Zhang: When did you start your artistic career?
Jiang Heng: Expressing cusumer culture under a changing society of China
in womens role
Ling: When I was young, my grandpa was a landlord. So he had some
trouble during the Cultural Revolution. I was only five or six year old
then. I dared not step out of my home, because whenever I went out, I
got a bout of the jitters. So I just stayed home all day long with my
two sisters to do some handcraft, painted pictures and sang songs. My
first painting was a little fish painted with ink on my hand-made bamboo
In primary school, we needed to paint the blackboard report. Lei Feng,
Pan Dongzi, Chairman Mao and figures of workers, farmers and soldiers
were all the themes. I guess that I was probably quite gifted when it
came to illustrations. I was just painting, from primary school to high
middle, all day long. So when I could go to the University after reform,
I wanted to study arts.
Zhang: Did you have your abecedarian?
Ling: My moms dad loved calligraphy and Chinese painting. And I stood
aside and watched all the time when he practiced calligraphy and
painting. My uncle specialized in architecture. He was a University
student in the 1940s and 1950s so he had many painting books of the
former Soviet Union, as well as pictures books of Michelangelo and
Leonardo Da Vinci. He also had many watercolor artworks and sculptures.
I saw many pictures then and started copying them.
The Voice Unheardcurated by Wang Lin are the largest parallel exhibiton
that chinese has ever had at vinesse bienial. It includs nine parts:
Memory, history, the lowest class, body, family, village , ruins,
landscape, sorcery and curse ,dedicates to reveal a overall outlook of
chinese contemporary art.
Zhang: Did you also paint girls back at that time?
Ling: No, I didnt. What impressed me most were the sculptures of
Renaissance, because those sculptures were all naked figures. So I
thought why Chinese wore so many clothes but Westerners could get naked.
It was very exciting to just look at those publications. So I always
closed the door and secretly copied the nudities. And I sent the
pictures to little boys. But my parents didnt know that.
Zhang: What school did you go to later?
Artist Jiang Hengs works and were shown in the landscape part. His two
works combines chinese traditional painting with
Ling: It was super difficult to go to a University. I could either stay
in Shandong, or go to Beijing. Central Academy of Arts and Design was
the only university in Beijing that enrolled art students during that
year. And I got accepted there. My goal at that time was only doing Fine
barbie girls which is a symble of western consumer culture, expressing
the changes since chinas reform and open-up, and they also show artists
thinking on chinas absorption of western cluture. The 99 art has an
interview with the artist about this exhibiton.
In 1984, I had my first exhibition together with several friends. It was
in a caf in Beijing University. Students from all schools and various
departments of Beijing University went to see the exhibition. We stayed
sleepless for three days and nights during the exhibition. We were
talking excitedly about philosophy, politics and the Arts.
Zhang: Were you influenced by New Trends of 1985 then?
99 Art: This time at the Venice Biennale 2013, why do you choose
Storming Wind and Water and to be shown there?
Ling: It didnt have much impact on my creation. But I still remember
that my school invited Robert Rauschenberg and conducted seminars. Many
students raised lots of questions for him. I remember one guy asking,
Why do you create stuff like garbage? What is the essence of arts? I
remembered Rauschenbergs reply and it was, I am just joking with the
world. So everybody is laughing. Those words of him have always been of
great influence on me.
Zhang: So are your painting also jokes you make to the world?
JH: These two works mark an turning point for me and they can represent
my latest thinking on art in recent years. As most of people havent seen
my new works yet, its a great opportunity that they can be exposed at
Ling: I dont think so. Of course I believe that my works have their
reasons. Every artist has his/her own reasons. Rauschenberg had his,
too. And so did Andy Warhol. But some reasons may be a little more
personal, some are a little bit social and some may be a little
avant-garde. Every artist is different.
I believe what Im doing now is a meaningful process for me. I always
oppose or dislike the so-called Made in China symbolic artworks of
China. I believe that Art should go beyond such external stuff. So my
paintings dont have any Chinese symbols so far. But I also find this
kind of opposition wrong. I must review China with a realistic
perspective. It may be the age, in which I was born and grew up. Whether
good and bad memories, or something personal that can be felt by me
alone, I should express those things. There may be symbolic contents in
it. But I dont intend to over-stress the symbols. They only represent my
99 Art: what social issues in china today does these two works express?
I grew up during the Cultural Revolution. So I easily experienced the
significance of the Cultural Revolution exerted on me as a boy. If I
create a work now, I can naturally express the feelings felt back at
that time. Its memory or the so-called ideal of that time, or the
review, criticism and changes from that age till today. Its a complete
process of the truth of life. So to joke is not my goal. My goal is a
No matter in the past, the present or the future, there should always be
some true feelings, some so-called spirit, or sense of time, or
so-called creativity. It must touch me in the first place. Then I will
be able to reach out to others with my artworks. Its like wearing
clothes. You should feel comfortable yourself. And others can then feel
that you have a good sense of dressing.
