Q (Fei Teng), A (Shen Piji)
F: Lately, what has been your situation or what have you been doing?
S: Earning money, surviving, doing design-related work.
F: What kind of design?
S: Interior design, nightclubs, entertainment centers, etc,
and in between I might sneak a moment to do something I enjoy.
F: What do you enjoy, then?
S: There is quite a big conflict between enjoyable things and things that one can’t avoid doing, it’s a big contradiction.
F: Can you give some examples of things that you are working on, things that you really want to do?
S: I really want to hold this exhibit, for example. But the thing I want to do the most is playing instruments, especially the guqin (Chinese instrument similar to the zither).
F: For example, a percussion group, drawing?
S: The percussion group is only a part of my life, playing with folks on Sundays is very relaxing. More of my personal time is still spent on drawing and guqin, every day I think about something related to creative work, I feel like I don’t have enough time to use.
F: When did you create these installation pieces?
S: Some were started as early as ten years ago, some I was only conceptualizing and did not actualize, and have been exploring these topics with some good friends across conversations. Some photos were created because of invited exhibits, the exhibit this time are my recent conceptualizations, for the most part.
F: When did you begin to associate with some more active artists, or, in the past, you were very close with them, seemingly a lot of them. Who are some of these friends? Around when did you begin (to spend time with them)?
S: I arrived in Shenzhen in 1993, I like seeking out a particular environment on my own, to hang out with people with similar interests, to share more topics of conversation. At first, it was mostly music-affiliated (friends). I spent more time on music, and through concerts and events, I also began meeting some artists.
F: Such as Chu Yun, Liu Chuang, Jiang Zhi, Yang Yong, Pi Li…
S: In fact if we really talk about contemporary (art), it was around 2003. I opened a bar, Pi Li, Zheng Guo Gu, etc really liked it and came often. Some of their works were produced there.
F: Which works?
S: For example, a DV of Jiang Zhi’s was of a transgendered person dancing in my bar. Chu Yun has a piece made from a bottle of liquor we drank together. He had forgotten the bottle, and later his girlfriend came to Shenzhen from Beijing just to get it. He really valued that unfinished liquor, but I heard that when they ran out of liquor at the Beijing studio they accidentally finished that bottle, haha…
F: You have always had interest in contemporary art
S: How do I put it, after I understood things, I felt that this is the only thing I can do with this lifetime, and decided I wanted to continue doing it.
F: When did your band start?
S: I’ve had two bands since coming to Shenzhen. In ’94 it was “Black Hole” (band name), which was with a group of animation friends. At the time we were only imitating things like Guns ‘N Roses, Scorpions, etc, we copied them pretty well, haha, even the hair and the clothes, playing heavy metal, haha. Then I felt that I didn’t want to be stuck imitating, so in ’97 I began playing in a punk band, and felt a bit more free.
F: What was it called?
S: “Sunflower” (band name). This band was more interesting, it still exists. We don’t rehearsethe show is the rehearsal, improv performance. This band is a part of life, I’ve always treated it as a part of life.
F: When did you begin doing design?
S: I did design ever since I came to Shenzhen. I turned into a designer the second day I arrived in Shenzhen, haha, doing graphic design. In 2000 I began focusing on designing spaces, bars, entertainment centers. Actually, I’m not really willing to discuss design-related matters.
F: So your current artistic creations or life creations traverse between music, drawing, and contemporary art.
S: Right. Music has brought a lot of inspiration to my other interests. I play a lot of instruments, also DJing, but I’m not the type to be a professional DJ.
滕：当时也没这个专业嘛 嘿嘿 现在有了。
F: At the time there wasn’t this “profession” anyway, heh heh; now there is.
S: Heh heh, I am one of the earlier ones to come in contact with electronic music. I keep doing some experimental things.
F: Right, your artistic creations have emerged out of various fringes.
S: You can say that. I feel I have always kept things mixed, I often say I am the “mongrel” of the art world.
F: In this many artistic creations, what is it that you want to express?
S: The thing I want to speak of the most is loneliness.
F: What exhibits or works have you been relatively satisfied with?
S: I can’t really speak of satisfaction, but there are some fun things. For example, in the annual 2002 exhibit Plaything, my piece Temptation.
I feel it turned into a performance piece. I used a pile of rat cages to build the piece, the temptations in the cages were some household items, including napkins, condoms, etc. Then, within three days of the opening, the rat cages were stolen one by one, some took the cages with the bait. I was quite happy.
In 2006, the Interior/Exterior exhibit at the Shenzhen Sculpture Center showed my work “Food Concerto,” I used a pile of Xinjiang pancakes, I felt they look a lot like (music) records. After the exhibit, everyone ate all of them, I was very happy, haha.
In E6’s opening exhibition, in my piece Life.Pressure, I used the sounds of a pressure cooker’s whistle for the tempo of my music. At the time, someone even asked me, you feel pressured too? I feel this piece was also somewhat interesting. My pressure is quite high, haha.
In the fifth Shenzhen biennial ink painting exhibit Ink Painting, Life, Amusement in December 2006, I collaborated with Chu Yun on the piece Floating with the Bottle Gourd Painting. Our piece used the form of very traditional calligraphy, and produced a big contrast with all the contemporary works exhibiting at Hexiangning Art Museum. I feel that contemporary art does not care about form, and of course cannot reject things from Chinese tradition, I feel this is our root. Actually, I feel my main purpose for my creations is a spiritual pursuit. I feel I will use whatever form is fitting for the contents I want to express. Writing poetry, music, drawing, installation are all fine. Sometimes I also feel quite confused, but maybe this is just me, a bit schizo.
F: Great, thank you.