“租” — 收租院 李占洋
'Rent' – Rent Collection Yard
《收租院》现场, 四川, 成都, 大邑县, 1965 2
Rent Collection Yard, installation view, Dayi County, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, 1965 3
目 录 CONTENTS
Do as You Wish Ai Weiwei
“租”情节还是“租”精神？ 李占洋的《“租”—— 收租院》 高名潞
Rent: A Plot, or Pure Consciousness? Li Zhanyang’s ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard Gao Minglu
A Talk with Li Zhanyang about ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard Nataline Colonnello, Li Zhanyang
谈李占洋 保罗 · 大卫克
About Li Zhanyang Paul Donker Duyvis
本画册为李占洋个展“‘租’—— 收租院”而出版 2008 年 4月 26 日至 8月 24日展出于中国北京麦勒画廊 北京-卢森 This catalogue was published on the occasion of Li Zhanyang’s solo exhibition‘Rent’– Rent Collection Yard Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Beijing, China, from April 26 to August 24, 2008
北京麦勒画廊展览现场 Installation View at Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing
作品中人物 Represented People
Ai Weiwei Interviews Li Zhanyang Ai Weiwei, Li Zhanyang
Li Zhanyang’s Studio 9
Do as You Wish
在大多数情形下，作为旁观者，我们知道眼前所见仅仅是一堆泥胎 附上颜色的玩意，尽管我们可以用上帝的眼光来审视，用训练有素 的涵养来挑剔。这些人物和情景，和谐与不和谐的光影变化，适宜 和不适宜观赏的，刺激或装饰的色彩和形体，确是实实在在地影响 了我们的脑神经皮层。作者设下的圈套将观者勾引进入一个尴尬的
你之外有着难以想象的关系。这个关系比其它的时代要重要和有含 义很多。这使我们轻易地成为了几近遗忘的历史的一部分，让我们 成为伟大的传说中的主体，成为不着边际的幻想的可以触摸的部 分。一切从你开始变形，可以说一切从你开始。有趣的是，你成为 它者，成为它者眼中的你，成为你眼中的它者眼中的你。
李占洋致力于很黄很暴力的败坏世风之举，旗帜鲜明地张扬性色和 权力的声色犬马，像是一个长久的风俗败坏之地的景观导游者，操 着浓重的市场化了的地方口音，有板有眼地重复着煞有介事的术 语。无知中总是掺伴着邪恶，愚蠢里总是依偎着奢华。他一本正经 地讲着，讲得认真投入。 这是一些重复了千百遍的历史故事和演绎，听上去显得平凡和陈 腐。可是作品的现实力量常常令人难以相信，现实的真实性的侵伤 发生了蜕变，它们已经不再是可以抹去的幻象，伴随着潜意识，像 是一句无法删除的不停地在脑中反复的曲调，尤其是在你比谁都清 醒的时刻。
When I was not yet on personal terms with Li Zhanyang I could only call to mind his early sculptures: they weren’t too large, most of them were colourful scenarios with plots and characters. His later works were grand scenes filled with fearless gawkers; their colours and the textures were equally loud and bright. These works reluctantly admit their relationship to reality; powerful technique and deft handling reveal interesting inclinations. A rich and colourful working style, nuanced details and lively scenes, the emotive nature of these stories, the supposition of events, and the folkloric narratives reenact the joys that humans seek, stories befallen with mishaps as well as the illusory hero. In most circumstances, as observers we are aware that the thing in front of us is merely a pile of painted clay, although we are endowed with a god-like perspective to survey it and we employ our self-decency to nit pick over its finer points. These figures and scenes, their harmonious and non-harmonious optical variations, our appropriate and inappropriate admiration, and their provocative or decorative colours and forms, are truly influencing and stimulating our cerebral cortexes. The trap that the author has devised has seduced viewers into crossing the threshold into this awkward realm. Is our seducer falling for his own trap? This ominous feeling triggers a fascination with the bloody nature of greed. Li Zhanyang has applied himself to the goings on of a corrupt and pornographic world, unequivocally publicizing sexuality and the entitlements of a debauched and shameful lifestyle. He is like a tour guide who has long been working in these rotten landscapes and who is fluent in the thick dialect of the market economy, obediently repeating its jargon as he pretends to be serious. There is always evil in ignorance, and luxury is always nestled within stupidity. He lectures earnestly, commits himself wholeheartedly. These are historical stories and interpretations that have been repeated millions of times, they even sound ordinary and banal in the telling. But the lifelike power of these works is often unbelievable, the injury that is
the veracity of truth has metamorphosised, it has already become a hallucination that refuses to disappear, an accessory to our subconscious, like a melody caught in your head that is impossible to eliminate, especially in that moment when you are more sober than anyone else. The reality and the intrigues that Li Zhanyang is touching upon with his scenes and characters are always lucid and vivid. They clearly tolerate no suspicion–they seem even more conclusive than the facts themselves. Ultimately these panoramas compose Li Zhanyang’s sense of reality; his brilliant, half-obscene worldview unexpectedly becomes the decisive way in which we view the world. The mind thinks and the hands act, with cunning perspective and obvious technique, while over and over he calculates his personal affairs. This scenario is something like a dust-laden Lohan in a temple, leaving behind an image difficult for either the spirit of man or beast to forget. On this long journey it cautions them or gives some heart-warming wisdom. Today, people have finally become accustomed to accept this simple consensus: you are what you see, and what you see and hear is a part of you, a very reliable part of you. Owing to this, you have a relationship difficult to imagine with the outside world. This relationship is much more significant, more eminent than in previous eras. This causes us to become easily an almost forgotten part of history, turns us into characters in a fantastic legend, becomes the reachable portion of a far-fetched fantasy. Everything begins its metamorphoses with you; we could say that everything begins with you. The interesting thing is, you belong to it, you become you in its eyes, become you in its eyes in your own eyes. Looking at it this way, Li Zhanyang’s moral cultivation seems satisfactory; his moral virtue will accompany all peacefully living beings through the phantom mist that is this boundless universe.
January 24, 2008 Translator: Lee Ambrozy
Li Zhanyang’s Studio 13
Rent: A Plot, or Pure Consciousness?
Li Zhanyang’s ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard
Li Zhanyang’s ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard (hereinafter Rent ) is a successor work to the 1990s Myriad Lives, but forms its own separate set of group sculptures.
Photographing models in preparation for the original Rent Collection Yard, Dayi County, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, 1965
《“租”—— 收租院》 （以下简称《租》）是李占洋继九十年代《人 间万象》以来的另一个群雕系列。
《人间万象》1 是李占洋从九十年代末就开始思考创作的大型群雕作 品，它取材于城市下层人的街区生活，特别是李占洋生活的重庆黄 桷坪一带的市民生活。我曾经在文章《草根现实的力量：李占洋艺 术中的民粹主义倾向》中谈到这些作品中所表达的都市平民的“草 根”现象。李占洋近作《“租”—— 收租院》的题材和《人间万象》 显然有很大的不同。首先，它不再是李占洋亲身生活环境中一个 个片断，相反，它是建立在某种历史叙事模式之上的群雕，这个模 式是从六十年代中期的社会主义现实主义的名作《收租院》2 中租 来的。李占洋借用了《收租院》中“缴租”、 “验租”、 “算账”、 “逼 租”等情节结构，但是用中国当代艺术界的一些艺术家、批评家、 画商和收藏家替换了其中的人物，包括《收租院》中的“恶霸”刘 文彩以及他的打手、账房先生、众多缴租农民和被迫卖身的庄园奴 隶等等。
我相信李占洋的《租》一旦面世，各种“意义”的解读会接踵而 来，而且总会见仁见智。然而，我所感兴趣的是：李占洋是怎样嫁 接《收租院》到他的《租》的？换句话说，李占洋从《收租院》那 里租借的是什么？李占洋花费了那么大量的时间精力所塑造的这个 大型中国当代艺术群像，当然不只是为了说这么一句话： “中国当 代艺术都是从别人那租来的”，否则李占洋的《租》就只是一件简 单地诉诸观念的作品了，没有必要这样大费心力。
李占洋说“租”的意思就是拿来，中国当代艺术都是从别人那 儿“租”来的。这基本是事实。《租》确实用一种寓意反讽的口 吻再现了这个现象，因为“缴租”、 “收租”和“验租”的过程也确 实是中国当代艺术过去二十年在面对西方体制和市场时的生产、 接受和被裁判的过程。李占洋把一些重要的批评家、收藏家和画 商这些艺术界的“大腕”放在其中，显然批判性地寓意了这个当 代艺术“缴租”和“收租”的过程。他用《收租院》的故事隐喻
首先，李占洋从《收租院》那里租到的是一种叙事模式，不是历 史的或者政治的符号。这些符号包括文革时代的服装、道具以及 工农兵形象、古代艺术中的形象和当下的都市时尚和景观等，它 们被挪用拼凑，这些符号已经被上世纪九十年代以来的政治波普 和近年来的观念摄影用滥了。但是，李占洋的《租》不是借用或 者挪用这些符号，他“租用”了《收租院》叙事手法和情节，想 把两种叙事——中国当代艺术和“阶级斗争”的叙事进行参合比 较。他注重的是故事的可读性，不是符号的象征性。 李占洋多年来一直对《收租院》的故事有兴趣，并阅读了有关材 料，他很清楚《收租院》的很多故事是编造的。现在，他在这个租 借的情节中放进当代人物，在这些情节中“编造”了中国当代艺术 的许多“故事”。由于《收租院》是关于雇农与地主的对立和抗争
Myriad Lives 1 by Li Zhanyang germinated in the late 1990s, when the artist began to toy with the idea of sculpting a large-scale group set. It draws its materials from the daily street life of lower-echelon city dwellers, and especially from the lives of urban residents in one area: Chongqing’s Huangjueping neighbourhood. I once referred in an article (The Force of Grass-roots Realism: The Trend Towards Populism in Li Zhanyang’s Art 1) to these works as encapsulating the phenomenon of the grass-roots realism of common people in cities. The subject matter of Li Zhanyang’s recent Rent manifestly exhibits a vast disparity with Myriad Lives. Firstly, it is not just another freeze-frame of Li Zhanyang’s own domestic tableau but, to the contrary, is a group sculpture narrating a motif from a certain period in history; thus, the work imports its motif from a well known socialist realism work – Rent Collection Yard 2 in the mid-1960s. Li Zhanyang borrows the “paying rent”, “checking rent ”, “accounting” and “rent extortion” plot structures, but casts some Chinese contemporary artists, critics, art dealers and collectors as substitutes for the ordinary characters, who include Despotic Landlord (Liu Wencai) flanked by his hired goons, Mr. House Accounts and numerous peasants paying rent, together with villagers forced to sell themselves into bondage. The idea underlying Li Zhanyang’s Rent is to ‘bring in’, i.e., that Chinese contemporary art is all rented from others. This is essentially true. Rent uses an implied tone of satire to reproduce this phenomenon, because the processes of ‘paying rent’, ‘collecting rent’ and ‘checking rent’ really represent the process of Chinese contemporary art’s production, reception and bestowal of criticism when confronted by the western system and market over the past twenty years. Li Zhanyang incorporates several heawweights of the art world, including important critics, collectors and art dealers, clearly with the implied criticism that contemporary art also goes through the process of ‘paying rent’
and ‘collecting rent’. He uses the storyline in Rent Collection Yard as a metaphor for the story of Chinese contemporary art’s development. In this respect, Li Zhanyang brings observers into a very great imaginative world. I believe that once Li Zhanyang’s Rent is revealed to the world, interpretations assigning all sorts of diverse “meanings” may ensue, people after all having differing tastes. However, what most interests me aside from this is: how does Li Zhanyang wed Rent Collection Yard with Rent ? Put another way, what indeed does Li Zhanyang borrow from Rent Collection Yard? Li Zhanyang was at great pains to mould the great energy of that period into this large-scale Chinese contemporary art group sculpture; this could not indeed only have been done just to express the statement: “Chinese contemporary art is all rented from others”. Otherwise, Li Zhanyang’s Rent is then quite simply a work whose concept embodies a mere complaint, and thus its interpretation would not be worthy of the expenditure of great mental energy. Firstly, Li Zhanyang has rented from Rent Collection Yard a narrative model, not historical or political symbols. Such symbols include Cultural Revolution-period costumes and props, together with effigies of workers, peasants and soldiers, images from ancient art and contemporary city fashion and scenery. These have been appropriated and cobbled together; since the 1990s, these symbols have already been incorporated into the political pop art and, in recent years, used as a clichéd snapshot. However, Li Zhanyang’s Rent neither borrows nor appropriates these symbols, but rather “rents” them. Rent Collection Yard thus compares the resemblance between two narrations of Chinese contemporary art and “class struggle”. Li Zhanyang emphasises the readability of the story, but not the symbols. For many years now, Li Zhanyang has been preoccupied with Rent Collection Yard and has examined many source materials in furtherance of this interest. He is convinced that many of the stories depicted in Rent Collection Yard are fabrications. Contemporary persons pre-
的，那么这些当代艺术中的人物也在李占洋的《租》中被“等级 化”地、 “权力化”地归属分类了。这样去解读《租》，固然有一 定的道理，但是也可能是一种误读。 《收租院》虽然描述的是一个阶级斗争的故事，然而，它反映了 阶级性和人性，纪念碑性和草根性的对立性和一致性。李占洋认 为《收租院》是“浪漫主义”的或者具有某种“巴洛克”精神， 他可能主要是指雕塑的运动感、真实性和人性活力。 叙事模式是一种再现一个社会题材或者表达某种思想的描述方法。 显然，《收租院》本身呈现出非常成熟和自足的叙事方法，这也是 为什么人们明明知道它是毛泽东时代的政治宣传工具，它表现的所 谓“交租、抗租、起义”的三部曲也明明是毛泽东关于农民革命武 装斗争历史的说教，但是，人们还是愿意承认《收租院》作品本身 所蕴含的那种超越了它的政治教条的美学意义。这套泥塑不仅受到 正统官方意识形态的赞誉，也广泛地获得了一般老百姓的喜爱。中 国当代艺术批评家和艺术史家也对它非常重视，多次展开讨论，发 表了各种不同的评价和争论。早在上世纪七十年代， 《收租院》就 得到了一些外国后现代主义批评家和策划人的关注，那时，一些西 方策划人就想把《收租院》拿到西方美术馆去展出。比如1972年， 《收租院》接到世界著名的卡塞尔文献展的展出邀请，但是由于当 时的政治原因未能成行。我想， 《收租院》被西方当代艺术代表展 览邀请的原因，除了和它具有异国情调有关之外，或许也是因为在 社会主义的《收租院》和当时的后现代主义之间有些什么关系。这 种《收租院》和西方当代艺术之间的“情结”似乎一直没有了结， 直到 1999 年第 48 届威尼斯双年展上，蔡国强对《收租院》进行 了“行为主义”式的复制，并且获得大奖。然而，这个事件立刻在 中国国内引发了保卫《收租院》版权的争议，这个争议虽然激烈， 但是还没有发展到诉诸法律的地步。随着岁月的流失，它只是作为 一个事件存在而已。但是，为什么《收租院》受到当代艺术家的关 注和它是否具有当代性，这些问题却仍然没有得到充分的讨论。 《收租院》在当代艺术中引起的争议和它的叙事特点有关，这种叙 事特点造就了《收租院》在美学上具有一定的自足性，从而使它超 越了阶级斗争题材的时代局限。《收租院》的叙事特点在表面上看 是夸张的，实际上是实在和直接的。虽然它是按照阶级斗争的原理
石鲁,《转战南北》, 1959 国画, 238 x 216 cm 中国革命历史博物馆, 北京 Shi Lu, Fighting from North to South, 1959 ink and colour on paper, 238 x 216 cm Museum of Chinese History, Beijing
全山石,《英勇不屈》, 1961 油画, 233 x 217 cm 中国革命历史博物馆, 北京 Quan Shanshi, Death Before Surrender 1961, oil on canvas, 233 x 217 cm Museum of Chinese History, Beijing
设计的，但是，它的故事其实是遵循一个草民抗争为富不仁者的永 恒故事而展开的。不幸的是，可能原本是一个开明乡绅的刘文彩却 被典型化地塑造成一个十恶不赦的大恶霸。这是社会主义阶级斗争 政治的荒诞性所在，但不一定是《收租院》泥塑本身的荒诞。 首先， 《收租院》的出现本身就是必然性和偶然性的结合与冲突。 说它必然，是因为收租院的题材是典型的阶级斗争宣传，是为政治 服务的典型性作品。从这个角度讲，它和那个时代的意识形态的 宣传艺术没有什么本质性区别。说它偶然，是因为它出现在1965 年，那正是中国“文化大革命”发生的前一年，而这一年也正是 中国的社会主义现实主义达到了它的学院主义高峰期的一年。经过 五十年代开始向苏联学习，派遣留学生和参加苏联艺术家马克西莫 夫举办的研修班，中国的革命现实主义艺术终于在上世纪五十年代 末，准确地说在1959年开始达到它的成熟期。我曾经把1959年到 1965年这段时期称为中国的“学院－革命现实主义”时期3。上世 纪四十年代的延安时期和上世纪五十年代建国以后的素朴笨拙的 现实主义被改造为精致的带有西方学院风格的现实主义作品。尽管 题材仍然是为阶级斗争服务的“领袖、幸福生活和革命历史”的三 部曲，但是在色彩上开始变得文雅，这种色彩在圈内被称为“高级 灰”；构图完整逐渐趋于架上绘画的宏大性，从而摆脱了延安时期 和上世纪五十年代早期的现实主义绘画的“插图”特点。题材立意 更倾向于革命和诗意的结合，也就是毛泽东所说的“革命的现实主 义和革命的浪漫主义相结合”的原理。这种“学院革命现实主义” 的特点可以在石鲁的《转战陕北》、全山石的《英勇不屈》、詹建 俊的《狼牙山五壮士》和秦征的《家》等作品中看到。1960年代 上半期， “学院革命社会主义”艺术达到了它的顶峰4。 然而， 《收租院》的现实主义和同时代的“学院现实主义”的传统 却毫不相关，它的地区性、民间性和传统性在当时的现实主义政治 艺术中无疑是一种偶然性的出奇制胜。虽然《收租院》是四川美术 学院集体创作，但它的学院性是次要的。相反，创作组执着、灵活 然而又非常自然地追求“写实”的原理，这造成了它的写实主义的 实在性，与“学院——革命现实主义”的诗意化的乌托邦主义形成 了鲜明对比。比如从场景方面， 《收租院》被放置在真实的刘文彩庄 园的院子里，人们身临其境。但是，比人身稍小一点的泥塑又不是 放在人群中，而是放在比观众稍微高一点儿的“地面”上，这样使
詹建俊,《狼牙山五壮士》, 1959 油画, 185 x 200 cm 中国革命历史博物馆, 北京 Zhan Jianjun, Five Heroes of Mount Langya 1959, oil on canvas, 185 x 200 cm Museum of Chinese History, Beijing
秦征,《家》, 1957 油画, 165 x 110 cm 私人收藏, 中国 Qin Zheng, Home, 1957 oil on canvas, 165 x 110 cm private collection, China
Collection Yard received an invitation to exhibit at the world-renowned Documenta Kassel art expo, but due to the then-prevailing political climate, this overture came to naught.
蔡国强,《威尼斯的收租院》, 1999, 泥塑装置, 第48届威尼斯双年展 Cai Guo-Qiang, Venice’s Rent Collection Courtyard, 1999, clay installation, variable size, project for the 48th Venice Biennale
sented in this rented plot and these fabricated plots act out the myriad stories of Chinese contemporary art. Because of the fact that Rent Collection Yard relates the antagonism and resistance of hired farm hands towards landlords, these persons drawn from contemporary art are “classified” and “graded based on entitlements” in accordance with their affiliations. Though a rational argument, this interpretation of Rent might well be a misinterpretation. Although Rent Collection Yard depicts a class struggle, it nevertheless reflects the nature of social class and humanity and commemorates its opposition and conformity to monumentalism and grass-roots activism. Li Zhanyang recognises that Rent Collection Yard is “romanticism” or more specifically represents some kind of “Baroque” spirit, which elevates above all a sense of sculptural momentum, actuality and human vitality. The narrative pattern is a retake on a social topic or, perhaps, expresses a method of ideological description. Rent Collection Yard itself manifests an extraordinarily mature and self-sufficient narrative method. This is also why people can clearly discern that it is a Mao Zedong – era political propaganda tool with the three parts, “paying rent”, “resisting rent”, and “uprising”, each obviously relates to Mao Zedong’s historical teachings with respect to armed revolutionary struggle by peasants. However, people have also been quick to realise that the content embodied in the work Rent Collection Yard transcends its political-doctrinaire aestheticism. This set of clay sculptures thus not only received official government praise for its ideologically-correct morphology, but also enjoyed extensive and deep adulation among the common people. Critics of Chinese contemporary art and art historians have also taken a keen interest in this work, frequently convening discussions and publishing all manner of varying interpretations and debates. In the early 1970s, Rent Collection Yard also attracted the notice of various foreign post-modernist art critics and curators. At that time, some Western curators even considered exhibiting Rent Collection Yard in Western art museums. For example, in 1972 Rent
I believe the reason Rent Collection Yard received invitations from representatives of Western art exhibitors was – apart from its detailed depiction of the mood in an essentially alien nation – was also perhaps that the socialism inherent in Rent Collection Yard had a tenuous nexus with the post-modernism of that time. This [pyschological] “complex” between Rent Collection Yard and Western contemporary art never seems to have faded: as of the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999, Cai Guo-Qiang unveiled a “behaviouralist” style copy of Rent Collection Yard and thereby carried away the grand prize. However, this event immediately led to a domestic dispute in China over ownership of the copyrights to Rent Collection Yard; this dispute has meantime grown heated, but has not yet unfolded to the point where it has generated a lawsuit. That aside, why does Rent Collection Yard receive such notice from contemporary artists, and is it true that it really somehow captures the spirit of its time? These are issues that as of the present no discussion has adequately addressed. With regard to Rent Collection Yard and the controversy it has ignited in contemporary art due to its narrative characteristics, it is these very narrative characteristics which imbue Rent Collection Yard with its sense of fine art self-sufficiency, and thus elevate it beyond the period restraints imposed by the rubric of class struggle. The narrative characteristics of Rent Collection Yard appear on their face to be overblown, but in actuality are genuine and direct. Although it was designed to conform to the dogma of class struggle, its story lines rather follow and unfold against the backdrop of the eternal resistance and struggle of the masses against the rich and rapacious. Unfortunately, in the original version, an enlightened country squire – Liu Wencai – is recast as a classically reprobate, tyrannical landowner. This is a socialist, class-struggle political absurdity, but this absurdity is in no wise discernible in the clay incarnation of Rent Collection Yard. The original manifestation of Rent Collection Yard was a reconciliation and contradiction inherent in a fusion of chance and necessity. I speak of necessity, because the topic of Rent Collection Yard is classical class-struggle propaganda, and thus it acted as a paradigm political service work. In that sense, it and its counterpart propaganda art works from that time have no real distinguishing features. I say chance, because it appeared in 1965, one year before The Cultural Revolution. But it was also the year in which China’s socialist realism reached its high water mark in collegialism. Throughout the course of the 1950s, Soviet Studies began; students despatched to the Soviet Union for study and participants in research courses hosted [in China] by Soviet artist K.M. Maksimov eventually boosted China’s revolutionary-realist art to its apogee at the end of the 1950s or, to speak more precisely, it began to reach its peak period of maturity in 1959. I once called the period from 1959 to 1965 the era of China’s “academic and revolutionary realism”.3 The rudimentary and crude socialist realism of the 1940s Yan’an era 4 and the 1950s period of nation-building transformed into exquisite works having the character of Western academic realism. The ultimate motif remained provision of services to aid class struggle in the form
观众感到既身临其境又有区别。这就不像革命现实主义的雕塑通常 都是放在基座上，有一种戏剧舞台的或者是纪念碑的感觉。在材料 使用和制作过程中怎么能“像”就怎么来，与民间做泥塑的方法相 似：按照塑像的动态，用木头、铁丝搭架子，再捆上草绳，用掺合 了稻草的泥抹出大致形体；半干后用和了沙子、棉花的细泥刻划细 致的部分，并且用烧制的黑色玻璃球当作眼珠，而箩筐、肩担、鸡 公车、谷风机、桌椅、屏风、算盘、扇子、草帽、监栅等都是现成 物。最重要的是，制作组还请来川剧团的演员按照情节和服装道具 的设计进行表演，力求“活生生”的效果。 所以，《收租院》无论在“场”和“境”的设计上（也就是泥塑作 品与观众的关系方面），在写实再现的手法上（也就是泥塑与现实 中的人和物的关系上）以及整体情感和动态（也就是精神的感染 力）方面都动用了最接近现实的手法，我把它称为“真景、真材料 和真表情”的追求和表现方法。这种表现方法实际上在民间泥塑 中一直存在，我的故乡天津就有“泥人张”彩塑传统，从清朝末年 到上世纪六十年代，有近一百年的历史，其表现手法也是如此。其 实，只要去看过大足北山石刻的人都会发现， 《收租院》也明显受 到了大足石刻那些佛教“轮回变相”中的人、物、景三者表现方法 的影响。我在2002年刚看到李占洋的《人间万象》时，立刻强烈 地感到他的雕塑中具有明显的民间泥塑和大足石刻的影响。 《收租院》这种现实主义的“真实性”活力给了李占洋很大启 发。他在塑造每个人的形象时，包括为每个人选取不同的服装 时，都是深思熟虑的，因为服装显示“性格”和“当下”。在上 世纪六十年代的《收租院》中， “真实”意味着矛盾。在表现所谓 的“阶级斗争”的典型性和普遍性的原理时，你必须同时要表现 具体的人性。比如，平民弱者与为富不仁之间的冲突不是马克思 的阶级斗争学说发现的，而是人性中固有的。正由于此，中国历 代农民起义所依赖的民粹主义才长盛不衰，甚至直到今天仍然是 社会正义的一部分。虽然刘文彩可能并非《收租院》所描绘的那 么可恶，但是，如果抽掉《收租院》的阶级斗争标签，它实际上 就是一部平民反抗为富不仁的人间“变相”而已。但是， 《收租 院》和绝大多数社会主义现实主义作品的不同之处，在于它注意 避免脸谱化。 《收租院》中的平民人物是来自本地的具体的人物写 生，从而具体地烘托了那个普遍性。比如赶集的两姐妹和赶集中 坐在扁担上的姑娘都成为《收租院》的参考，她们的形象为草根 民粹的形象增添了可触可视的具体性。 其实，《收租院》的叙事模式的本质是借用阶级斗争的题材表现 了一个永恒的民粹主义和草根贫民的价值诉求，它的潜台词是 再现草根的弱势。这就是为什么人们总觉得收租院的“抗争”部 分反而是最无力的部分。文化革命中，好事者为《收租院》增加 了“秋收起义”或者“上山打游击”这些新部分，它们就更荒诞 离谱，早就被人们所遗忘了。所以，民粹主义成为《收租院》的 潜台词，这是《收租院》创作集体的真正的创造性所在，正是这 种民粹主义（不是阶级斗争）凝聚了他们的热情和冲动。在一个 没有选择题材自由的专制时代，如果一个艺术家不想自我放逐， 那么唯一可以抒发个人创造性的可能性和途径，就是在原有专制 题材中表现自己的个人智慧和美学灵感。所以，《收租院》的叙事
不可避免地蕴含了人性和阶级性、革命纪念碑和草根性之间的交 织矛盾，正是这种矛盾性形成了《收租院》自身的美学特点。这 就是为什么它不仅是社会主义阶级教育的有效工具，同时它也能 够搭上后现代主义这趟车的原因。 如果说《收租院》的集体创作组无意识地在阶级斗争的虚拟叙事中 表达了某种草根民粹的精神诉求的话，那么，李占洋可以在新的 艺术“阶层”的虚拟叙事中表现另外一种正义性的诉求以及对霸 权的批判。在李占洋的《租》中，这个诉求和批判是确实存在的， 但是，是以非常隐晦的后现代的讽喻（allegorical）形式表现出来 的。那些人物在“身份上”是不现实的，但是在具体塑造上则是 非常现实的。这种荒诞语汇增加了当代人一贯喜爱的轻松感和幽 默感，从而远离了《收租院》政治严肃性的面孔。尽管在题材上， 《租》的当代艺术“故事”其实都是被组织在一个荒诞的、没有逻 辑的、甚至是反现实的的背景和情节之中，但是，这并不等于它真 的没有逻辑。这里的逻辑关系更多地是建立在这些当代“人物”的 性格写真之上，而不是来自当代艺术的理性书写文本。很显然， 如果《租》有逻辑叙事的话，它更多的是一个“性格”叙事，而不 是情节叙事。李占洋无意书写艺术历史，他似乎更喜欢塑造个体的 人物。不论《租》是宏大叙事，还是反宏大叙事，是纪念碑或者草 根，这些都不重要，重要的是《租》所呈现的人的丰富性。在这方 面，李占洋的《租》用视觉的方式展现了他对当代艺术的一个独 特、幽默的个人理解角度。 在李占洋的笔记中，他表达了希望从《租》的创作中传达一种健康 精神，即他所说的“巴洛克精神” 。他认为巴洛克精神就是运动、 生命力和现实主义。他从身边的《收租院》看到了这种精神， 《收 租院》的严谨而又激情的创作态度给了他启发和动力。要知道， 《租》中所有人物都不是从真人身上翻出来的，而是一步步塑造 出来的。李占洋在这个技术过程中，努力寻找一种他所说的“巴洛 克精神和理想”。他认为， “这种理想象一把利刃直接指向当今世 俗的艺术风尚和腐化落后的学院制度。恢复巴洛克精神是一种精 英意识的重现，是反对粗糙，庸俗，简单的图式化的艺术风格。巴 洛克比以往任何时期都更希望面对真实。女人的肉感，男人的肌肉
为原作《收租院》准备模特照片（扁担姑娘） 四川, 成都, 大邑县, 1965 Models in preparation for the original Rent Collection Yard (girl sitting on her shoulder pole), Dayi County, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, 1965
为原作《收租院》准备模特照片 （赶集的两姐妹） 四川, 成都, 大邑县, 1965 Models in preparation for the original Rent Collection Yard (two sisters going to the market), Dayi County, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, 1965
of the triptych “leaders, happy lives and revolutionary history”, but the colour of such works began to become more elegant, and this colour, within its own circle, was known as “high-grade grey”. Compositions as a whole gradually tended to become grandiose framed paintings, thereby displacing those [earlier ones] whose characteristics were more in the nature of “illustrations” of the Yan’an – era and 1950s socialist realism. The conception of materials tended even more towards a fusion of revolution and poetic lyricism. Mao Zedong himself put it this way when enunciating the precept that: “Revolutionary realism and revolutionary romanticism have merged with each other”. The characteristics of this kind of “collegiate revolutionary realism” may be seen in such works as Shi Lu’s Fighting from North to South, Jin Shanshi’s Heroes Never Yield, Zhan Jianjun’s Five Heroes of Mount Langya and Qin Zheng’s Home. In the mid-1960s, “academic revolutionary socialist” art reached its zenith.5 However, the realism in Rent Collection Yard and its contemporary “collegiate realism”, with its traditions did not mesh at all, since the latter’s regionalism and populism and the traditionalism of that period’s political realist art were doubtless just a flash in the pan. Although Rent Collection Yard is a collaborative work by the Sichuan Institute of Fine Art, its academic nature is of relatively secondary importance. To the contrary, as a collaborative effort, it strives for realism of depiction. This produces its sturdy verisimilitude, and “academic revolutionary realism”, which cast poetic utopianism into a fresh and bright contrast. By way of illustration, and with regard to its tableau, the Rent Collection Yard is a set of the actual courtyard on the estate of Liu Wencai.However, the smaller than life-sized figures are not placed in a group, but set at a “ground level” a little bit raised above the viewer, and this is what conveys the sensation of bearing personal witness to the scene. This therefore bears scant resemblance to revolutionary-realist sculptures, which are usually set high on a pedestal, imparting the feeling of a drama stage or a monument, as the case may be. Within the limitations imposed by the materials used and in the course of processing, whatever “appears” is whatever comes out, just as in folk clay sculpture. In deference to the properties of clay sculpture, one uses wood and wire to create a framework structure, then wraps this with coarse rope, and then mixes rice straw with the clay to be able to smear it into such exquisitely detailed forms. When half-dried, sand and cotton [fibres] are mixed together with clay and used to carve equisite, finely-detailed portions; this, together with the use of kilned black glass balls for eyeballs, wicker baskets, shoulder-carrying poles, wheelbarrows, grain mills, tables and chairs, screens, abacuses, fans, coolie hats and railings, makes all figures appear to be actual objects. Most important, the artists even invited actors from the Sichuan Drama Troupe to act out the scenes with costumes and props, thus sparing no efforts to achieve a “living” effect. Thus, Rent Collection Yard, regardless of whether designed as a “scene” or a “situation” (it is in either case a work directed at the viewer), and reproduced with a realism technique (also thereby creating a relationship between the clay figures which is that of realistic people and objects), as well as the entire piece’s emotionalism and dynamism (and therefore its power of spiritual infection). It thus uses the most apt realism technique – which I call “true view, right materials and faithful expression” – a technique to seek out and express verisimilitude. Similar techniques for expressing verisimilitude are actually used in folk clay sculpture. As a case in point, my old hometown of
Tianjin has a “Clay Zhang”, a tradition of coloured sculptures stretching from near the end of the Qing Dynasty to the 1960s, thus having a century-old history, and its technique for expressing realism is just like this. Actually, one only has to go and look at the human figures in the Dazu North Mountain Stone Carvings [in Chongqing] to discover that Rent Collection Yard is clearly influenced by the Buddhist “transmigration of souls” and convey an impression of the three elemental layers of humans, objects and scenery. I had just seen Li Zhanyang’s Myriad Lives in 2002 when I was immediately deeply moved by the idea that amid its sculpture there was an obvious influence from folk clay sculpture and the Dazu Stone Carvings. The vitality of this realism’s “authenticity” in Rent Collection Yard gave Li Zhanyang great inspiration. While making each human figure – including selecting different costumes for each – all is maturely considered, since dress conveys “character” and “immediacy”. In the 1960s Rent Collection Yard, “authenticity” meant contradiction. When expressing so-called “class struggle” classicism and principles of universality, it behooves one to also represent detailed humanity. For example, conflict between hapless commoners and the cruel and wealthy does not just occur within the context of Marxist tenets, but rather is intrinsic human behaviour. This is indicated by peasant uprisings throughout China’s history which all relied upon populism in order to succeed, so much so, in fact, that this aspect remains a component of our social system today. And, although Liu Wencai may not have been entirely the evil-doer portrayed in Rent Collection Yard, if the class struggle labels were removed from Rent Collection Yard its realism would merely be “disguised” as that of the commonality in struggle against the wicked-cum-wealthy, nothing more. However, Rent Collection Yard and unique, large-scale, multi-figure socialist-realist works in this way seek to consciously avoid stereotyping. Persons representing the common people in Rent Collection Yard all come from the local district, thus setting its universality into stark relief. For example, the two sisters going to the market and the maiden sitting to the side with a [bamboo] shoulder-carrying pole all serve to establish a reference in Rent Collection Yard. Their forms show a leavening of grass-roots populism and add visual and tactile detail. Actually, the narrative in Rent Collection Yard borrows the topic of class struggle to depict the eternal populism and disadvantaged, grass-roots masses as a value to convey a common aspiration of the people. Its implied thrust is to demonstrate once again grass-roots indigence. And this is why people generally feel that the “rebellion” component of Rent Collection Yard is by far the most diluted portion. During the course of the Cultural Revolution, well-intended persons added “collecting an Uprising in the Autumn” and “Guerrilla Attack in the Mountains” to Rent Collection Yard. These new portions form an absurdity that departs from the rest of the chronological narrative, and thus easily faded from memory long ago. Therefore, the populism implied in Rent Collection Yard is authentic collective creativity, and indeed this populism (it is not class struggle) is a crystallisation of their impulse. In an age when there was no liberty to choose an independent topic of one’s own, an artist pursuing his or her own course could only express that one person’s wisdom and artistic inspiration under the aegis of what are essentially autocratic themes. Therefore, the narrative in Rent Collection Yard is unavoidably suffused with the contradictions inherent in and between humanity and class distinction on the one
hand and revolutionary monumentalism and grass-roots activism on the other. It is indeed this kind of contradiction that imparts to Rent Collection Yard its innate artistic characteristics. This is indeed why it is not only a socialist, class struggle teaching tool, but at the same time of post-modern.