JH: I composed Storming Wind and Water in a traditional way which always
used in chinese ink painting. We may only saw moutains and waters in
chinese traditional ink paintings , but there are far more things than
Zhang: How do you feel about the Cynical Realism movement during that
period of China?
Ling: I think many movements present an objective trend of development.
Its just like, during that period when artists had two options. One was
going abroad. So many people left. I left China in 1987. I felt that it
was impossible for me to realize my wishes or pursuits due to the
problems of that time. No one would foresee today. So we had to say
good-bye. It was one option. I have a painting now called Dont cry for
me, which signifies this meaning.
In my painting I also draw people, animals and other things except
moutains and waters to show an image from nature , just like what the
artist do in Song dynasty and earlier time. In this way I got an vision
that express myself well, and it also expresses my thinking on todays
chinsese society since chinas reform and open-up .Why I use traditional
Chinese ink painting way in my painting? Because I think it suits me
much well to express my inner world.
Another option was staying behind in China. I guess they also
experienced a very hard time in China then. So their feelings about that
period were just expressed in such a way. I think its reasonable. If
they kept doing so after that period, or other artists just follow suit,
it wouldnt be realistic.
Zhang: What was your creation like before you went abroad?
The people in my painting are Barbie girls. In fact I was one of the
artists who launched Chinese Carton Generation movement in Guangzhou in
the early 1990s. I have been influenced by the vision memories since
then, including Carton figures. Barbie girls is foreign to China and why
was calledMade in China? Because it is just not made in China but from
foreign countries. When it comes to China, the meaning is totally
changed in the new culture background and probably becomes very
different with its well-recognized ones.
Ling: Abstractionism was quite popular in 1980s before I went abroad. It
was also fashionable in the Western world. So my works in my early years
were quite abstract.
Zhang: How did you slowly change to realism later, such as Buddha and
China has become a materialistic society in the past three decades of
reform and open-up. I use Barbie girls in my painting because it has a
very important practical significance. The Barbie girls together with
the Chinese traditional landscape are made up a complete image, which
shows the change of whole china in the history, precisely in the past
three decades since Chinas reform and opening -up.
Ling: I think its free for an artist to paint anything. If he/she is
good enough, he/she can paint anything. It mainly depends on what you
want to express. If abstractionism was believed to be able to express
the so-called sense of era, you paint abstractionism.
Later on, I realized that due to the social factors after WWII, most in
America and Europe just liked the pretty stuffs, which didnt have a
special content. But abstractionism was quite revolutionary at the very
beginning, because there was no abstractionism before the dawn of the
20th century. But abstraction was so abused later that even housewives
could make abstractive works. There are also theories in the Western
world, such as when Joseph Beuys said that, Everybody is an artist and
everything is art. Its a question of time. Its an artistic expression of
different aspects of humanity when capitalism developed to a certain
stage. Its reasonable.
99 Art: This time at Venice Biennale, Chinese contemporary art and
western art are together shown at the same time, what do you think the
most important difference between them?
But abstract art didnt have any meaning for me. I couldnt express my
feelings or the interesting times that we live in with it. Age strides
such big space in time, from the proletariat 1950s and 1960s when I was
a boy, when there was a revolutionary ideal in difficult economic
situations, to 1980s and 1990s when I was abroad, discovering that the
economic development in the West gave rise to the high quality of the
cultural life, till I came back to China in later 1990s when China has
already started its substantial boom. Those huge changes formed my ideas
about many things. Many questions, contradictions and ideal impacts.
Zhang: You used to paint Buddha. Why did you stop?
JH: Its said that culture and art are no boundary actually, but of
course they have some differences because of the religions, cultural
background and ways of human behavior. Western people usually see things
in a more direct way. When they see something they think that was all
about it, just like what they saw. And they prefer to give a positive
think to what they saw no matter it was or not. But Chinese viewer, also
Chinese artists maybe like more to give much more meaning to what they
saw, especially to art.
