|艺术家 ARTIST 2016 | Date ：2017-01-07 | From ：iamlimu.org
30th January, 2012 Monday (Sunny to Cloudy)
I woke up, probably, at daybreak. Outside the window, birds chirped. I woke up
again because of the alarm clock. There were no birds chirping but cars roaring. I went
to sleep again with my dreams. I woke up again and it was 10:00 AM. I just stayed on
my bed and allowed my mind to wander. I began to think without aim, which is like a
car with no one controlling it. It doesn’t matter where your mind goes.
The stripes of Daniel Buren, dollars and cola of Andy Warhol, dots of Damien
Hirst, dates of Kawara On, and the blue of Yves Klein. The creation and works of those
masters is so simple, they make simplicity perfect. It seems that their works are
created so effortlessly, but this does not diminish the fact that we remember them
Nowadays, the whole society is noisy. Rarely are people reticent.
I should keep myself away from tight schedules, when I am busy my mind is not
active. Artists should lead a leisurely life, or they can make nothing. When you are
relaxed, you become the most creative.
14th February, 2012,Tuesday
Today is Valentine’s day. I am on a plane from Shanghai to New York.
It is so noisy on the plane. It is like you are in a factory that is all steam engines
and crying babies.
Yesterday, the monks of the Labu Monastery and Nima came to Shanghai. I
noticed that the monk, who is a little older than me, was so mild and calm. This monk’s
disposition is such a contrast to my mother-in-law who was so pathetic because she
was often anxious. A kind and tolerant heart is the biggest fortune for us. Those
monks gave me nectar pills and diamond wire. Nima brought me a pack of ginseng
fruit. I asked Fangfang to give the ginseng fruit and diamond wire to my mother-in-law
in hopes that she can be happy. Nectar pills are made of Living Buddha’s feces. I put
them in a box, I dare not eat them. I am in awe of the pills, but I do not completely
believe in their power.
The China Eastern Airlines is so stingy and there is nothing to speak of the food.
During this journey I will lose weight. Many passengers bring instant noodles and
biscuits in case that they are hungry. The face of attendant is just like a sandwich in
the morning, quite and cold.
11th April, 2012, Wednesday (Sunny)
At 10:00 PM on April 8th, Jenny Chen called and said: “Tehching Hsieh has
agreed to meet with you at 9:30 PM tomorrow at my home. This is a special
opportunity and you must come.”
Though he is over 60, Tehching Hsieh is much younger than I thought. He is
healthy and you can tell that he leads a good life from the expression on his face. He is
easy-going and he allowed me to call him by his name; but, I still called him Mr. Hsieh.
After all, he is my predecessor and someone I admire and respect. His wife, Li Qinqin
and his brother, Xie Dexin accompanied him. His wife was born in Chongqin, a big city
in southwest China. She is the college classmate of my friend and our age is similar.
Thus, I think they are gracious.
Right now, I do not know how to continue. In fact, I hesitated to journal about this
meeting for some days. How to describe it? It seems that from his talk he himself
makes me question my art and creation. After studying for several years, I thought I
was closer to art and myself. However, now I see that I walk on a safe path where there
is no achievements for me to make.
Suddenly, I realize that there is a pretty thick wall between art and I. What I did
was outside the wall. My works only represent the reality. I think, next, I will use all my
strength to knock over the wall even if I suffer a heavy blow to my head. Adopting
speculative methods is not healthy but most of people adopt them. As for the art
system, if I don’t put it on my heart, then it doesn’t exist. I am not under its control.
For me, regarding art, it is not only about choosing correct forms, it is a way of
今天想到邮局邮寄东西，就在网上找到离我住址不是很远的一家邮局。骑车到达地方的时候，看到了悬挂的牌子“Post Office”,一个年轻人在擦玻璃，我问他这是邮局吗？他说这是个叫“Post Office”的酒吧。晕！
16th April, 2012, Monday (Sunny)
I saw a work of an African-American artist at PS1 yesterday. He chose someone
from the audience at random and tried to kiss him or her at the site of the
performance. Interestingly, the reaction of the audience was diverse and complex.
Some allowed the kiss, some refused with their expressions, and some yet were willy-
nilly. When he was in front of someone and stopped, that person was nervous. Maybe
he just stood there and waited for a while and then left or maybe he would just kiss the
Today I wanted to mail something at the post office, I used the internet and found
one that was not far away from my home. When I got there, I saw a sign with “Post
Office” on it hanging there and a young man cleaning the glass. I asked him: “Is it a
post office?” He said that it was a pub called “Post Office.” Oh, No!
1st April, 2013, Monday (Sunny)
I had a dream last night. Biljana Ciric invited me to dinner in a dining room that
was located on the top floor overlooking the Shanghai Bund. The passage to that
dining room was a pipeline and it was so narrow that I need to use great effort to
progress. When I reached the dining room, Biljana Ciric was waiting for me.
“This dining room was great but the entrance was not good.” I said.
That pipeline is the only entrance and exit.
23rd November, 2013, Saturday (Rainy)
The road is getting muddy again. It’s been raining for two days, and after that it
will be even chillier than before.
The village looks more vivid due to the presence of these artworks. Bright colors
imbue the grayish village with warmth and vitality.
My mom sat by my bed early this morning when I was still sleeping. She said, with
a sense of blame, “You always postponed having a baby and you’re still childless.
Every evening I find it hard to get to sleep because I worry for you.” What could I say? I
know nothing I say can sooth her.
