Liulang Beijing - Zuihou De Mengxiangzhe- Wu Wenguang - 1990

Uploaded by MrMelanpyre on 15.08.2012

This film was shot between August 1988 and October 1990.
Thanks to all those who have offered their help.
Bumming in Beijing
Zhang Ci. Born 1962, her official residence is in Yunnan Province.
After graduating from the Chinese Department of Yunnan University in 1983
she was assigned to her hometown to work as a magazine editor.
Zhang came to Beijing in 1987 and has been living as a freelance writer.
Zhang Dali. Born 1962, his official residence is in Hei Long Jiang Province.
After graduating from Beijing Art College in 1986, he chose to stay in Beijing
and has been making a living as a freelance painter.
Gao Bo. Born 1964, officially resides in Sichuan Province.
A classmate of Zhang Dali, he also lives in Beijing and is making his living as a freelance photographer.
Zhang Xiaping. Born 1961, her official residence is in Yunnan Province.
While there she designed scenery for a variety act in Qunming City.
She came to Beijing in 1988 and has been making her living as a freelance painter.
Mou Sen. Born 1963, his former official residence is Liaoning Province. After he graduated
from the Chinese Department of the Beijing Normal University in 1986
he was assigned to the Tibetan Drama Troupe. He now officially resides in Tibet.
Since 1987, he has been living in Beijing working as a freelance theatre director.
Why Beijing?
After I graduated from university I was sent to Gejiu City.
When I arrived
I found that it was perhaps the most digusting city in China.
In Gejiu, the Woman Hill in the east is taller than the Man Hill in the west.
So they say that in Gejiu, women are more powerful than men.
In the Woman Hill, there's a rock that looks like a female sexual organ.
And everyone knows about it. Even the kids look at it.
Everyday at 10am,
the sun rises behind the Woman Hill And in the evening,
the sun sets behind the Man Hill.
It's always raining in Gejiu.
The rain and the nature of the people in Gejiu are quite similar.
Very cold. Very indecisive.
The rain drops on your face like a fog, which makes you feel gloomy.
When was in Kunming, my heart was always wandering far away.
I often read Tagore's poems. I remember a line from one of his poems so clearly:
"I am uneasy..." Um...
"I miss the place far away..."
Oh, I can't remember. Anyway, I am a tramp of heart and soul.
Beijing... I don't know, this word fascinated me.
I just wanted to come here!
I feel that the atmosphere in Beijing is depressing, boring.
I hate the cultural atmosphere here.
These arty types achieve nothing,
they just wander around.
You hang around with them and have no idea what you're doing.
I think... How to put it?
I became a drifter unconsciously.
It's not like I planned in advance to be a drifter. I didn't have that plan.
It just happened.
After I graduated I wanted to do my own thing.
I wanted to take photographs. I didn't want to sit behind a desk.
I have no Beijing residential permit. Even now.
There are others like me, painters, poets and artists.
We live in the Haidian District.
None of us have Beijing residential permits.
A rehearsal studio in Beijing Central Experimental Theatre Company.
Mou Sen and members of his experimental theatre troupe
borrow this space to rehearse "The Great God Brown"
by the American playwright Eugene O'Neill.
Slow down, not so fast.
"You lie! I'll throw her back on the street!"
Don't push him down...
Or drag him up when he starts falling.
"You drunken bum!"
"Ah! Now he looks into the mirror!"
"Now he sees his face!"
Like this. Your head is in the wrong position.
Tilt it down, but to one side.
Otherwise no one can see it.
"Well, blasphemy is faith, isn't it?"
"In self-preservation
the devil must believe!"
"But Mr. Brown...
"...the Great Brown...
...has no faith!"
"He couldn't design a cathedral
without it looking like the First Supernatural Bank!"
"He only believes in the immortality of the moral belly!"
Feel frightened when he looks at you.
"From now on,
"Brown will never design anything."
"He will devote his life
"to renovating the house of my Cybel
"into a home for my Margaret!"
"I've stood enough! How dare you!"
"Why has no woman ever loved him?
"Why has he always been the Big Brother, the Friend?
"Isn't their trust
a contempt?"
"You lie!"
"Why has he never been able to love
"since my Margaret?