Ling: Buddhism is the spiritual support that Chinese people can get most
easily. Buddhism is very helpful in the transmigration states and the
views about the worldly world. So I used to paint portraits of Buddha
indeed for myself. I needed a process. I needed an attitude for life and
worldly things. I developed myself through that process.
There is a strong dark atmosphere in the old houses in Europe. You can
feel the history of hundreds of years. Or you can have the feeling of
having a soul. But now in China, I can hardly feel these things. The
buildings around me are all new. Theres no dark atmosphere at all.
Moreover, you cant even feel the spiritual energy in todays social
environment. Everything is materialized. Everything is related to making
money and the profit of success. They are all fake and hyped. Its a
99 Art: What is your most memorable experience at Venice Biennale this
Zhang: So did you keep creating during the years in Germany?
Ling: Yes, I kept creating there. In the first few years, I did some
labor works and went to language school. After that, I started painting
and selling my works. I have been a freelance artist since then. I have
been cooperating with galleries for 20 years. In the years in Europe,
many of my works were quite European. But there were few people who knew
me in China then.
Zhang: Your paintings were quite popular in Germany, werent they?
JH:I also participated Venice Biennale two year ago in parallel
Ling: They were quite popular then. Its been a very short history since
the West started to perceive China. They didnt know the Cultural
Revolution in China. What they know was only shallow things, such as
Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall, terracotta warriors, horses and
bicycles etc. Most commoners didnt know about China because they didnt
care. However, China is having an economic boom now and they can come to
China to make money. So they started to care about China. You are
Chinese. So you are an artist from China. Its an objective fact, no
matter you like it or not. They would think that a Chinese artist should
create works such as Chinese contemporary calligraphy or something. If
you dont do that, it would be difficult for you. Therefore, you will
create those works naturally for your survival. But I believe that if
you keep treating art seriously, a good outcome will be attained sooner
or later. We should do things seriously. Even household cleaning should
be done seriously, only by which we can have a very clean feeling. If
your paintings are outstanding and you keep working hard, with added
factors such as talents and opportunities, people will eventually accept
The most important thing is not to care about National Pavilion,
thematic Exhibition or parallel exhibition but to communication.
Zhang: So do you think you have had good opportunities?
Ling: I dont know either. Sometimes, I ask myself: if I hadnt gone
abroad, what would I be now? I cant answer that question either. My
history has been written this way. I grabbed my own chances. The economy
and culture in China are both in their adolescence. And they are in a
very free state for creation. Meanwhile, they are changing and
developing. The impacts and all kinds of problems brought by the changes
will cause many interesting things. All of them are quite tempting. The
development is relatively dull in Europe and America. I had a young
feeling when I came back to China. And I have a strong desire for
creation. Whats happening in China will absolutely affect my creation.
So the works now are totally different from those I created in Europe.
Exbhitions can be neither a compitition nor a event for prize to an
artist, any of them can desroty the exhibition. It should not to judge
how good or bad an exhibiton is , or what prize or anything else it
deserves, on the contrary the most important things is what are you
doing now and whether it makes any sense to yourself. Focuing on these
issues in a positive way will save you from seeking quick success insant
This environment also gives rise to the changes in art. An art piece
loses its value of existence in a broken environment. It means that art
must be close to reality and express a strong sense of time. You can
play quite well in your own cultural range, but it would be very
difficult in other cultural contexts. For example, it would be difficult
for foreigners to come to China and express the changes in China,
because its connected with history, culture, language and value. If Andy
Warhol came to China, what would he do? By the same token, its difficult
for Chinese artists to go the West to develop. But there are so-called
successful artists. In the fields of culture, arts, music and film, they
are Jackie Chan, Ang Lee, Yo-yo Ma, Lang Lang and etc. I think if an
artist loses his source or desire for life or creation, hes done. But
where is this source of creation? Its in life.
Lets take Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol as examples. Their sources were
from the life in the Western society of 1950s and 60s. Being good or bad
is another issue. Thats about personal aesthetics. And market is
another. If you ask everybody whether hes affected by the market and
commerce, no one would give you a definite answer. And the so-call good
and bad in art cant be defined clearly either.
Communication is the most important. Everything that is , is resonable.
So no matter in National Pavilion, thematic Exhibition or parallel
exhibition , since I have an opptunity do it and why not go? Evenmore I
will thank very much the critics, curators for giving me such a
opputiunity to communicate with other artists and to see much more great
works . Every artist has it own advantages and I would like to learn.
