detail running horses

Interview for TV and Stream

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, 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, 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.

running horses painting
landscape painting oils

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 😊

team from

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 😊

team from


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.


70 responses to “Interview for TV and Stream”

  1. wanderlustig avatar

    Herzlichen Glückwunsch! Freue mich auf deinen Link zur Sendung.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Danke vielmals! Wir sicher bald verfuegbar sein. Alter Mann erzaehlt Zeugs 🙂

      1. wanderlustig avatar


  2. christinenovalarue avatar


    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much! ❤️❤️❤️

  3. klotylda avatar

    Herzlichen Glückwunsch! Manchmal bereue ich jedoch, dass ich diesen Beelzebub (Fernseher) aus dem Haus geschmissen habe.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Danke vielmals! Wie gut ich Sie verstehen kann! Ich habe auch kein Fernsehgeraet. Passt nicht zu mir. Den Beitrag wird es als stream geben und vielleicht lade ich ihn dann auch auf meinen youtube-Kanal – wenn ich es schaffe 🙂

      1. klotylda avatar

        Ich abonniere Ihren YouTube-Kanal. Wenn der Stream dorthin geht, würde ich ihn gerne sehen.

      2. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

        Danke vielmals! Ich werde mich melden. Schoenes Wochenende! 🙂

      3. klotylda avatar

        Ich wünsche Ihnen auch ein schönes Wochenende!

  4. Traum(A)Kinder avatar

    Auf den Beitrag bin ich gespannt. Das Landschaftsbild hat es mir angetan….
    Meiner Meinung nach können Fernsehgeräte schon nützlich sein, wenn man weise auswählt. 😉

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Vielen Dank! Das Landschaftsbild ist aus dem Waldviertel. Da hatte ich Mal mit Freunden einen Bauernhof, wo wir viel malten. Ja, Fernsehen hat sicher was, da habe ich wahrscheinlich den Anschluss verpasst. Auch nie die Zeit dazu gefunden und wahrscheinlich bin ich einfach nicht der Typ dafuer.

  5. Emma Cownie avatar

    I am fascinated by the fact that “We really must do somrthing” has a very different meaning in China to the west. How great to have such an in depth TV programme made about you and your work. You know, some people in the west are still interested in what comes from a wise mouth too!

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you, Emma, for your kind words! The proposal for this portrait about me is perhaps above all a general appreciation of my contributions to cultural exchange in general and should probably not be overstated. But since I’ve been in Chinese media a few times, I’ve gotten quite a bit of feedback and even the page views of my blog by Chinese people have increased significantly.

      1. Emma Cownie avatar

        It’s always to to know that your efforts are making an impact. It can be so hard to pin down at times.

      2. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

        Many thanks! Yes, you are absolutely right, we all have this experience. We always have to keep at it and hope that our efforts will eventually bear fruit – even if, as in this case, the fruits are very small 🙂

  6. Bon Repos Gites avatar

    How exciting and such a thorough sounding interview too!! If you hear of it being posted online one day, please let us know! By the way, the horses painting is wonderful!! 🙂

  7. seankfletcher avatar

    Fabulous, and very well deserved Friedrich 😊😊😊

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you so much, Sean! Enjoy a great weekend! 😊

  8. swabby429 avatar

    I do not sense any major ulterior motives that the Chinese producers may have regarding you and your work. There’s nothing subversive about showing people art and interviewing artists. By the way, I love the horses.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Many many thanks! The exchange of culture leads to more open societies. Politicians are a topic of their own, they come and go and no one can say whether they are any good. Culture is a whole other level. Thank you for your kind words about the horses!

  9. graham mcquade avatar

    An interesting experience, Friedrich. I wonder how the programme will turn out?

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you Graham! I just babbled on and now we’ll wait and see which parts were halfway usable. I don’t take it that seriously anyway, but of course I’m happy, feel honored and something always comes out of it.

  10. Spira avatar

    “A word is a word you stand by”… when exactly have we collectively lost that currency, Friedrich?
    Fortunately, as you just said, there are still those who broaden our perspectives through cultural exchange and honest relationships.
    My saying that you are among them is as insignificant as a hair at the manes of those beautiful horses…but it is the truth.
    Congratulations and semper ad meliora.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Many many thanks! Yes, we lost something and it seems we got used to it. Of course, this often only happens because we don’t like to refuse, a NO doesn’t sound good. It is similar with “ghosting”. Suddenly it’s an issue and we get used to it. Thank you for your compliment about my horse picture!

  11. The Sicilian Storyteller avatar

    What an exciting and fulfilling time for you! Congratulations!
    I’m curious about something; perhaps I missed the answer in one of your previous posts: how large is the German-speaking population in China?

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you! There are 100 million German speaking Chinese 😀 Austria has 8 million inhabitants. We too easily forget about those dimensions. So there is a chance one or the other feels bored enough to watch the show 😀

      1. The Sicilian Storyteller avatar

        That to me is absolutely incredible!

      2. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

        It is! The number of all German-speaking residents in Europe is not higher. 🙂

      3. The Sicilian Storyteller avatar

        And why is this so?

      4. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

        That’s a good question ⁉️ Maybe this high numbers count every Chinese who had German classes in school. I was quite surprised too. I checked again and yes, 100 million seems to be correct.

