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Interview with Liu Weijian

Interviewer: Biljana Ciric, Huang Yuelin Jan,2006

1. Texts played a special role in your early works. But they are vanishing in your paintings since you've settled down in Shanghai. Does this have anything to do with your new surroundings?

In the beginning, I emphasized the narrative. And to some extent, this can explain why texts were used. Actually, I cannot recall it. But it has nothing to do with Shanghai.

2. Is your picture-making an influence on your painting, or is there any interrelationship between the two? Because, as you said, the picture plays a critical part in your painting system...

I can not figure out whether there is a pictorial influence on my painting, but it's not a conscious act. I want to use plain language to build a world of my own or something I just feel like doing.
When losing my interest in painting, I turn to pictures and will return to painting once I am inspired again. Pictures and painting, are both contributing something to my world. So they are both meaningful to me.

3. Since you referred to A Dream of Red Mansions, is there any similarity between the dream in your work and that in the novel?

Probably I didn't understand A Dream of Red Mansion. But either heavenly or mundane sentiment resonates inside of me. I have never thought about creating some feeling. Instead, I do what I want to do. And the way I work generates the sentiment.

4. Both your paintings and pictures strongly resemble silent film-that is to say, with no dialogue and an ambiguous storyline. Does this have any connection with your life? A work of yours is likely to be composed of two irrelevant elements together with some obscure connotations. So is this your understanding of real life?

Like your last question, I could be either into or against the history and sociology that centers on contemporary society. It is something mental.
Regarding the work, I am not an important factor. I get tired of the flavor I sense to whatever interests me. Eventually, I want to make them into specimens so as to collect them all. Whether there is some connotation or not is up to what the audience has experienced.
And as to an understanding of real life, I don't give a damn about that at all.

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