And If I feel my works still need to improve during the communicating ,I
will able to know which part I should work harder and also will encourge
myself to do much better.
Zhang: Why did you come back to China?
Ling: I have been paying attention to the development of China itself
and the changes in local art. So I roughly know whats going on in China.
I come back every year and have new feelings every year. In 2000, I went
to Lhasa when I came to China. Then I started to consider about coming
back. I had my first exhibition in China in the Courtyard Gallery in
99 Art: Does the Venice Biennale this year will influence you on your
works in the future?
- And I didnt come back formally until 2004.
Zhang: What is the charm China poses to the world?
JH: For me it is really a great journy. I learned a lot and also saw
many great works. A few of very best works are worthy emulating no
matter in a cultural context or a social one. In a word, has a positive
impact on me anyway.
Ling: I think its that of the economy. So many people come to invest
here just for its economy. Those ideologies, cultures and arts are just
a gloss. Economy is the fundamental.
Zhang: The twenty years in Germany is also very important for your
creation now, isnt it?
99 Art: Most of the figues in your painting are female cartons, so the
issues you are explroing is chinese consumer culture or the role of
women in chinese society?
Ling: Certainly. Twenty years is a long time. I went there when I was 23
years old. I was certainly influenced by Europe in every aspect of life,
including my creation concepts and directions. I saw too many
contemporary artworks in the West, because I went to four or five art
exhibitions every year. If there were about twenty thousand works at
each exhibition, I could see at least a hundred thousand works a year.
The influence was inevitable. Besides, when you saw so many works, you
would bring forward some sharp perspectives in many issues. But it calls
for your own abilities to handle yourself under the influence of the
Zhang: Can you name a few artists you admire?
JH: Actually I think it is consumer culture. China itself is a big
consumer and it has been 30 years since its reform and open-up. It makes
peole to think why so many things completly changed in such a short time
in the process of mordenlization. It definitly makes an psychologycla
influnce on people.
Ling: Locally, Xu Wei, Shi Tao and Fan Kuan are all interesting artists.
They are completely distinctive. They are also noble and their artworks
evoke a transcendent feeling. During that period, traditional
architecture and the field of painting were coherent. This kind of
traditional cultural system was quite high-end and very pure. So I feel
very proud when I see these superior classical cultures of China.
As for Western artists, I prefer those that express feelings of reality,
such as the ones from the Renaissance to 19th century, including Repin
of the former Soviet Union and the artists during the Romanticism period
in France, as well as a few artists after WWII. I also like the Young
British Artists in London during the 1990s and recently, those making
video and photographic works. I put my eyes on a great range of artists
and works. For me, I can enjoy more from some of their works and enjoy
less from the rest of them. But it doesnt have much effect on me. Its
just like watching a fashion show. Its just a kind of cultural
entertainment. There have been some many exhibitions. But it doesnt
matter what is better. What really matters is who does it in what kind
of environment. I first saw Damien Hurst in 1991 at Kln Art Expo. I
didnt think that his works were any special. I just felt that he was
really young. We were about the same age. In 1997, people stood in lines
to watch Saatchis Sensation Exhibition in London. I didnt go to see it.
I didnt want to spend such a long time waiting in queue. If there hadnt
been the exhibition by Saatchi, there wouldnt be todays Damien Hurst,
who is a significant artist in the world. China is about in an era like
that. Its time that the Chinese present exhibitions of their own. Its a
terrific thing. I still remember that I participated in the First
Biennale of Chinese Canvas Painting in 1993, when I had a great chance
to talk with the public at a conversazione. I remember I said that the
excellencies for arts in China would appear in 20 years, because only
when Chinas economy developed steadily could the local Chinese present
their artists in a Chinese attitude and by then, the so-called
outstanding artists could show up.
So I said the issue I am discussing is consumer culture but not women
which I used just as an image. It is an obsession to use female in my
painting because I used to copy a lot of women portait from chinese
traditinal painting during my primory and middle school. People
sometimes gets back to the very first things and try to find a suitble
way to express themselves . It is the memory that makes me to do it,
that is it.