大足石刻, 北宋（960－1279）, 摩岩造像, 重庆, 大足
Dazu Rock Carvings, Northern Song Dynasty (960 -1279), Dazu County, Chongqing
力量感、运动感，通过精湛的技巧表现出旋转的冲动的力量。它 的艺术是感性的，是在创作过程中逐渐被完成的，是充满了激情和 创造力的。它更关注的是人的心灵深处的回荡5。 ”在这段话中，我 们感到了李占洋创作《租》的激情和初衷。《租》的目的其实不是 租，而是呼吁继承和回归一种健康的人文精神和创作态度。李占洋 希望他的《租》能够给已经庸俗麻痹的当代艺术创作的，是一声 棒喝。但是，可能由于《租》的正面性声音还不够强，相反，隐喻 性的语言似乎仍嫌明显，也就是说，一种后现代主义的“侧面性” （反讽）语言可能也减弱了李占洋批判“当代艺术都是租”这种后 殖民主义的本意，从而让人感到他所致力追求的巴洛克精神还没有
被强烈地、极致地表达出来。我想，部分原因是因为巴洛克还是属 于古典主义精神 ——古典精神总是提倡正面的，从来不侧面地面 对它所反对的，尽管它也有不乏虚伪的时刻。现代主义（后现代主 义更甚）为了抛弃那一点虚伪的脏水，却把孩子连同脏水一起泼出 去了。
2008 年 3月6日
If the group project of Rent Collection Yard unwittingly expressed an aspiration for grass-roots populism in its reproduction of a fictitious class struggle narrative, then Li Zhanyang can appeal for a different kind of justice and criticism of hegemony in the fictitious narratives of a new “class” of art. In Li Zhanyang’s Rent, aspiration and criticism are accurately reproduced, but, they emerge in an unusually metaphorical post-modernist allegorical mode. Those persons represented in “identification check” are not realistic per se, but from the standpoint of their detailed modeling only, they are indeed so. This kind of absurd vocabulary gives to contemporary persons a piercing feeling of fondness and humour, although one far from that emanating from the stern political tableau of Rent Collection Yard. Despite the topic, the contemporary art “tales” in Rent defy logic by binding together the absurd, illogical, and even counter-reality with a real background and plot. The logical relationship here would be to fix the characters of these modern “persons” but such an approach would not accord with contemporary art’s rational literalism. Quite obviously, if Rent has the language of a logical narrative, this is even more of a “character” narrative, but it is not a plot narrative. Li Zhanyang unconsciously writes art history, and it seems that he likes modeling individual human figures. Regardless of whether Rent is grandiose narrative or narrative diametrically opposed to this, monumental or grass-roots, all of this is unimportant. What is important is that Rent presents an appearance of each individual person’s abundance. In this regard, Li Zhanyang’s Rent uses visualisation to express his unique and humourous personal interpretation of contemporary art. Amid Li Zhanyang’s sketches, he expresses hope from his creation of Rent, thereby conveying a kind of healthy consciousness, even a socalled baroque spirit. He recognises that baroque spirit is movement, vitality and realism. He saw this kind of spirit emboded by Rent Collection Yard. The exacting rigour of Rent Collection Yard however has a passionately created bearing that imparts Li Zhanyang’s start-up and
见高名潞， 《论毛泽东的大众艺术模式》，载香港中文大学《二十一世纪》，1993年第 4 期，61-73 页。
李占洋， 《‘租’—— 巴洛克精神的重现》，2007年，未发表。
March 6, 2008 Translator: Ben Armour
Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne-Beijing (2006). Scenes. Li Zhanyang. Beijing: Galerie Urs Meile, TimeZone8, pp 14-17.
Rent Collection Yard was a massive clay group sculpture nearly 100 metres in length depicting the exploitation of peasants in Dayi County by the landlord Liu Wencai. The project was rendered over a period of several months beginning in June 1965 and led by two instructors from the Sculpture Department at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Zhao Shutong and Wang Guanyi in collaboration with five students as well as local artist and folk artists. Rent Collection Yard included 114 figures, 108 tools and seven parts (“Paying Rent,” “Checking Rent,” “Measuring Rent,” “Accounting,” “Rent Extortion,” “Rebellion,” and “Guerrilla Attack in the mountains”) that formed 26 different plot segments. The segment of “Guerrilla Attack in the mountains” was not originally planned and only added during the Cultural Revolution. It was later removed from the project.
Gao Minglu. On Mao as a form of pop art. Twenty-First Century. Hong Kong Chinese University Press: Dec. 1993, Iss. 20, pp 61-73.
Translator’s note: this was when Chairman Mao’s People’s Army ended the Long March – a 6,000-mile long retreat from and delaying action against Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang during the Chinese Civil War - to consolidate their forces in Yan’an, Sha’anxi Province, in order to mount the National War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (as the Chinese call it), which was to effectively unite the masses under the communist standard. This was the period in which Chairman Mao crafted Maoism as a potent nationalist, rather than merely ideological movement. The spirit of Yan’an eventually enabled Mao to cast off the Stalinist yoke and steer China into non-aligned status.]
It should be noted that there was a distinct difference between this kind of academic “revolutionary realism” and the “red, bright and shining” art of the Cultural Revolution, also known as the revolutionary “exhibition art” that started appearing around 1971. Therefore, much of the “revolutionary realism” art came under criticism during the Cultural Revolution. For reference: On Mao as a form of pop art (same as above).
Li Zhanyang. Rent – Reemergence of Baroque. 2007. Not yet distributed.
发表于麦勒画廊 卢森－北京（编） ，东八时区出版，《场景 —— 李占洋》，2006年，14 -17页。 《收租院》是美术学院雕塑系教师赵树桐、王官乙率应届毕业学生5人，在1965年6月，与四川当地美工、民间艺人一道，以四川大邑县地主刘文彩庄园剥削农民的史实 为原型，历时数月集体创作的大型泥塑群雕。群雕共有人物114人，道具108件，由7个部分（“交租”、 “验租”、 “过斗”、 “算账”、 “逼租”、 “反抗”、 “上山打游击”）和26 个情节组成，全长近100米。1965年最开始创作的《收租院》不包括“上山打游击”，这一组造型是在“文革”中增加的，后来又被删除掉。
momentum. It would be interesting to know whether each of the persons are not copied from the forms of actual humans, or whether they came into being as an incident to a step-by-step modeling process. In the course of this creative process, Li Zhanyang strove to seek what he calls the “baroque spirit and ideal”. He recognises that this ideal points a dagger directly at the practices prevailing as a result of modern-day art’s vulgar, degenerate and retrograde academic rules. Recovering the baroque spirit is the quintessence of its conscious revitalisation, which acts in antagonism to coarseness and vulgarity and decries the very nature of the simplifieddepiction style. Which Baroque, by comparison, from whatever former time, always gives greater hope of attaining the genuineness of, e.g. female sex appeal, male muscular strength, the feeling of motion. He adopts an exquisite technique to express this force with a whirling impulse. Its art is perceptive, and during the process of creation gradually accomplished; it is charged with passion and creative energy. It pays most attention to the echoes deep within the human heart.6 At this stage, we feel the passion and original intention of Rent by Li Zhanyang. The object of Rent is actually not renting, but rather an appeal to carry forward and return to healthy human cultural consciousness and a creative manner. Li Zhanyang hopes his Rent may expose the vulgar paralysis that has already beset modern art. However, perhaps the straightforward voice of Rent is insufficiently strident and emplys hidden metaphorical language in a manner that seems obvious. Put another way, a post-modernist “lateralism” (counter-satire) message would weaken Li Zhanyang’s critique that “modern art is all rented”. This residual democratic meaning enables one to discern that his devotion to the baroque spirit has not been fundamentally realised, since he concentrates so intently on expression. I think part of the reason is because the baroque style belongs to the spirit of classicism. The spirit of classicism promotes straightforwardness, never lateralism or ground-levelism, to which it stands in stark opposition, despite the fact that it, too, is hypocrisy. Modernism and post-modernism have to an even greater extent engaged in hypocritical mud-slinging, but then children also sling mud at each other.
Li Zhanyang’s Studio 23
A Talk with Li Zhanyang about ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard
September 25, 2007 Li Zhanyang’s Studio, Chongqing Nataline Colonnello, Li Zhanyang
箫岭（以下简称箫） ：你最近终于创作完成了《“租”—— 收租院》这 组大型雕塑作品。据我了解，你十年前就产生了创作这组作品 的想法，之后又不断充实自己的想法；花了近两年的努力，你 终于完成了这组最为宏大、复杂的作品。 《“租”—— 收租院》 有三十六个彩色玻璃钢人像，每个人像都是按你熟悉的中西方 人物特点创作，这些人物基本上都与中国当代艺术圈有着密切 联系。 基于你对于当代艺术界隐藏的权力游戏的理解和诠释，在这组 作品里，你安排了一场幽默风格的批判性戏剧，剧中角色是根 据艺术学生、艺术家、策展人、画廊主、画商等不同人物的性 格和职业选定，他们之间有着相互冲突的利益和复杂的关系。 作品中还有两位置身事外的旁观者，毛泽东和博伊斯（Joseph ，正欣赏着这场让人难以抗拒的精彩演出。中国革命的 Beuys） 领导人毛泽东坐在扶手椅上，倾听着艺术理论家博伊斯关于存 在、历史和艺术的有启迪性的故事介绍。 《“租”—— 收租院》的整体场景相当的忙乱和喧闹，与毛泽 东时代创作的大型雕塑经典《收租院》所展现的高度戏剧化的
场景和气氛截然不同。经典《收租院》 （1965年）是为了将它作 为一种教育工具及服务当时政治的需要，在四川省领导的指示 下，由四川美院和民间艺术家合作完成；它描述了阶级斗争和 农民受到封建统治阶级（由臭名昭著的大地主刘文彩体现）残 酷压迫的情景。 《收租院》中一百多个真人大小的泥塑人像完 美地继承和结合了来自西方学院派的现实主义风格和中国民间 艺术的特色；在技法和视觉效果上，达到了当时的最高水准。 你的《“租”—— 收租院》也有一些对经典作品微妙的概念上 的借鉴。此外，你还借鉴了一些原作中独特的风格元素，如现 实主义风格、人物的姿势和对手势的重点刻画，随后将这些元 素用巴洛克风格进行了再诠释。你在这组作品的名称中使用了 多个“租”字，具体的意义是什么？ 李占洋（以下简称李） ：我在《“租”—— 收租院 》中强调“租”这 个词是想突出一种创作方式。我觉得中国的当代艺术其实都 是“租”来的，建筑更是这样。在民国或明清时期，我们看不 到今天的现代风格，现在的建筑基本上已经西方化了，那些 建筑的材料以及样式都受着后现代的影响，大部分都是“拿来 主义”1。鲁迅说，其实“拿来”并不是不 好，关键要看是怎样“拿”，怎样变成自 己的血液，怎样溶入自己的纹脉之中。 我用“租”字作我作品的名字，这里“租” 的意思有两个方面。第一，它与我的教育 背景有关。我们所接受的教育大部分都是 西方化的。比如我们学素描，这在古代是 没有的。我们所接触的美术史如文艺复 兴、巴洛克等，都是西方文化在中国的一 种移植。其实中国历来都是这样，像佛教 开始也不是中国的，但到了中国之后， 借鉴了别的方法，并在中国植根很深，变 成了中国本土的一种文化。这是一个“嫁 接”的过程。
米开朗基罗,《大卫》, 1501-1504 大理石雕像, 434 cm 高, 学院画廊美 术馆, 佛罗伦萨 Michelangelo Buonarroti, David, 1501-1504, marble, height 434 cm Galleria dell’ Accademia, Florence
贝尼尼《大卫》, 1623-1624, 大理石雕 像, 170 cm 高, 博格斯美术馆, 罗马 Gian Lorenzo Bernini, David, 1623-1624, marble, height 170 cm Galleria Borghese, Rome
贝尼尼,《普拉东抢劫珀耳塞福涅》 1621-1622, 大理石雕像, 255 cm 高, 博格斯美术馆, 罗马 Gian Lorenzo Bernini, The Rape of Proserpina, 1621-1622, marble, height 255 cm, Galleria Borghese, Rome
贝尼尼,《普拉东抢劫珀耳塞福涅》 (局部), 1621-1622 大理石雕像, 博格斯美术馆, 罗马 Gian Lorenzo Bernini, The Rape of Proserpina (detail), 1621-1622 marble, Galleria Borghese, Rome
随着我个人的艺术观日渐成熟，有了自己 的独立见解，再看美术史就有了不一样的 看法。比如美术史往往把巴洛克艺术描述
Nataline Colonnello (NC): ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard is a large-scale sculptural installation that you were eventually able to produce only very recently, although you have been developing its concept throughout the last decade. It took you almost two years of painstaking work to accomplish the biggest and most complex work you have ever created. Your ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard includes 36 fiberglass figures, each of them modeled according to the features of different people – Chinese and Westerners – with whom you are familiar and who are more or less closely connected with the Chinese contemporary art scene. Based on your personal interpretation of the power games concealed under the surface of the contemporary art world, you staged a humourously critical play in which the characters are chosen according to their personality and professional role – e.g. art students, artists, curators, gallerists, dealers, etc. – and represented while busy with their conflicting interests and complex relationships. In your work, there are two exceptional spectators who enjoy the irresistible show unfolding before their eyes: Mao Zedong and Joseph Beuys. Sitting on his armchair, the leader of revolutionary China listens to the enlightening stories that artist-theorist Beuys might be recounting to him about existence, history and art. The overall picture of ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard is quite chaotic and hilarious, different from the highly dramatic atmosphere conveyed by the inspirational masterpiece Rent Collection Yard (also known as Rent Collection Courtyard), a huge sculptural tableau created during the Maoist era. The original Rent Collection Yard (1965) was a work commissioned by the leaders of Sichuan Province and realised by the team collaboration of the Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts and folk artists. Rent Collection Yard was conceived as an educational instrument serving the political agenda of the time. It illustrates the class struggle and the brutal oppression of the peasants by the former feudalist authority (in this case embodied by notorious landlord Liu Wencai). The more than 100 life-size clay figures of Rent Collection Yard are rendered in a perfect combination of Western-inherited academic realism and local folk style, reaching a technical and visual outcome that was unprecedented at the time. In addition to some subtle conceptual references in your ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, you borrowed some stylistic elements peculiar to the former work such as realism, the poses of the characters and the emphasis on the gestures, and mixed them with a reinterpreta-
tion of Baroque. What is exactly the meaning that you want to spotlight when doubling the word ‘rent’ in the title of your installation? Li Zhanyang (Li): What I am emphasising with the term ‘rent’ in ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard is a creative approach. I think the contemporary art we see in China is all ‘rented’. For example, we could not find today’s architectural style in the Republican era or the Qing Dynasty; instead, what we have today attained is more Westernized. The material and style of this architecture have all been influenced by post-modernism. Most of it is ‘grabbism’, like Lu Xun’s ‘grabbism’, a topic he discussed extensively1. There is nothing wrong with “grabbism”; the key is how to ‘take’, and how to make it becoming to your own resources, and mix it with your own style. I chose Rent as the title of my work, because basically, there are two levels of meanings in ‘renting’. First of all, it is related to my educational background. The education I have received since childhood has been Westernstyle. For example, sketching is a practice which one would not have found in ancient China. The art history I was exposed to, such as Renaissance and Baroque art, is all evidence of implanted Western culture in China. In fact, China has a long history of assimilation: Buddhism is not a religion indigenous to China, for that matter, but originated in India. When it arrived in China, it mixed with the local schools of thinking and religion and became deeply rooted, so we now consider it a facet of Chinese native culture. This is a process of ‘cross-breeding’.
大卫特,《萨宾女人》, 1799 油画, 385 x 522 cm, 卢浮宫, 巴黎 Jacques-Louis David, The Intervention of the Sabine Women, 1799 oil on canvas, 385 x 522 cm, Louvre, Paris
鲁本斯,《劫夺柳西帕斯的女儿》, 约1618 油画, 224 x 210.5 cm, 慕尼黑美术馆, 德国 Peter Paul Rubens, The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus, ca. 1618, oil on canvas, 224 x 210.5 cm, Alte Pinakothek, Munich
成是烦琐，浮躁、过分修饰、扭扭捏捏的，走下坡路的艺术风 格，是一种贬义。但我眼中的巴洛克艺术不是那样的。我认为 它是一个西方古典艺术的辉煌期，真正地把个人的精神独立了 出来。中世纪到文艺复兴的艺术虽然很高尚典雅庄严肃穆，但 没有巴洛克那样个性鲜明。比如说米开朗基罗的大卫像，很标 准，你可以把它作为一个教材。但是，我总觉得它欠缺了巴洛 克风格雕刻那种扭曲、激动、撕心裂肺。最近我对巴洛克艺术 越来越感兴趣。 箫： 为什么？是因为巴洛克艺术中的某些东西在中国当代艺术中找 不到？除了你刚刚提到的几点外，还有什么激起了你的兴趣？ 李： 因为我觉得它有一种让人心跳的感觉。现在中国的当代艺术缺 少这些东西，缺少作品的精致程度及对个人精神的体现。巴洛 克区别于希腊、罗马艺术，也区别于文艺复兴艺术，虽然与文 艺复兴艺术比较接近，但它却更加具有世俗力量，没有那么多 宗教感，而多是以戏剧性大场景体现宏大的叙事。像尼德兰画 派的布鲁盖尔，经常表现大场面的农民跳舞、宴会。比如贝尼 尼《普洛赛耳皮娜的劫难》 （Rape of Proserpina）中男人的运动 感、女人肉感表现得非常充分，鲁本斯的《劫夺柳西帕斯的 女儿》构图充满旋转的力量感，还有伦布朗的《夜巡》，宏大 场面中充满了人物个性。巴洛克艺术很关注人的生存状态，强 调个体的人文精神，宗教感不那么强烈。所以在这里，我想强 调一下我的《“租”—— 收租院》是体现巴洛克精神的，可能 这个题目有点儿大了。我想用“租”体现我借鉴的方式方法， 这一方面来自于巴洛克艺术对我的启示，另一方面来自《收租 院》本身。《收租院》一般被界定为革命现实主义作品，其 实我看不是。它富有浪漫主义色彩，有点类似于巴洛克风格的 作品。我认为中国的批评家从来没有认真分析过《收租院》， 以前老一辈批评家像王朝武、华君武都是政治批评家，他们代 表了党也代表了绝对权威，他们说《收租院》是“革命现实主 义”，就没人敢去反驳。 《收租院》产生在阶级教育年代。当时的政府想用艺术作品教 育人民，便组织了一批人进行《收租院》的创作，目的是让人 不忘阶级苦，牢记血泪仇。创作队伍主要是以四川美院的师 生为主体，加些民间艺人，在轰轰烈列的革命大潮中仅用了4 个多月时间就完成了这件114个人物的伟大作品。它的宏大叙 事，它的大场景，以及它和实物实景结合的完美现场感在解放 后的雕塑艺术作品中是空前的。我觉得它是太多机缘拼凑在一 起的结果，不可能完全归功于具体哪一个作者。 《收租院》的 作者们连自己都不知道自己是怎么做出这么件了不起的东西来
原作《收租院》的部分场景, 四川, 成都, 大邑县, 1965
的。事实证明，在之后的岁月里，他们再没出过太好的作品。 我刚才说到，我的“租”的来源一方面是我的西方教育，另一 方面是《收租院》本身。当年的《收租院》，用我的话说就是 一种机缘，这个机缘就好像一个“场”，在这个时候各种因素 都到位，突然就裂变出另外一种新的东西。作品不光体现作者 自己的创作意图，还有政府的观念，这种方式只能产生在那个 年代。后来集体解散了，也就没那种机缘了。现在分析起来， 受西方写实教育的艺术家们从民间艺术中借鉴，怀着满腔的热 情和大众混成一片进行创作，加之政府提供了良好的条件，这 些因素都是成就《收租院》的机缘。 箫： 在《“租”—— 收租院》的创作过程中，不少助手也参与了进 来，但这和他们自由创作有实质区别，他们在所有阶段都严格 遵守你在观念和技法上的指导。 经典《收租院》技巧娴熟，具有较高的艺术价值，但是从历 史的角度来看，它并没有完全忠实地描绘过去的事件。通过 《“租”—— 收租院》中对于角色讽刺式的改造（他们戏剧 性的手势、奇怪的随身物品，放大的尺寸和对他们性格的夸 张描述），你的作品对中国当代艺术界和目前的“艺术热” 进行了一种非完全失实，但有些偏颇的描述。从不同角度来 看， 《“租”—— 收租院 》同你的不少作品一样分析了中国从古 代到现代的社会和文化。一方面，我们能看出你在思考当代 社会的某些矛盾；另一方面，你也在考虑文化内部的矛盾， 我认为这是与一个人的经历和日常生活相关联的。 我的问题是：为什么你借鉴了经典《收租院》，将原作中不同 的角色转换成了当代人物，例如将国际知名的艺术家/建筑师/ 评论家艾未未安排成了刘文彩的角色？ 李： 首先我想说，我的艺术是有缺陷的，包括思想上的缺陷。我的 作品仅仅体现我个人的看法，因为是完全个体的，当然会有个 人的偏见。过去的《收租院》是在表现过去的一段历史，其实 也是有偏见的。因为有历史证明，刘文彩其实是一个很好的 人，没那么坏，但创作者为了强调“地主”的典型性，把他做 得很坏，这是艺术家用他们自己的手法把历史事实改变了。而 我把过去的《收租院》也改变了，角色变成了现在的人，取材 于我的朋友、当代艺术家或者一些国际上有影响的人。这些人 对我的个人经历有影响，但并不是说这些人对中国当代或国际 当代艺术就是最重要的人。 比如说艾未未，是我们熟悉的朋友。我第一次见到他的时候就 觉得他很像个大地主，有几个艺术家围着他，他很胖大！别人
Then later, as my artistic view gradually matured, I established my own preferences for and opinions on art, and have adopted a different point of view since then. For instance, Western art history written by Chinese in the past has often portrayed Baroque art as trivial, impetuous, decorative, coy, and a thing declining, and thus in a derogatory sense. To the contrary, Baroque art is not so in my view. I thought it was the period in Western classical art that separated and demonstrated the spirit of human existence. From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, art has been noble, elegant, dignified, solemn and respectful; but it was not as strong as Baroque art in terms of individuality. For instance, the rendering of Michelangelo’s David (1501-1504) was done in a dignified fashion. It can also be used as an educational material. Yet, it lacks the style in Baroque sculpture of distortion, which is stirring and anxious. For this reason, I am gradually becoming more interested in Baroque art. NC: Why? Is there maybe something in Baroque art that you cannot find in Chinese contemporary art? What is that so arouses your interest, apart from the points you just mentioned? Li: Because it makes me excited! I thought Chinese contemporary art lacked the traits found in Baroque art: refinement and understanding of the human spirit. Baroque is different from Greek or Roman art, or art from the Renaissance period – even though there are similarities – but it embodies the greater power of secularism, and has fewer religious aspects. Moreover, it recounts a grander narrative by use of large dramatic scenes. We may posit as an example the artworks of Brueghel, in which there are farmers dancing and banquets. Baroque art is at the level of human life, emphasising the humanism of individuals rather than seeking to further religious purposes. Therefore, I want to place the emphasis in my work ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard as a revision of Baroque art; perhaps it is a somewhat broad subject, yet I used ‘renting’ to reflect the method of use of reference. I think ‘renting’ on the one hand was inspired by Western art like Baroque art, and the other aspect would be my insights on Rent Collection Yard itself. Rent Collection Yard is often considered a work of revolutionary realism. I thought it renders romanticism somehow, similar to Baroque art. Chinese critics have not meticulously analysed this work – prominent political critics like Wang Chaowu and Hua Junwu – their words represent absolute power; if they assert that this is ‘revolutionary realism’ no one would dare to try to rebut them.