Regardless of the fact that he suffers from myocardial infarction and against the
doctor’s advice, my father smokes more and more and fills his stomach so full at each
meal. Nothing I say influences him. Everyone has his own fate and whatever happens,
we can only face it. Apparently, he doesn’t understand my art and he said he can’t see
the value of my work. He constantly suggests that I close down the library during the
Chinese New Year and not open it again.
I came back home to carry on with my artistic practice. My family gave me great
help and support, and in the meantime, they also became a great interference in a way.
Outside, it is still raining.
5th January, 2014 Sunday Overcast
I completed the watercolors and came back to Qiuzhuang.
My parents and I don’t talk a lot. We just have our meals, watch some TV and do
some tidying up. Life is always like this in this place. Parents never teach their children
how to express their feelings. Neither do they encourage us to do so. Most of the time
we just do things quietly and keep our love for each other to ourselves. At first sight,
you’d think we are indifferent to each other.
Last night I read Fu Lei’s Family Letters. I read it out loud to Fang. And gradually I
felt I couldn’t help from crying. I couldn’t continue to read, choking with sobs. I told
her I was sorry. Fang said: “That’s what I love about you. You have a gentle heart.”
Charles Esche wanted to buy all the 11 watercolors for the collection of the Van
Abbemuseum. The total price was USD16,000.
People easily become lazy in places that are cold. The harsher it is, the more
patience and determination are required, and the more patience and determination can
In the evening, it is dark all around, so dark that I can no longer see my fingers.
23rd November, 2014, Sunday (Sunny)
The exhibition was opened, I stood beside my works and watched the audience. In
such occasion, I was not willing to give my work a second glance because I was quite
familiar with each detail. I only watched the audience. Sometimes, they found me and
then turned around and said congratulations to me or posed some simple questions.
At such a moment, I felt uncomfortable because I did not know what I should say
and do. I just took several photos with my camera to hide my perplexity. Then, I went
to see the works of other artists and I did not come back.
There was a reception in the art museum and I drank two glasses of wine. There
were more and more people coming and they were noisy.
I could not feel myself and I thought I floated on the air. It seemed that I could not
bear the people and the noise here for just one second. I said to Chen Ming: “Let’s go
outside. Go somewhere quiet.”
So, we left the reception. I took a deep breath. Everything was quiet, no longer
I did not go back to the art museum and I did not attend the dinner and the
2015年1月6日， 星期二 阴
6th January, 2015, Tuesday (Cloudy)
My friend, Chen Botao, lied in the hospital’s bed for two months and passed away.
I picked wintersweet twice from the area I live in and put them into a glass at his
bedside. The aroma filled the room.
I took part in his mourning and watched his remains with a peaked cap on his
head. I was sort of frightened. When I held him struggling to breath by the hand, I felt
that he was so close to me. However, faced with his remains, I don’t feel sad, only
He was buried in the cemetery of Tongli. He must dislike it there. That place is so
desolate. And, there is nothing but tombstone after tombstone.
His wife said, he was watching the wintersweet on the bedside table when he left
“It’s time go to bed, good night!” I said to myself.
18th September, 2015, Friday (Sunny)
Ellen Zweig went to Amsterdam for her documentary’s screening. However, she
could not take off time to attend my opening in Eindhoven. So I came to see her and
gave her my new book.
This was a dark day for me. On the streets of Amsterdam, Ellen and I walked side
by side. Someone stole my wallet from behind and everything in my wallet was lost,
money, credit cards, and credentials. Luckily, I did not put my passport in the wallet.
After my wallet was stolen, I was in great frustration and I couldn’t enjoy the time with
Ellen or our conversation.
Ellen gave me 50 euros and I came back to Amsterdam. When I arrived back at
the Van Abbemuseum, I felt the warmth of a home. Christina and Charles got back in a
hurry when they were off-duty. In a bar that is opposite to the art museum, they invited
me to dinner and I felt that they were my family members.
Now, I am penniless.
There are lot of bad guys in a big city. I must keep myself on guard and learn to
Today, on my way home, I saw a rainbow out of the train’s window when I was
2015年10月7日 星期三 阴
7th October, 2015, Wednesday (Cloudy)
Yesterday afternoon, I was hoping to go to the exhibition of Anish Kapoor in a
Jewish museum and I finally found where it was after a great effort. First, I followed the
road signs. Then, when I was almost there, there were no more signs. So, I asked three
people how to find the way. The last person told me the address. However, I was told
that the museum was closed because yesterday was Simchat Torah, a celebration day
for the Jews.
This is an interesting situation. It seems like when you visit an old friend with
enthusiasm, it turns out that he or she is not at home and you have to go back. Thus,
what I enjoy is only the travel itself.
I decided to go back on foot and it was about 7 kilometers.
When I was in Moscow, I did not go to the Red Square.
21st November, 2016, Monday (Rainy)
I took Man’er to the outdoor children’s playground. He played on a slide and I
read Interviews with Francis Bacon in the morning.
In the afternoon, Man’er rested on my shoulder and fell asleep. Then, I put him on
the bed gently. He slept for two hours and did not wake up until Zhang Fang came
We went to the coffee shop. I refrained from drinking a cup of coffee and just
drank a glass of water. It is good for my health and saves money if I do not drink
coffee. Recently, I am quite financially embarrassed. I used to be underprivileged for a
long time, so I am not afraid of this. However the situation is different now, I have a
child. Before I would just choose to not spend money. Now, spending money is
In the evening, I drank some beer with Na Yingyu.
Proofreader: Nathan Pelton
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