These renowned artists have their own merits. But art is art. Germans
will boost German artists. Americans boost American artists. Its a
simple logic. Only when the nation is strong, the culture is prosperous
and the economy is powerful, you can influence other countries economy
and culture. If we cant reach such a state, the so-called becoming
internationally is nothing but a joke. Lu Xun is the man I admire the
most, because he pointed out the problems of the time and the harmful
roots of China. His criticism was very sharp. He was a man that could
really think and conduct cultural comparison. I cant accept the idea
that a Chinese person goes to Venice to see the Biennale and he becomes
somebody and knows everything. Its almost like a foreigner comes to
China and see the Great Wall. He can never understand China in such a
way. Its too nave, because its too much on the surface. We cant have the
spirit of Ah Q. Generally, the situation in China today is pretty much
like that during the Renaissance period. When the river rises, the boat
goes up, too. The auction market is in chaos now. But good artists will
be groundbreaking as well as the so-called successful artists in China.
Its not like you can make a joke every day and you can become
Zhang: How do you view between the artistic and commercial characters of
In addition, in the consumer era , why there are so many women models in
Ads for promtion? Maybe women have innate advatage that is another
reason why I choose them. I am not discussing a spicific woman but an
issue that how people thenselves were influnced by consumer culture in a
Ling: The two are just like angels and devils. Sometimes, they coincide.
Other times, they are totally unrelated.
I think, for a good artist, his/her artistic nature and his/her
commercial feature are not opposite. Its not necessary that theres art
and theres not market. Most people would think that art is spiritual.
But thats not true. Art is only part of life and the society. Artists
are no different from others. So we shouldnt be overtly proud of
99 Art: The other of your work exhibited at Venice Biennale called ,why
the people in the painting suffers injuries?
For example, many Western artists are poor. They are loyal to art. They
fix their eyes only to the process of art, because they love Art. But it
doesnt mean their practice is nobler than other jobs. Maybe its only
because the society needs some artists and a nation needs many of these
artists to pass down its culture for later generations to admire and
make them especially divine.
The lives of Michelangelo or Da Vinci were not that divine. Van Gogh
painted those artsy-fartsy paintings on the lawn. Its not holy. Its only
that in the later generations, for some reasons, such as social or
economic needs, or the needs of a country for its culture which gives
rise to such effect of demands today. Take a look at the years of Fang
Lijun and artists alike and you will find that their painting path was
JH: I think china bears its positive aspect as well as the negative one
in such a short span of several decades of social progress. I have been
doing this since1990s by putting some very beautiful, meaninglessful,
ironical things in my painting.
Zhnag: Taking painting as an example, do you paint for yourself?
Ling: The reason why I paint is that painting makes me excited. The
happiest moment for me is when I hold my brush. It makes me comfortable
and treasures my existence.
Why is carton and why is barbie girl? Because so many people love them.
They are simple, not complicated, and they were born for the morden
comerical society. That why I choose them. In addiion, barbie girl is a
symble of western cultuel and has a spirital meaning. When they come to
others contries , especilly to China, the first thing we see is her
comercial sense but not her inner spirital meaning. There is a gap
between the cultures so I choose them. And the reason why I acient sword
and blood in my painting is that they are symbles of comecial society
and the injuries it may bring.
Zhang: Is the price of your painting important for you?
Ling: There isnt a high or low price for a painting. How much should be
considered to claim as a high price? How much should be low? Some
paintings were sold for millions of dollars. Is this a high price? No,
its not. If some of your paintings are bought at a hundred thousand
Yuan, thats quite high. It depends on how you see it. Life needs money.
Otherwise, there wouldnt have beenwars for economy. People need money.
But people need a clear head, too.
99 Art: There are mainly carton figues in your painting, will it have
any chage in the future?
Zhang: Say, if you know what kind of paintings can have higher prices,
would you paint them deliberately for higher prices?
Ling: Its hard to do so. Artists need gifts to do so. Some artists can
do it. And some cant. I dont think I can do it. What I do must be what I
like. If I love to do so, I can spend dozens of hours on it. If I spent
dozens of hours to do something that I dont like for someone else, it
would lose my value of life, rather than the value of art. Who is this
kind of life for? Its totally slave-like. I will sniff at it and dont
care to even look at it.
The carton figures I am using in my paining are not just an image with
its apprent simplicity but an spirital symble. They are born in this era
and and have an impact on peoples heart or spirit .They are not just
smooth and colorful on the surface but meaningful inside.
Zhang: What are the differences you feel between Europe and in China?
Ling: The philosophies and values of the Westerners are definitely
different from those of Chinese. The substance and spirit are harmonious
in the West. I spent many years in Europe. I feel that the lifestyles,
the interpersonal relationships and the cultural standards are all
different. Cultural is not high-end stuff. The making of the nation is
high. Its very normal in Europe that you take your children to a museum
and go to drink some coffee, talking about culture, or watch some dramas
and operas. But in China, it,s described like in heaven.