"Why has he never married?
Why has he tried to steal Cybel,
"as he once tried to steal Margaret?"
"I wanted Cybel, and I bought her!"
"Brown bought her for me!
"She has loved me ..."
"I wanted Cybel, and I bought her!"
"Brown bought her for me!
"She has loved me
"more than he will ever know!"
"You lie!
"I'll throw her back on the street!"
"To me! To her fellow creature!
"Why hasn't Brown had children
"he who loves children - he who loves my children -
"he who envies me my children?"
"I'm not ashamed to envy you them."
"They like Brown, too
"as a friend as an equal
"as Margaret has always liked him"
"And as I've liked her"
"How many million times Brown has thought
"how much better for her
"it would have been if she'd chosen him instead!"
"All right! If you force me to say it,
"I do love Margaret!
"I always have loved her and you've always known I did!"
"No, that is merely the appearance, not the truth.
"Brown loves me!
"He loves me because I have always possessed the power he needed for love,
"because I am love!"
"You drunken bum!"
"Ah! Now he looks into the mirror!
"Now he sees his face!"
"Stop, for God's sake! You're mad!"
I never imagined what I would do if I didn't work in theatre.
There's a novel called 'You Have No Choice'. It's a nice title.
I give myself three choices for the future.
The first is death, commit suicide.
But I don't think I can do it.
The second is to live aimlessly, but this is impossible.
Getting married, having children, living a normal life.
I can't do that.
So the only choice, the last option
Is to do what I like.
And what I like is theatre.
One day, Mou Sen said he wanted to direct a play.
He came to me to talk about it with Huaqing and me.
But Mou Sen had no money.
I didn't have any either.
I knew Mou Sen through Dali.
At that time Mous Sen shared a room with Dali
They shared the rent.
Mou Sen had finished directing a play called 'Rhinoceros'.
He's a bohemian director.
I met Mou Sen for the first time at Dali's painting exhibition.
His clothes were worn out. I didn't pay any attention to him
But later I was moved by him.
Mou Sen's a good guy.
He's tall, he's balding.
He's tough!
Mou Sen... I don't have to look at him too much.
I just like him.
But as a director...
OK, let me tell you something amazing.
When I watched his play, 'The Great God Brown',
I fell asleep!
But as a person I like him very much.
I was an editor of a magazine in Gejiu.
I worked with 7 or 8 others, but we didn't socialize outside work.
Every morning I left for work without washing my face
Or brushing my hair.
I had no energy
But no one said anything to me.
I would sit behind a desk the whole day, not knowing what to do
It was like living in a desert.
When I think about it now I still feel horrible.
Every day I would look for to eating lunch.
After lunch I would have a nap until three or four.
Then I'd get back to work.
After work I didn't know what to do. I felt very depressed and bored.
Zhang Ci, I understand her. We don't need to say a lot to understand each other.
When I first came to Beijing I read her articles.
When I read about her life here it made me sad and I cried.
I quite like Zhang Ci.
I think she's quite beautiful as well.
When I first met her
I thought she really looked like a journalist.
She looked like an experienced reporter.
She came to interview me to write an article about me.
This was how we first met.
She's very sharp. Very brave.
She's not as fragile as most women.
But she can still be tender like other women.
In 1985, I seriously felt that I couldn't continue.
I didn't have any friends.
I would drink alone, cry alone.
I wasn't interested in that place.
In 1985 I decided to leave.
Once she told me she wanted to write something meaningful.
She wasn't afraid of the difficulties.
Women... under certain conditions,
can get sympathy more easily, I believe.
She has her difficult times but she also has her special qualities.
As a woman who doesn't want a job
and lives in Beijing alone,
Zhang Ci is very brave.
It should be like this.
But it is difficult for anyone to live like this in China
especially a woman.
So she's considered strange.
A lot of people don't like her. Can't understand her.
But for me, I think it's a natural way to live.
I think people should embrace the spirit of the drifter.
That's what Chinese lack.
I don't think one should be proud to be a drifter.
But I don't think it's bad either.
I don't understand why people want to fix themselves in one place.
They're not able to further and they don't want to go back.
That's not interesting.
People should have some of that drifter spirit. Really.
I'm a drifter because I have no other options.
