SIX QUES­TIONS WITH LIU BOLIN

Robb Report Singapore - - Art & Design -

Why did you pur­sue art even though your par­ents were against it? My par­ents were in the civil ser­vice and they wanted me to work there too, but art was some­thing that has been in me since the be­gin­ning of my stud­ies in 1985 un­til to­day. At all the ma­jor turn­ing points in my life, I have al­ways cho­sen the path of art, so I think it isn’t by chance.

Although you stud­ied sculp­ture, why are you known best for your pho­tos? It is my pho­tos that have al­lowed me to ex­hibit, but my dream would be to be­come well-known for my other work, par­tic­u­larly my sculp­tures, so able to show the full ex­tent of my art. What is your prin­ci­pal fault and your prin­ci­pal qual­ity? Bad: I’m sim­ple, easy to trust. Best: I’m re­sis­tant, I never stop.

Have you ever faced cen­sor­ship in China? As long as we don’t touch on the gov­ern­ment di­rectly, we can pro­duce and ex­press our­selves. I’ve never had the feel­ing of mak­ing very sub­ver­sive or risky works be­cause pre­sent­ing things that have al­lowed me not to go to­wards con­fronta­tion. The proof is that Chi­nese TV news chan­nels have re­ported a lot on my work, so I’m not an un­der­ground artist. Of course, it’s true that artists are al­ways obliged to pay a lit­tle at­ten­tion to what they pro­duce but, for the mo­ment, I feel free to pro­duce with­out too many con­straints. I draw in­spi­ra­tion from China and if I didn’t live there, I couldn’t ex­press all that I ex­press, so in the end China nour­ishes me.

What is the artist’s role in so­ci­ety? An artist is some­one who has a destiny. For ex­am­ple, Napoleon in­vaded all of Europe.

Why was it him at this par­tic­u­lar pe­riod? He was some­one who had a destiny, who had things to do. An artist is also some­one who is in tune with his era, who uses the tech­niques and means of the mo­ment to ex­press what his era re­veals.

What is one thing you would like to change about the art world? The change I want to see is a di­rect shift to some­thing that com­pletely over­turns ex­ist­ing struc­tures or sim­ply ig­nores them. I want to see the emer­gence of a new world, which is very at­trac­tive to me.

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