Guangzhou is a very important southern city for chinas reform and
open-up. It probably gives people there a sharper eye as they were
basically influenced by popular culture from Hong Kong, Macon, Taiwan
and Japan. Maybe that is also why we begin our carton style art. In the
1990s, we do our art not for commercial at all but most because of the
particular cultural and social conditions at that particular period.
Zhang: What differences, do you think, are between Chinese men and
Ling: Chinese men dont pay much attention to dressing. We dont have a
sense of crisis. But this is also a change of culture. Chinese women
didnt pay attention to dressing either a decade or more ago. But now
Chinese women put a lot of effort on their clothes. But men are still
the same. However, after a period, they will have some changes when the
society forces them to do so.
My art is always changing and so does myself.I dont know what they will
be in the future but I will always follow my heart.
The so-called androcentrism in China is more about education. The
culture that has lasted for thousand years cannot change overnight. But
the men in the Middle East and Africa are more androcentric. Its also a
Zhang: Do you like Asian or Western women?
Ling: I think both are great. They are good if they are pretty. Chinese
beauty is much adored in Europe. And European beauties are seen to be
pretty in China too. My ex-girlfriends in Europe were all Europeans. I
am quite used to it when I was in those surroundings. But when I am in
China now, just let nature takes its own course. I have an open view to
aesthetics. If she is nice and suitable for me, she is fine.
Zhang: Do you paint beautiful girls because you feel there are more
pretty girls around you?
Ling: Thats true. It may be because I feel there are so many pretty
girls. I didnt see so many pretty girls when I left the country. But
when I return to China now, I suddenly find that there are so many
pretty girls around me. So I feel excited. But I dont paint the
so-called beautiful girls just because I want to paint them. Its the
embodiment of my creative desires. The contents may be my reaction to
the social situation at the moment.
Zhang: What are the characteristics of women in China today?
Ling: Chinese women are still in their adolescence. They are simple.
When I am in Hong Kong, I can tell which girls are from the Mainland at
first glance. They all dress fashionably. All the clothes are from
famous brands. Chinese girls that were born during the 1980s are quite
self-centric. They are healthy and possess self-confidence. And these
form a sense of beauty.
Compared with Western women, Chinese focus too much on materialism,
because its still very new to them. Women care about these stuffs when
they are young, including what cars to drive or what cosmetics to wear.
These things, however, are really new to them and indeed good-looking.
This kind of value is still important.
Zhang: Do you then like women that pursue such material comfort?
Ling: I see the pursuit as quite a normal thing. If she wants to wear
something only, thats the kind of poverty that I consider. So I dont
like the ones that fix their eyes too much on material life, which
causes the poverty in spirit and substance.
Zhang: You pay great attention to the sense of beauty in your paintings.
Which do you think is more important for a person, appearance or
Ling: I think appearance and personality are coherent. Somebody is
good-looking, but you wont feel that shes beautiful after you have
personal interaction with that somebody. Shes only young. If she has a
good personality, good taste and cultural foundation, she will be more
beautiful in addition to her great appearance. Somebody is not pretty,
but she might have inner charm. And her knowledge, culture and social
environment will create a sense of beauty for her. This kind of beauty
is not about her having bigger or smaller eyes. Its about the state of
Zhang: What qualities of a woman attract you the most?
Ling: I think a woman should be intelligent. Intelligent women are
attractive to me. And a kind heart is important, too. Of course, she
must be pretty. But the so-called prettiness is hard to define. In fact,
its related to her spirit and intelligence.
Zhang: Do you think the females in your paintings are beautiful?
Ling: The model and I should have communication. But of course, she cant
have a side-glance. Her eyes, mouth and body gestures should be
harmonious. In addition, the things conveyed through the contents and
colors of the image will form an integrated harmony, which will give
rise to a sense of beauty and coherence.
Zhang: As to yourself, do you long for the beautiful girls in your
Ling: I love every single piece of my artworks and every character that
I paint. Because only in this way can I paint them out. I love them. But
thats only an artistic kind of love. Its just a process of creation.
This kind of love is refined in the studio. It may be a spirit, an
aesthetic feeling or a sense of sex. But this kind of love sounds a
little old school, just like philanthropism. But the creation of an
artwork is, to some extent, very holy. A piece of canvas is a figure. If
you can add a little soul to the figure, it would be very noble. But its
not that easy to achieve that.