      5. The Sicilian Storyteller avatar

        I’m sure you’re right; it is still a remarkably high number.

  12. VJ avatar

    Congratulations! Only recently did I learn of the Jewish presence in China. Through you, I’ve now learned of the German-speaking population there. Good on you all!

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much! Yes, there was a big Jewish community in China, most of all on Kaifeng. And because of WWII many Austrian Jews fled to China, most of the to Shanghai. Very interesting stories. Maybe I should write a blog post on this topic.

  13. tobyo avatar

    I love those paintings! And how fun that you got to be interviewed and it will be aired. Guessing I won’t be able to see it in the U.S.?

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thanks very much! I will definitely post a link as soon as the show is streamed or upload it to my youtube channel if possible. Meanwhile, greetings from Vienna!

  14. Mike and Kellye Hefner avatar

    I think it’s lovely that you are going to be on TV, Fred. It doesn’t matter what you do, there is always someone who will try to bring you down, I suppose. We will be looking forward to seeing the interview.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thanks very much, Mike! In the specific case of criticism, it wasn’t really surprising, since I know the background to his person and he grumbles almost exclusively about anything and everything. Thank you for your encouraging words! Let’s see what comes out.

  15. luisa zambrotta avatar

    Such an interesting experience, Friedrich.
    That’s fabulous, and very well deserved 💐💐💐

  16. David Milligan-Croft avatar

    I’d love to see it when it comes out. The West has a very distorted lens with which it views and portrays its ‘enemies’. Or, if not ‘enemies’, not in the clique. Unfortunately, people lap it up in the MSM.

  17. Kelly Louise Allen avatar

    Awesome. I love your work and the horses are stunning.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much for your encouraging words 🙏☀️

  18. julianeus avatar


    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much 🙏👍☀️💗

  19. Nemorino avatar

    Looking forward to seeing the program when it is on streaming somewhere. (I understand German, so that should be no problem.)

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much 🙏👍 Sure I will be adding a link. All the best 🙂


    Congratulations! And I agree with the others – those horses are magnificent! 🙂

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much! Glad you like them 🙏🦋🌼


        You are most welcome! 🙂

  21. Edith avatar

    Die Chinesen werden dich sowieso niemals los lassen, du warst der Erste in deiner Kunst und mit deiner Kunst dort, hast dort gelebt…. Ich finde es eine Ehre, dass sie dich immer noch wissen!!! Vielleicht wachen ja dann noch mehr in deinem Land auf, was sie für einen Künstler bei sich haben! Und Werbung, egal wie, ist doch immer gut.Entweder man lässt sich darauf ein oder nicht. Du hast dich darauf eingelassen und DAS ist gut. Vielleicht finde ich es ja dann auch auf irgend einem Kanal, auch ich kann ohne Fernseher sehr gut.
    Sei stolz auf dich – ich bin es auf jeden Fall, lächel…
    Herzlichst, Edith

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Vielen herzlichen Dank! Ja, ein bisschen Werbung schadet nie. Nur haette ich mich schon frueher mehr darum kuemmern muessen, nur liegt mir das nicht so. Aber es geht mir ohnehin mehr ums Tun und der Kunstbetrieb ist ohnehin eine eigene Sache. Der Literaturbetrieb ist ja aehnlich – wie Du vielleicht weisst 🙂 🙂

  22. Sue Grey-Smith avatar


    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much 🙏

  23. Dawn Pisturino avatar


    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much! 🙂

  24. linienspiel avatar

    Spannend! Ich freue mich auf die Sendung! Tolle Bilder 😍

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Danke schoen! Bin selber schon gespannt. Liebe Gruesse aus Wien!

      1. linienspiel avatar

        Hab mir gestern die Sendung angesehen, und dein Beitrag hat mir sehr gut gefallen! Wenn ich es richtig verstanden habe, hast du vom Qi gesprochen, welches in deinen künstlerischen Ausdruck fließen soll/fließt. Und das tut es wahrlich, – sehr kraftvoll !! Das Zusammenwirken der traditionellen chinesischen Malerei, gepaart mit Farbe und deinem persönlichen Ausdruck finde ich ganz stark!

        Insgesamt waren es mir in der Sendung zu viele Beiträge auf einmal, jedoch haben sie interessante Einblicke gegeben.
        Liebe Grüße aus der Mozartstadt!

      2. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

        Vielen Dank! Du warst das also, die angeklickt hat 🙂 🙂 Es freut mich sehr, dass es Dir gefallen hat. Ja, ich wusste auch im Vorfeld nicht, dass es so ein Mischmasch werden würde. Aber alle ok. (Hoere gerade Mozart – liebe Gruesse zurück in seine Stadt).

  25. Amy avatar

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us! Love your painting.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you so much for your kind words! 🙂

  26. Cindy Georgakas avatar

    Congratulations and I love your experience with the China Press Fredrick. I’ll look forward to it and in the meantime I just love the horse painting! 💗

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thanks a lot, Cindy! You are very kind 💗

      1. Cindy Georgakas avatar

        It’s a pleasure.. you’re so welcome!~ 💞

  27. Rosaliene Bacchus avatar

    Congrats on the TV exposure!

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you so much 🙂

  28. balladeer avatar


    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much 🙏🍸☀️

  29. vermavkv avatar

    Very nice.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you so much! 🙂

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