoning the old thoughts.
Z: Yes. When facing problems, it will remind you to think. Drawing is an enclosed action. Participating some social gathering can get something new.
A: Yes. The past unhappiness is too hypocrisy.
Z: It’s nothing at all.
A: I noticed that your painting described a petition office, could you explain this? Why you want to draw it?
Z: It reflects an incident happened on December 23, last year. It’s the first trial of Liu Xiaobo ,one of the writer of the 08 Charter .Liu Yanping ,Shi Jing and me were taken away by the po:ice, because we wore yellow ribbons on our arms. We are detained from 10:3o am to 6pm. Shi Jing and me were transferred to the petition office of Majialou,Fengtai district, We are lucky we were not taken away by them. About 8pm, we were released. In the po:ice car, I argue with the officers. One of them shouted at me: Your thinking is too profound and deeply impresses me.
A: How do you think of this event? A tiny action by an individual, the country and subversion the state, how can they strangely be connected?
S: Many people live in fear, we just did a little thing, but it’s draw lots of attention.
A: The little shabby yellow ribbon will turn to be the most shining thing in the world.
Z: We went their about 9 am, few people wore the yellow ribbons, only us.
A: You are pretty good. I heard something happened so I decided to come too. The painting shows a great scene. When the photos first released, I think it’s interesting. You tell me, when do you think a scene can be interesting? We witness many scenes everyday, why one particular scene has its own concept.
S: Because it exists in an event.
A: It defines a point in our life. You two have something to say?
Z: I hope everyone can care about themselves more.
S: I hope more people will pay a visit to our exhibition.
A: Shi Jing, you
Z: Sir Shi.