Rent Collection Yard was first known from the period of class education; at that time, the government wielded artworks as a tool to instruct people, and so called upon a group of people to produce Rent Collection Yard as a reminder of the bloody past of destitute farmers exploited by landlords. This team was composed mainly
of professors and students at the Sichuan Institute of Fine Art, together with some folk artists; they completed 114 figures within four months during that vigorous revolutionary era. It is grandiloquent narrative, with its large panoramic scene depicted in a realistic manner. Its subjects and scene produce the most perfect tableau since the founding of the Chinese Republic. I think this is the result of many serendipitous opportunities, and the work should not assign outstanding merit to any particular artist; in fact, all of these artists would have wondered how it could have been them who produced this masterpiece. In fact, they did not produce any works after the completion of Rent Collection Yard. As I mentioned earlier, the origin of Rent is partially due to my Western-style education, and partially inspired by the original Rent Collection Yard. Their making of Rent Collection Yard, in my view is a kind of fated opportunity, as if I was providing a ‘venue’, and once the elements were in place, these all suddenly transformed into a new possibility. Each artist not only presented his/her own creativity, but had to combine this with the government’s agenda; only this kind of work was allowed to be created in that era. There have never recurred any such opportunities as before. We realise now the prerequisites that enabled the completion of Rent Collection Yard were Western-educated artists receiving input from folk craftsmen, high enthusiasm, massive group production and resources provided by the government. NC: Many assistants were involved as well in the production process of your ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, but with the substantial difference, in this case, that they had been working under your strict conceptual and technical direction throughout all the different stages connected with the accomplishment of the work. Although the former Rent Collection Yard is skillfully and artistically valuable, from the historical point of view, it is not an entirely faithful portrayal of actual past events. Through the ironic alteration of the characters of your ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard (their theatrical gestures, bizarre ‘paraphernalia’, magnified size and the exasperation of their personalities), you create as well a warped, but at the same time not completely untrue image of the Chinese contemporary art scene. From different perspectives, as it happens in many of your other works, ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard analyses Chinese society and culture from ancient times to today. On the one hand, we can see your thinking of certain contradictions in contemporary society, on the other, a contradiction from the culture within, which I think is relevant to one’s life experience and everyday life. What I would like to ask you now is: why have you appropriated the former Rent Collection Yard to your current work and conferred the roles of the characters of the original work to contemporary person-
Partial views of the original Rent Collection Yard, Dayi County, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, 1965
箫：你曾说过，在艺术创作过程中，你不仅运用同你教育有关的元 素，还采纳西方的艺术概念和文化元素。给艾未未洗脚让我想 到了中国传统的足部按摩（现在中国还很流行） ；另一方面， 它还能让人觉得是对基督教的暗示……
箫： 如果真正的刘文彩没有艺术作品中描述的那么邪恶，那艾未 未呢？
李： 如果非得要引申到一定意义上说，这个应该跟权力有关，因为 艾未未无可厚非是中国艺术界的一个权威人物。
李： 我对他真正的生活不太了解，但我想他不能那么坏，他那么一个 新闻人物，坏肯定会曝光的。我第一次给未未看《“租”—— 收租 院》的草图，他第一句话就说：我生活哪有这么好啊！（笑）
箫：我的上一个问题源自Leister看起来像是站在云端的天使，很巧 的是， Leister的名字正好是Christiane，这个词的原意就是基 督徒。
箫： 《收租院》给人带来了许多灵感，这件作品包括了六个不同 的场景（“送租”、 “验租”、 “风谷过斗”、 “算账”、 “逼租”以 及“佃农的反抗”） 。你也将作品分成了六个不同的主题： “交 租”、 “洗脚”、 “抢人”、 “压迫”、 “殉难”以及“被观看的历 史”。艾未未是“洗脚”部分的核心人物，在他的周围，他的亲 友和同事看起来好像在专注于自己的事情，像是那一刻的时 间被你定了格，颇具讽刺意味。画廊的林素玲和Livia Gnos在 策展人唐昕旁边，正在给艾未未洗脚。他的夫人路青站在他 身后，右手举着一把大扇子，她高深莫测的表情让我们猜不 出她真正的意图：想让丈夫不受酷热骚扰，还是准备用扇子 敲他？在路青旁，艾未未的画廊主麦勒（Urs Meile）被塑造成 了一名赤裸上身勇敢的卫士，随时准备拔出腰间的手枪，击 毙任何可能的敌人。背景中，我们还看到收藏家 Leister 在将 自己的乳汁挤到我手里拿的碗里 …… 你是不是对任何人都不 手下留情啊！ （笑）
李： 嗯，对。我这个天使穿着带补丁的裤子，还露着乳房。其实 我创作的初衷没有想过要借助宗教的力量。如果真要往宗教 上扯，那我就会把未未做成拉登的样子。你看，未未能把一 千零一个人带到德国去。德国人那么少，一千零一个中国人 突然空降，肯定把他们吓坏了2。未未这个家伙很坏，他想搞 乱一切。如果说借鉴的话，我也借鉴了中国古代宫廷画的感 觉，把皇帝或地主画得很大，周围的人画得小，这种画法在 佛教里也有。
箫： 把艾未未放进《“租” —— 收租院》，是不是因为这同作品有一 些事实上的关系，而又无关？
李： 这些动作都基本来源于原创《收租院》中的一些动作和场景， 因为是“租”的吗。比如说，当时有个地主角色，也是像未未 现在的动作，只不过那个地主是在收租，而未未是在洗脚。也 有一个打手在做麦勒这样的动作，也有一个小丫环做路青这 样的动作，素玲和Livia的动作是我编进去的，但整体构图大概 会让人想起《收租院》。我用了原来的形式，却换上了完全不 一样的内容，用很多因素糅合在一起，使这种东西变得更混乱 化、更矛盾或更逗乐了。 以前人们说艺术是真实的再现。怎么可能是真实再现呢？就像 人不能两次同时踏入同一条河流一样，因为时间是会过去，所 以艺术就更不可能和现实一样。艺术只是表现自己对过去的记 忆或是记忆在自己心里所酝酿出的一种新的东西，这个东西虽 然借用了现实给我们留下的一些印象，但跟现实本身是完全不
《“租”—— 收租院》创作过程中的部分场景, 重庆, 李占洋工作室, 2007
箫： 你说的这种现象在西方传统的宫廷绘画和基督教艺术作品中也 都有体现。 李： 这跟我第一次见到未未的场景比较吻合。人的感觉可能是不一 样的，我每次见到他的感觉都是不一样的。所以，永远没有一 个完全的标准，真实会随着人的感觉不同而有不同的真实。我 塑造他的形象，可能更偏重于起初见到他时对他的印象，虽然 当时没有人给他洗脚按摩，但那种感觉有点儿像我现在作品里 的这个场景。 箫： “洗脚”的场景中有不少是对目前状况和现实的参照，也暗示 了未来数年和数代之后的情形。例如，作品中的鸟巢雕塑让人 想起了新近完成的北京奥运会主体育场（也被称为“鸟巢”）， 这个体育场由Herzog & de Meuron（赫尔佐格 ，德 · 穆龙）和艾 未未合作设计完成，已经变成了中国和其日益增长的全球影响 力的标志。在你的作品中，一个哭哭啼啼的新生儿像一只小鸡 一样把圆滚滚的小脸伸到了鸟巢之外：这个婴儿是你自己的孩 子吗？ 李： 我的艺术都是在过程中产生的。我不是那种很能理性分析的 艺术家，我的创作永远在变化。燥动不安是产生作品的前题。 我最初的创作想法与我后来的完成常常会有很多不一样的地 方。比如你刚刚说到的孩子。记得有一次Urs打电话给我，开
alities such as, just to quote an example, internationally acclaimed artist/architect/critic Ai Weiwei, whom you represent placed into landlord Liu Wencai’s shoes? Li: First of all, I think my artworks are flawed, including my thoughts. My artwork only represents my personal view – it is entirely individual; therefore, it is biased. The former Rent Collection Yard seems to be narrating a part of history that is in fact also biased, because historical evidence has shown that landlord Liu Wencai was a good person. Yet, the creators wanted to emphasise the negative characteristics of a ‘landlord’. So they intentionally demonised him – the artists’ means of re-writing history. And I have also altered the former Rent Collection Yard by replacing the figures with people, most of whom are my friends, contemporary artists or those with international recognition. These people are important to me as they have affected my personal experience in one way or another, though, it may not be true that they are also the most important players in the Chinese contemporary and/or international art scene. For example, Ai Weiwei is a friend of mine, and one whom I know very well. When I saw him for the first time, I felt that he was like a ‘landlord’; he looked quite chubby and large compared to a couple of artists who were around him. Also the way he spoke was especially like a landlord – with slow speed and soft sound; but suddenly, he provoked you with words. NC: By placing Ai Weiwei in your ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, are you trying to make it partially relevant to reality? Li: Yes, but also as a kind of joke, to make fun of him. NC: If Liu Wencai was not as evil as he was depicted, what about Ai Weiwei? Li: I have little knowledge of his life in general, but I am sure he’s not a bad person; otherwise there would have been so much gossip about such a ‘celebrity’. When I first showed Weiwei my sketches of ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard the first thing he said was, “In fact, there isn’t that much fun in my life”. (Laughter) NC: The inspirational Rent Collection Yard is structured according to six scenes (“Paying Rent”, “Checking Rent”, “Measuring Rent”, “Accounting”, “Rebellion” ); similarly, you divided your work into six different conceptual themes: “Paying Rent”, “Foot Washing”, “Raping”, “Oppressing”, “Dying a Martyr”, and “History Observed” ), Ai Weiwei is the central character of “Foot Washing”. Around him, people connected with his daily private and professional life are ironically portrayed as if they were preoccupied with their own business – like a snapshot of the moment. Gallery assistants Lin Suling and Livia Gnos are depicted together with curator Tang Xin while washing Ai Weiwei’s feet. His wife Lu Qing stands behind him and holds a fan in the right hand: her enigmatic expression leaves us
in doubt of her intentions. Is she trying to relieve her husband from the heat, or is she about to strike him? Next to Lu Qing, Ai Weiwei’s gallerist Urs Meile is represented as a mighty, bare-chested defender ready to draw the handguns tucked around his belt and shoot any possible enemy. In the background, you portray collector Leister pouring her breast milk into a cup I am holding for her. You really did not have mercy on anybody! (Laughter) Li: These layouts and gestures of figures in my work were mostly appropriated from the display of the former Rent Collection Yard. Why? Remember, I am Renting! For example, there was a landlord in the former Rent (who was collecting rent) posing in the same way as Weiwei in my Rent (who is having his foot washed). A bodyguard from the original work posed like Urs Meile, and a maid like Lu Qing. Suling and Livia’s gestures were my own insertions. These settings would more or less remind people of Rent Collection Yard. I adopted the former form, but replaced it with entirely different content; as a result, the new element after the mixture was rendered is a chaotic, contradictory and humourous scene. I heard that art represents reality, but how could that be? I think that art is not entirely from life. An old saying goes that ‘one may never wade in the same river twice as time passes’. Thus, it’s even less possible for art. Artistic representations are only of one’s past, or something that has been cultivated from one’s memories. Even though it reflects our impressions from reality, yet it is essentially different from actual reality; it is generated during its process. NC: You have mentioned that in your artistic practice, not only have you applied elements found in your education, but also Western artistic concepts or cultural elements. If on the one hand Ai Weiwei’s washing of his feet makes me think of a reference to Chinese traditional foot massage – a practice still very common in today’s China – on the other, it may be reminiscent of allusions to Christianity. Li: If it had to be summarised at a higher level, it should be related to power; unquestionably Ai Weiwei is a representative of authority in the Chinese contemporary scene. NC: I am mentioning this also because collector Leister looks like a winged angel, standing on clouds. As chance would have it, Leister’s first name is Christiane. Li: Hm, that’s right. However, the angel here is wearing patched pants, with her breasts exposed. In fact my initial creative intent was not to appropriate the power of religion; if it had to be, then I would have turned Weiwei into Bin Laden. You see, Weiwei brought one thousand and one Chinese people to Germany where they lived in an area with a small population, so they must have been shocked when all these Chinese suddenly landed there2. I thought that Weiwei was
The creation process of ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, Chongqing, Li Zhanyang’s Studio, 2007
being naughty, and trying to disturb things. Speaking of appropriation, I applied the method from Chinese ancient court paintings, in which painters often depict the emperors or landlords as larger images, and shrink the surrounding figures; this can also be found in Buddhist art. NC: It can also be found in Western traditional court paintings and Christian art. Li: This is similar to the scene when I first met Weiwei. Perhaps people feel differently about someone from time to time. Me, I always have a different impression of Weiwei, and I thought there would never be a standard model from the reality that differentiates according to people’s changes of feelings towards reality. The one I shaped of Weiwei in my work is closer to my first impression of him; there wasn’t a group of people around him to wash his feet then, but somehow that atmosphere inspired me to create that setting in my work.
李占洋, 洗脚（局部）《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 克丽丝汀· 莱斯特、箫岭, 环氧树脂 Li Zhanyang, Foot Washing (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, 2007 Christiane Leister, Nataline Colonnello, resin
李占洋, 洗脚（局部）《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 鸟巢和婴儿的头, 环氧树脂 Li Zhanyang, Foot Washing (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, 2007 Bird’s Nest With Baby Head, resin
玩笑说了句： “是不是你的孩子也会参加你的这个作品？”一听 这话，我当时就想，对呀，为什么不能把我的孩子也放在里面 呢？另外一个因素，比如说未未设计的“鸟巢”，那是中国人 认为最烧钱的一个建筑，而它的产生到完成也是非常艰难的， 就像我的孩子，从孕育到出生也是非常艰难一样。这几个因素 放在一起，这个场景就让人感觉更加奇怪。另外“鸟巢中的 婴儿”有种莫名其妙什么都不是的感觉。在中国，很多事情都 是“四不像”，头像马，身体像牛，尾巴像大象。 箫： 这种动物还真是奇怪，听起来像是寓言故事或是传说中的动 物。这让我想到了“时间”的问题——实际的时间或想象的时 间的问题。与你旧作中的用色不同，《“租”—— 收租院》好像 是那些色彩鲜亮的中世纪作品，历经时间流逝，褪了许多颜 色，你为什么要这么处理呢？ 李： 因为我们接受的作品都是历史沉淀下来的，包括它的颜色、 材料，艺术样式等等。就像你说的它在中世纪的时候可能更鲜 亮，但我们现在的审美更能接受的是它经过几百年之后所沉淀 的这种颜色效果。这是历史锤炼的，所以我想要像中世纪艺术 品那样有点旧的效果。这也正吻合了我的“租”，租用西方的 各种样式。 箫： 我们之前谈到了基督教这个话题。你的 2005 年的雕塑作品《 大 “车祸”》3 中，你赋予了瑞士策展人哈罗特 · 塞曼（ Harald Szeemann ）4 基督的形象，这个“基督”被一个乱开车的“出 租车司机” （按“中国当代艺术批评的先行者之一”策展人栗 宪庭的原形制作）不幸撞死。这次在《“租”—— 收租院》的 场景“殉难”中，哈罗特·塞曼又被塑造成了逝去的基督的形 象。我相信抬着他的两个人——萨缪尔·科勒（Samuel Keller）5 和蔡国强—— 肯定不是随意选择的。你可以谈谈为什么选这 两个人吗？ 李： 这组作品动作在原《收租院》场景里也有，是地主的家丁抬走 一个被折磨死去的农民。我借用了这种形式，对这三个角色
李占洋, 殉难（局部）《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 哈罗特 · 塞曼, 环氧树脂 Li Zhanyang, Dying a Martyr (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard 2007, Harald Szeemann, resin
李占洋, 殉难（局部）《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 萨缪尔·科勒, 环氧树脂 Li Zhanyang, Dying a Martyr (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, 2007, Samuel Keller, resin
进行了置换。我们知道塞曼是左派，也知道他一直关注《收租 院》，所以我把他做成了殉难者。 箫： 从某种程度来说，你安排这种遇害的场景是不是想表明你认为 塞曼是体系的受害者；或仅是因为他看起来有些像基督？ 李： 其实长得像是一个很小的因素，主要是我认为他（塞曼）在国 际上的艺术地位和他对中国当代艺术的作用是值得肯定的，他 是一个很伟大策展人，事实上他已经死了。我借用《收租院》 里的动作，用另一种方式表现了另一种殉难的感觉。蔡国强是 他选择的艺术家，做过《威尼斯的收租院》。科勒是新一代的 策展人，也是瑞士人，他有一种崭新的观念，跟塞曼的可能完 全不同，这里有种新旧代替的过程。当然，这只是我的片面理 解。 《“租”—— 收租院》的这一组人物所表现的气氛应该是很 凝重，但加了科勒后感觉就不那么凝重了。科勒很帅，面带微 笑，有一种诡异感。 箫： 与蔡国强的作品相比，你觉得《“租”——收租院》的主要区 别在哪里？ 李： 蔡国强《收租院》强调的是观念，是想复制当年《收租院》的 产生过程，把制作作品的行为连同作品搬进威尼斯。作品最后 有一些还没有做完，支离破碎的。塑造具体人物的技术层面对 蔡国强来说不关键，关键在于把这件事情用自己的思维重新 演绎一遍。他的观念是要把当年轰轰烈烈制作收租院的过程在 威尼斯重现。我是要用以前的方式重新生成另外一套作品，作 品最后的完成是很关键的。虽然这套作品在过程中会不断地转 换、变化，也有很多东西在过程中产生，但最终的结果，就像 我开始说的巴洛克作品，作品本身的精神层面取决于一种虔诚 的工作态度和长时间的研究体会，我觉得这跟一种完全的行为 过程是大不相同的。 箫： 我们刚才说到了在《大“车祸”》中虚构的车祸和策展人栗宪 庭的角色。考虑到《“租”——收租院》这组作品的观念，我 很容易理解作品中会有栗宪庭的雕塑“第二自我”，因为他在
NC: In the scene of “Foot Washing” there are many different references to the immediate situation and reality, but also hints as to the upcoming future, and to the next generations. As an example, your sculpture of a bird’s nest recalls the newly built Beijing Olympic Stadium (also known as ‘the Bird’s Nest’) – a structure designed by Herzog & de Meuron in collaboration with Ai Weiwei – that has already become a symbol of China and its ever-increasing influence on a global scale. Like a chick, a newborn is protruding his crying plump face out of your bird’s nest: is that infant your own child? Li: I think all art is produced in a process. I am not the type of artist who is rational and analytical; I constantly change my initial ideas. Basically, uneasiness is the premise from which I start; but compared to the final artwork, I often notice the differences in many respects. For instance, like the child you mentioned earlier. As I recall clearly that Urs called me once and jokingly said, “Will your child be part of this artwork”? When I heard that, I thought to myself – why don’t I put my child in the work? Other facts could also cause me to re-examine my previous artwork plans, such as Weiwei’s ‘bird’s nest’ – which Chinese considered one of the most precious of structures – and one which from birth to completion has also been an arduous process, like my child. So, I put the bird’s nest together with a baby and made this scene appear even more bizarre and the baby in the nest gives viewers an indescribable feeling, echoes of many inconsistent things; in China we call it the “Wapiti”, with the head of a horse, body of a cow and the tail of an elephant. NC: What a weird creature, it seems to come from a bestiary or a legend. This brings my thoughts to the question of time, actual or imagined. Unlike your past works, the colours you use in ‘Rent’ - Rent Collection Yard look faded, as if they’re worn out. They look like they are artworks in vibrant colours from the Middle Ages that have been passed down to the present. Why did you treat them this way? Li: Because the works we are familiar with are those passed down from history, including their colours, material and artistic form. As you said, perhaps in the Middle Ages, it might have been more vibrant, but our aesthetic taste accepts its state of having been saturated for hundreds of years. This is what has been soaked up from history. I wanted to achieve the effect of artwork from the Middle Ages – that also corresponds to the idea of ‘rent’, renting variety from Western forms. NC: We talked about Christianity earlier. In your 2005 sculpture Traffic Accident (big), you represent Jesus in the likeness of Swiss curator Harald Szeemann3. In that work, Jesus happened to be accidentally run down and killed by a reckless taxi driver (curator Li Xianting, one
of the fathers of Chinese contemporary art critique). In the scene “Dying a Martyr” in ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, Harald Szeemann is once more depicted as a dead Jesus. It is not by chance that the two characters who carry his corpse are Samuel Keller and Cai GuoQiang 4, 5. Can you tell me more about the idea behind this choice? Li: This scene can also be found in the former Rent Collection Yard, which depicts the landlord’s butlers carrying away a farmer who’s been tortured to death. I borrowed this setting, and replaced it with three different character roles. We know that Szeemann tends to be a leftist. He has always been interested in Rent Collection Yard; so I portrayed him as a Martyr. NC: Does such execution demonstrate your belief that Szeemann was somehow a victim of the system? Or is it only because he looked a bit like a Jesus? Li: Looking like Jesus is a minor factor; it is mostly because I think he has international status and his contribution to Chinese contemporary art is worth affirming. He’s a great curator. In fact, he has passed away. I am applying the format of Rent Collection Yard to do justice to his death. Szeemann chose Cai Guo-Qiang to produce Rent Collection Yard on site in Venice. Keller on the other hand, is one of the up and coming curators from a new generation, and also happens to be Swiss. However, his concepts are completely different from those of Szeemann, with which we are experiencing a process of revival. Of course, this is only my partial understanding. ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard should radiate an aura of dignity although, after adding Keller, it doesn’t seem to be as dignified. Keller is very handsome, smiling, giving it a clever feel to it. NC: Compared to Cai Guo-Qiang’s works, what do you think the primary difference is with your ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard? Li: Cai Guo-Qiang’s Rent Collection Yard emphasised the concept. He focussed on the process of replication of production in Rent Collection Yard, and moved this process of performance and ‘arranged’ the performance as an installation work in Venice. It was still incomplete by the end, and certain details were done in a mediocre manner. The skills involved in depicting particular characters were not crucial for him. Rather it was more important to re-enact such an event through his thinking. His concept was to restore the vigourous production of Rent Collection Yard in Venice. But I wanted to use the former format to give birth to a new series of artworks; so the final product is important, even though this work has undergone many changes before reaching its final stage, adding on many elements in the course of its making, but its ultimate result – as I said at the beginning about Baroque art – i.e., the spiritual level of the artwork depends on a dedicated work attitude and long periods of research and experience; I think this is different from the process of performance. NC: We just cited curator Li Xianting in the fabricated car crash you enacted in your Traffic Accident (big). If we consider the concept of your ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, I am not surprised at all to see his sculptural alter ego among the selected figures, as his curatorial practice and profound commitment to the development of contemporary art in China since its very beginning have been extremely valuable. You grouped the sculpture of Li Xianting, together with those of Uli Sigg, Mao Ran, Wang Xingwei, Ye Yongqing and Qiu Zhijie under the theme Paying Rent. In your metaphorical portrayal, Li Xianting is plodding along on a heap of sacks, his back loaded with a pile of people lying face down, in reference to the group performance To
中国当代艺术的最初阶段就策划展览和致力于推动当代艺术发 展，这些都是十分宝贵的。 你将栗宪庭、乌利 · 希克（Uli Sigg）、毛然、王兴伟、叶永青 和邱志杰都放在了场景“收租”之中。在你的隐喻中，栗宪庭 背着几个脸朝下堆叠在一起的人，踩着一堆麻袋步履维艰地行 走着。这些在他背上的人是引自一个群体行为艺术《为无名山 增高一米》 （妙峰山，北京，1995年5月22日），当时这些艺术 家得到了栗宪庭的很多支持。 李： 中国今天在国际上比较有声望和地位的当代艺术家，很多都 跟他（栗宪庭）有关系，因为他一直在中国，经历了“’ 85” 和“’ 89”政府从禁锢逐渐走向开放的整个过程。他的内心是 比较反感体制的。在那个非常禁锢的大背景下，他带领着中国 艺术家艰难地走向国际，这是他的贡献。 箫： 是的，像张洹、岳敏君、杨少斌等许多艺术家都得到过他的帮 助。 李： 老栗是一个和蔼的人，什么人都能和他交往。但我觉得他的生 活方式很累，他一般中午起床，到晚上一直都在接待客人。 箫： 现在，艾未未的住处也快变成那样了，每天从早到晚都有各种 访客。 李： 所以，我想让他在我的作品里过得好点，让未未有一些洗脚的 活动。 （笑） 箫： 乌利 · 希克在与中国相关的当代艺术领域十分有影响力：1995 年到1998 年他担任瑞士驻华大使，有机会亲身体验了中国当时 的艺术圈状况。那时，中国当代艺术还没有现在这么“火” 。在 后来的年月里，他成了世界上收集中国当代艺术作品数量最多 的收藏家。你的作品中，他在很卖力的推一部手推车，上面装 满了他收藏的最受争议的作品，如孙原和彭禹的《文明柱》 （2001年-2005年）这件作品是个由数百公斤人体脂肪组成的 一个350厘米高的立柱；萧昱的《软》 （1999年)，这件装置作 品是将一个由不同的动物拼成的生物保存在甲醛中展出，它在 2005年伯尔尼的“麻将”展 6 中引起了较大争议。 李： 哦，是吗？这我不知道。但是我看了那个展览。那是我看到过 的整体阵容最大的一次中国当代艺术展。那次展览我看了很震 撼。那时才知道中国当代艺术在西方有这么大的展示空间和接 受人群。比如说像彭禹、萧玉、孙原那些极端的作品，在中国 本土是完全不可能接受的，希克把这些艺术带入了西方，使中 国当代艺术更多元、丰富。当然，希克是很富有的人，在我的 作品里他却变成了农民，辛勤地工作，拉着那些垃圾。 （笑） 箫： 与身背数人的栗宪庭相比，希克比较舒服地“运”自己的收藏 品 ——至少他有个带轮子的推车。你对这两个人的态度有什 么不同吗？ 李： 有一点儿不同。老栗是很辛苦的，是很令人尊重的人；而希克 不断地买东西往自己家里拉，不断地制造“中国品牌”。 箫： 毛然是作品中另一个身上背着东西的角色，在你的场景里， 他肩上扛着一篮子用来充饥或产蛋，但不能成为思想养料的母 鸡，站在一只巨龟背上。乌龟自中国古代就具有很强的象征意 义，是吧？ 李： 中国古代的石碑下都会放乌龟，它代表着千秋万代，江山稳 固，有一种基垫的稳定感。古时结婚所用的婚床，四角都会
