|Interview with Qin Fengling - Sunday, March 05, 2006, Beijing
QFL: They do. My paintings are edible; they are spiritual nourishment. They aren’t only thick, but they seem carved from cream. My works are somewhere between painting and sculpture.LA: Why did you start painting? Was it the painting process that drew you in or the joy of creating?
QFL: I like painting, it brings a pleasure that cannot be reproduced in any other form.
LA: How did you think of the method?
QFL: I used my imagination.
LA: What was your first painting and when did you make it?
QFL: I’m always thinking of and waiting for new paintings.
LA: One series of paintings is titled “Social Pattern." Can you explain what you mean by that?
QFL: In my opinion social structure is merely form and pattern.
LA: How did you choose the different personages for your patterns?
QFL: Any social element that conforms to social standards can be a “social pattern.”
LA: Does your personality have a little bit of a sociologist hidden within?
QFL: I am a member of society, I participate so therefore can express these ideas.
LA: Do you fancy yourself a pessimist or an optimist?
QFL: No matter how serious, or how heavy a topic, the moment you step into my paintings those topics are no longer serious or heavy. That is because I am an optimist.
LA: Do you like living in noisy cities or in the quiet countryside?
QFL: I like them both.
LA: Some art commentators have called your art “folk painting,” do you think that this is an accurate description?
QFL: If people are interested in categorizing my paintings, I’m happy about that.
LA: In your opinion, what is “fine art?"
QFL: Art doesn’t exist in conclusive categorizations.
LA: Do you believe artists have a responsibility to society?
QFL: No. Art is a lifestyle, it's an appreciation, self-expression.
LA: Your paintings look like cartoons, they look innocent. Have you put in some secret meaning?
QFL: The people in my paintings definitely have cartoon-like traits. Following the ceaseless advancements of science, society and peoples’ individual characteristics are gradually disappearing. We are becoming increasingly like cartoons.
Lee Ambrozy is a writer based in Beijing and this interview appears with her kind permission. Her blog is sinopop.org.