I'm not proud of it.
But I like it. I enjoy it.
It's been over two years.
I like it and I hope I'll be a drifter in the future.
There is a better word for "drifter". My English is poor, but I know this word.
It's "freelance".
"Freelance". It means drifter.
Why should we say "drifter"? I prefer to say "freelance photographer".
I hope that I can keep working as a freelance photographer.
I hope that I can keep taking pictures of what I like
What I care about. This is being a drifter.
Living in Beijing
37 Jiaoyangju Hutong, Haidian District.
Zhang Dali's rented home.
My only aspiration now is to have a better house.
So I can live a stable life.
So no one can kick me out in a month.
I have so many paintings that I would have to move.
I've no car, so I'd have to use a rickshaw
Which I don't know how to ride.
I got kicked out once and tried to ask my friends to help
but they're all too busy.
I just want to have a stable life so I can have time to paint.
I don't need any other luxuries.
The first problem of living in Beijing is not having a residential permit.
Sometimes I would share a crowded room in student halls.
Sometimes I stayed at a friend's house.
But neither are a long-term solution.
I needed a place of my own.
I rented a room with my friend
in Haidian District, west of Yuan Ming Yuan.
We lived there for a long time.
4 Xin Hutong, Heidian District, Beijing
Zhang Ci's rented home.
Did you put my jumper inside after you washed it?
Of course! I already did it.
I made this place what it is. On my own!
When we moved in it was my job to clean up
And my friend's job to fix the door.
Last year, when we moved in, the house was like it is now.
The autumn came, the weather was cold,
The sky was so blue, like Yunnan.
I've never seen such a blue sky in Beijing.
The camphor tree's leaves grew so large.
I still remember, at that time we used to eat in the village
But now she's too old so we don't go anymore.
Around then my friend said that winter was coming
so we had to seal the doors and windows shut
Otherwise the cold wind would get in.
I didn't realise it could get so cold
Later, when the weather got cold, the cold wind still managed to come in
She cut up her trousers to stuff in the cracks
Then she used paper and wood to seal the cracks properly.
Yong Din Men, Beijing.
Gao Bo's rented home.
That was a peice by Tchaikovsky
Next please enjoy a performance from Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D
It was the sixth time I had moved when I came to live in this room.
For two years I've stayed in different kinds of place, good and bad.
Hey, I don't care, as long as I have a place to live.
Of course, I'd like to have a better room, but that would cost more.
I think for people like us who rent a room,
It's better to try to have a good relationship with the landlord.
If you have the landlord's trust, it's more convenient to live there.
A dormitory owned by a television studio.
One of Zhang Xiaping's places to stay in Beijing.
Huh? Whose bag is this?
I normally stay with friends.
How long do you stay with them for?
Sometimes I stay a long time and sometimes for only a few days.
Sometimes they have some issues so I have to move out.
But I don't think that's a big problem.
If you know where to look then it's quite easy to find a place to stay.
And to be honest, I have lots of friends in Beijing who are really nice
And are willing to help me.
And I'm quite lucky
People welcome me into their homes.
But at the beginning, people are kind to me
But after a while, because I'm too honest
I never pretend to be nice
So people misunderstand me and unpleasant things happen.
People like us who rent always feel unease in our hearts.
The rent is one of the reasons...
The other reason...
The sense of insecurity...
What are the difficulties of renting in Beijing without a residential permit?
A residential permit matters everywhere you go in a place like China
Take me for example, I studied in Beijing,
I have a Beijing ID, so I'm considered a Beijinger.
The ID was valid for ten years.
So right now I don't have to worry about residential permits.
If you come from the provinces and live your life like we do,
You would probably feel insecure.
You'd be terrified of every noise at night.
I knew someone who would wake up at night if there was a small noise,
Thinking it might be the police.
My place is near Beijing University.
I used to take showers there and eat at the canteen.
I went there by bike to take a shower.
Sometimes my friends came, and I ate with them at the university.
Some foreigners came to my place. They were very curious
And they said it's very nice here.
What the hell is so nice here? Bullshit.
11 Heping Li, Beijing
Mou Sen's rented home
When your income is low
Your living condition suffers.
I used to live with Dali. We would sleep until noon
Then we would try to eat lunch at someone else's place
So it wouldn't cost us anything.