垫有乌龟，这四只乌龟 直到新娘老死都还会 活着，也就是说它们有 着很旺盛的生命力。毛 然是为未未做技术工作 的，很能干，麦勒画廊 在北京的建筑也是他做 的。所以他就像一个搬 运工一样，搬运食品， 艾未未和颜磊,《广州计划》（局部）, 2005 珠江里的泥, 玻璃钢, 玻璃, 手机 踩着乌龟来来去去地忙 Ai Weiwei and Yan Lei, Guangzhou Project (detail), 2005 Pearl River clay, fiberglass, glass, mobile phone 碌着。 《西游记》里还 有这样一个故事：唐僧 师徒四人西天取经历经 了很多磨难，有一次被一条大河拦住了去路。最后是一只乌龟 把他们驮过了河7。过河时，乌龟请唐僧帮忙问一下如来佛它 能活多少岁，结果唐僧忘了这件事。回来的时候，乌龟又驮他 们过河，快到岸边时，乌龟问起唐僧这件事情，知道唐僧忘了 问，乌龟很生气，就把他们师徒翻进了河里，把取回的经书全 都打湿了。传说如果没有把经书打湿，人就可以生而知之，不 用学习…… 反正有很多因素会糅合在一起。 箫： 你有没有去过2005年第二届广州三年展 8 ？在那次展览中，艾 未未和颜磊展出了一件合作作品《广州计划》 （2005年） ，这件 作品蕴涵了对自然和人工、传统和创新、长久和短暂的暗示； 作品包括两只巨龟，一只乌龟用长江的泥土和玻璃钢塑成、另 一只用煤块和玻璃钢做成。泥塑乌龟按常态是趴着的，而另一 只则被翻了过来。泥龟壳上面和一块圆形玻璃板连在一起，整 体看起来像是中国的旋转餐桌。在中国，人们通常会在饭桌上 建立关系，做出重要决定。在这个“桌子”上面，艾未未没有 摆放其他物件，只是放了一部正在播放片名为《未来战士》的 视频的手机。手机代表了技术进步，从更广阔的层面来说，也 代表了消费。很有意思的是，手机在展览开幕那一天就被偷 了，但“乌龟桌”还在那里。 李： 我没有去看，也不了解这个作品。 箫： 但我觉得有趣的是，你虽然不知道这件作品，却在自己的作品 中塑造了一个站在龟壳上和艾未未关系紧密的人物，他还拿着 食物。 我们谈观念艺术，让我想到了王兴伟，他是我遇到的最睿智 的画家之一，但他却经常被人误解。他的塑像被你放在了“交 租”主题中。 李： 我和王兴伟很熟，因为我们在大学时就是同学。我一直认为他 是很有智慧的人。 箫： 在你的作品中，王兴伟交的租好像是最少的：他手里只拿了一 只死兔子。你将这只兔子涂成了金色，我认为这是你对于一系 列作品的参考的验证，如博伊斯（Joseph Beuys）的观念行为 作品《如何向一只死去的兔子解释绘画》 （How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare）9。在这个行为作品中，博伊斯将自己全 身涂满了蜂蜜和金叶子，在没有人的展览空间来回走动（观 众只能通过展厅的大门或窗户朝里面看） ；与此同时，向他怀 里的死兔子默默地解释他的艺术。还有王兴伟的画《兔子的证 10中，他引用了博伊斯那件极具象 词》 （Testimony of the Hare）
Add One Metre to an Anonymous Mountain (Miaofeng Mountain, Beijing, May 22, 1995) and the artists who participated in it, whom Li Xianting supported at the time. Li: Nowadays, most Chinese contemporary artists who have sought to be prestigious and have gained international stature are grateful to Li Xianting. He has always stayed in China and experienced the 1985 and 1989 movements and managed to endure the Post-89 era, as well as the process of gradual opening up to the outside world. He despises the system, yet he led Chinese artists under such circumstances through such hardship – that was his contribution. NC: That’s right, for example, Zhang Huan, Yue Minjun, Yang Shaobin, and many other artists. Li: I have an impression of him as amiable and getting on well with anyone. Although his lifestyle seems quite tiresome to me: he has this routine of getting up around noon, and has guests visiting throughout the evening. NC: At Ai Weiwei’s place it is more or less the same, visitors follow one another all day long, from early morning to night. Li: So, I want them to live better in my work – Weiwei relaxing a bit while having a foot massage, for instance. (Laughter) NC: Uli Sigg is a very influential figure in the contemporary art scene connected to China: Swiss Ambassador to China from 1995 until 1998, he had the chance to experience the changes in the local art world when things were not a hectic as today. Throughout the years, he has been putting together the largest collection of Chinese contemporary art in the world. In your work you depict him while strenuously pushing a cart filled with some of the most discussed works he collected, such as Sun Yuan and Peng Yu’s Civilisation Pillar (2001-2005), a 350 cm high column made out of hundreds of kilos of human fat; or Xiao Yu’s Ruan (1999), the installation consisting of hybrid creatures preserved in formaldehyde that created a sensation at the Mahjong exhibition in Bern in 2005 6. Li: Oh? I am not aware of the fact that this work created a sensation, but I have seen that exhibition, the largest of Chinese contemporary art abroad that I have ever seen. I was shocked. Only then did I realise that Chinese contemporary art has such a great exhibiting potential and audience. For example, the works of Peng Yu, Xiao Yu and Sun Yuan can’t be accepted within the Chinese system, it is Uli Sigg who brought these works to the West, allowing Chinese contemporary art to become more diversified and rich. Of course, he is a wealthy person, yet he is rendered as a farmer in my work, working diligently and hauling away garbage. (Laughter) NC: Compared to Li Xianting, who is freighted with a human load right on his back, Uli Sigg is dragging his own collection in a more comfortable way – at least he has a cart with wheels. Is your attitude toward the two of them different? Li: Somewhat different. Li Xianting is a hard worker, who’s respected by many people, whereas Uli Sigg is constantly buying things and dragging them into his house, constantly renewing the ‘Chinese Brand’. NC: Mao Ran is another of your characters who is carrying things on his shoulders, in this case a basket of hens, which is – or produces – food for the body and not for the mind. In this scene, you depict Mao Ran while standing on the back of a big turtle, and the turtle has had a strong symbolic meaning in China since ancient times. Li: Turtles are generally found under as the pediments for steles in ancient China; this represents the stability of the nation throughout the ages, a type of founding stability. The wedding bed used in ancient
times was often supported by turtles below its four legs; these four turtles might still be alive even when the bride had passed away, in other words, turtles represent strong vitality. Mao Ran is a technician working with Ai Weiwei. He’s hardworking, smart and skillful. The architecture of Urs Meile – Beijing Gallery was his handiwork. In that sense, he’s a carrier, moving food, running around riding on the turtle. There is a story in Journey to the West, wherein Monk and his three disciples suffered many calamities during their journey. Once they were stranded at the Tongtian River; in the end, a turtle carried them over it7. Upon crossing the river, the turtle asked Monk to do him a favour and ask the Bodhisattva how many more years he would live, but Monk forgot the request. When they returned, the turtle carried them back across the river but, before arriving at the other shore, the turtle asked Monk about his request. The turtle was angry upon discovering that Monk had forgot his request, so he dropped Monk and his disciples into the river before they reached the shore. The sutras brought from India were thus soaked in water. If the turtle had not dropped the sutras in this legend, it is believed that we would have known many things at birth and that this therefore would have made learning unnecessary. Overall, there are many elements mixed in there. NC: Have you seen the Second Guangzhou Triennial in 2005 8? On that occasion Ai Weiwei and Yan Lei showed a collaborative work called Guangzhou Project (2005), a work rich in allusions to nature and artificiality, tradition and innovation, permanence and transience. It was an installation consisting of two large turtles, one made out of clay from the Pearl River and fiberglass and one made out of coal and fiberglass. The turtle made out of clay was standing on his legs, while the other was overturned. The top of the clay turtle shell was connected with a round glass board, so that the whole thing looked like those very common Chinese spinning dining tables [‘lazy susans’] you find in restaurants. It is known that relationships and important decisions are often settled around a dining table, during meals. On the top of their ‘table’ Ai Weiwei and Yan Lei did not place any edible food, but a mobile phone showing a video called Fighter of the Future. It was a commodity symbolising technological development – and consumption in a broad sense. Funnily enough, the mobile phone was stolen right on the opening day of the exhibition. But the table-turtles might perhaps still be there. Li: I did not see it; I am not aware of it. NC: What I think is interesting, is that without knowing this work, you represented a person who is closely connected with Ai Weiwei’s entourage on the top of a turtle shell, while holding some food. As we talked about conceptual art, I immediately thought about Wang Xingwei, one of the brightest but at the same time also most misunderstood painters I have ever met; a sculpted figure of him you included as well in the theme Paying Rent. Li: Wang Xingwei is someone I know well because we were classmates in college and I have always thought he was intelligent. NC: The Wang Xingwei in your work is the one who is seemingly paying the most meagre rent: in his hands he is just holding a little dead rabbit. Actually you painted the little rabbit in gold, which in my understanding hints to a chain of references going back to Joseph Beuys’ conceptual performance How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare9. In that performance, Beuys covered himself with honey and gold leaf, and walked around the deserted exhibition space (the viewers were able to see the scene only from the door or through the windows) while silently explaining his art to the dead hare he held in
征意义的行为作品，这个行为作品表达了博伊斯对于思想、语 言、人类和动物意识等问题的思考。你如何看待王兴伟的艺术 作品？ 李： 在我看来，他的艺术并不是针对中国现状的。比如好多中国 艺术家的作品会针对“文革” ，针对体制，针对社会，他不是 这样。他的作品都是针对美术史的，比如说他画杜尚抽烟， 画他自己审问兔子，还指着电脑里的博伊斯。11 他的作品里总 有种隐喻，所以我想把他的隐喻做进我的作品里。他动作平 静，若有所思地看着那个死兔子，那个兔子也不像博伊斯抱 的兔子那么硕大，而是变得很渺小，微不足道。王兴伟有反 骨，他不像“广州快车”12 那么表面化，他是更深层面的、精 神上的反主流 。 箫： 为什么你将他塑造成一个平静的角色？ 李： 他给我的印象就是这样，从来都是不露声色的。跟他聊天，你 会发现他的思想深度比很多表面浮夸的艺术家要深很多。他不 是特别会表达，但思想很锐利，也很平静，有一种比较内在的 张力。 箫： 观念艺术家、评论家、理论家、策展人和艺术学教授邱志杰 有着渊博的知识和敏捷的思维，在你的作品《“租”—— 收租 院》中，他以隐喻的方式“压碎了数个头颅”。你对他的看法 如何？ 李： 他是一个我很喜欢的艺术家，因为我认为他不但具有实力，并 且是一个真正在思考的人，他的头脑很清晰，有想象力。他也 是多重身份，在比较年轻的一代里，我觉得他是最有希望的一 个人。1999年，他就策划了一个展览叫做《后感性》13。那些 被压碎的很多头，大多是来自他《后感性》展览给我的印象。 邱志杰的思维方法和做事情的手段跟很多人是不一样的。他 的知识背景更多，鉴于这种知识背景，他的思考就会相对更 成熟、更猛烈一些。他在我的作品里也有些调侃的意味，他 把那么多乱七八糟的东西通过这个鼓风机或者绞肉机做成了 米，他能。 箫： 在作品中，有邱志杰全神贯注的在“处置”艺术家和艺术作 品；还有艺术家兼策展人叶永青静静地站着那儿，手里抓着一 个鞭子，脸上露出轻蔑的讥笑。他为什么会有这个表情？
李： 叶帅是我们川美的，也是比较活跃的艺术家和策展人。他也曾 经策划过我和陈卫闽的展览。还帮过希克策展。他是个在中国 和西方都很活跃的人，身份也不明确，有时是艺术家，有时是 策展人，有时又写文章。他无处不在，有点儿像管家或者是操 盘手。在我的作品里，他是一个做鬼脸的监工，管一些农民。 我的师弟去给他拍照时，他做出几种表情，我选择了他那张照 片看上去很滑稽的表情。 箫： 在“压迫”场景中，策展人高明潞的脖子和双脚都被铐了起 来，手里举着一盏灯。你为什么将他塑造成一个囚犯？
his arms. In one of his paintings called Testimony of the Hare, Wang Xingwei cites this highly symbolic performance dealing with the problems of thought, language and human and animal consciousness. How do you see Wang Xingwei’s art? Li: In my view, his art is not directed towards the current situation in China. For example, many Chinese artists work with Cultural Revolution themes, aimed at the system or this society. But he does not. His works target the history of art. He paints a smoking Duchamp and himself interrogating a rabbit, meanwhile pointing at Beuys on a screen 10, 11. There is a sense of metaphor in his work, that is how I wanted to incorporate that metaphor into my work – he is calm, and looking down thoughtfully at the dead rabbit in his arms, though it is not as big as Beuys’; I made it smaller and insignificant. Wang Xingwei is rebellious, unlike the obviousness and superficiality of Canton Express, his works have more depth, and challenge the mainstream in spirit 12.
李： 最早想把高名潞做进《“租”—— 收租院》的想法，是那次我 去参加Bachmann/Banz 14 的开幕式，我看到麦勒画廊U空间里 有一个小屋子，我想到这里面应该放一个像囚犯一样被囚禁的 人。我觉得高名潞比较合适，因为他推动了“’ ，影响 85运动” 了中国当代艺术，是一个真正的理论家和批评家。他“’ 89 ” 后出国了，在西方呆了很长时间后又回国。回来后，中国的情 况变得跟他原来想的不太一样。后来，他到四川美院工作，我 有机会跟他接触多了一些，我们经常聊天并逐渐熟悉了起来。 我觉得他是一个有理想的人，而他的理想在更多情况下与中国 的现况不吻合，和现实差得太远，很多事情把他折磨得非常疲 惫，大有“锁住我双脚和双手，锁不住我壮志冲云霄”之感。
NC: Why have you made him a calm?
箫： 何云昌（阿昌）是一位广受尊重的艺术家，以极端的行为作品 著称。在他 2003年的一个作品中，他将自己的左手浇铸在水 泥中24小时15。这是他拘禁和忍耐的一种表现形式。
NC: With his knowledge and sharp mind, conceptual artist, critic, theorist, curator and art professor Qiu Zhijie has metaphorically ‘broken many heads’, as in the metaphorical portrayal of him in ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard. What is your view of him?
Li: That’s my impression of him; he is one who does not wear his heart on his sleeve. But if you talk to him, you discover his depth, when compared to superficial artists. He is not particularly articulate, yet is able to deliberate quite acutely. His calmness is an introverted strength.
箫： 他的行为通常是自虐的，目的是为了挑战自己的心理和生理 极限。
Li: He’s an artist I like a lot, not only because I think he’s got potential, but also because I believe he’s one who reflects thoroughly. His mind is clear, and full of imagination. He also has multiple identities. Among the artists of the younger generation, I think he’s one with the most potential ones. Even by 1999, he had already curated the show Post-Sense Sensitivity which left me with quite an impression and the feeling of many broken heads13. His way of thinking and way of conducting matters are quite different from most people. His extensive knowledge allows him to contemplate matters with maturity and incisiveness. My depiction of him has somewhat of an element of mockery: he’s taken a pile of things and made it into rice with the help of ventilator or food processor, and he can.
NC: While in your work Qiu Zhijie is all intent on ‘processing’ artists and
李： 其实我对中国当代艺术圈并没有太深的了解。在北京，艺术家 之间有机会可以经常接触，而我在重庆，接触的人实在很少， 我知道的人也很少。比如说阿昌，我有个同学叫曹晖，昆明 人，阿昌跟他是同乡，通过他我和阿昌很早就认识了。当时阿 昌很穷，经常抱着一卷照片，像条野狗。我们吃饭后，他一个 人坐车回通县。我认为行为艺术家中他是很有力度的一个，艰 苦地挑战身体的极限，是很本质的行为艺术家，他做的作品我 都喜欢。
artworks, artist and curator Ye Yongqing stands still while clutching a braid in his hands with a disdainful sneer on his face. Why such a grimace? Li: Ye Yongqing works at the Sichuan Institute of Fine Art, as well as being an active artist and curator. He curated an exhibition for Chen Huimin and me. He has also helped Uli Sigg with curatorial works. He is someone who is active both in China and in the West. His identity is ambiguous, sometimes he’s an artist, other times a curator. He also writes critiques from time to time. He can be found everywhere, like a butler or a stockbroker. In my work, he is a supervisor wearing a funny face, managing some farmers. When we went to him and took some photos of him, he made various expressions for us to choose, and I chose this hilarious one. NC: In the scene “Oppression”, you represent curator Gao Minglu with his neck and feet chained while holding a lamp. Why did you assign him the role of a prisoner? Li: The idea to make Gao Minglu in ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard first came when I attended the opening of Bachmann/Banz14. I saw a small room in the U space of Galerie Urs Meile, and I wanted to place someone there like a prisoner. I thought Gao Minglu fit this role. He has promoted Chinese contemporary art since the ’85 Movement, and thus has had a great influence on Chinese contemporary art and been a true Chinese curator and critic. He had to leave the country and only returned after he had lived a long time abroad. Upon returning to China, the country no longer corresponded to his imagination. Later on, when he started working at the Sichuan Institute of Fine Art, I had more opportunities to speak with him, and got to know him. I sensed that he is an idealistic person, although most of his ideals are unfeasible in the current Chinese situation. The contradiction with reality disturbed and exhausted him. The figurative gesture I gave him in my work demonstrates his attitude: they can only lock my hands and feet, but never my lofty ideas. NC: He Yongchang (A Chang) is a very much respected artist known for his extreme performance pieces. In a work from 2003, he cast his left hand in a cement block, and was not able to move for 24 hours15. This is another kind of locking up and endurance. Li: I don’t have a thorough understanding of the Chinese contemporary art circle. In Beijing, there are more opportunities to get to know each other among artists, but I live in Chongqing. I am not in touch with many people, and I also don’t know that many. I became acquainted with A Chang because I have a classmate, Cao Hui, who comes from Kunming, also A Chang’s hometown; Cao Hui knows him well, so we met a long time ago. At that time, A Chang was dirt poor and went around with a roll of film, like a homeless dog. Every time after eating with us, he rode the bus to Tongxian alone. I think among performance artists, He Yunchang is quite sharp, brave to challenge his own endurance and is a humble performance artist. I like all of his works. NC: His performances often involve self-torture. They are aimed at voluntarily challenging his psycho-physical conditions. Li: That’s right, he has been repeatedly torturing himself.
博伊斯,《如何向一只死去的兔子 解释绘画》, 1965.11.12, 行为作品, Schmela画廊, 德国, 杜塞尔多夫 Joseph Beuys, Wie man dem toten Hasen die Bilder erklärt (How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare), November 12, 1965, performance, Gallery Schmela, Düsseldorf
王兴伟,《兔子的证词》, 1995 油画, 125 x 200 cm Wang Xingwei, The Testimony of the Hare, 1995 oil on canvas, 125 x 200 cm
李占洋, 交租（局部）《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 王兴伟, 环氧树脂 Li Zhanyang, Paying Rent (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, 2007 Wang Xingwei, resin
李占洋, 压迫（局部） 《“租”—— 收租院 》, 2007 《红灯记》, 剧照 － 李玉和, 1960年代 高名潞, 环氧树脂 The Red Lantern stage photo – Li Yuhe, 1960s Li Zhanyang, Oppression (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, 2007 Gao Minglu, resin
何云昌（阿昌）,《抱柱之信》 2003. 10. 24－25, 行为作品, 云南, 丽江 He Yunchang (A Chang), Appointment Grasping the Column, October 24-25, 2003, performance Lijiang, Yunnan Province
李占洋, 交租（局部） 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 风车, 环氧树脂 Li Zhanyang, Paying Rent (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, 2007 mill, resin
NC: When you were still developing the concept of ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, you were initially thinking about including a reproduction of Berlinde de Bruyckere’s disquieting sculpture Hanne among the characters of your work16. De Bruyckere’s work shows a nude, livid-skinned woman standing and naked lady with her head bowed down. She clutches long disheveled hair, which covers. At that time, you were pondering the possibility of hanging your version of the
箫： 当你还在充实《“租”—— 收租院》的理念时，你曾考虑过将 Berlinde De Bruycker令人不安的雕塑作品《Hanne》放在作品 的人物中16。De Bruyckere的这个作品中有一名皮肤青紫、站 立着的裸女，她的头和凌乱的长发埋在手臂里，因此人们无法 看清她的脸。当时，你考虑过创作出这件作品，然后把它挂在 墙上（De Bruyckere曾经也采用过这种展示方式） ，给观众一 种威胁和害怕的感觉，但你却放弃了这个方案。 李： 开始是那样想，只是为了一个更好的戏剧效果。我觉得如果把 Berlinde de Bruyckere的作品复制到我的《“租”—— 收租院》 里肯定会很吓人，像鬼一样悬在空中，后来我想她的作品可能 和“收租院”关系不大…… 如果非要在空中悬个人，选一个 中国的行为艺术事件作成雕塑更贴切些。后来我用了张洹的行 为，被吊起来放血的那个，很刺激。把这件雕塑放在洗脚那组 未未头的上方，挺热闹17。 箫： 你在画廊主张颂仁的雕塑旁放了一只三头犬，像刻耳柏洛斯 或“哈迪斯之犬”是来自西方的古代神话，使人产生不安感。 李： 对，在贝尼尼作品中就有这样的三头狗，或许它来自于希腊的传 说，或许是像未来派那种所产生的几个动作时间上的集合18,19。 箫： 我知道你认为自己的这组作品风格幽默。但是它也有人和人， 心灵、文化和事实的关系，很杂乱。你是怎么看的？ 李： 就像你评价我一样，很乱。我没有一个主要的、很清晰的思 绪，只是凭直觉凭感觉来体现我的理解。有的时候我说着说着 就走神了，走到另外的一个话题，这可能是我的一种方式或者 说是我理解的方式。我既然不是一个清晰的人，那我的作品也 不用更清晰。越接近我的这种思维就越好，所以很难用非常严 密的一个说法来界定我的这个作品。在我们采访最开始，我就 强调了我的作品不是中国或西方当代史。如果贡布里希 20 这样 做，那他一定会犯错误，因为他在写历史，要公正。而对我不 存在这种规则，我是一个艺术家，可以表现我的偏见、无知或 者我的直觉。 箫： 在“抢人”这个主题中，艺术家隋建国试图摆脱紧抓他的策展 人范迪安。你能谈谈为什么设计这场“混战” ？这个场景借鉴 了隋建国的什么作品？ 李： 隋建国我就更了解了，他是我的老师。我在中央美院的时候， 受他的影响很深。他不断鼓励我们做当代的作品。他是个工作 狂，像奴隶一样非常疯狂地做事。他的作品我们都很熟悉，像 《衣纹练习》系列21 ，把希腊、罗马或文艺复兴时的经典之作 来穿上他的“中山装”22。在我的《“租”—— 收租院》里，我
把他的形象也套上了中山装，置换了他曾经做过的《穿中山装 的被缚的奴隶》23。我把他和范迪安做成一组抓壮丁的场景。 这个动作原《收租院》里也有，抓壮丁。壮丁的动作也有些像 奴隶。范迪安是他（隋建国）的领导，肯定抓他的壮丁。我这 么安排是为了嘲讽一下现实。 箫： 在作品中，还有一场相当有趣的“斗争”，画廊主黄燎原、雕 塑家向京、策展人陆蓉之和顾振清。我们可以看到这组人之间 荒谬的争斗。经典《收租院》中十分感人的场景被你改成了一 帮人在拼命争抢一只布娃娃，相当地滑稽。 李： 如果说我的《收租院》存在着不同的想法和情绪的话，那么这 一组更倾向于调侃的味道。这四个人我都认识，尤其向京，她 是我多年的朋友。这些人跟我个人经历都是有关系的。陆蓉之 在中国女性策划人中，算是比较早的一个，是个个性鲜明的人 物。老顾和老黄是著名策展人和画廊主。但是这些人混合在一 起会产生特逗的感觉。原《收租院》的场景中就有这一幕：两 个壮丁把老母亲拉开，年青的母亲被抢去喂奶，老母亲在递她 襁褓中的孩子，是一种很悲惨的气氛。而这个场景在我的作品 中已经完全被消解了，女人的孩子已经变成了一个布娃娃，向 京虽然做着一种很痛苦呐喊的表情，但是可能就是为了一个布 娃娃，荒诞。 箫： 前几个月你除了忙于创作《“租”——收租院》，还在修改其它 的一些雕塑作品，有些你已经创作了很长时间。要么是它们从 质量或表现上不完全符合你的要求，要么是出于其他原因你没 能够更早完成。例如：那件女孩和马交媾的《马与少女的梦》 的作品，这件比过去同名的作品尺寸大，风格也有所不同。还 有《和尚和尼姑》(2006年) 24 表现手淫场景的那件。你还创作 了一些新作品。我看到你刚刚完成的这件两头正在交媾的猪。 提到的这些作品同你过去创作的某些作品一样，都带有对性的 描写。你为什么喜欢直接呈现性行为？ 李： 你说的这些作品是我前一段时间创作的，是区别于《收租院》 的另一个话题。我觉得尤其是中国人很避讳直接地提这类事 情，即便提的话也会隐讳一些。我就想直接把它呈现出来。这 些作品的题材有的来自于录像片段，也有来自于真实的生活或 其它方面的。这些作品跟《金瓶梅》25 、 《对琼斯的回忆》26 等 作品一样，虽然表现的方式不同，但都是同一个关于性和身体 的话题。我觉得我们没有把这个东西说透，我只是想把它说得 更直白、更恶心点儿。 箫： 你的作品经常能看到猪的形象，例如，在《“租”—— 收租 院》中，林素玲就坐在一只公猪身上。在中国， “猪”有着很
（局部） (左图) 李占洋, 抢人 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 隋建国, 环氧树脂 (left) Li Zhanyang, Raping (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, 2007 Sui Jianguo, resin
Berlinde de Bruyckere,《Hanne》, 2003 打蜡, 环氧基树脂, 马毛, 175 x 52 x 60 cm Berlinde de Bruyckere, Hanne, 2003 wax, epoxy resin, horsehair, 175x52x60cm
贝尼尼,《普拉东抢劫珀耳塞福涅》 （局部）, 三头狗（刻耳 柏洛斯), 1621-1622, 大理石雕像, 博格斯美术馆, 罗马 Gian Lorenzo Bernini, The Rape of Proserpina (detail), three-headed dog (Cerberus), 1621-1622, marble Galleria Borghese, Rome
李占洋, 压迫（局部）《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 三头狗（刻耳柏洛斯）, 环氧树脂 Li Zhanyang, Oppression (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, 2007 three-headed dog (Cerberus), resin
(右图) 隋建国,《衣纹研究—被 缚的奴隶》, 1998 玻璃钢, 230 cm (right) Sui Jianguo, Clothes Vein Study - Bound Slave, 1998 fiberglass height 230 cm
sculpture on the wall – a display De Bruyckere as well – in order to convey a feeling of threat and fear to viewers below, but you eventually discarded this thought.
absurd conflict in this group, in which the profoundly moving scene of the original Rent Collection Yard has been turned into the farcical desperation for the loss of a doll.
Li: That is what I had in mind at the beginning, intended for a better theatrical effect. I thought if I made her work into ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard it would definitely be fearsome, like a ghost hanging in the air, but it was not long before I realised that her work might be irrelevant to Rent. If I had to make one hanging work, then I thought it would be more proper to use a sculpture made from a Chinese contemporary art performance. Later, I applied Zhang Huan’s early performance piece 17 which involved hanging himself from chains as his blood dripped. I placed it above the work with the foot-washing of Ai Weiwei, it was quite a lively scene.
Li: If ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard is an embodiment of different kinds of thinking and mood, then this group is more inclined to ridicule. I know all four of them quite well, especially Xiang Jing, who has been a good friend of mine for many years now. These people have all been part of my personal growth and experience. Lu Rongzhi was one of the first female curators in China and has a strong personality. Gu and Huang are all eminent in the curatorial field and the later is a gallery owner. But placing these people together produces a comic result. There is one scene in the original Rent Collection Yard: a mother and daughter are ruthlessly separated by two guards as the mother attempts to hand her grandchild to his mother in desperation. The same scene in my work has been changed to a mockery. Though Xiang Jing is wearing a startled expression, the child is replaced by a doll, it is quite ridiculous.
