An Interview with Yue Minjun and

An Interview with Yue Minjun and

Time: April 7, 2009

Location: Canopy Gallery

Huang Du (hereinafter referred to as "yellow"): I heard you came to Beijing before worked as a worker?

Yue Minjun (hereinafter referred to as "Yue"): Yes.


Huang: It is said that you work in the Bohai drilling platform that year, there are two operating platforms, one is the Bohai Sea on the 4th, one is the Bohai Sea on the 3rd. Are you working on Bohai No.3?

Yue: After graduating from high school I went to Tianjin offshore oil drilling platform. My boat is the number of Bohai Sea has been forgotten.

Huang: This should be a very dangerous job because of the need to work at sea. Do you ever think about how to escape this day?

Yue: Bohai II is built in the 60s of last century. I may be the Bohai eight or nine. That was a device that China later imported from the United States. There is also a joke inside: At that time, the other (US companies) is selling a set of production and living links supporting the equipment, the price is calculated by the whole package, for example, one million dollars. The Chinese people to negotiate when the wishful thinking, if we do not live that part of the equipment, may be cheap, but in fact, whether or not the Chinese side of life supporting parts, the price is a kind. The results of the United States quite happy, since the Chinese side does not offer that part of life or good, but still maintain the original price. I just went to the time, Bohai II just sank. There is indeed a security problem when living on the sea. Such as the occurrence of fire or blowout, escape is indeed very important, it can be said that this psychological with my life.

Huang: You drilled well in the Bohai Sea.

Yue: deep sea drilling. Depth of 20-30 meters. Drilling depth of 2000-3000 meters.

Huang: how did you paint?

Yue: Then draw the sea and portrait. There are a lot of workers around. This was a matter of 1980-1982.

Huang: Did you graduate from college?

Yue: No. Just graduated from high school. Then I transferred from Tianjin Oil to North China Petroleum, after the North China Petroleum from the test to Hebei Normal University. Hebei Normal University after graduation and assigned to work for a year.

Huang: So, when did you graduate from Hebei Normal University?

Yue: 1989.

Huang: Why did you leave for North China for whatever reason and choose to come to Beijing?

Yue: In fact, especially the factors. My family is in the oil system. I remember the age of 6, the family went to Daqing Oilfield Jianghan Oilfield. About 10 years old, our family moved from Jianghan Oilfield to Beijing. I went to high school after graduation in Tianjin, Tianjin, a few years later transferred to Hebei. So, my memory has been in a state of flow, as if never fixed in a place down. There is also an important reason, with me in Hebei Normal University to understand a painting teacher. He was more than 40 years old, her daughter almost go to college, but one day suddenly disappeared. He is tired of the kind of life, suddenly epilepsy, disappeared, family and units have been looking for his whereabouts, still no audio. Perhaps, many of these factors together, let me think there is always a sense of freedom, do not want to be controlled.

Huang: Are you leaving North China Oilfield to resign?

Yue: the first year did not resign. The second year when I was fired, because the situation was equivalent to the miners a year.

 Huang: What year are you coming to Beijing? Where is it?

Yue: 1990 years. At that time I was in Chaoyang District, Hongmiao area to find a place to paint. Before and after the Spring Festival in 1991, the teacher of a teacher of Hebei Normal University was hospitalized in Beijing. His family lives in the Yuanmingyuan to take care of his mother. I went to visit him when he found the Yuanmingyuan.


Huang: How long has it been in Yuanmingyuan?

Yue: very short, also 1 - 2 years it He left in 1994.


Huang: 1994 Yuanmingyuan that dial "wandering" artists basically scattered. There is an artist who has lived in the Yuanmingyuan told me the real story, in this artist gathering area was dispersed before a police officer to catch the artist, to get them to the northern suburbs of Changping to dig sand. When the police arrested people, there is an unknown reason the artist also take the initiative to ask "do what", the result was taken away.

Yue: In fact, recall that time, no matter which industry the Chinese people are very bitter. I think there was no difference in nature at that time, both down and down, and now the artist is different. For example, students of art colleges and universities now, to pursue the arts, you can see the difference. And that period just graduated from college students almost no difference, everyone's situation is similar.


