Jia Siwen Diaries (2012-2013)

March 1st, Do not believe in story tellers, instead, believe in stories.

In the novel The Counterfeiters by Gide (the edition published in 1926), complicated story lines began spontaneously; during this period, Edward, one of the roles in this novel is also writing a novel titled The Counterfeiters, in his diaries, Edward is both the witness of what's happening in the novel and the author of "the book in the book"; he is thinking and discussing the creation process of this novel constantly. Gide's "Mise en Abyme" (carve a smaller same image at the center of the emblem image) is just like a frame in frame and drama in drama; this is a finished novel that is also ongoing. "I'd rather say that there is more than one centre in this book…there are two focal points in these effects like that of an oval. One is event, fact, external material; another is the effort made by a novelist in writing a book with these things." (Diaries of Counterfeiters , August,  1921)
Guo Xi's invitation-letter also reminds me of the A Bar at the Folies-Bergeres (Edouard Manet, 1882), the mirror behind the waitress, as "the reflection of reflection", is actually a dislocated reflection; the waitress's body and the position of shadow required the audiences to have two perspectives spontaneously… in an ideal condition, Guo Xi will be both a role in my work and my incarnation in mirror with a "Mise en Abyme". Our artworks will be arranged radically along an axis; who will be Mona Lisa? And who will be the Mona Lisa with moustache?

June 28th 

When I was young I determined to become a figure recognized universally: Radical, pragmatic, humorous, discreet, accurate, potential, vague, prophetic, touching (be alert of words' inflation).

July 6th, An incredible man

Today I'm about to finish The Prayer rising in Blue Background, of which the dimension is about 90x80cm. 
The first time when I show religious emotion came out to be a big failure and became a wide-spread joke in my family. At that time, my understanding and imagination of gods were entrusted to the care of a statue of god; one day the glass medicine bottle suddenly cracked and I was kneeling at the bedside holding the jadeite with my bleeding hand. At that time I didn't know what "prayer" was and I could only constantly beg piteously that "please let my blood back then I know you are there." When I grow up, I surprisingly found that I never feel confused of who in the end "you" are; for this I made cautious reading and talking, yet I still cannot really believe in it though I can hold, sympathize with, and use these idols and doctrines. 

July 18th, Blue Symbol of Approximate Equal

"When you were born, there was a blue cloud in the sky." My mother later corrected herself, worrying that the young I would indulge in illusions, to say that she saw it on an exhibition of modern art. I wasn't convinced then so I wanted to reveal her lie and desperately questioned her about what in the end the blue looked like. Many years later, I could still clearly remember her answer: "It was a kind of color between stone and tube paint; a long time ago, somewhere near Afghan produced a kind of precious stone; it is said that when gods of Israel befell, a blue stone road appeared.  In Egypt, peoples, powdered it to draw eyebrows for Tutankhamun and after it was introduced to Europe in the middle Ages, it became the most expensive pigment. Only figures of dignity drawn by top painters could be worthy of using this color.  In the 18th century, a Germany people named Diesbach accidentally discovered Prussian blue when producing red pigment, which might be the first man-made blue which was stable and long-lasting; it became the rolling waves in the prints of Katsushika Hokusai when introduced into Japan…now painters could get rid of all these troubles because they have too many choices, Van Gogh Blue, Picasso Blue, Mondrian blue, Kandinsky blue, Klein blue , Elizabeth Taylor Blue and others… but my child, you should know what kind of people you will be when you grow up; you should determine where would you draw your first stroke. "

September 1st

"It's too arduous to make the first move on empty canvas, here and now, what we're looking at are nothing more than tender courage, chilling conspired-consensus, unnecessary joy and horror, protest without manifesto, war without ammo, beer without alcohol, coffee without caffeine. There's no such thing as brushstroke of god or abrupt monologue. People no longer tremble for authenticity, nor are they irritated by forgery…"

September 2nd, The Edge of Life is far too Sharp

…Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer, by Caspar David Friedrich, 1818
Blue, brown, white
Mont Sainte-Victoire, by Paul Cezanne, 1905
Blue, white, yellow, pink
White and Green Blue, 14#, by Mark Rothko, 1954
Blue, white, green
July 23th, 1982, by On Kawara
Blue
Untitled (Lover Boys), by Felix Gonzalez Torres, 1991
Blue, white…

I yearn for a kind of ease gain through deliberation. Exhausted in an afternoon, I fell down in a pile of scrap; these blue pieces cut from artworks began to tremble; I held my breath and gazed at them like gazing at tarot. I believed that there is an answer twinkling among them, which is the irreplaceable choice and the sense of destiny hit by prophet. And I was still unable to make the first brushstroke. Concerning about "what to draw" and "how to draw" can no longer fill the constant hunger in my heart. This kind of emptiness made me feel necessary to work out "what it is as", Evidence? Script? Blueprint? Or a dream? I have no way to start it and feel fretful and depressed. Maybe it's time to try Artists Anonymous (an association for colleagues to help each other and pass the difficult period of creation). It's said that psychological counselors draw lesson from art therapy and take creation as the appearance of symptoms. I guess that if one persists to take several treatment courses, there might be possibilities to get cured….