NC: A somehow disquieting feeling is suggested as well by the threeheaded dog that you placed next to gallerist Johnson Chang. Cerberus or the ‘Hound of Hades’ is also a mythological creature from the Western tradition. Li: Right; the three-headed dog appeared in Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s work. I thought it came perhaps from a Greek legend, or was like the dog in futurism that produces a sequence of consecutive actions18, 19. NC: As I can understand, you consider this work humourous, but there is also what’s associated with people: one’s soul, culture and reality; it’s sporadic in fact. What are your opinions? Li: As you have said about me: sporadic. I don’t have any primary or clear train of thought. Rather, I depend on my intuition to express my interpretation through my insights. Sometimes I become distracted in the process, and jump to other topics. Perhaps this is one of my ways of creating, or my way of interpreting. Since I am not a clear person, then it also becomes unnecessary for my works to be clear, as long as my way of thinking is narrowly conveyed. Therefore, it is difficult to explain my work using a rigid definition. At the beginning of our interview, I emphasised that my work does not reflect modern Chinese or Western history. If E.H.J. Gombrich had attempted this, he would definitely have made mistakes, because he was writing history, a practice that requires objectivity20, whereas such rules don’t apply to me; I am an artist. I can express my bias, ignorance or intuition. NC: As part of the theme “Raping”, you represented artist Sui Jianguo while trying to slip out of curator Fan Di’an’s solid grip. Can you tell me more about the reasons for staging this scuffle, and about your formal references to Sui Jianguo’s works I see here? Li: I know Sui Jianguo well because he was my professor when I studied at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. He has had a great influence on me. He was constantly encouraging me to produce contemporary works. He is a workaholic, and has excessive amounts of energy with which to do his work. We are all quite familiar with the work Clothes Vein Study in which he took his Sun Yat-sen suit and mixed it with classical Greek, Roman or Renaissance artwork21 22 . Therefore, I clothed Sui in a Sun Yat-sen suit in ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, with which I replaced his former work Bound Slave in Sun Yat-sen Suit; moreover, I also cast Fan Di’an – in reality Sui’s supervisor – together with Sui to set a scene: a soldier (Sui) has been caught by an official (Fan Di’an). With the same effect in the original work, the soldier looks enslaved. I set it up as a joke about reality 23. NC: A quite funny fight is the one you staged among gallerist Huang Liaoyuan, sculptor Xiang Jing, curator Lu Rongzhi (Victoria Lu) and Gu Zhenqing, who also happens to be a curator. We can see an
NC: Although in the last months you have been very busy with the making of ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, you never stopped remaking and elaborating other sculptures on which you have been working for quite a time, either because before they did not completely satisfy you in terms of quality and rendering, or because for some reason you could not bring them to earlier completion; to quote some examples, a larger and stylistically different version of The Dream of a Horse and a Girl, a work showing intercourse between a girl and a horse, or The Monk and the Nun (2006), showing a masturbation scene. You also created a couple of new ones. I see here that you have just completed a pair of breeding pigs24. These works I mentioned, like a number of those you have made in the past, are sexually explicit. What makes you interested in showing sexual acts so explicitly? Li: The works you mentioned are those I did earlier on. They are different from ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard. I have noticed, especially among Chinese, it is taboo to speak of this subject. And even when it is mentioned, it’s done in a nuanced fashion. This insight motivated me to present it with bluntness. Some of those works come from video clips; some are found in real life or derive from various other sources. I think it is the same as The Golden Lotus (2004) or In Memory of Jones (2003). Although a different approach is taken in representation – the appearance, form, content and the material used also differ – either Chinese or Western, ancient or modern, the topic is the same with regard to sexuality and the body 25, 26. I think we have not thoroughly discussed this subject. I just want to make it more direc and more gruesome. NC: We often find the images of pigs in your works. In ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, for instance, Lin Suling is sitting on a hog. ‘Pig’ in china has a variety of rich implications, an animal that’s considered important, but also gluttonous in character. What does ‘pig’ mean to you? Is it a motif relevant to sex? Li: A pig is an animal with rapid reproduction, an animal that is also indispensable for us. If we speak of reproduction, ultimately it involves sex, and the more sex performed, the more offspring will be produced, so eventually there will be pigs everywhere. NC: Is this also a metaphor for Chinese society? Li: I haven’t thought about that too much. I lived in the countryside in my childhood, and there were pigs everywhere, and you saw them as soon as you stepped outside: pigs, hogs and piglets. It is one of my life memories, or a motif produced from my memories. As to its
多寓意，这种动物对人的生活很重要，但也被看成是一种贪婪 的动物。对你来说， “猪”意味着什么？它的形象是不是与性 有关？ 李： 猪是一种繁殖很快的动物，也是我们不可缺少的动物。如果繁 殖，就肯定会涉及到性，做爱越多，生的崽儿就越多，最后到 处都是猪。 箫： 这是不是也喻指中国社会？ 李： 这我倒没多想。我小的时候生活在农村，那里到处都是猪，出 门就能看到，公猪、母猪、小猪。它是我生活中的一个记忆或 是在我记忆中产生的一个符号。但它与中国社会的关系，这我 没有深入想过。 箫： 我在你过去的作品中发现许多人（老板）看起来都挺像猪的。 李： 对，他们很胖，可能因为他们吃了太多的猪肉。 （笑） 箫： 除了很胖外，他们的行为动作看起来也有些像猪，都想要那种 让自己立马满足后的好感觉。 李： 对，非常现实化和直接。 箫： 除了这一系列作品，我还想谈谈另一个相关的话题 ——《南山 饭庄》——它以独特的手法描绘了社会27，是件复杂的作品， 有很多元素和故事。 《“租”—— 收租院》也有很多角色，作 品的细节被放大，每个人物都有自己的故事。而在《南山饭 庄》里，每个人都挤在同一个场景中，每个角色的尺寸都不 大，但也有自己的故事。你在《南山饭庄》里重点强调了人 类的生活、生命、文化和社会习惯存在的背景和环境。这就 像是老重庆，有群山、建筑物和群体生活的景象。你怎么看 这两件作品？ 李：《南山饭庄》是我今年（2007年）完成的作品，它更具现实感 一些。重庆南山这个比较好的风景区里有很多餐饮、娱乐场 所。中国的现实就是这样，普通民众的消费就是吃喝玩乐， 不可能像西方那样看博物馆、歌剧院。重庆最丰富的就是饮
食文化，所以作品触目皆是一个大吃场景。我也曾到南山饭 庄吃过饭，它的地貌是一块一块的小平地组成的丘陵，从远 处看地貌非常好看，各种各样的人和吃喝玩乐的场景。这个 作品有点儿像我过去的作品，看到什么就做什么，确实每个 都有它们自己的现实指向或情节，跟完全靠编造、想象而做 出来的《“租”—— 收租院》是完全不一样的。
the Ai Weiwei set of ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard; maybe it seems flatter in comparison to Nanshan. What are your views on these two works?
箫： 我看了这件作品后，感觉它像当代风景画，因为你在塑造自然 或建筑物时参照了水墨的风格。我听说你还创作了一个浮雕风 景作品，原准备放在《“租”—— 收租院》里艾未未的那个场 景中，但这个浮雕看起来要比《南山饭庄》的那个浮雕线条平 缓。你怎么看这两个作品？ 李： 你说的那个浮雕是我参考北宋张择端《清明上河图》中的 一部分做的。北宋是中国古代一个尤其在经济方面比较兴盛 的时期。 《清明上河图》就是一幅体现当时市井繁荣的生活 写照。我很小的时候就特别喜欢这幅画。在我写的很多文章 中也提到过它。所以我把其中最繁盛的一段做成浮雕当作背 景，这个背景参照了今天的现实。我觉得今天中国的面貌也 有点儿像当时的那种场景。表面上看，到处是建筑，到处兴旺 发达，包括艺术都很火，但实际上可能跟当时北宋时期的社会 背景有点儿相似。我们知道，唐朝重视的是边疆的力量，但 内部却比较空虚，所以后来发生了“安史之乱”。北宋吸取了 唐朝的经验，加强了内部管理，建立了“禁军” ，把皇城保卫得 很好，但是它的边疆却很不稳定。我觉得今天的中国也差不 多。其实国际上的形势给中国的压力很大，但内部面貌给人 的感觉是很繁盛的。这个繁盛的背后其实有很多问题，包括 中国当代艺术。如果我们追溯分析它的文脉和历史，我们会发 现还存在着很多问题。这两件作品我是想通过表现表面的浮华 来映透出潜伏的危机感。 —— 箫： 是的。有风景浮雕风格的《清明上河图》给人的感觉与《 “租”
李占洋,《南山饭庄》, 2007, 玻璃钢, 132 x 256 x 163 cm Li Zhanyang, Nanshan Restaurant, 2007, fiberglass, 132 x 256 x 163 cm
relationship with Chinese society, I haven’t thought much about it. NC: From the previous works of yours I have seen, many people (bosses) look somewhat like pigs. Li: That’s right; they are fat, maybe because they have eaten a lot of pork. (Laughter) NC: Besides being fat, their actions are also porcine, the kind that allow immediate self-gratification. Li: That’s right; it’s quite realistic and direct. NC: In addition to this series of works, there is another topic that’s somewhat relevant to this. Nanshan Restaurant portrays society distinctively27. It is a complex work, with many elements and plots involved. ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard also involves many characters, although each detail has been blown up, each individual has his own story, whereas in Nanshan Restaurant, everybody is gathered in the same scene; each character is small in size, although representing his/her own story. Your emphasis in Nanshan is the setting in which living, life, culture and social behavior are positioned visà-vis such an environment and background. It is like Chongqing in the past, with its hills, architecture and communal life. How do you view these two works? Li: Nanshan Restaurant was completed in 2007, and has a strong sense of realism. First of all, it is set in a realistic setting – the beautiful natural landscape of Nanshan – where people have opened many restaurants and bars. This is the Chinese reality; usually there aren’t any policies for constructing museums, opera houses or cinemas in urban areas as in the West, especially museums and galleries. The most abundant thing in Chongqing is dining – culinary culture – therefore the setting for the artwork is also a sight commonly seen. I have also eaten at Nanshan; its landscape is a mountain built out of small terraced plots of land, upon which tables are set out. The area is beautiful, and all kinds of people get drunk there. This is a work that shares many similarities with works I have done in the past – I am making what I have seen, and indeed each has its own appearance and narrative. Although, the plots themselves are somewhat similar, they differ from the completely fabricated and imagined ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard.
李占洋,《清明上河图》, 2006, 北宋山水画复制浮雕, 玻璃钢, 246 x 603 cm
Li Zhanyang, Going to the (Bian) River during the Qing Ming Festival, 2006, relief replica of the Northen Song dynasty original, fiberglass, 246 x 603 cm
NC: The impression I get from this artwork is a sense of the dimensionality of contemporary landscape painting, because your rendering of nature or architecture makes reference to ink painting. You also produced a relief landscape that you originally intended to place in
Li: That relief landscape I wanted to include in the Ai Weiwei set is a detail from Zhang Zeduan’s Going to the (Bian) River During the Qing Ming Festival, from the Northern Song Dynasty 28. The Northern Song dynasty was a period of economic prosperity in ancient China; Going to the (Bian) River during the Qing Ming Festival is a long hand scroll that projects the liveliness of the street scene. I loved this painting even as a small child, and have also mentioned it in a lot of my writings. Therefore, I took the liveliest section as the background for the relief sculpture, a background in reference to today’s reality. I think the current Chinese phenomenon shares similarities with that scene. At a superficial level, we see buildings everywhere, everything seems to be booming, including art, but in reality probably it resembles the social background of the Northern Song period. We know that in the Tang Dynasty, emphasis was laid on strengthening peripheral power, but the state was internally weak, which caused the ‘Eunuch’s Rebellion’ and other internal dissent 29. The Northern Song, learning from the Tang experience, strengthened internal administration and mustered a ‘Praetorian Guard’ that protected the imperial palace, yet its borders were unstable. I think China today is similar to this situation. In fact, the demands of the international order place great strains on China, although internally, the impression might be one of prosperity. Behind this prosperity, however, there are many problems, including those in Chinese contemporary art. If we trace back and analyse its lineage and history, we notice the presence of many problems; we have abstract superficial phenomena for comparison, although someone who is familiar with history would identify the embedded relationship with an imminent situation of crisis. NC: Right. Nanshan Restaurant as a relief landscape offers a different impression from ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard; one is somewhat abstract, but the other is realistic. What do you think? Li: I did not want to alter the original of Going to the (Bian) River During the Qing Ming Festival, because I have loved this work since I was a small child; I only wanted to use part of it as the background, and insert it in the relief sculpture. Perhaps such an approach renders it more dimensional, and the content conveyed more distinct. My aim was to create a contrast. Whereas in ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, if I had replicated the original of Rent Collection Yard, perhaps it would be more or less like Cai Guo-Qiang’s work, only that my emphasis is put on the final product, whereas he focussed on the process. In fact, I wanted to make it different, setting a centre, a core and put my experience up front, while adding a background behind that. Just as we put on background music for this conversation to make it more pleasant, and listening to light music makes us more comfortable. NC: Figures in ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard each have their own symbolism. If you had made them more abstract, that could also have been another possibility. Yet, you have chosen what we have here; their demeanos were not altered. And you have only changed their actions, clothes or colours. For those who know them, they would be able to identify them at first sight. Li: I am interested in this kind of internal transformation. If I rent an object, for example, a car or a house, it would be for my own use and if I rented it, it would certainly be useful for me; what I want to emphasise here is the word ‘use’. If nothing changes, then there would
李： 我不想改变原来的《清明上河图》的内容，我做它的目的就是 想把它作为背景参照。而《“租”—— 收租院》不是这样的。 如果我把原创《收租院》完全一样地复制过来，可能就跟蔡国 强的作品差不太多，只不过我强调的是最后的结果，而他强 调的是过程。我其实是想改变，在不知不觉中变成另一种东西 了。就像我们会在谈话的时候放背景音乐，听轻音乐能让我们 更自在。
箫： 西方的观众不一定能认出《 “租”—— 收租院》中的大部分角 色，他们可能更不知道《收租院》这个作品。你认为他们会如 何理解你的作品？
箫： 《“租”—— 收租院》中的每个人物都有自己的象征符号。你 在创作的时候如果想更加抽象化，那这件作品可能就会是另一 个结果了。但是，你选择了贴切地保留他们行为举止常态的创 作方式，仅仅改变他们的行动、衣着或颜色，以便使认识他们 的人一眼就可以辨认出他们是谁。 李： 我强调的是内部的一种转变。如果我租一样东西，比如说租 车、租房，那是为了干自己的事情，既然租了，就肯定有用， 我强调的是这个“用”字。如果完全不改变的话，就不会产生 结合或裂变。租用一个古老的、有争议、有问题或既定模式的 话题，加进我的思想、教育背景，就会裂变出一个新的东西。 我觉得，人不可能脱离历史和文化背景，任何人都不是生而知
李： 我觉得，知道中国近、当代文化历史的人，就应该会知道《收 租院》作品。当然，这也涉及到文化中心论的问题。现在的世 界格局还是以西方为中心。就像美国，无论它有理没理，他想 打就打，它有实力打，所以伊拉克被拿下。如果意大利打伊拉 克，再有理也打不下来。这是个霸权和中心的问题，文化也一 样。如果中国是个非常中心的国家，就不用考虑西方人看不看 懂的问题，卡塞尔文献展又有几个中国人能看懂呢？你看不懂 自然就得想法去了解它。我做《“租”—— 收租院》没有想西 方人会怎么看这件作品，我只是表现我的偏见和土生土长的东 西。马尔克斯的《百年孤独》28 描写的也就是哥伦比亚的某个 小镇，他肯定没考虑过世界人民是否知道马孔多小镇。
Li: Those who are familiar with modern Chinese history should know Rent Collection Yard – a work that was widely recognised. The question you posed is also possible. And if we start discussing this problem, it would lead to many other issues – it would involve cultural centrism. The current world structure is such that it’s still centred on
Translator: Ben Armour
“Nalaizhuyi” (in English translated as “grabbism”) is a term used by the father of Chinese modern literature Lu Xun (1881-1936). It describes the appropriation or adaptation of Western cultural elements.
Ai Weiwei, Fairytale (1001 Chinese visitors), 2007, 1001 Chinese people, mixed media, project for Documenta 12, Kassel, June 16 – September 23, 2007.
Li Zhanyang, Traffic Accident (big), 2005, fiberglass, 90 x 215 x 105 cm.
Samuel Keller is the new director of Beyeler Foundation, Riehen, Switzerland. He was the director of Art Basel from 2000 to 2007.
Harald Szeemann (1933-2005) was a worldwide renowned art critic and curator. Among the international art events he curated, I would like to mention the 48th Venice Biennale (1999), where artist Cai Guo-Qiang won the Golden Lion with his Rent Collection Yard (1999), a conceptual reinterpretation of the original Rent Collection Yard (1965).
“Mahjong – Chinesische Gegenwartkunst Aus der Sammlung Sigg” (Mahjong – Chinese contemporary Art from the Sigg Collection), Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland, June 13 – October 16, 2005.
Journey to the West (also known as The Monkey King), is one of the Four Classical Novels of Chinese literature. Published anonymously during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), it was later ascribed to scholar Wu Chen’en. The tale is a fabled version based on the pilgrimage of monk Xuanzang to India (7th century) in search of the sacred sutras.
The Second Guangzhou Triennial – “Beyond: an extraordinary space for experimentation for modernization”, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, September 28 –December18, 2005.
李占洋， 《大“车祸”》，2005年，玻璃钢，90 x 215 x 105 cm。
哈罗特 · 塞曼 (1933-2005) 生前是世界知名的艺术评论家和策展人，他策展的展览包括第48届威尼斯双年展 (1999)，在那次展览中，蔡国强凭借对于经典《收租院》 (1965) 的观念进行再诠释的《威尼斯收租院》荣获金狮奖。
萨缪尔·科勒是瑞士Riehen 的Beyeler Foundation新任负责人。他在2000年到2007年是巴塞尔艺术节的负责人。
NC: If a Western audience looked at ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, they might not be able to recognise most of its characters, or perhaps they don’t even know what Rent Collection Yard was about. How do you think they would interpret your work?
the West no matter how you look at it, facts are facts. Like the United States, whether it’s right or not, if it wants to attack you, it does because it has the power to do so. Iraq was quickly conquered because of it. If it had been Italy, no matter how powerful it is, it would not have succeeded. It is an issue of centrism. Therefore, if China were a nation at the centre, it would not have to worry about these problems, because one would take initiatives to understand them, you would read about them, in historical materials, in order to glean a basic knowledge of this country. Therefore, I produced Rent, and I did not worry about whether a Western audience would know of or accept the work. How many Chinese would have understood Documenta Kassel? I am only offering my bias. Garcia Marquez (when he was writing A Hundred Years of Solitude) was not concerned with the famous writers in Paris when he portrayed the town of Macondo; nevertheless he was able to reach a common understanding30.
“拿来主义”是 中国现代文学之父鲁迅 (1881-1936) 创造的名词，用来表示对于西方文化的学习和借鉴。
not be any fusion or fission. Renting an old, disputable, problematic or hackneyed topic, then adding my own thinking and educational background to it would give birth to new things. I think people cannot be taken out of historical and cultural contexts, because no one knows everything at birth, and when we adopt something new, we must process it with our own thinking which then gives rise to new things. And this new object, we perhaps would claim it to be personal for the moment. I wanted to prove to myself in this process, and perhaps I am able to create a work that is completely from my imagination. Therefore, I appropriated it for my new work.
“麻将——乌利 · 希克中国当代艺术收藏展”，伯尔尼美术馆，瑞士，2005年6月13日-10月16日。
《西游记》，中国四大古典名著之一，写于明代 (1368-1644)，作者未署名，后人判断作者为吴承恩。这部书中的神话故事以玄奘到印度取经 (7世纪) 为蓝本 。
Joseph Beuys, Wie man dem toten Hasen die Bilder erklärt (How to explain Pictures to a Dead Hare), action, Gallery Schmela, Düsseldorf, Germany, November 12, 1965.
Wang Xingwei, Involvement – The Innocent Marcel, 1997, oil on canvas, 70 x 170 cm.
第二届广州三年展： “别样—— 一个特殊的现代化试验空间”，广州艺术馆，广州，2005年9月28日 -2005年12月18日。
Wang Xingwei, The Testimony of the Hare, 1995, oil on canvas, 125 x 200 cm.
博伊斯 (Joseph Beuys)，《如何向一只死去的兔子解释绘画》(Wie man dem toten Hasen die Bilder erklärt)，行为，Gallery Schmela，杜塞尔多夫，德国，1965年11月12日。
王兴伟， 《兔子的证词》，1995年，布面油画，125 x 200 cm.
王兴伟， 《牵连——无辜的马塞尔》，1997年，布面油画，70 x 170 cm.
“Canton Express” is a name deriving from a collective project curated by Hou Hanru in (Z.O.U.) - “Zone of Urgency” at the 50 th Venice Biennale, 2003, with the participation of separate groups of artists, filmmakers, musicians, writers, designers and cultural activists working in the area of Guangdong and the Pearl River Delta for many years (Big Tail Elephant, Vitamin Space, Yanjiang Youth, U-teque, Borges Bookstore, World Bookstore, and other individual artists).
“Post-sense Sensibility: Alien Bodies and Delusion”, Beijing, 1999 was an underground exhibition curated by Qiu Zhijie and Wu Meichun. It created a sensation for its use of living animals and human corpses.
Bachmann/Banz, “‘Ting Bu Dong’ – Paintings and Installations”, Galerie Urs Meile Beijing-Lucerne, Beijing, November 11, 2006 – January 27, 2007.
“广东快车”来自候瀚如在第2003年50届威尼斯双年展策划的项目“紧急地带”。这个项目由活跃在广东和珠三角多年的艺术家、电影人、音乐家、作家、设计师和文 化人组成 (大尾象、维他命空间、阳江青年、博尔赫斯书店、缘影会、世界书店和其他一些艺术家)。
He Yunchang, Appointment Grasping the Column, performance, Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China, October 24-25, 2003.
“听不懂——绘画和装置”，麦勒画廊 (北京-卢森)，北京，2006年11月11日-2007年1月27日。 Bachmann/Banz，
Berlinde de Bruyckere, Hanne, 2003, wax, epoxy resin, horsehair, 175 x 52 x 60 cm.
何云昌， 《Appointment Grasping the Column》，行为，丽江，云南，中国，2003年10月24日-25日。
Zhang Huan, 65 Kg, performance, Beijing, 1994.
《Hanne》，2003年，蜡、环氧树脂、马毛，175 x 52 x 60 cm。 Berlinde de Bruyckere，
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Il Ratto di Proserpina (The Rape of Proserpina), 1621-1622, white marble, 255 cm, Galleria Borghese, Rome.
张洹， 《 65 公斤》，行为，北京，1994年。
Giacomo Balla, Dinamismo di un Cane al Guinzaglio (Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash), 1912, oil on canvas, 90,8 x 110 cm, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York.
Sir Ernst Hans Joseph Gombrich (1909 – 2001), Austrian-born art historian based in London.
《普洛赛耳皮娜的劫难》(Il Ratto di Proserpina)，1621-1622，白色大理石，255 cm，Galleria Borghese，罗马。 Gian Lorenzo Bernini，
《被拴住的狗的动态》(Dinamismo di un Cane al Guinzaglio)，1912年，布面油画，90,8 x 110 cm，Albright-Knox Art Gallery，布法罗，纽约州。 Giacomo Balla，
Sui Jianguo, Clothes Vein Study – Discobolus, 2005, painted bronze, 172 x 100 x 200 cm.
Sun Yat-sen Suit (or Sun Zhongshan Suit) is the costume named after the founder and first president of the Republic of China, but more generally-associated with the era of Mao Zedong; often called ‘Mao Suit’.
隋建国， 《衣纹练习——掷铁饼者》，2005年，青铜着色，172 x 100 x 200 cm。
Sui Jianguo, Clothes Vein Study - Bound Slave, 1998, fiberglass, h 230 cm.
Li Zhanyang, The Monk and the Nun, 2006-2007, fiberglass, 61 x 182 x 95 cm.
隋建国， 《衣纹练习——被缚的奴隶》，1998年，玻璃钢，高230 cm。
Li Zhanyang, The Golden Lotus (Jin Ping Mei), 2004, painted fibreglass and antique wooden bed, 315 x 238 x 300 cm.
李占洋， 《和尚和尼姑》，2006-2007，玻璃钢，61 x 182 x 95 cm。
Li Zhanyang, In Memory of Jones, 2003, painted fibreglass, wood, glass, 51 x 78 x 70 cm.
李占洋， 《金瓶梅》，2004年，玻璃钢、古木床 ，315 x 238 x 300 cm。
Li Zhanyang, Nanshan Restaurant, 2007, painted fibreglass, wood, glass, 132 x 256 x 163 cm.
李占洋， 《对琼斯的回忆》，2003年，玻璃钢、木头、玻璃 ，51 x 78 x 70 cm。
Zhang Zeduan (fl. 12th C.), Going to the (Bian) River During the Qing Ming Festival, Northen Song Dynasty (960-1126), hand-scroll, ink and colour on silk, 24.8 x 528 cm, Palace Museum, Beijing.
李占洋， 《南山饭庄》，2007年，玻璃钢、木头、玻璃，132 x 256 x 163 cm。
Tang Dynasty (618-907).
马尔克斯（Gabriel Garcia Márquez），《百年孤独》(Cien Años de Soledad)，第一版西班牙文：Sudamericana，布宜诺斯艾利斯，1967年。
Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Cien Años de Soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude), first ed. or in Spanish: Sudamericana, Buenos Aires, 1967.