Huang: So, we can see from the personal experience of social changes and artistic changes. Now, we go back to your solo topic. Your solo exhibition seems to give the audience a familiar feeling. For example, the layout of the exhibition hall is reminiscent of the "Cultural Revolution" exhibition scene - similar to Zhoukoudian Beijing ape-man exhibition atmosphere, monumental sculpture characters right hand gun, left hand phone, surrounded by oval flower basket. Background wall with a thick book style vertical writing exhibition topics. One side with Chinese calligraphy writing artist concept statement, and the use of traditional vertical way. After entering the exhibition, the audience will find the relationship between the internal and external is very different, giving a strange sense of surprise, because the wooden table inserted with some like the jungle of the dead tree, four sculpture characters sitting in the finished product The plastic bucket or the red brick bench seems to be talking about what is laughing. And the other space in the exhibition hall is irregularly covered with nine stands (there are booths supported by four legs, which are supported by five legs), each round of the stand is made up of mutated lamb legs and feet Of the legs and feet of the support, and that shape with a certain sense of instability, each booth placed a variety of daily necessities, and arranged by the 50 drooping uneven with the cover The chandelier has become part of the entire sculpture device, creating a dim atmosphere of the exhibition hall space, resulting in a mysterious feeling beyond the imagination. This is how to consider it?

Yue: the beginning of my design is to let the audience have a feeling of visiting the museum. That is, the feeling of China's past museums - both preface to calligraphy and a fixed pattern of exhibitions. The sculpture on the table is also an imitation of the museum's effect, it is a life scene imitation. In fact, the audience will see some familiar and unfamiliar feeling. Here, I see substitution and imitation as an effective means of artistic subversion, it is not intact copying, but in imitation or replacement to change a lot of meaning. And those strange things are some booths, but we know the usual experience is not the same. The theme of the exhibition is the future of archeology, but I do not want to make the audience in today's popular futuristic under the influence of the formation of the kind of concept, for example, to avoid the streamlined sense of things, as far as possible to keep the works of the original, natural and rustic Features, with a rough round top of the table support legs and feet do very Chu culture in the taste of ghosts. I feel that this work and the expectations of the audience to form a tension between.


Huang: You just said a little bit of the historical and traditional elements hidden in the deconstruction of the entire work. In the end Chu culture in the ghost and what contact?

Yue: I think Chu culture has a sense of ghost culture, there are shares of the devil's gods, and later our traditional literati painting aesthetic different, seems to be another kind of aesthetic space feeling. I think this is very important, easy to bring the audience to a special sense of space to go.

Huang: We often think so that what is displayed in the museum or museum are considered to belong to the "past", belong to the "dead" thing. This is determined by the functional characteristics of the museum and the museum itself. But your solo exhibition is not the kind of feeling, but it is the future of whim. How do you think about it? Is it a challenge to art museums or museums?

Yue: I think, in terms of the characteristics of contemporary art, art museum or museum is a stereotyped, "dead" thing. Once the art of things to the museum or museum after it means "death", but it may be in its back or fresh. The so-called "dead" thing is correct, is fixed by culture, or is a "classic" discourse that everyone has a common knowledge system. Thus, this "classic" discourse undoubtedly has the correctness, which means rejecting the opposite (incorrect) thing. However, if you think from the reverse, then, may make the work tension. Because most of the works are not correct, but the audience are looking forward to see the right thing. Once found incorrectly, it may be questioning or criticizing the correct knowledge system of art galleries or museums. This is the intention of questioning culture.


Huang: In other words, art museums or museums establish a discourse, which is a established, stable, recognized knowledge system. This system is built on a relationship that is said to be seen, seen, dominated and dominated. And you provide a kind of experience contrary to the museum, behind the work is that the knowledge system and the power of the system of criticism.

Yue: Of course. I think the idea of the work should let the audience have a thought: why this thing is called this rather than that? Who is this decision? Such as the correct "pot" is the name of who is established? After a long period of time in culture, history, politics, and power, every so-called regime uses some of the things that have been used to determine its use today. My work is about this problem.

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