Interview with Ren Hongwei

S: Now let’s have a formal interview. Why you start your artistic career?

Ren: I suppose that it was an opportunity. I’ve been into it since my childhood, influenced by my father. After that I had an opportunity to study in that college. After graduation, I didn’t choose to be a professional artist but a graphic designer. From 2006 on, I started my professional carrer, owing to my father’ influence, teacher’s guidance and some chances.

S: what’s your specialty?

Ren: Sculpture. I was also the leader of calligraphy association in my college. So I am proficient in these two sotrs.

S: How is your education there?

Ren: I was not interested in my teacher’s lessons. They only teach very elementary techniques.

S: What affects you most in your life?

Ren: A lot of things, like pain, experience to reality and family ties, they give me a lot of hints.

S: Do you think success is important in art circles? Will success feter you?

Ren: Earning money is definitely not the most important thing, but also necessary, especially for Chinese artists. For us artistic accomplishments are more important than money. The freedom to express yourself is significant.

S: I’m asking about this because I noticed that there are petrol cans. Oil means black gold, so what do you want to express?

Ren: There are sveral aspects. Petrol cans can

S: So what does “squash” mean.

Ren: It’s the social pressure.

S: How do you regard the careers of artists and critics?

Ren: If an artist is a point, then a critic is a plane. Artists use works to express their feelings in visual language and art language. Critics or curators know more about the art history. Of course an excellent critic have a good command of art theories, which will inspire the artists. There’s mutual effect between these two.

S: I do like your metaphor of point and plane. So what is the colour for curators? White? 

Ren: White.

S: White gives artists more freedom.

R: Black and white means the the same to me.

S: It’s really interesting why an artist is a point but not two or more points?

Ren: I suppose life of an artist is a line.

S: Yeah, so the work of an artist is not just a line but many lines while critics and curators will finally become a book. We can realize this idea in the exhibition.

S: I want to hear your explanation to “relief” and “dragon”.

Ren: “Relief” means that the Lama’s thoughts are confined. Maybe because thought lost in the duel with force. The dragon stands for vitality. “Relief” and ”dragon” means two different things. The first means lose while the second means breaking through.