贡布里希 (Sir Ernst Hans Joseph Gombrich) (1909 - 2001)，生于澳大利亚、生活在伦敦的艺术史学家。
Li Zhanyang’s Studio 43
About Li Zhanyang
保罗 · 大卫克
Paul Donker Duyvis
在一篇文章中，李占洋提到自己十分欣赏《收租院》—— 这组包 含114座未上漆的大型泥塑群雕描述了贫苦农民受到地主压迫的痛 苦；在该文中他还解释了自己如何创作出这组包含三十六个人物造 型大型彩雕的《“租”—— 收租院》来表达自己对这组经典群雕的 诠释。 这组经典的《收租院》群雕放置在大地主刘文彩在四川西部大邑县 的老公馆中。李占洋本人觉得刘文彩没有传说中那么十恶不赦，这 可能是他的家宅至今保存完好的原因。《收租院》的泥塑就像是诲 人不倦的守卫，保护着这块宅院，让它在“文化大革命”中也幸免 于难。刘文彩的地产包括两块：老公馆和新公馆。整个家宅都被围 在深墙大院里，大门装饰华美，面积超过2万平方米，有500多个房 间。老公馆留存至今的华美风格和地主日常生活的奢华情境，为这 组在1960年代中期完成的《收租院》群雕提供了一个意义深刻的完 美背景。 1958 年之后，刘文彩的豪宅被改造成博物馆，它清晰地展示了大 富豪的生活。他的家具、装饰物，甚至座车都被保存下来成为在 共产党执政后的旅游景点。在《收租院》群雕中，农民的表情忧 伤阴郁，与地主丰富多彩的富足生活形成鲜明对比。傲慢的地主 坐在椅子上，他周围的穷人看起来就像是奴隶，为他不断奔忙。 群雕也栩栩如生地描绘了农民遭受的暴力和痛苦。最让人痛心的 一幕描绘了一个婴儿被人从哭泣的母亲手中夺走，而母亲的手仍 伸向孩子的方向。
Artist’s sketches of ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard
我最早了解这组优秀的群雕是在1999年的威尼斯双年展，当时喜 欢“不按常理出牌”的蔡国强（他当时是国际艺术界最广为人知的 中国艺术家）展出了他创作的《威尼斯收租院》，这件作品看起来 就像是中国革命艺术作品《收租院》的一个灰暗的复制品。当时， 这件作品在满是灰尘、昏暗的军械库中展出，不但其方式十分恰 当，又使作品去除了虚假和浮夸的共产党艺术宣传（这是西方观众 从中国革命时期艺术作品常见的内容）的全部痕迹，而且那个氛围 充满了所有人都能感受到的一种同情，让观众为之动容：这件作品 大概能称之为代表社会主义现实主义风格的鼎盛之作。这些雕塑也 细腻地表达了对西方资本主义工业化早期阶段被剥削的工人阶级英 雄的纪念，因此蔡国强这件作品显得十分睿智，让人心悦诚服。军 械库实用主义风格的肮脏环境与他作品的意蕴十分吻合。这是一种 大胆的艺术声明。这件作品与当时那届双年展的其它主流艺术作品 完全不同，可能也是当年展览唯一能让参观者记住的作品。 李占洋2008年将首次在北京的麦勒画廊举办大型个展，他希望能够 从艺术上、情感上和政治上激起各界反响。借助这组有三十六个部 分的群雕，他不仅想要对经典《收租院》进行再诠释，还通过这件 讽刺意味浓厚的宏大作品，使他从中国的首都直接“跳入”了中国 当代艺术界的中心。这件作品批判地分析了中国的艺术界，阐述了 他的立场，也以一种不寻常的方式推动了艺术界的前进。这是何种 雄心勃勃的计划！这次展览也将展示他以现实主义风格创作和场景 设计的高超技巧。因此，这些雕塑人物是“他的艺术世界”的人物 群像，代表了他自己的看法。这组作品粗看上去有着英雄主义的纪
In his essay, Li Zhanyang shows his admiration for the original Rent Collection Courtyard, a large cohesive group of 114 unpainted clay sculptures depicting the sufferings and exploitation of poor peasants at the hands of their landlord. He also explains how he developed the idea to create his own interpretation of the sculpture group titled: ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, which consists of 36 large polychrome sculptures. The original Rent Collection Courtyard is set in the Old Residence of the orchard of a rich landlord, Liu Wencai. He was a feudal-style landlord in Dayi County, in western Sichuan Province and according to Li Zhanyang not so bad at all. Perhaps this is why his house is preserved so well, protected by these clay sculptures as didactic guards, and why it also survived the Cultural Revolution. The estate contains two main compounds: the Old Residence and the New Residence. The whole estate is surrounded by walls and decorative gates. The entire area is in excess of 20,000 square metres and consists of more than 500 rooms. The preserved beauty and luxury of the daily life of a landlord in the Old Residence form a perfect, meaningful setting for the Rent Collection Courtyard sculpture group, which was originally created in the mid-1960s. This landlord’s estate became a museum after 1958 and conveyed a clear impression of the life of a rich man. All his furniture, decorations and even his car were preserved. The site became a tourist attraction in communist times. Presenting a stark contrast to the landlord’s colourful wealthy life, are the sad, sombre clay figures. Around the arrogant landlord sitting in his chair we see poor people working for him like mere
slaves. Much realistic violence and suffering is depicted. The most poignant scene is that of a baby separated from its crying mother, who is still trying to reach for her child. The first time I got an impression of this remarkable sculpture group was at the Venice Biennale in 1999, when the unpredictable Cai GuoQiang – at that time the most famous Chinese artist in the international contemporary art scene – exhibited his Venice Courtyard, which in appearance is like a dark copy of the Chinese revolutionary art Rent Collection Courtyard. The manner in which he displayed the sculptures in the dark and grimy Arsenale building was also a perfect touch. This was because the sculptures thus were shorn of all traces of false, vainglorious communist propaganda art – of the kind people in the Western world expect from Revolutionary Art, but rather were full of universal compassion that moved the audience: socialist realism perhaps at its apex. These Chinese sculptures also functioned exquisitely as a monument to exploited working class heroes in the initial stages of Western capitalist industrialisation, and Cai Guo-Qiang thereby delivered a clever and convincing statement. The dirty and utilitarian atmosphere of the Arsenale building meshed very well with the message implicit in the artwork Cai Guo-Qiang unveiled. It was a bold artistic statement. This artwork was completely different from all other mainstream contemporary art exhibited at that Biennale. Therefore, it is probably the only artwork visitors will remember from that year. For his first big solo show in Beijing at Galerie Urs Meile in 2008, Li Zhanyang wanted to make a literary splash, artistically, emotionally and politically. With his new sculpture group in 36 parts, he wanted more than a reinterpretation of the original Rent Collection Courtyard. He jumps right into the middle of the Chinese contemporary art scene in the capital with a spectacular and satirical work that critically analysed the same art scene, his position in it and propelled Chinese contemporary art forward in a remarkable way at the same time. An ambitious plan! It further served as an opportunity to showcase his fantastic skills in rendering realistic depictions and designing scenes. Thus, these figures are portraits of his art world and how he sees it. At first glance the sculptures appear heroic and monumental – reminiscent of victorious events carved in marble in, e.g., the Parthenon project in Athens in the wake of the Persian defeat. At the same time, it appears direct, brutal,
念风格 —— 让人们想到描绘胜利的大理石雕塑，例如波斯人被打败 后刻在雅典帕台农神庙的群雕。与此同时，这组作品看起来也十分 直接、残忍而又平凡，让人尴尬，也让人深思，就像专门嚼舌头的 小报上的狗仔队照片。在公元前5世纪中期，菲狄亚斯（Phidias）也 完成了类似的工程。他敢于刻画神的肖像，并将他们创作的和人类 十分相似（事实上，他创造了雅典娜、宙斯和其他神的标准形象）。 当时他的行为被认为是渎神的，既野蛮又庸俗。但是现在这些雕塑 的遗迹（甚至罗马的仿制品）都成为了西方公认的艺术瑰宝。 这组作品中的主要人物都是瑞士（欧洲）和中国艺术界的领军人 物。中国的艺术家和策展人艾未未扮演了地主的角色。女性艺术 家、策展人和麦勒画廊的合作者看起来要比男性付出更多才能实现 人生和职业目标，为艾未未洗脚和吮吸他的手指仅仅是她们要做的 一些小事。在艾未未的身旁站立的是整个《洗脚》作品中除他之外 的唯一一位男性，乌斯 · 麦勒（Urs Meile），麦勒拿着枪，像是一个 保镖，让周围的人不寒而栗。他是李占洋和其他在卢森和北京的麦 勒画廊作展览的中国艺术家的“老板”。 对李占洋《“租”—— 收租院》情境的准确诠释肯定是未来的艺术 史学家的一道美味盛宴。现实主义的特征、作品用色和我们都熟悉 的面孔使得这件作品成为引人入胜的场景（tableau vivant），就像是 一部最近上映的电影的剧照或海报。为了能创作出这样的群像，李 占洋必须得像电影导演一样，先写剧本，然后还要有故事。 中国的电影人，如陈凯歌（《黄土地》，1984年）和张艺谋（《红高 粱》，1987年； 《大红灯笼高高挂》，1991年），对李占洋都产生过 影响，他们从当代小说和传统故事中借鉴了不少东西，来描绘原生 态的中国现实，甚至有时候也会有批判的内容。大部分西方人都是 通过《大红灯笼高高挂》这类电影了解到封建地主的奢侈生活和绝 对权力的。 整个场景由站在毛泽东身旁的博伊斯（Joseph Beuys）, 像个“解围 之神” （deus ex machina），正比划着向中国领导人解释作品的艺术 和社会情境。毫无疑问，李占洋在向博伊斯1965年的一场个展中的 最重要和著名的行为作品《如何向一只死去的兔子解释绘画》(How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare) 致敬。博伊斯可能是战后欧洲最 有影响力的艺术家，而毛泽东则是中国战后历史中最重要的人物。 作为毛泽东和博伊斯之间的联系，也作为其它角色之间的联系，我 们能感知到李占洋他自己。作为一个独立的人，他也是这个世界的 一部分，但是他一直在寻找一种距离感……实际上，他看起来好像 想要无声无息的隐居。李占洋的作品中包括了在经典《收租院》中 出现的风车，但是这台机器的用途变得更加残忍：人的肢体被放了 进去。前任瑞士驻华大使、艺术收藏家乌利 · 希克（现在是“中国艺 术大使” ）在作品中扮演了一个新的角色： “交租” 。这组作品中最受 人尊重的角色被艺术家分给了哈罗特 · 塞曼（Harald Szeemann） ，这位 瑞士策展人在2005年逝世。他是西方艺术界最有影响力的展览组 织者之一。他生前最后一项大工程就是不仅把蔡国强，还将新一代 中国当代艺术家介绍到了1999年的威尼斯双年展（主展馆中的Aperto Exhibition）。他在这组作品中扮演了基督一样的角色，像烈士 一样献身。他的身体被蔡国强和萨缪尔 · 科勒（Samuel Keller，2000 年起担任巴塞尔艺术博览会的负责人）抬着。中国策展人高名潞在
作品中成了一名囚犯，是被压迫人群中的一分子。无疑，这暗示 了他在“文革”时期，仅仅因为是知识分子，就被流放到寒冷的内 蒙古的经历。当时他不得不在内蒙古呆了很多年，像奴隶一样每天 放羊。 通过这组精心设计、组成完整的大型雕塑作品，李占洋成功的将 中国艺术史的一个片段凝固。不知未来的观众是否也能感受到那 与李占洋站在经典《收租院》前一样的、无法解释的“死亡的寂 静”。此外，这件作品在 100 年后或更久远的未来会不会看起来 不同？一些西方艺术评论家认为，许多当代中国艺术作品风格华 丽，缺乏内涵。李占洋近期的雕塑有一层含义就是批判那些在 中国十分成功的、媚俗的、浮华的商业艺术，这种艺术已经成为 一种经济和文化的出口产品。作为一名旁观者，他用一种疑惑但 严苛的凝视将自己与其他人隔开。虽然他的批判是温和而又幽默 的，但他以一种敏锐的眼光审视着身边的事物。一个人如何能够 享受生活，同时保持他的正直和独立的精神，也不会在不必要的 情况下冒犯自己的邻居和同事？李占洋带着自信和诚实的态度 遵循了自己的本能，即脚踏实地，紧靠自己的“根”。他这个项 目既雄心勃勃，又暧昧不明。他希望通过这件作品在中国当代艺 术史上创造出一个里程碑，然后就像我前文中写道的，立刻“跳 入”当代艺术的中心，成为它的重要组成部分。与此同时，他也 希望保持一定距离观望当代艺术的发展。他想成为一个国际性的 当代艺术家，但他从感情上离不开社会主义现实主义的传统，这 一点从他对于经典《收租院》的欣赏就能看出。他希望借鉴西方 艺术的经验在中国发展出全新的当代雕塑，但也以一种自由和明 智的方式力图保留中国现实主义的传统。如果我们将杰夫 · 昆斯 （ Jeff Koons ）和李占洋创作的彩色雕塑进行比较，我们能够感 受到两个不同的世界。他们对于创作彩色雕塑有着共同的热情， 但是他们创作的目的和内容截然不同。李占洋想创作出一种“综 合作品” （Gesamtkunstwerk） ，它能够与时间和空间、历史和现在 相联系，也能够与社会、政治和艺术环境相关。两位艺术家都有 相同的幽默感，不过这种幽默感的来源是两人迥异的精神世界。 李占洋的作品没有残酷的攻击性，而是充满了人性和对传统的尊 重。他目前在四川美院工作，是创作经典《收租院》的师生的继 承者，这让他觉得自己在完成一个循环。如果用佛教风格的语言 表达，就是他意识到了永世轮回的过程。 菲狄亚斯是雅典帕台农神庙雕塑项目的天才负责人，他开创了理 想主义古典风格的先河，让公元前5世纪的希腊艺术举世闻名。我 希望李占洋能够在21世纪的中国雕塑界也成为一名开先河者。
trivial, embarrassing and revealing, like paparazzi photos in a gossip tabloid, but also hearkens back to the middle of the fifth century BC when Athens Phidias did something similar. The fact that Phidias dared to make portraits of the gods and made them almost human – in fact he invented archetypes of images of Athena. Zeus and others – were considered blasphemous, brutal and banal. Now the vestiges of these sculptures (and even the Roman copies) are treasures of Western art. The main actors in this work by Li Zhanyang are drawn from the ranks of leading figures in the Swiss (European) and Chinese art world. Chinese artist and curator Ai Weiwei plays the role of the landlord. Female Chinese artists, curators of and collaborators with Gallery Urs Meile seem compelled to yield up even more than their male colleagues have to in order to attain their life and career goals. Washing his feet and sucking Weiwei’s finger are just some of their minor obligations. Next to him – the only other man on the platform – Urs Meile stands as a bodyguard with a gun, terrorising the assembly. He is the ‘boss’ of Li Zhanyang and all the other Chinese artists exhibited in his galleries in Lucerne and Beijing. The precise interpretation of the entire vista of Li Zhanyang’s ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard shall serve up a savoury repast for the delectation of future art historians. The realistic features, the colours and the faces we all know make the work a spectacular tableau vivant, like a film still or poster from a newly-released movie. To work on a cohesive concept like ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, Li Zhanyang had to behave like a movie director and write a script, complete with a storyboard. These first drawings and concepts demonstrate that he could easily earn a living just by drawing storyboards. Chinese filmmakers like Chen Kaige (Yellow Earth, 1984), and Zhang Yimou (Red Sorghum, 1987 and Raise the Red Lantern, 1991) have also influenced Li Zhanyang through the means by which they borrowed from contemporary novels and traditional stories to delineate raw, realistic and sometimes critical portraits of China. What awareness most Westerners have of the life, the luxury and absolute power of feudal landlords comes from movies like Raise the Red Lantern. Presiding over the whole scene as a kind of deus ex machine, we see Chairman Mao Zedong, with Joseph Beuys standing beside him gesturing. He is explaining the artistic and social plastic content to the Chinese leader. No doubt Li Zhanyang is referring to Beuys’s solo exhibition in 1965 with one of the artist’s most famous and important performances: How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare. Beuys is perhaps the most influential European artist in post-war Europe. And Mao Zedong is indeed the most important figure in Chinese post-war history. As a connection between Mao and Beuys on the one side and the other figures on the other, we perceive Li Zhanyang himself. Independent, he is part of this world, but he seeks distance. Indeed it looks as though he is trying to steal quietly away. The same wooden grinding machine from the original Rent Collection Courtyard is used by Li Zhanyang, but now with a more cruel purpose: human body parts are used to feed it. Former Swiss Ambassador to China and art collector Uli Sigg (now ‘Ambassador of Chinese Art’) is performing in a new role: Paying the Bloody Rent. The most honourable role is given to Harald Szeemann, a Swiss curator who died in 2005. He was one of the most influential exhibition makers in the Western art world. It may be that his last important project was the
introduction – in addition to Cai Guo-Qiang – of a whole new generation of Chinese artists at the Venice Biennale of 1999 (the Aperto Exhibition in the Main Pavilion). Harald Szeemann, in the guise of a Jesus Christ-like figure who died a martyr’s death, is carried away by Cai Guo-Qiang and Samuel Keller, the latter head of Art Basel from 2000 – 2007. Chinese curator Gao Minglu, represented as a prisoner, is a member of the group of the oppressed. No doubt this is an allusion to his years of reeducation labour as a shepherd in frigid Inner Mongolia as a punishment imposed during the Cultural Revolution for simply being branded an intellectual. With this well-designed and integrally-composed monumental sculpture group, Li Zhanyang has frozen in time an episode in Chinese art history. Will future visitors also feel an unexplained ‘silence of death’ such as Li Zhanyang himself felt when he stood in front of the original Rent Collection Courtyard? And also, will the work appear different in a hundred years or later? According to some Western and Chinese art critics, many Chinese contemporary artworks are glossy, but lace content. One of the layers of meanings in Li Zhanyang´s recent sculptures is to criticise the meretricious, glamourous commercial art that is so successful in China now and which has become an economic and cultural export product. As an onlooker, he sets himself apart with a bewildered, yet severe gaze. Although his critical judgment is mild and humourous, he sees things around him with keen eyes. How does one enjoy life, while upholding one’s integrity and independent spirit and without offending one’s neighbours and colleagues unnecessarily? Li Zhanyang follows his basic instinct with self-confidence and honesty by staying close to his roots. His project is as ambitious as it is. With this work he wants to create a milestone in Chinese contemporary art and – as I said above – jump into the middle of it all to become an important part of it. At the same time, he wants to view social and artistic developments from a distance. He also wants to be an international contemporary artist but, at the same time, he feels emotionally attached to the tradition of socialist realism he expresses via his admiration for the original Rent Collection Courtyard. He wants to develop new contemporary sculpture in China by making use of developments in Western art, but also by using the Chinese realistic tradition in a liberal and intelligent way. If we compare for example the colourful sculptures of Jeff Koons and Li Zhanyang, we feel two different worlds. They share the joy of creating multi-hued sculpture, but the aim and content is very different. Li Zhanyang aims to create a Gesamtkunstwerk [that relates to space and time and to history and present time, but also to the social, political and artistic environment]. Also the sense of humour they have in common derives from two very different spirits. More than aggression or brutality the work of Li Zhanyang is filled with humanism and respect for tradition. The fact that he is working at the Sichuan Art Academy and is thus a successor to the teachers and students who made the original Rent Collection Courtyard makes him feel as if he has closed the circle. Or in a Buddhist way: to be aware of the eternal process of recycling. Phidias, the genius of the Parthenon sculpture projects in Athens, became the initiator of the idealistic, classical style that made Greek art of the 5th Century BC famous. I hope Li Zhanyang can create a similar new inception point for Chinese sculpture in the 21st Century AD.
《收租院》现场, 四川, 成都, 大邑县, 1965
Rent Collection Yard, installation view, Dayi County, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, 1965
《“租”—— 收租院》创作草图 50
Artist’s sketch of ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard 51
洗脚 Foot Washing 抢人 Raping 压迫 Oppressing 交租 Paying Rent 殉难 Dying a Martyr 被观看的历史 History Observed
《“租”—— 收租院》场景, 北京, 李占洋工作室
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard, complete view, Li Zhanyang’s Studio, Beijing
洗脚 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 鸟巢和婴儿的头、克丽丝汀 · 莱斯特、箫岭、唐昕、丽微亚 · 葛娜斯、 林素玲、艾未未、路青、乌斯 · 麦勒
Foot Washing ‘Rent’ - Rent Collection Yard, 2007 Bird’s Nest With Baby Head, Christiane Leister, Nataline Colonnello, Tang Xin, Livia Gnos, Lin Suling, Ai Weiwei, Lu Qing, Urs Meile
洗脚 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 鸟巢和婴儿的头、克丽丝汀· 莱斯特、箫岭、唐昕、丽微亚·葛娜斯、 林素玲、艾未未、 路青 、乌斯 · 麦勒
Foot Washing ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007 Bird's Nest With Baby Head, Christiane Leister, Nataline Colonnello, Tang Xin, Livia Gnos, Lin Suling, Ai Weiwei, Lu Qing, Urs Meile
环氧树脂 224 x 541 x 282 cm
resin 224 x 541 x 282 cm
洗脚(局部) 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007
Foot Washing (detail)
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007 Lin Suling, Livia Gnos, Ai Weiwei
——收租院》, 2007 洗脚(局部) 《“租”
Foot Washing (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007
乌斯 · 麦勒
——收租院》, 2007 洗脚(局部) 《“租”
Foot Washing (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007
——收租院》, 2007 洗脚(局部) 《“租”
Foot Washing (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007
——收租院》, 2007 洗脚(局部) 《“租”
Foot Washing (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007
Bird's Nest With Baby Head
环氧树脂 119 x 60 x 58 cm
resin 119 x 60 x 58 cm 65
洗脚(局部) 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007
Foot Washing (detail)
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007 Christiane Leister, Nataline Colonnello
洗脚(局部) 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007
Foot Washing (detail)
路青 、 乌斯 · 麦勒
Lu Qing, Urs Meile
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007
抢人 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 黄燎原、向京、陆蓉之、顾振清、俞可、代生红、 隋建国、范迪安
Raping ‘Rent’ - Rent Collection Yard, 2007 Huang Liaoyuan, Xiang Jing, Lu Rongzhi (Victoria Lu), Gu Zhenqing, Yu Ke, Dai Shenghong, Sui Jianguo, Fan Di’an
抢人 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 黄燎原、向京、陆蓉之、顾振清
Raping ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007 Huang Liaoyuan, Xiang Jing, Lu Rongzhi (Victoria Lu), Gu Zhenqing
环氧树脂 186 x 424 x 152 cm
resin 186 x 424 x 152 cm
——收租院》, 2007 抢人(局部) 《“租” 黄燎原、向京
Raping (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007 Huang Liaoyuan, Xiang Jing
——收租院》, 2007 抢人(局部) 《“租”
Raping (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007 Huang Liaoyuan, Xiang Jing
——收租院》, 2007 抢人(局部) 《“租” 陆蓉之、顾振清
Raping (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007
Lu Rongzhi (Victoria Lu), Gu Zhenqing
抢人 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 俞可、代生红
环氧树脂 178 x 349 x 95 cm
resin 178 x 349 x 95 cm
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007 Yu Ke, Dai Shenghong
抢人 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 隋建国、范迪安
环氧树脂 182 x 196 x 94 cm
resin 182 x 196 x 94 cm
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007 Sui Jianguo, Fan Di’an
压迫 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 高名潞、何云昌、李占洋、王小箭、张光华、张洹
Oppressing ‘Rent’ - Rent Collection Yard, 2007 Gao Minglu, He Yunchang, Li Zhanyang, Wang Xiaojian, Zhang Guanghua, Zhang Huan
压迫 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 高名潞
环氧树脂 216 x 89 x 81 cm
resin 216 x 89 x 81 cm
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007
压迫 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 何云昌（阿昌）
Oppressing ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007 He Yunchang (A Chang)
环氧树脂 95 x 113 x 70 cm
resin 95 x 113 x 70 cm
压迫 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 李占洋
环氧树脂 116 x 100 x 98 cm
resin 116 x 100 x 98 cm
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007
——收租院》, 2007 压迫(局部) 《“租”
Oppressing (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007
——收租院》, 2007 压迫(局部) 《“租”
Oppressing (detail) ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007
——收租院》, 2007 压迫 《“租”
Oppressing ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007
Wang Xiaojian, Zhang Guanghua
环氧树脂 171 x 148 x 90 cm
resin 171 x 148 x 90 cm 89
压迫 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007
环氧树脂、铁链 185 x 45 x 50 cm
resin, iron chain 185 x 45 x 50 cm
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007
交租 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 乌利 · 希克、栗宪庭、叶永青、毛然、张颂仁、 王兴伟、邱志杰
Paying Rent ‘Rent’ - Rent Collection Yard, 2007 Uli Sigg, Li Xianting, Ye Yongqing, Mao Ran, Johnson Chang, Wang Xingwei, Qiu Zhijie
交租 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 乌利 · 希克
环氧树脂 136 x 235 x 140 cm
resin 136 x 235 x 140 cm
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007
交租 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 栗宪庭
环氧树脂 148 x 136 x 140 cm
resin 148 x 136 x 140 cm
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007
交租 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 叶永青
环氧树脂 208 x 78 x 78 cm
resin 208 x 78 x 78 cm
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007
交租 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007
环氧树脂 193 x 140 x 110 cm
resin 193 x 140 x 110 cm
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007
交租 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 张颂仁、三头狗（刻耳柏洛斯）
环氧树脂 180 x 115 x 100 cm
resin 180 x 115 x 100 cm
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007 Johnson Chang, three-headed dog (Cerberus)
交租 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 王兴伟
环氧树脂 183 x 56 x 56 cm
resin 183 x 56 x 56 cm
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007
交租 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 邱志杰、风车、4个箩筐 环氧树脂 172 x 133 x 90 cm, 208 x 236 x 88 cm, 4x 40 x 56 x 56 cm 106
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007 Qiu Zhijie, mill, 4 baskets
resin 172 x 133 x 90 cm, 208 x 236 x 88 cm, 4x 40 x 56 x 56 cm 107
殉难 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 萨缪尔 · 科勒、哈罗特·塞曼、蔡国强
Dying a Martyr ‘Rent’ - Rent Collection Yard, 2007 Samuel Keller, Harald Szeemann, Cai Guo-Qiang
殉难 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 萨缪尔 · 科勒、哈罗特·塞曼、蔡国强 环氧树脂 187 x 220 x 89 cm 110
Dying a Martyr
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007 Samuel Keller, Harald Szeemann, Cai Guo-Qiang
resin 187 x 220 x 89 cm 111
被观看的历史 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007 约瑟夫 · 博伊斯、毛泽东
History Observed ‘Rent’ - Rent Collection Yard, 2007 Joseph Beuys, Mao Zedong
被观看的历史 《“租”—— 收租院》, 2007
约瑟夫 · 博伊斯、毛泽东
‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard , 2007 Joseph Beuys, Mao Zedong
环氧树脂 195 x 217 x 160 cm
resin 195 x 217 x 160 cm
北京麦勒画廊展览现场 Installation View at Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing
作品中人物 Represented People
艾未未 Ai Weiwei
约瑟夫·博伊斯 Joseph Beuys
蔡国强 Cai Guo-Qiang
箫岭 Nataline Colonnello
代生红 Dai Shenghong
范迪安 Fan Di'an
高名潞 Gao Minglu
顾振清 Gu Zhenqing
何云昌（阿昌） He Yunchang (A Chang)
丽微亚 · 葛娜斯 Livia Gnos
黄燎原 Huang Liaoyuan
萨缪尔·科勒 Samuel Keller
克丽丝汀· 莱斯特 Christiane Leister
栗宪庭 (老栗) Li Xianting (Lao Li)
李占洋 Li Zhanyang
林素玲 Lin Suling
陆蓉之 Lu Rongzhi (Victoria Lu)
路青 Lu Qing
满满 Man Man
毛然 Mao Ran
毛泽东 Mao Zedong
乌斯 · 麦勒 Urs Meile
琴嘎 (嘎子) Qin Ga (Ga Zi)
邱志杰 Qiu Zhijie
乌里 · 希克 Uli Sigg
隋建国 Sui Jianguo
哈罗特 · 塞曼 Harald Szeemann
唐昕 Tang Xin
王小箭 Wang Xiaojian
王兴伟 Wang Xingwei
向京 Xiang Jing
叶永青 Ye Yongqing
俞可 Yu Ke
张光华 Zhang Guanghua
张洹 Zhang Huan
张颂仁 Johnson Chang
Li Zhanyang’s Studio 131
Ai Weiwei Interviews Li Zhanyang
November 14, 2007 Ai Weiwei’s Studio, Caochangdi (Beijing) Ai Weiwei, Li Zhanyang
艾未未（以下简称艾）：李占洋，07年11月14号了吧？13还是14？ 李占洋（以下简称李）：14号，下雨。 艾： 雨转雪，好像不下了，雪应该比这暖和一点。 占洋在哪儿生的？哪一年的？
Ai Weiwei (Ai): Li Zhanyang, is today November 14, 2007? Or is it the 13 th?
Ai: You have to tear the hemp and stir it in, right?
Li Zhanyang (Li): The 14th. It’s raining.
Ai: I think the rain turned into snow. It stopped raining. The snow should be warmer. Zhanyang, where were you born, what year?
Li: Right. It clumps up if you don’t tear it first; it is really difficult to stir. First you have to add the lime, hemp and water, and then insert a long stirring stick. The lime powder requires a large metal trough because it sets easily. It doesn’t take long for a layer of water to gather at the top of the trough, so you have to stir constantly. Mixing it completely is difficult, and it is easy to get mortar in your eyes. The year I took the university entrance exam, I spent the summer working with my father. A master mason needs a labourer. I was the labourer. My father was a highly skilled plasterer.
Li: 1969. Ai: We share the same zodiac sign. You’re 12 years younger than me. Li: Right, I’m one cycle younger. Ai: Where were you born?
Li: Near Changchun, Jilin Province in a small town called Datun.
Ai: What did your parents do for a living?
Ai: Did someone apply the plaster for him?
Li: My father built homes. He was a mason.
Li: Yes, that would be the laborer’s job. He had impressive plastering skills! He could make a surface completely flat.
Ai: Did he work for a firm of builders?
Ai: Is he retired now?
Li: Back then it was called a property bureau. What exactly did that entail? Well, it was economic planning; everyone worked and lived in public housing. The property bureau oversaw the construction and maintenance of state-run units. Since it was impossible to work during winters in the Northeast, my father would occasionally get transferred to other units to stoke their boilers. Ai: Interesting. He basically couldn’t work in wintertime.
Ai: Why do Northeasterners love the saying ‘comedy of errors’?
Li: Your house reminded me a little of a boiler room the first time I visited.
Li: I think it’s because we’re not very rational and don’t base our decisions on sound judgment. We tend to rely on luck. We take what God gives us. For example, my father was so anxious when I was accepted to university because it was expensive, and what little he earned wasn’t enough. He retired early in the hopes of earning more money through side jobs. The average retirement age is 60 years old, he retired at 52. But early retirement wages were only 70 percent of the normal wage. If other people earned one thousand kuai, he would only get seven hundred. Raises didn’t apply to him either. As a retiree, you were limited. His rationale was that if he took early retirement, he could earn more through side jobs. But that’s not what happened. After retirement, he took on all sorts of side jobs but still didn’t earn more. It didn’t turn out the way he planned. He might get jobs one year, but not the next. He regretted retiring. Those were difficult years. Ironically, he made the right decision by retiring early because a lot of state-run units were privatised in the years that preceded his retirement, so the benefits changed.
