September 12 at 5 PM, 2003
September 12 till October 5, 2003
CEAC, Xiamen, China
I don’t have a definition for a good painting, or for any other kind of visual art. A good work simply “grabs” you. You keep looking at it and it excites you. There are no preconditions for this to happen. Much are aims just to be beautiful. I think what I am seeking is the opposite: my work always has to have a certain ironic character. It is only interesting when you feel there is something going on under the skin. I simply don’t want my work to be seen as something beautiful, as a thing of beauty in its own right. That’s why I like to show traces of spontaneous action, of the working process. That gives the work certain vigour. Sometimes I have the idea that my sense of beauty falls a long way short of most people’s standards. The concept and the form often focus excessively on the subject. The subject is important, of course, but the way I present it is just as important.
My paintings are here for the people and myself. They can enjoy or give a new experience to them and me. Very often people here in China say to me: but I don’t understand. I think it’s not so much about understanding. People are maybe afraid, are not used to look at art. People have to use their own imagination. They have to search for themselves what they experience. You can just enjoy the colours. I hope people get some kind of feeling when they see my works. They like it, or really dislike.
What I research in a painting is, what is beauty, or what is not beauty. My interest goes more to the “not beauty”. I like it when the painting is questioning me. Do I like the painting, or not. I like it when the painting is difficult. That is on the edge of beauty or ugliness. Then it becomes interesting.
In the first place, I make a painting for myself. Some paintings are more difficult than others. It is a challenge for myself, a research for myself, and in myself. The audience can watch it.
But I never think of the audience when I make a paiting, because then the painting will not satisfy me, because I will get frightened. When you are an artist you always should challenge yourself.