SIX QUESTIONS WITH LIU BOLIN
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.