国营单位，大家住公房。房产所就是统一来盖和维修这些公房 的。但冬天的时候东北就干不了活儿了，像我爸冬天有时就借 调到其它单位烧锅炉。 艾： 有意思哈，它这个冬天基本上是干不了活的。
李： 退休近 20年了。今年 69周岁。属虎的。我发现我们家的事都 是阴错阳差的。 艾： 为什么东北人特别爱用“阴错阳差”这个词呢？ 李：好像我们不太会理性、智慧地安排自己的事情，总靠机缘。
以提前退休，想在外面多找些外块。应该 60岁退休吧，他 52
Ai: So the bricklayer was also the mason. Were you around mud much as a kid? Li: Real masons use many different types of earthen materials: large unfired bricks made of cement and rice straw, cement, lime, concrete and so on. With cement, you mix sand and lime. First, scrape a depression and ring it [with cement powder]; in the middle, scrape out a bowl-shaped area, then slowly stir water and the makings into the concavity in the middle, then rake the embanking sand and lime into the middle, so as to make it gradually even.
Ai: Then stir some more.
Li: Right. There is also lime.
Ai: Is the lime powder the kind that is mixed with hemp?
Li: Yes, it has to be mixed with hemp.
Ai: What year did he retire? How old was he? Li: He’s been retired for nearly twenty years now. He turns 69 this year. He was born in the year of the tiger. I realise that a lot of things in my family played out like a comedy of errors.
Ai: He didn’t officially retire, did he?
Li: He did, but national policy changed afterwards. A lot of his colleagues and apprentices thought they would reap the benefits of waiting until proper retirement age. In the end, state-run units were privatised.
到退休年龄会修成正果。结果变大集体了。 艾： 就是国家撂挑子了，爱活不活，自己想办法去吧。 李： 他就是在撂挑子之前退的。所以他那些小师弟们现在都在街上 卖菜，也都60多了。我回去看到他们，有时候给他们点钱。 艾： 那你是怎么从小时候玩泥巴到后来学艺术了呢？ 李： 很小的时候喜欢画画，可能是一种天性吧。
艾： 回到谁的童年都可以，就是别回到我的童年！ 李： 太可怕了。一点小事就弄成大事，正吃饭呢，桌子掀了，我哥 跑了，我妈要自杀什么的。那个乱啊！ 艾： 这些问题可以说都是贫穷造成的吧。 李： 有些关系，贫穷压力。另外一个就是阶级成分，因为我们家成 分是地主。我爸家是地主，我妈家也是地主。
Ai: This was the nation’s way of abandoning its workers. Li: He retired right before the abandonment. A lot of his colleagues are in their sixties now and still selling produce on the streets. Sometimes when I visit home, I give them money. Ai: So how did you go from playing with mud as a kid to studying art? Li: When I was very young, I liked to draw. Maybe it was innate. Ai: Innate?
Li: Every child is unique. I liked to draw. I would make drawings in the dirt with twigs. Neighbors would ask me to draw a cat and I drew a cat, or to draw a dog and I drew a dog. They would always tell my mother that she should nurture my love for drawing. But what was a poor family like mine to do?
Ai: Were you poorer than average, or similar to other families?
Li: Everyone was poor back then, but we were poorer than most. When I was in primary school, my father earned 46 yuan a month. With six mouths to feed, you do the math!
工资再还，还了以后更不够了，就再借。 艾： 那根本没活路啊！
艾： 本来一个局部战争，然后就引发了全球战争了。 李： 脸上很长时间都没消肿。这种事你一说，我妈就会去找刘二
Ai: Less than eight yuan, six people. How did you survive? Li: As I recall, we basically borrowed money every month. We returned the money every other month when my father got paid. But once we returned the money, we would be broke and have to borrow again. Ai: You had no chance!
Li: My mother had a strange temper: fierce and explosive. Of the four children, my older brother resembled her the most and also had a bad temper. My father is an uncomplicated man. Between the two of them, one was intimidating while the other hardly spoke. It worked out. Things got worse as my brother got older. They both flew into rages frequently. There were daily arguments. I don’t recall childhood fondly. If I could go back in time, I would not return to childhood. Ai: Return to anybody’s childhood, just not mine! Li: It was horrible. Each minor thing became a major deal. We would be eating when all of a sudden, the table got overturned, my brother bolted out the door, my mother threatened suicide and so on. Utter chaos! Ai: Would you say that poverty was to blame for these problems. Li: It was partially due to the hardships of poverty. The other reason had to do with class elements because my family belonged to the class of landowners. Both my parents came from landowner families. Ai: But they weren’t landowners, were they? Li: No. They were liberated at a very young age and suffered a great deal. The only thing we inherited was the stigma of ‘land-owning element’. For example, if you were labeled a ‘land-owning element’, your children would stand out from the other children and get bullied. This was just the way things were. But my mother never accepted the fact that her children deserved to be bullied. She got into constant arguments. There was a neighbourhood kid called Liu Er who was a lot older, maybe ten years’ older. I was very young at the time, eight or nine years old. One time someone came looking for Liu Er, so I showed the person where he lived. Liu Er said, “Who the fuck brought you here?” Then he slapped my face; I was thunderstruck.
Li: Chinese people don’t need much to survive – a little food. There are too many people!
Ai: Because there are so many people.
Ai: You thought you did the proper thing, but instead you got a slap in the face.
Li: I don’t think the way we grew up was really any different from how people lived in olden times.
Li: I felt so outraged, but thought afterwards that perhaps I shouldn’t tell Mum.
Ai: What do you mean by olden times? Do you mean primitives? No different from the monkeys that descended from trees?
Ai: What began as a local war became a global war.
艾： 什么叫跟中国古代没什么区别？比如说原始人？就是刚从猴子 下树就没什么区别。 李： 那么远，我不知道，但像唐宋元明清啊，我觉得差不多。比如
艾： 你哥呢？ 李： 现在跟着我干呢。 艾： 多大呢？
Li: That is too long ago, I wouldn’t know about that. I think it was probably similar to the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. For example, when I was growing up, China probably wasn’t that different from the Qing Dynasty. The thoughts and customs remained similar and families all slept together on one large kang [traditional north Chinese brick or earthenware platform – a sort of horizontal chimney-bed – heated underneath, usually with coal]. Ai: What members did your family consist of? Li: My mother and father, one older sister, one older brother and one younger sister – four children and two adults. Ai: Wow. Two daughters and two sons, plus a mother and father. That’s three males and three females.
Li: My face remained swollen for a long time. If I had told my mother, she would have gone looking for Liu Er’s home and started an argument. It would have been earth-shattering. Then she would have scolded my father “You’re so ineffectual; people bully us like this and you don’t dare to tackle it.” Later on she got into constant fights over this with my brother. Ai: Where is your brother now? Li: He works with me. Ai: How old is he? Li: He was born in the year of the horse, making him 41. Ai: Has he ever been arrested?
Li: That’s correct, six members.
Li: No. None of my family members were ever arrested. We’ve never stolen anything or robbed anyone!
Ai: You’re the third child? Born in the year of the chicken.
Ai: Why was he so bad-tempered? Did he get into fights?
Li: Right. Back then, there was no talk of family planning.
Li: He got into fights with people from the unit over minor things. For instance, one time during a game of Chinese chess, he gave pointers to one player who ended up winning. The loser got angry and cursed my brother. Feeling equally justified, they started fighting. That happened a lot. He’s improved with age, but he still manages
Ai: Was it a harmonious household?
Li: No! It was a chaotic war zone!
Ai: Really? How so?
李： 刚才不是说了吗，邻居总劝我妈培养我。我妈一直想，自己孩 子一定要出人头地，免得以后受欺负。有一次听广播说少年宫 招收美术学生，那时候都是公费的。我妈就把我带到少年宫里
艾： 受挤压的一个状态。 李： 车上闷死了，而且所有的人都抽烟。那时候又没有什么禁烟车 厢，乱得很。
to get himself into situations. It takes a lot of effort to get the message across to him. Ai: It’s hard to think straight when you’re all worked up. Li: In most cases, a straightforward ‘yes’ or ‘no’ would do, but he always has to complicate matters. Besides, he doesn’t control his emotions very well.
Ai: Are you emotional? I mean, when it comes to family.
Li: I’m not too bad.
Ai: Are you the most levelheaded member of your family?
Li: You could say that. Sometimes you have to set your priorities straight.
艾： 整惨了！那时候你们家也要负担你啊！ 李： 是啊！我爸就经常为这事发牢骚。一旦穷了揭不开锅啦，就说 咱们什么样的家啊？还整这不务正业的事。 艾： 他真没想到今天啊？ 李： 绝对没想到。连我也没想到。
李： 没有。有个病号的侄女叫白姑娘的，具体叫白什么我忘了。她 很喜欢我，经常抱我啊什么的。 艾： 你多大？ 李：那个时候六岁。她经常跟我爸说：李叔，小李孩儿今天我搂 着睡吧。
Ai: So how did you end up studying art? Li: As I mentioned earlier, the neighbors kept telling my mother she should do something about my love of drawing. Besides, she always believed her children deserved better, so when she heard the radio announce that the Children’s Palace was accepting art students, she took me. Back then it was all state-funded. I still remember that day vividly. When we arrived at the Children’s Palace, we had no idea where we were to go. We entered the first door we saw and happened upon Director Xin, the director of the Children’s Palace. He was in the middle of performing a rapturous violin solo. My mother, being a crude peasant, neglected to realise the disruption we’d caused. She blurted something to the effect of: “My son can draw and wants to enroll in your art school.” Just like that, Director Xin led me to the art class on the second floor, said to the teacher, “Here’s another one” and left. My teacher was actually under the impression that I was somehow connected to the director. He found my drawing skills decent enough. My mother didn’t get out much, and was extremely nervous. She instructed me to sit but changed her mind and made me stand. This happened a few times. She said to the teacher: “Please accept him; my son loves to draw – he draws everywhere, even on his stomach.” She lifted my shirt as she said this to show the teacher, who was very amused. He had already made up his mind to accept me, but teased my mother by saying that he couldn’t. My mother was speechless and drenched in sweat. Teacher Sun finally laughed loudly and relented. I enrolled in the Children’s Palace when I was ten years old and attended university when I was twenty. Boy, did I have it rough during the decade in between. I had to take the train to school because transportation wasn’t as developed back then.
brother and sisters too, but they don’t deserve it. They ask for money whenever they are in hard times. Ai: Someone in the family finally made it big. Playing with mud made you rich! Li: That’s right. It’s weird; maybe my father’s words left their mark, because as far as I’m concerned, art still isn’t a serious endeavour! I just took the train for ten years. Ai: Why did you have to take the train? Was the Children’s Palace far from your house? Li: Yes, it was more than twenty kilometres away. In those days, taking the train was the only option. When I attended the Children’s Palace, I took the train twice a week. Then when I attended art high school, I took it everyday. Ai: Did you have to buy tickets? Li: I bought season passes. Ai: Didn’t you enjoy riding the train? Li: I hated it. If you had had to go through what I went through, you wouldn’t have enjoyed it either. The train was so crowded. I was ten years old, constantly sandwiched between two adults and their smelly armpits. People suffer from a lack of food or clothing, but who ever heard of a lack of fresh air? But I really thought I lacked fresh air. Fuck me! A person could actually suffocate on the train! Ai: So it was a stifling environment. Li: The train rides were so boring, and everyone smoked. Smoking cars didn’t exist back then. Everything was so disorganised. Ai: A lot of things must have happened on the train. Li: A lot. The trains were also always late. Ai: You spent so much free time on trains. You must have witnessed a lot of things. Li: Yes. I saw pickpockets, fights, extortion, etc. Ai: How did you learn about sex? When was the first time you became aware of sex or were excited by it? It wasn’t through literature, was it? Li: No. Ai: Was it from overhearing family members talk? On the streets or the train? Li: The first time was probably when my father stoked boilers. I played there often.
Ai: That’s rough! Plus your family had to pay for your education!
Ai: Did he shovel heaps of coal into the boiler, taking one to two hour breaks in between? How large was the boiler?
Li: That’s right! My father complained constantly. Whenever we couldn’t afford food, he would wonder aloud about the family’s future and how my education wasn’t even going to lead to a proper profession.
Ai: He had no idea how things would turn out, did he?
Ai: Did he ever cook potatoes and other things in the boiler?
Li: Definitely not. I didn’t even realise.
Ai: You must be keenly aware of your filial duties these days. Have you repaid them for their sacrifices?
Li: No. There was a patient’s niece called Ms. Bai. I can’t remember her full name. She was very fond of me and gave me a lot of hugs.
一个星期坐一次。后来上艺术高中就天天坐了。 艾： 要买票吗？ 李： 要买季度票。
Li: Yes. I give them money every year.
Ai: Doesn’t he think he made the right decision and that it wasn’t all for naught?
Li: Well, of course parents deserve compensation. I give money to my
Li: It was for the town’s public health clinic, about 2,000 square metres.
Ai: How old were you? Li: I was six. She would always say to my father: “Uncle Li, let him stay with me tonight.” Ai: You were very young, how old was she? Li: She had probably just turned twenty.
就特别怕别人知道我心里的这些事情，特别怕，怕极了。 艾： 掩饰。 李： 对，掩饰。 再有我对童年开始有记忆的标志就是——天亮了，当时记忆中 轰地打了个惊雷，天一下就亮了。 艾： 像生小孩吗？ 李： 我记得生我妹妹的时候，大人把我推到一个小屋里面，不让 看。家里围了好多人。后来我们邻居生小孩我倒是去看过，但 具体怎么生的我也没看太清楚。
Ai: So you must have liked her a lot too!
Ai: Where were you accepted?
Li: Maybe, but I was so shy. My father would have probably let me stay over with Ms. Bai, but I was too bashful.
Li: Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts
Ai: But you still remember, you still want to...
Li: Well, of course.
Ai: How did you get in?
Ai: You were aware of sex at a pretty young age if you remember almost sleeping with someone when you were six!
Li: I was taking art at the Children’s Palace the whole time! Later on, I attended art high school where I developed a pretty good foundation.
Li: I suppose so.
Ai: Put it this way, when was the first time you had an erection?
了以后的成绩。然后补习，第二年发奋就考上了。 我考上那年正好发生1989年动乱。 艾： 是动乱吗？
Li: Ha, ha, what the fuck! Ha, ha!
Ai: You sure are good at pretending – look at you, taking a sip of water.
Li: I can’t remember the first time I got an erection. But if you’re referring to sexual consciousness, Ms. Bai probably counts as a hazy beginning.
Ai: What was Ms. Bai like? How did she look?
Li: Ms. Bai was fair skinned, voluptuous and easy-going. I probably wouldn’t find her very attractive now. Back then I thought she was very good looking. I stole glances at her. But I was so scared of being discovered. I was really scared.
Ai: And trying to hide your discomfort.
Li: Right, trying to hide my discomfort.
艾： 啊。 李： 那有点晚。20岁。 艾： 在火车上吗？ 李： 那不敢，我是有贼心没贼胆。那时候没有现在这么不要脸，
艾： 我操！那我们肯定不认识了啊。你爸爸肯定还会絮絮叨叨说， 我操，搞到最后才当了个老师，是不是？ 李： 呵呵。有可能。 所以觉得错的事，也不见得错。
Ai: Like childbirth? Li: I remember when my younger sister was born; the adults made me wait in another room so I wouldn’t see. There were a lot of people around the house. Eventually I witnessed a neighbour giving birth, but I still hadn’t seen exactly how it happened. One afternoon when I was nine years old, I helped my father haul a sack of corn to the mill to be ground into flour. It was a bright and quiet afternoon, hot too. I followed my father from behind. Then it hit me: What the fuck! Childhood is over! Just like that, my childhood ended. It was never the same again – like you said, things are never the same. My perception of the world was never as sensitive as before. Ai: So you grew increasingly more chaotic? Li: I don’t know. I just felt like I was in a constant trance. Ai: When was your first contact with a female? Li: You mean sex?
Ai: Was it on a train?
Li: I wouldn’t dare. I had the heart of a thief, but not the guts to match. Back then I cared more what people thought; I acted a lot. I was so cool back then, long hair and hands in pockets. If I liked someone, I made it a point to avoid her. In the end, it didn’t really matter if I had faked it all along because eventually, I saw things differently anyway.
Another childhood memory that stands out was the sky getting light. As I recall, there was an earth-shaking clap of thunder, and suddenly the sky was bright.
李： 打人才吓人呢！那种劈柴、木棒、火铲，抓起来就打，劈头盖 脸的。
Ai: Yes. Li: It was a bit late. I was twenty years old.
I got accepted to university when I was twenty years old.
Ai: Which department?
After high school, I registered to sit for the exam for the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts and got accepted in 1989. I actually graduated in 1988, but I didn’t get in that year. It was as if God had had a vendetta against me because I only missed the cut-off by three points. I simply wasn’t destined to attend Lu Xun. Ai: Were there three hundred people who were each three points off? Li: No, just me. Prior to that, I never believed stories about people who missed the cut off by only one point. But then it happened to me. A few points don’t actually say anything about your skills. Ai: Maybe other people bumped you off. Li: No, that didn’t happen. I think a fight I got into during my culture class review session affected my marks. I studied diligently and got in the following year. I took the exam the same year as the upheaval of 1989. Ai: Was it an upheaval? Li: The Tian’anmen Incident of June 4th involving soldiers in tanks suppressing students! Ai: Those are fucking rumours; you’re making it up. Li: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! I must be dreaming! This is too bizarre. You sound like a government official. Ai: I suppose that’s government propaganda. Li: A lot of people supposedly died. After the upheaval, official reports claimed that 23 people were accidentally injured. But that wasn’t the news internationally – there’s video footage. When it happened, I was reviewing for the culture section of the exam. The upheaval affected a lot of people, but not in the small town I stayed in, so I was able to study in peace. Ultimately, not getting accepted to university in 1988 was a good thing. Prior to 1988, students at Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts went through a two-tier system, meaning they had to take courses in their major for three years first, then take another exam through which some students would get eliminated. The remaining students attended two more years of general required courses. You had to go through the entire process in order to complete your undergraduate degree. I was so dense back then I had trouble finding the classroom for my culture course. If I had been accepted that first year, I would have had to have abided by the two-tier system and I would have definitely been eliminated after the first round. Most people who only completed the first portion of the program ended up teaching high school. Ai: What the fuck! Then we definitely would not know each other. Your father would probably still be bitching about how, after everything, you ended up becoming a teacher, am I right? Li: Ha, ha. It’s possible.
Ai: Like the comedy of errors you mentioned earlier?
Li: I think it was mostly luck!
Ai: Who accumulated all this luck, your mother?
Li: Perhaps, but my mother can’t explain why things ended up this way either.
为什么东北人这么爱发火，爱打人？是跟吃大蒜有关吗？ 李： 不是太理智，就是感情型的。后来我一看我那些同学都一样， 差不多。打架也不是因为有仇。比如我们俩喝酒，朋友才喝酒
Sometimes things that seem wrong initially end up okay.
Ai: If we were to categorise your parents, they would represent two archetypes in Chinese society. One resigns himself to his lot and will accept anything, including pain and suffering. Your mother is the rabble-rouser. She has to make sense of things. In the north, it’s when we say someone is determined. But this played an important role in your life; at the very least, she walked into that door at the Children’s Palace and found Director Xin! Your father probably would not have done the same.
Li: Definitely not.
Ai: So didn’t you have it easy?
Li: But my mother had an explosive temper. She was violent.
Ai: Did she ever beat you?
Li: Yes, I was badly beaten when I was a child.
艾： 打完之后呢？ 李： 一般的就是治病，和好吧。东北人的那种性格其实差别挺大
奖，选到北京参加夏令营。那时候赵紫阳接见了我们。 艾： 你小时候长得还可以啊，眼睛很大。
Ai: How did she beat you? How did she do it as a woman? Li: She was intimidating when she hit people! She would take a piece of firewood, a wooden stick, shovel, you name it, and hit me right in the face.
Ai: Do you have any scars on your head?
Li: Not on my head.
Ai: She beat you in the face with firewood and you don’t have any scars? Why do northeasterners love to get angry and beat people? Does it have to do with eating garlic?
李：对，艾局长 —— 我认为他都没睡醒 —— 就签字了，写了“同
Li: It isn’t very rational; it’s emotional. Later I realised that most of my classmates were similar. They usually didn’t have a reason for getting into fights. For example, if the two of us were drinking, we’d probably be friends or else we wouldn’t be drinking in the first place, but once we were drunk, it would inevitably end in violence.
Ai: What happens after the fight?
Li: But what does frankness get you? No food for a month. Of course, all is well if you don’t mind starving for a month, but in reality you care a lot. It’s about being outwardly generous but inwardly petty. Ai: Don’t they put on a good face precisely because they care so much? Li: Either way, I think there’s a pretty big discrepancy between the rationale and the action. Ai: Do you consider attending university a threshold, similar to the afternoon you hauled corn with your father when you were nine? The threshold would be getting accepted to university. Li: I think the biggest threshold was getting accepted to high school because as long as you got into that high school, it was pretty much guaranteed that you would gain admittance to an art academy. When I attended school, getting into university was difficult. Attending that high school was key. But because I was from the countryside and schools were divided by district, even if I had tested in, I wouldn’t have gained admittance. Classes had been underway for a whole month and I still hadn’t got a notice in the mail. I got really anxious. My art teacher talked to the principal of the high school who said policy banned students from the countryside, but as long as we acquired an approval from the director of the Education Bureau, it would be fine. So Teacher Sun took me to a large compound to look for the director. A meeting was underway and the guard wouldn’t let us in. I was so melancholy. I thought my teacher might wait five more minutes before deciding to give up and leave. It was disheartening. But just then, Director Ai’s driver came out for a cigarette. Ai: A director with the last name Ai? What the fuck? Li: The driver had used to work at the Children’s Palace and was friends with my teacher. He asked what we were doing there and my teacher told him everything, as if he was some savior. The driver said we were lucky bumping into him because no one was allowed inside while the meeting was in session. Then he brought us in. Director Ai was in the middle of an afternoon nap when we arrived. My teacher seemed really nervous. He showed the Director my certificate of merit and a photograph of me with Zhao Ziyang [former leader of the Communist Party of the PRC who supported the Tian’anmen protesters, for which he was purged and sentenced to 15 years’ house arrest]. Then he told the Director that I was a gifted student but because my residency was in the countryside, I hadn’t been accepted by the art high school and that we hoped for his support.
Li: Usually recovery and reconciliation. Northeasterners have very contradictory personalities, but they put on a good face for the most part. For instance, if my teacher from the Children’s Palace visited my home, my family would feel obligated to treat him well because he is important. We would put everything out, even if it meant having nothing to eat the next day. The only thing that mattered was putting on a good show. It’s all about saving face.
Ai: What is saving face?
Li: Saving face is when you live beyond your means. For example, if someone important visited my home, we would have to hide the fact that we are poor and show off our wealth, even if we didn’t own so much as a single seed.
Ai: So how do you explain this?
Ai: What would he scold you about?
Li: Different geography produces different people with different personalities.
Li: Mainly that I always had my foot in my mouth and didn’t know how to handle social situations. Deep down, he really liked me. One time, he brought me along to a student’s house for dinner. When everyone started eating, I kept going for the fried pod near me. Then he
Ai: [Northeasterners] just aren’t very calculating, they’re a bit rough around the edges. Nice and frank.
Ai: You took a photo with Zhao Ziyang? Li: It was at summer camp. I won a national children’s art competition and got to attend a summer camp in Beijing. Zhao Ziyang greeted us there. Ai: You were an okay-looking kid. Big eyes. Li: I looked all right, but I always had my foot in my mouth. I was bad at handling social situations. A lot of people judged me by this. Ai: Why did your teacher take a liking to you? Li: At first I seemed like a dignified and strong kid, well behaved. But then my teacher often scolded me too.
stepped on my foot. At first I didn’t get it. Later when the student’s parent left the table to use the bathroom, he explained that the fried pod was expensive and that I wasn’t supposed to eat so much of it. I suddenly realised the implications of what I had done. Fuck!
Ai: How did you eventually change? You’re quite a smooth talker these days!
Li: I’m still not smooth. I’ve just become more shameless, and once you become shameless, everything is easier.
李： 接下来我们就聊天，多少有点感情了。但没有太多的感情， 因为她长得不好看。我对长相还是挺在乎的。外加她脾气也不
李： 哈哈哈哈 ! 记得那是夏天，在她琴房，摸呀摸啊，她那时候也
Ai: So everything worked out after you walked in and showed him the photo of you with a national leader? Li: Right, I mean, I don’t even think Director Ai was fully awake when he signed the mandate. He wrote: “Agreed.” This one word saved me. Fuck! School had already been in session for over a month. I had to enroll for classes late. Ai: So this happened to you twice, first with your mother and again with your art teacher. They brought you to someone important, pleaded your case directly, and succeeded in the original task. But that was one long diversion! You were going to tell me about your first sexual encounter. Proceed!
Li: Do you mean my first girlfriend? Crushes don’t count, do they?
Ai: Of course they do!
Li: Then there are too many. I had one in primary school.
Ai: When was your first?
Li: Ms. Bai was like an initiation. Later on it was…I thought… …
Ai: What did you think? How did you think about it? Why did you only think about girls and not boys?
的一声…… 艾： 你的事件都是跟“轰”的一下有关系的，对吧？
艾： 她还挺好，她先跟你说这事。 李： 都聊过，那个时候有很多躁动，像有很多堵墙，很多障碍。
Li: It wasn’t sexual at that point. It was more like fantasising about a match made in heaven.
Ai: A match made in heaven?
Li: A match made in heaven is a husband and wife who live happily ever after in their house.
Ai: And? What else do they do? Li: I just wanted to be with her. The sound of her breathing comforted me. Ai: Who? Li: For example, in junior high school, there was a girl named Lin Lin. She was smart, pretty and her father was a teacher. I really liked looking at her and had a crush on her. Finally one day, our teacher assigned us to sit at the same table. Usually boys sat next to boys, but due to an uneven number of boys and girls, we ended up next to each other. Yet, once we actually sat next to each other, all my feelings for her disappeared. Maybe it was low self-esteem. Ai: Was it because of your social class? Li: That probably had something to do with it.
Li: I was pretty nervous. The first time, I was impotent. Ai: You were impotent the first time? Li: Impotent. I was too nervous. Ai: So you couldn’t feel anything! Li: No, I was too nervous. It was the kind of nervousness I got from childhood dreams that involved explosive noises like BOOM! Ai: Your life events all seem to revolve around “booms.” Li: Right. But since I know I’m dreaming, I feel like I have a license to do bad things. I dreamt about a girl who might have been Lin Lin. I hugged and groped her. I kissed her. When she pretended not to like it, I held her even tighter – because it was a dream. But later parts of the dream were not so nice. I became the subject of a public denouncement. I was forced to wear a large sign that read: “I harassed women.” I was so scared. It was just a dream, how did it become reality? Ai: Students had to wear signs too? Li: Some of the Cultural Revolution customs were still practiced in 1975 and 1976. I even saw a student being publicly denounced in school. . . . I was forced to walk in the streets while wearing the sign. I yelled that it was a dream and it wasn’t real. I finally woke up and it really was a dream. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between real and fake, dream and reality. Ai: Whether something is a dream depends on whether you can continue doing what you’re doing. Li: I don’t think I can ever act on my own desires. Even my first girlfriend came about because of an older classmate of mine. He took me along with him on his bicycle wherever he went. I was like his sidekick. We usually went to the music school to dance. He was interested in a girl and took me to look for her in the piano room. She also had a friend. After my friend and his love interest had chatted for a while, they exiled her friend and me to the other piano room. I wasn’t even interested in the friend at first, but after a while, it just happened. It was completely situational. Ai: Context is important! But you didn’t mention what happened next. What did you do? Li: We talked and there was some chemistry, but not much, because she wasn’t very pretty. Looks were important to me. Also, she had a short temper, kind of like my mother. We took walks in the park, and maybe it was all the flowers, but I started to like her. She was my first kiss. That was quite nice. After that, she came to our classroom often. I groped her. That was my first real contact with a female. I was completely won over by it.
Ai: So what was sitting next to her like?
Ai: Not a dry spot on your entire body.
Li: Closeness in real space was like an invasion of my imaginary space. Distance allowed for imagination, and the sudden proximity was too much to handle. Ai: What was more satisfying, the imaginary space or real space?
Li: Ha, ha, ha, ha! You have to keep in mind it was summertime, in her piano room. She got excited when I touched her and since we were both excited, I figured we should just do it. But what the fuck, all of a sudden, all the muscles in my body seemed to retract.
Li: I think the imaginary one was better.
Ai: Was she very angry?
Ai: Because you can imagine anything you want, but you can’t actually do anything you want. Were you nervous?
Li: She was all right. She was sexually experienced. She had been going out with her teacher before.
