The Transcended Body

Xiang Jing x Huang Zhuan:

H: What’s your age?
X: I was born in 1968. Why ask about the age?
H: Age is No.1 element to an artist. It’s also the basis for a talk.
X: Really? Then I’ll break the conventions of age and sex.
H: Look at YBA, that generation of British artists. They’re born in early 1960s, held their public exhibitions in 1988, the “Perception” exhibition in 1997. Their “complete success” came roughly in the 1990s.
X: I always heard the term “complete success”. What does it mean?
H: This is a very mundane term, refers to publicity and prices of art works and their assessment in art history. I’m not speaking about their age, but why I say age is important? For our generation, there’s a sharp contrast between China and the west. What we did was basically different from what western artists did. For your generation, this difference is slim and you’re kind of synchronous.
X: Perhaps this change was prepared by previous generations...
H: There might be two reasons: one is information. In those days information came to us slowly indeed; the ways to get information also differ. Now there’s no time gap in getting information and your modes of thinking are similar. But generally I think your generation might be regarded as a transition between our generation and the next. It’s not degrading; with regard to man’s life, it’s actually an awkward age.
X: How’s it like that?
H: Look at your own works! In the last years you mainly dealt with youth; now obviously what you do has not much to do with youth, but it’s not entirely unrelated to youth. So, do you feel your age awkward or not?
X: No. On the contrary, I think my age is right on the point, it’s not old and every aspect about it is all right. I dread my turning into one who knows clearly what she’s doing; I fear I become a guardian of established interest. In the past I felt lost most of the time; now it seems I have a clearer mind and I begin to feel better.
H: When did you begin to “have a clearer mind”?
X: Perhaps from 2005 when I had my first solo