September 3rd, Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction—that our lives had become unmanageable.

On the first day, two are grouped together after every one introduced themselves to support, encourage and supervise each other. Therapist asked us to draw something impromptu before she made preliminary diagnosis. Her advice to me was: although somewhat optimistic, yet solo-show should better not be held recently based on present spiritual situation, however, a small number of group shows can be participated in. Use more cold color tone, do not make three-dimensional things. 
Rose Sue is my group-mate; he ties different scarves change every day on his neck. When we sit together, about seven peoples are curious about him, but they worry that he might has attempted suicide, therefore they feel embarrassed to ask him about it. He introduced that he is an artist doing performance art, thus four of them feel less curious. 

September 14th, Step 2: Having obtained a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to other addicts, and practice these principles in all our affairs.

"We live in an overwhelming world constructed by others. Here, the ego exists only through relying on others while it refuses to become the other; ego is expressed and then dissolved constantly by others. This is a confusing but tempting operation system. Ego experience this world through others and be reflected as others in turn…the so-called artist is an individual constantly trying to escape from the site of others before his body disappear, while he is not trying to seek for ego, but rather, with a sense of justice to damage this system of others, to seek for the shining light puncture through dense fog and the truth obtained momentarily…"
To endorse the words for my Memoir after three decades He Will Not Be The Person He Will Be, I don't believe that enough historical sudden change could burst out to make these words out of time. I believe that artists of the upcoming new generation could still feel something from it if they keep on being perplexed sincerely. 

September 20th, A letter from Guo Xi

It's the 18th day since I participated in the AA. A letter is sent from Guo Xi, he wants to have a dual show with me. This is the best news recently! Yet I cannot tell him the status quo. Now I'm still too fragile and have no way to talk about subjects go beyond 18cm * 20cm. God! About politics! About faith! I decided to send the reports I draw to the therapist to Guo; although he is ignorant, I know that I'm sincere.
Occasionally, I pretend to be humorous, yet in my subconscious, I'm fairly cautious in titles of artwork. I remember that my mother once got angry and she caught my brush and admonished me: "you should know that there are 132 pieces of songs titled 'untitled', 54 episodes titled 'untitled', and countless artworks as well; how could you think that a pair of brackets behind can comfort your conscience? You should know that if you keep on talking endlessly from childhood, then it's only possible to have a moment when you grow up or even grow old when you feel speechless. You should show something ineffable, namely itself! Itself!"
I plan to title these paintings with the images of those different every-day scarves of Rose Sue. It would become justified as time goes by.

October 22nd, A letter from Guo Xi

As time goes by, for example three hundred years, I definitely don't want to become a case in sociology or a sample in psychology; if the generous peoples regard what I have done are art, I will have a little bit courage to gaze back their hot gaze. 
There are stars all over the sky when I look up; at that moment, I got to know the distance of light between a star and eyes. Looking back, Rose Sue was sitting on the black marble steps nearby and shining. I don't know how to describe it and dare not envision what will happen; I ran directly home and drew it down as realistic as I could and sent to Guo Xi via express delivery. Maybe he had ever seen similar peoples. 

October 29th "I wish there will be someone (a ghost) Incognito run through the whole book; he would look more authentic as peoples do not believe in him. " (Diaries of Counterfeiters, January 13th,  1921)

Recent letters from Guo Xi made me even clearer in realizing that I'm just occasionally named "Jia Siwen"; He even explored an identity and personality more complete than myself——a successful artist, the real Jia Siwen, a people recognized universally. He, just like a crazily expanding placeholder, pressed me from a "people" into a "role"; any artworks I made obtain meaning automatically and turn into materials waiting for interpretation and retrieving!

The Grand Yoyage/2014-2015 (with @Zhang Jianling)
That Obscure Object (artist's book)/2014
Body as a Container of Faith/2014
The Last Tale: God and Net Friend/2014
There never should have been an artist named Jia Siwen/2012-2014
A study on infinity/2014
Untitled/2013
A Faceless Void/2013
A member of socialism's imagination/2012
eve R evolution/2011
Still Sweet/2011
Dirty Memories/2011
Home of Others/2011
A way of dissipating memories/2010
Typist's Death/2010
I would like to satisfy your foot fetishism in such a way, even/2010
Raining Hometown/2009