举办个 Party 啊，有时还有些洋妞什么的，我要是别人不叫，
Ai: Do all teachers do that? How did you know she had had sex with her teacher before? Li: She told me. Ai: It was good of her to tell you beforehand. Li: We discussed it. I got even more restless, like something was blocking me. After more foreplay, we finally did it. We did it a lot either in the piano room or outdoors. They were all pretty bad places. She was also short-tempered. We broke up after only two years. The first time didn’t turn out at all like what I expected.
Ai: What were the main differences?
Li: It was completely different. There was this pristine aspect, but also a very lewd aspect to it. I was internally conflicted. Sometimes you felt one thing, but then you would feel the other thing, and it would be bad. Both tormented me simultaneously.
This happened a lot before I turned twenty. For example, when I watched porn at my classmate’s house in high school, what the fuck, that was the first time I realised people could be like that. Watching porn back then was definitely prohibited – it was looking for denouncement. That was the first time I realised how men and women actually had intercourse. It was a real wake-up call. The film was American, and involved a group of people.
Ai: Right. Li: My looks were not enticing and my art didn’t win prizes. I attracted bullies, but couldn’t hold my own in a fight. I didn’t have many friends in university. Ultimately, I got friends by pretending to be someone I wasn’t. Ai: So basically, you weren’t exceptional so no one acknowledged you. Nonetheless, you were still a university student! Li: I would have been superior if I had returned to the countryside, but I was really lonely at school. I remember always being the only one in the classroom, wishing someone would invite me to go dancing or something. Ai: Do you like to dance? Li: In those days dancing was the way to meet girls. There were also film screenings and parties. Sometimes there were even foreign chicks. I had no way of finding out about these events unless I was invited.
Ai: A group.
Ai: No one hung out with you?
Li: Like breeding horses.
Li: No, especially not towards the end!
Ai: You’ve seen breeding horses?
Ai: What happened afterwards?
Li: There was a veterinarian in my town, so I had seen it before – nailing horseshoes, pig castration, etc. Eventually, all the horses were artificially bred because natural breeding wasn’t economic. Later on I figured a lot of things, like childbirth, horse breeding and pig castration were all related to iodine.
Li: I had another girlfriend. She was Uygur.
朋友，后来我那些朋友都是我混得人模狗样才有的。 艾： 主要是不行，也没人搭理。怎么也是一大学生啊！ 李：可是我回到农村就有优势了，衣锦还乡啊。在学校里很孤
折，最后终于成了。 艾： 所以你这一生总是在跑，现在也是北京、重庆来回跑，你觉得 跑是个很重要的事吗？
Youth was really repressive, but at the same time, it was easy for situations to get out of hand. Ai: Out of hand? Li: If you weren’t careful, you might rape someone. But I was always too timid.
Ai: Did that ever happen to anyone you knew?
Li: Most of my friends started having sex in high school. Most people were pretty repressed prior to turning twenty. Ai: Did anything interesting happen at your school? Li: My general impression of university wasn’t good because I was a peripheral figure, a loner. Ai: Why? Li: For instance, the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts was big on sports. Everyone played football or basketball. My classmates were dashing and athletic. Their cascading hair tantalised. Ai: Well, you must not have been very popular then. Li: It was so easy to get girls if you were a star athlete, especially when your sport was in season. Ai: What the fuck. It was like this even in an art academy?
雷蒙·马松,《1969年, 2月28号, 蔬菜在离开巴黎市中心》, 1969－1971 环氧树脂、玻璃钢, 308 x 315 x 135.5 cm, 国家基金当代艺术中心, 巴黎 Raymond Mason, The Departure of Fruit and Vegetables from the Heart of Paris, 28 February, 1969-1971, epoxy resin and acrylic, 308 x 315 x 135.5 cm, Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris
Lu Xun didn’t emphasise creating artworks. If your sketches were bad and your foundation poor, there was no point in creating pieces. So during class, we only worked on foundation skills. It was enough to master them to a certain point. Also, the wealthy students ruled. They would pay for meals, etc. I couldn’t do that either. I lacked on every front!
雷蒙·马松,《 布拉瓦海岸》, 1966－1983 环氧树脂、玻璃钢, 30 x 59 x 30 cm Raymond Mason, La Costa Brava, 1966-1983 epoxy resin and acrylic, 30 x 59 x 30 cm
雷蒙·马松,《北方的惨事, 冬天、下雨、眼泪》, 1977 环氧树脂、玻璃钢, 65 x 130 x 65 cm Raymond Mason, Une Tragedie Dans Le Nord. L’Hiver, La Pluie, Les Larmes (A Tragedy in the North. Winter, Rain, Tears), 1977 epoxy resin and acrylic, 65 x 130 x 65 cm
Li: You don’t understand, the Lu Xun Academy really emphasised athletics. It should have been called the Lu Xun Academy of Physical Education.
I did pretty well in school. I guess it’s because I spent all my time studying instead of hanging out. Ai: What about afterwards? How did you end up in Chongqing? Li: Graduation arrived before I knew it. The previous year, I’d traveled around the country as part of the graduation examination. After Tibet, I went to Chengdu and then Chongqing. Then I went to the Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts. It was probably October, on an exceptionally clear day. I remember it well – it was green everywhere, so beautiful. It was all a façade though. It just so happened that I arrived on a clear day. Sichuan is mostly gloomy after October. At the time I figured it would be nice to work there. When I returned, I told our department head. He said Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts was pretty good, and wrote me a recommendation letter. I enclosed photographs of my art and a letter of intent and sent it to the director at Sichuan. His name was Yu Zhiqiang and he had studied abroad in Belgium with Luo Zhongli. He had organized a group of Sichuan Institute teachers to participate in a youth sculpture exhibition at Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts. He realised that Sichuan Institute was a bit backwards and wanted to appeal to outsiders, get some new blood. He just happened to see samples of the works I sent and signed me up. But I registered late and missed the deadline so we had to appeal to the State Education Commission. It was quite an ordeal but we finally succeeded. Ai: So you’ve been running all your life. Even now you run back and forth between Beijing and Chongqing. Do you think running is important? Li: The most important thing is this moment. Without it, you’d be running for nothing.
当然也有你的态度。怎么开始弄这些事的呢？ 李： 可能就是兴趣，就是你这个人对什么感兴趣吧。 艾： 对这种众生的感觉很有兴趣啊！最早你有这个意识是什么时候？ 李： 第一次是在中央美院，很早了。有时候就像一坛子好酒在地下 放了几千年，得有人开启才会香吧。
什么呢？我也不知道，做另外一个不行吗？对我来说就不行。 你看我做《杀猪》那件，那杀狗不行吗？杀羊不行吗？按理说 都行，可我就是没做。 艾： 有《杀猪》吗？我没看见啊？ 李： 有，画册里有张小图片，我做得小。
艾： 身体的味道都知道了。 李： 很多洋人，他们味道很骚。我在里面躲在角落里看。自卑，没 钱吗。 艾： 蒙古女人很凶悍的吧。 李： 是，她们大多在南湖渠桥一带租房子住。比如像你这种人去， 她一下就扑过来了。 艾： 为什么呢？ 李： 职业，非常职业。她能看出你有钱，我去了几个月，没人理我。 艾： 所以这个《小丽都》是你的革命圣地啊！相当于你的遵义会议
Li: I suppose it was interest. It really depends on what you are interested in. Ai: You are very interested in things having to do with flesh! When did you first come up with this concept? Li: The first time was at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, really early. Some things are like a jug of really good wine that has been stored underground for thousands of years, but first somebody has to unseal it to release the aroma. Ai: Yes. So what’s really inside of you? Are you a jug of urine or a jug of wine? Li: I don’t know. It’s all the same until you unseal it. When I was at CAFA, I saw a book called Raymond Marson – an English artist. He made painted sculptures with scenery that was very stimulating for me. A lot of his painted sculptures depicted half completed scenes. That sense of setting was very stimulating for me. Afterwards I made my first painted sculpture, it was called Home and showed my wife and me watching television at home. Ai: Where is this piece now? Li: Frank should have it. The second piece was Lido (small), I think the method of painted sculpture was very suitable for the type of scene depicted in this piece. Previously, I was unable to reproduce the same lively atmosphere. Lido (small) was inspired by the atmosphere I observed once when I went with classmates to the Lido Bar [In the Lido Holiday Inn Hotel in Beijing]. I come from a small place and I’d never witnessed such a boisterous scene.
Ai: You even made sketches. Did you make a lot? Li: A lot. Some are just random lines, but they helped me reconstruct the scene. That piece was definitely based on Realism. I went there a lot – I observed for several months! Ai: Then you must be familiar with the body odors even. Li: There were many foreigners who had very bad body odor. I would hide in a corner and watch. I had low self-esteem because I was broke. Ai: The Mongolian women must have been intimidating. Li: Yes. They mostly lived in rented housing by the Nanhu canal bridge. They would be all over someone like you. Ai: Why? Li: They are professional, very professional. They can sense that you have money. The few months I hung out there, no one ever bothered with me. Ai: So this Lido (small) was the sacred place of your revolution! It was your Zunyi Conference! Your foundations for Realism came from a brothel. What about it interested you in the first place? Li: It was direct. Sometimes topic selection is very important. Ai: There is so much to talk about. We could go on and on. Li: I’m very intuitional when it comes to selecting a topic. Sometimes I suddenly decide that I should work on something. Why? I can’t answer that. Couldn’t I just make work based on something else? To me, the answer is no. Take Killing a Pig for instance. Couldn’t I just as easily have made Killing a Dog or Killing a Sheep? In principle, yes. But the reality is that I didn’t make those. Ai: There’s a piece called Killing a Pig? I haven’t seen it. Li: Yes. There is a small image in the catalogue. It’s very small.
Li: 1998. The bar was full of Mongolian prostitutes in fur coats that came right off at the sight of patrons. They were tall, buxom and busty – very provocative. They were wild on the dance floor. It was great.
Take a medical examination, for instance. Some quack might rattle off a slew of explanations that are ultimately useless. Then again, an irrational prescription might also be the cure. I could make up a list of explanations about why I chose one topic over another, but none of them would be true. The real reason is there is no reason. Sometimes an idea just comes to me and I get so excited I can’t sleep at night.
When I returned, I made Lido (small), trying my best to reconstruct
Ai: It’s like criminology. Some people steal and rob but they don’t neces-
Ai: What year was that?
道它也会留到别处去啊，但是它先流到这了。那你现在觉得你 的水流哪去了？ 李： 就是有古床那件？叫《金瓶梅》。 艾： 对。 李： 当年那个“床”作品有几个因素构成。 2002 年高名潞在农业 展览馆策划了个展览，请我参加。布完展后找饭店吃饭。当时 路过一家大饭店，大饭店门口站了个小侏儒。 艾： 啊，那是顺峰饭店。
Lets talk about how you developed your style. In the early stages your works were very populist, but perhaps that is inaccurate. ‘Realism’ doesn’t sound quite right either. It’s more like a ‘Reality-ism’ that incorporates satire, as well as a personal observational perspective and of course your own attitude. How did you start working on these?
that atmosphere. Later I felt the scene didn’t encompass enough so I returned to make sketches and eventually made Lido (big).
Ai: Being for the moment is also a concept I often talk about. I did a television interview this morning in which I said: “The most important element in architecture is this moment”.
儒说： “哥们，咱俩合个影，行不行？”他说，可以啊。我俩 就在一起照了照片，觉得挺逗的。具体要怎么样我也没想。回
李占洋,《杀猪》, 1999, 玻璃钢, 47 x 68 x 20 cm Li Zhanyang, Killing a Pig, 1999, fiberglass, 47 x 68 x 20 cm
杀猪生活场景, 中国, 1999 Scene of pig execution, China, 1999
sarily steal because they are poor. They just figure, why the fuck not? The implications of committing a crime might not hit until later. Li: Right, some things you don’t judge until later on. My projects are never planned out or carefully designed. Ai: Then what are they about? Are they related to your fantasies? Your hopes? Li: I think there is some relationship. I haven’t thought too much on it. Ai: Finally, let’s discuss some of your main works. Li: You mean Opening Ceremony? 李占洋,《金瓶梅》, 2004 玻璃钢, 古木床, 315 x 238 x 300 cm, 私人收藏, 中国 Li Zhanyang,The Golden Lotus (Jin Ping Mei), 2004 fiberglass, antique wooden bed, 315 x 238 x 300 cm, private collection, China
李占洋和侏儒, 顺峰饭店门口 北京, 2002 Li Zhanyang with midget, outside Shun Feng Restaurant, Beijing, 2002
李占洋,《金瓶梅》 （局部）, 2004 玻璃钢, 古木床 Li Zhanyang,The Golden Lotus (Jin Ping Mei), detail, 2004 fiberglass, antique wooden bed
李占洋和模特, 为准备《金瓶梅》作品拍的摄影材料 艺术家工作室, 2004 Li Zhanyang with model in photographic study for The Golden Lotus (Jin Ping Mei), artist’s studio, 2004
意思，明白了。 李： 后来我就想做个大的，我就多加了个隐喻意思，老栗撞车什么
觉。还有看热闹的感觉，还有幸灾乐祸的。 艾： 那小侏儒呢？伟大的作品啊！
Ai: Yes, the one that is exhibited most often. Li: I made that piece after graduating from CAFA. It was after Lido and I had returned to Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts for an exhibition called Floating Platform. It traveled from Chongqing all the way to Shanghai. When I attended the opening in Shanghai I stayed at the School of Fine Arts at Shanghai University, in an old house that had been renovated from a hospital. When I went to bed at night, I had a sudden urge to create a group of people. But what would they be doing? It had to be a ribbon cutting. Why? I don’t know. Maybe the sight of Xu Jiang in all his glory inspired me. I was so excited, I couldn’t sleep all night. Yet, the completed piece didn’t turn out the way I had expected. It was very different from what I had originally had in mind. Ai: There are some things you can’t help. You know it has flowed here, but it will eventually flow elsewhere, but it flows here first. Where do you think your water has flowed to now? Li: The one with an ancient bed? It’s called The Golden Lotus [Named after a novel by Chong Zhenben].
Li: Several elements went into creating that “Bed” work. In 2002 Gao Minglu invited me to participate in an exhibition he was curating at the National Agriculture Exhibition Center. When we finished setting up, we looked for a restaurant where we could get something to eat. We passed by a large restaurant with a midget standing by its entrance.
趣？我觉得你是对场景和气氛更有兴趣，大于所谓的本身的形 体啊！你的形式所连带的故事性场景和情节，在你这里是很重 要的一个部分，这通常不是雕塑所具有的，但是在宗教雕塑里 是有的，这个雕塑在试图还原一个社会的典型的情景，这个挺 有意思。 李： 这个呢……一般来说，我对气氛更感兴趣。有好的题材，我 都做两件，因为有时觉得一件不够，比如《小丽都》、《大丽 都》。后来《车祸》也是做两件。但是《车祸》这两件完全不 一样的，一个是正常车祸，还有一个是带有隐喻色彩的。现在 做的《收租院》，跟《大车祸》有点关系，以前都是现场对现 场。那个“小车祸”现场，我确实看过，挺惨的。他们家属哭 的啊！我都想让那个时间回去，回去不就没这个事了？ 艾： 所以你是很重情的人。重情不重义。 李： 呵呵，有时候不能双全嘛！那个现场对我印象很深，后来我就 做了那个《小车祸》。其实我做的东西，都不能准确地还原我 当时看到的那个感觉，不能像电影一样回放出来。 艾： 好像也没必要，有时候，另外一种方式呈现出来。雕塑还是在 提示一个状态，就跟你说话似的，你知道了个大概，但是你那
Li: Probably. Ai: How do you feel about it now? I mean, about sculpture. Or are you no longer interested in sculpture? I feel like you are more interested in scenes and atmosphere than the so-called form itself. Narrative, setting and stories are integral to your works. This is unusual in sculpture. However, it exists in religious sculptures that attempt to depict a primal social scene. Interesting indeed. Li: Well... ...typically, I am more interested in atmosphere. If I’m working with good material, I’ll make two pieces, because often, one is not enough. For example, Lido (small) and Lido (big). I also made two Traffic Accident pieces. However, the two Traffic Accident works are completely different. One depicts a typical car accident and one is more metaphorical. My current piece ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard is related to Traffic Accident (big). Previously, scenes depicted in my works always corresponded to real life incidents. I really did witness a “small car accident.” It was pretty tragic, with family members sobbing right in the street. I wanted to go back in time. If I had gone back in time, it wouldn’t have happened. Ai: So you attach importance to matters of emotion. Emotions are important, not meanings. Li: Ha, ha. Sometimes you can’t have it both ways! That accident made a deep impression on me. Afterwards I made Traffic Accident. Actually, nothing I’ve created based on an incident can accurately reproduce my feelings from the time of occurrence. It’s not like television where you can replay something. Ai: There’s no need to either. Sometimes, you discover a new method of expression in the process. Sculpture alludes to a state. It’s getting the gist of things – you may not have the exact details, but you understand nonetheless. Li: Then I wanted to make a larger version so I added a metaphorical layer, like Old Li being behind the wheel! You are feeding sheep and someone is taking a piss. Even Jesus is in it! People say it reminds them of Szeemann in the Passion of the Christ. I’ve also been told it alludes to rubbernecking and rejoicing at other’s suffering.
Ai: Ah, that would be Shunfeng.
Ai: Where is the midget? It’s a mighty work!
Li: I had already walked past it, but for some reason had the urge to go back. I said to the midget: “Brother, will you be in a photograph with me?” He said “Sure.” So we took a photograph together and it was quite amusing. I never thought about what I was going to do with it. A few months after I returned to Chongqing, I saw an ancient bed in a friend’s home. The craftsmanship was quite fantastic so I bought it from him, thinking perhaps I should make something with it. Then one time when I was going through my things, I found the photograph with the midget. Eureka! It occurred to me to do Xi Menqing versus Wu Dalang, with the ancient bed. I felt these two events should be linked. In my mind, it was Xi Menqing’s bed. The battle between Xi Menqing [Character of a wealthy Casanova in the book The Golden Lotus] and Pan Jinlian [A sexually-adventurous femme fatale in the same book] depicted in All Men Are Brothers is really satisfying.
Li: Ha, ha. I’ve finally heard you say something nice here. Ai: Let’s end on that note! Li: Great!
Translator: Philana Woo
Ai: Do you aspire to be like Xi Menqing? Li: Exactly! He’s actually very reasonable. Ai: Do all men wish they could be like Xi Menqing?
Li Zhanyang’s Studio 151
Disused Model at Li Zhanyang’s Studio 155
born in Changchun, Jilin Province, China lives and works in Chongqing, China
个展 “‘租’—— 收租院”，麦勒画廊 北京－卢森，中国，北京
“’Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard”, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Beijing, China
“The Naked Human Body”, Zhu Qizhan Museum, Shanghai, China
“Scenes”, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland
“Life Myriad”, China Art Archives & Warehouse (CAAW), Beijing, China
“Instant Upstarts Series”, Gallery TC/G Nordica, Kunming, China
“Li Zhanyang Sculpture Exhibition” Alleyway Gallery of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China
Selected Group Exhibitions “都市镜像——当代艺术邀请展”，深圳美术馆，中国，深圳
“Grassroots Humanism: 21 Cases of Contemporary Art”, The Original Art Expo Center, Beijing, China
“Mahjong – Chinesische Gegenwartskunst aus der Sammlung Sigg”, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria
“Starting from the Southwest: Exhibition of Contemporary Art in Southwest China”, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
“Thermocline of Art – New Asian Waves“, Zentrum für Medientechnologie ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
“Art from China – Collection Uli Sigg”, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
“The Year of the Golden Pig – Chinese contemporary Art from the Sigg Collection”, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
“Floating – New Generation of Art in China”, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea
“CHINA NOW – Faszination einer Weltveränderung”, Sammlung Essl, Kunst der Gegenwart, Klosterneuburg / Vienna, Austria “Mahjong – Chinesische Gegenwartskunst aus der Sammlung Sigg”, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
“Mahjong Chinesische Gegenwartskunst aus der Sammlung Sigg”, Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland
“Tolerance and Identity – Focus on China”, Free Visual Academy of Fine Arts, Den Haag, The Netherlands
“Second Beijing International Art Biennial”, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
“Grounding Reality”, Gallery Mee, Seoul, Korea
“Village in the City”, Art Now Gallery, Beijing, China
“The Wall: Reshaping Chinese contemporary Art”, Millennium Art Museum, Beijing, China; The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York, USA
“Createurs du Nouveau Monde – Montpellier Chinese Contemporary Art Biennial”, Montpellier, France
“先锋——中国前卫雕塑展”，Beelden aan Zee博物馆，荷兰，海牙 2004
“Urban Mirroring – Contemporary Art Exhibition”, Shenzhen Art Museum, Shenzhen, China
“Xiang Feng! Chinese Avantgarde Sculpture”, Beelden aan Zeebowuguan Museum Den Haag, Den Haag, The Netherlands
“The First Wuhan Fine Arts Invitation Exhibition 2004”, The Gallery of Hubei Institute of Fines Arts, Wuhan, China
“An Opening Era – Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Founding of the National Art Museum of China”, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
“Good Harvest: China Contemporary Art Exhibition”, National Agriculture Exhibition Center, Beijing, China
“The First Chengdu Biennial”, Chengdu Modern Art Museum, Chengdu, China
“Time of Reviving – Exhibition of Chinese contemporary Art”, Upriver Museum, Chengdu, China
麦勒画廊卢森－北京（编） （2003）， 《场景:李占洋》，北京：麦勒画廊，东八时区出版 郭晓川（编） （2002）， 《今日中国美术丛书：李占洋》，北京：国际文化出版公司出版
Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne-Beijing (2006). Scenes. Li Zhanyang. Beijing: Galerie Urs Meile, TimeZone8. Guo Xiaochuan (Ed.) (2002). Chinese Art Today Series: Li Zhanyang: Li Zhanyang. Beijing: International Culture Publishing House.
徐秋红、安兵武（编） （2008），《都市镜像：当代艺术邀请展》，石家庄：河北美术出版社，40 -45页，165页
Colonnello, N. (2008). A talk with Li Zhanyang about ‘Rent’ – Rent Collection Yard. Art China, 4. pp. 60-62.
王林（编） （2007）， 《底层人文—— 当代艺术的21个案例》，香港：公元出版有限公司，13-18页 李占洋（2007）， 《黄桷坪的基督》，发表于《视觉生产》，2007年总第3期，167-167页 韩国国立现代美术馆（编） （2007）， 《浮游 —— 中国艺术新一代》，首尔：doARTCo.，49-53页 李占洋（2007）， 《豆豆》，发表于《今天》，2007年总第78期，234-238页 朱亚林（2007）， 《李占洋 —— 欲望穿过都市的街》，发表于《新地产》，2007年1月，114 -117页 李占洋（2006）， 《残忍的记忆》，发表于《美苑 —— 鲁迅美术学院学报》，2006年2月，48 -49页 栗宪庭、李占洋（2006）， 《粗俗欲望的见证和表现——栗宪庭访谈李占洋》，发表于北京-卢森麦勒画廊，《场景：李占洋》，北京：麦勒画廊 北京－卢森，东八时区出版，34-41页 高名潞（2006）， 《草根现实的力量——李占洋艺术中的民粹现象》，发表于麦勒画廊 北京-卢森（编），《场景：李占洋》，北京：麦勒画廊， 东八时区出版，14-17页 ， 《诱僧——解读李占洋雕塑》 ，发表于麦勒画廊 北京－卢森（编） 《场景：李占洋》，北京：麦勒画廊，东八时区出版，26-29页 Paul Donker Duyvis（2006） 黄燎原（2005）， 《城市里的村庄》，发表于《艺术当代》，2005年第5期，96-97页 高名潞（2005），《墙：中国当代艺术的历史与边界》，北京：中华世纪坛艺术馆，纽约州布法罗：Albright-Knox美术馆，布法罗大学美馆，219页， 308-309页 李占洋（2004）， 《我渴望联结公众》，发表于《中国艺术》，2004年总第37期，39- 41页 李占洋（2004）， 《李占洋与高名潞对话》，发表于《山花》，2004年第10期，124 -125页
Fan Di’an (2007). Li Zhanyang. In: Floating. New Generation of Art in China. National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, doArt Co. pp. 52-53. Brand, H. (Ed.) (2007). Li Zhanyang. In: Red Hot. Asian Art Today From the Chaney Family Collection Houston: The Museum of Fine Arts. p. 11. Wang Lin (Ed.) (2007). Grassroots Humanism: 21 Cases of Contemporary Art. Hong Kong: Gongyuan Publishing House. pp. 13-18. Li Zhanyang (2007). The Jesus Christ in Huangjueping. Visual Production 3(1-2), pp. 167-167. National Museum of Contemporary Art Korea (Ed.) (2007). Floating – New Generation of Art in China. Seoul: doART Co. pp. 49-53. Rhee, W., Weibel, P., Jansen, G. (Eds.) (2007). Digitized Social, Political, and Economic Status. Li Zhanyang. In: Thermocline of Art. New Asian Waves. Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz Verlag. pp. 44-45. Gao Minglu (2006). The Power of Grassroots Realism. Li Zhanyang’s Artistic Populism. In: Scenes. Li Zhanyang. Beijing: Galerie Urs Meile, TimeZone8. pp. 18-25. Paul Donker Duyvis, (2006). The Temptation of the Monk. Some Remarks about the Works of Li Zhanyang. In: Scenes. Li Zhanyang. Beijing: Galerie Urs Meile, TimeZone8. pp. 30-33. Li Zhanyang, Li Xianting (2006). An Interview with Li Zhanyang by Li Xianting. In: Scenes. Li Zhanyang. Beijing: Galerie Urs Meile, TimeZone8. pp. 42-53. Gao Minglu (2005). The Wall: Reshaping Chinese contemporary Art. Beijing: Millennium Art Museum & Buffalo: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Center for the Arts University at Buffalo. p. 219, pp. 308-309. Fan Di’an (2002). Li Zhanyang: The Manner of “Seeing” and Ability of “Doing”. In: Guo Xiaochuan (Ed.). Chinese Art Today Series: Li Zhanyang. Beijing: International Culture Publishing House. pp. 9-10.
范迪安（2002）， 《李占洋： “看”的方式与“做”的能力》，发表于郭晓川（编）， 《今日中国美术丛书：李占洋》，北京：国际文化出版公司出版，7-8页 高名潞、李占洋（2002）， 《李占洋与高名潞对话》，发表于高名潞、王明贤（编）， 《丰收：当代艺术展》，香港：建筑业导报出版社，22-23页 杨小彦（2000）， 《李占洋的众生相 —— 啊，像杀猪一样难忘的生活》，发表于《视觉21》，2000年第2期，53-55页 范迪安（2000）， 《李占洋： “看”的方式与“做”的能力》，发表于《艺术界》，2000年1、2月刊，62-63页 李占洋（1999）， 《情感与技巧》，发表于《雕塑》，1999年总第19期，16 -17页 李占洋（1999）， 《创作随感 —— 艺术是从生活中来的真实情感的确切表达方式》，发表于《当代美术家》，1999年总第17期，53-55页 隋建国（1999）， 《李占洋 —— 用自我感觉运用造型语言》，发表于《艺术家丛集（一）》，1999年第1辑，106 -107页
Note: due to certain publications appearing only in Chinese with no English version available, the Chinese list of publications includes titles not listed in English. For more information about these publications, please contact the gallery.
李占洋– 摄于四川成都大邑县《收租院》水牢现场, 2006 160
Li Zhanyang – photographed at the Underwater Dungeon of Rent Collection Yard at Dayi County, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, 2006 161
出版：麦勒画廊 北京- 卢森 编辑：麦勒画廊 北京- 卢森 文章：艾未未，箫岭，保罗·大卫克，高名潞 翻译：黄一（中文），Lee Ambrozy，Ben Armour，Philana Woo（英文） 整理校对：申彤，苏晓琴，徐烨（中文），Ben Armour，Philana Woo（英文） 设计：李建辉 摄影：艾成，石辉，Oak Taylor-Smith，邹盛武 © 2008 麦勒画廊 北京- 卢森，李占洋 ISBN-13: 978-3-9523222-9-1 印刷：中国，北京
Published by: Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne Edited by: Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne Texts: Ai Weiwei, Nataline Colonnello, Paul Donker Duyvis, Gao Minglu Translations: Huang Yi (C), Lee Ambrozy, Ben Armour, Philana Woo (E) Copy Editors: Shen Tong, Su Xiaoqin, Xu Ye (C), Ben Armour, Philana Woo (E) Design: Li Jianhui Photography: Ai Cheng, Shi Hui, Oak Taylor-Smith, Zou Shengwu © 2008 by Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Li Zhanyang All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including but not limited to photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
ISBN-13: 978-3-9523222-9-1 Printed in China
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publications from Galerie Urs Meile