Nostalgia, a Kind of Ideal and Persuit of Painting
An interview with the painter Wang Jixin
Lu Cangsong (the main editor of The Chinese Artistic Guide) 2005.6
When the wheel of the history rolls into the 21st century, the wave of the knowlege-based economy laps every corner of China. The neon lights and the huge billboards are everywhere to show the fashion and trend of the prosperous cities. The factory buildings and the blast furnace left by the industrial economy have become the heritage of the history and are stored on the margin of the cities. In a corner of the heavily modernized city, there is a painter who support his ideal and persuit of painting with his strong nostalgic feelings. For so many years, he persisted on painting those big factories which has lost its magnificence, the beams coming directly from the skylight, the melancholy and beautiful spots of dust…
Standing in front of his works, you will strongly feel that he is painting with his whole heart!
That is the young painter Wang Jixin. In these years, Wang’s serialized works The Lost Glory have drawn attentions of a lot of collectors and galleries. Recently, the author had an interview with him and the following is the notes of the interview:
Journalist(shorted as J in the following part): Hello, Mr Wang! Your serialized works The Lost Glory have lead us to another time and space. Can you tell us what has inspired you to choose this breakthrough point as the starting of your creation?
Wang Jixin(shorted as Wang in the follwing): I grown up in the Northeasten China, and those spacy and tall factory building especially impressed me when I was young. My father earnd 47 yuan and 9 jiao every month in this kind of factory building to support our whole family, and I can still remeber my very important rutine every day at that time is to deliver food for my father by bike. The food were carried in two alumium buckets which are very big. In a twinkle of eyes, my father has become old and I has grown up, and when I go back to my hometown, those factory buildings have all become so ratty and rubbishy.
The reason I choose this subject matter is that I always believe these factory buildings have their own spirits and stories just like our human beings. Every time I am staying alone with them, I feel that they are talking to me. And these former heros are still beautiful today!
J: We know that you are an artist who is responsible for the art, and every piece of your work is the result of your painstaking efforts. So in facing with the prosperous city, what kind of mood you start you creation with? Will you be decadent when you are painting?
Wang: I have no feeling for prosperity because I am a man of nostalgia. I like to be alone, and I like loneliness. I enjoy recalling and poundering upon the things that has past. I advocate heroism, I enjoy listening to Wagner, reading Shakespear, and may be all of these helped shaping my current style. My painting of factory building is actually a painting of life… and many of my works were created with the music of Wagner and Tchaikovsky.
J: How long will you continue on the creation of this subject matter? Can you tell us something about your plan of your future works?
Wang: I would probably keep on painting. Even there will be some change in the subject matter, but the beauty of mourning will not be changed. I have no reason to give it up and this is my principle unless I learnt to lie, and if that happens, I would certainly quit on painting. Now I am busy on a group of large paintings which I guess will be exhibited on my exhibition called the Lost Glory in the October.
J: The growing up of the painting in the auction market may taken as a good news for your painters, and what do you think of this idea?
Wang: I have no opinon about this and I am very blunt to the economy myself. But this phenomenon should be something good for the painters.
J: People say the market is the vane of the artistic works, and being a painter, what do you think is the effective way to cut in the market?
Wang: I cannot agree with this opinon. The painters do need money, they need a sum of money to support their production, but they can never betray their painting propositions for money. Being a painter, they should have total loneliness and pureness in the spirit. The pureness in their spirit will strengthen their faith in only draw what they see with their heart. Just like the note of the music and the words of the writers. the process of painting is a kind of entrustment of the painter, and their function is to display the idea of the author. The audience will touch your soul and painting together with you by every stroke of your works. If you lie to the public, I think you are ruin your own future!