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To publish a painting album, financed by myself, I have a bit of freedom --- I myself can say good or bad things, no need to think about other people’s likes or dislikes. Nowadays, so many people write or paint, especially painting, almost all kinds of techniques or ways of painting have been tried by previous masters or living pros. If there is anything new, it is just new bottle filled with old vintage, for fun. I often feel rather confused: why paint? What is the purpose? There seems no answer, but it could be simple: in terms of visual sense, painting is for the eyes to see, no need to talk about other things.
Today painting has become “chicken rib”: it is without much flavor, though it is a pity to discard it. But I think it is more like a once beautiful woman whose beauty has waned, painters are then all “twilight lovers”. I used to adore those classic drawing example books, now they seem to become simply reference books --- shelves full of books on painting techniques and famous artists’ work copies, one does not know what to do with them. Well, what can one do? Painting lessons continue, plaster statues are copied as usual, art critique is freely written, and there is no room for second thought.

Every year, stupendous shows are performed for the celebration of the New Year and the Spring Festival, they excite the intellect of a few hundred million audience, and won the applause of over a billion fans! Renminbi pour in like the eruption from an oil well. In contrast, the role of a painter is a miserable one. Painting is solitary work, one shuts oneself up at home, laboring alone. Even if you paint a roomful of pictures, hardly anybody will care about you, the future is bleak. What can you do but to keep painting? If a painter lives next door, you will not know at all what he is doing. No sound, no movement.

Occasionally he comes out, dressed sloppily, looking distracted. Because the painter lacks people skills, he is laughed at as “silly it”. In every neighborhood there are probably one or two painters like this. They are anonymous artists, they sign at the right corner after a painting is finished, people will not know who it is by looking at the signature. I am one of these artists.