in China and in Austria.
Interview for TV and Stream: Earlier in the week I had a TV crew over at my house. A portrait was shot of me, which will be broadcast on Chinese television and on the streaming service. The report will also be shown on an Austrian television channel, okto.tv. However, the feature is in German because it is aimed at the German-speaking audience in China.
It started like this:
When I had an exhibition in China, Chongqing, last year, Ms. Hu from Chinese TV contacted me. They wanted to make a contribution on television to mark the occasion. 2 days before she wanted to fly to Chongqing with her cameraman, the lockdown was imposed on Chongqing because of Corona. We then had a longer Zoom conversation, she stressed how sorry she was and said we would definitely do something together in the future. For a Westerner like me, that means in general: that’s it. But, and I really appreciate that about the many Chinese, I got to know over decades, a word is a word you stand by.
And so I wasn’t too surprised when she recently asked me if I’d be interested in a portrait of myself. Ms. Obermayer, a director from okto.tv, contacted me to make an appointment. I spent days sorting out my pictures, publications, and other relevant material – enough for 3 broadcasts 🙂 I also dug up some earlier work from the 1980s that I haven’t shown yet on my blog. Among other things, a major work with horses, a landscape, and portraits.
And then it was time.
Three nice ladies, very professional and personable, worked hard for over 3 hours to interview me, film many pictures and my surroundings and everything went to the full satisfaction of everyone involved.
It was not entirely clear to me in advance how the process would look, and I didn’t want to question it. It’s often better because it’s more natural if you just jump in at the deep end. Since I don’t watch TV myself, I don’t understand anything about it anyway. I can be happy if I can tell where the back and front are on a remote control 😊
So it was about my career, why China, what I did in China, my relation to China today, and above all my artistic career. It was only after the interview that I thought about it more closely. And yes, over the decades there have been quite a number of cultural projects in which I was involved or which I was responsible for organizing.
The contribution will be c. 40 minutes and there of course is a risk that things will become boring. But since I lived in China for 5 years and traveled there about 20 times, I have a rich repertoire of entertaining stories. While we generally don’t pay much attention to older people here, in China people still respect old age and are interested in what comes from a wise mouth 😊
When I posted on FB about my exhibition in China last year, I got a somewhat blunt response from someone. It was in the sense: You’re a pretty nice guy, but don’t you know that you’re being exploited? The subject of surveillance, censorship, freedom of expression, etc. (And that on FB, the octopus, who can’t suck off enough information from her clientele. And which censors at whim and manipulates opinions right up to election campaigns).
Well, I’ve been interviewed by Chinese newspapers a number of times. (e.g. articles. 1, 2, 3, 4). Not once have I had the impression that anything in the print version was intentionally left out. Or that discussions were even steered in a direction I didn’t want. Every time, just like this time, it was a very relaxed, even warm atmosphere. If I had the impression that I had to play Fig Leaf, I wouldn’t even say yes.
The program will certainly be broadcast and put online later in May and I will then post a link. But, as I said, the interview is in German.
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