It's called "ceng fan".
After we finished lunch we thought about where to find dinner
Back then I didn't have much money
Sometimes I didn't even have a penny.
All I had was my bike.
Two of us would ride our bikes to a friend's place to eat.
Sometimes, after lunch, we wouldn't know where to go for dinner.
We would look through our address books
to find people to call up for a meal.
This trick is called "ceng fan" in Beijing slang.
You must have the knack to do it.
I couldn't do it very well.
But it's OK.
Tell me about it.
"Ceng fan"...
People like me,
how to put it...
I didn't feel ashamed of doing it.
I had no job. I deserved to be fed.
Sometimes when I went out I would keep an eye on the time.
If it was around 5pm it was time for "ceng fan".
It's the same for lunch.
So I just generally kept track of time.
It doesn't matter if they cooked cabbage or potatos.
Just give me something good!
When I felt really depressed
I would go to Jing Shan Park at dusk
And sit in Wang Feng pavillion, watching the swallows
as they returned to their nests.
I saw the swallows circling the sky.
When I looked at the golden, shining Forbidden City
My heart felt at ease
and I felt hopeful again.
I felt hope even though I was ill and very depressed.
So depressed that I wanted to kill myself.
I wanted to sit there by myself,
silently contemplating.
Now I know more people, so I can sell more paintings.
But I don't think it's realistic to survive in Beijing
By only selling paintings.
Only foreigners are willing to buy paintings.
Chinese can't afford to.
It's impossible for them.
They're more likely to buy a stove or a pan.
Chinese are more practical
And there are so few foreigners here.
So it's very difficult to make a living from painting.
Maybe you could sell two paintings in a month.
Perhaps three or four.
But what will you do for the next two months?
You might not sell anything.
If one wants to be an artist
Or, let's say, do something from your heart,
Then it has to become your life.
And if you care about money, you should do something else.
Take me as an example.
Selling paintings is very painful.
I am a beggar... I used to say something very ugly:
I'd rather sell my cunt than sell my paintings.
I have my own lifestyle, she has her own.
Everybody has to live.
We can't expect everyone to live or die just for great causes.
I don't take it that seriously.
Let's hang all the pictures first, then adjust them
The Central Academy of Fine Arts gallery.
Zhang Xiaping is preparing her solo exhibition.
Tilt it.
Yeah, exactly! Perfect.
Something related to me, my dream?
What can I say about success?
Family... I can't say it's a dream
But it's my wish.
If I still go on living, I should have a family,
I should have a child.
And since I've done so much work
I should share it with others.
I just think I should.
Regarding dreams... I don't know what dreams are.
It's really difficult to say what my dreams will be.
I want to do something grand and spectacular.
My plan is... I like adventures.
How to put it...
I'm willing to give my life
to make great photos.
I really admire and envy those photographers
who died on the battlefield in turbulent times.
And I hope to become that kind of photographer
in the future.
I cannot separate myself from painting.
It is a part of my life.
I will continue to paint until I die.
I can lose everything except painting.
Without painting,
my life would be over.
You might say I'm chosen.
That means I have no choice
And I have to be like this.
I can't stand to live any other way.
I may look like I have no plan,
Drifting aimlessly,
Not knowing what tomorrow will bring,
No sense of security
And no one to rely on.
But this is exactly what I want.
The thing I'm most afraid of...
Is to look like I have everything.
I always believe that I have nothing.
To be honest, I'm making art now,
I paint a lot, I write a lot,
I've written poems, novels, diaries,
Many volumes of diaries,
Hardly any have been seen by anyone.
But I still feel like I have nothing
Because after they're done, they don't belong to me anymore.
I, Xiaoping, as an entity of life, am always in motion.
My long-term dream is to have a theatre company.
It's a kind of joy
And a way to save myself.
Among all the people who have ever existed
I most admire Jerzy Grotowski
Who had his own theatre company.
He had a group of people who rehearsed and trained together,
and performed together and enjoyed it.
"I've been the brains! I've been the design!"
"I've designed even his success,
"Drunk and laughing at him,
"Laughing at his career!"
"Not proud!"
"Sick of myself and him!"
"Designing and getting drunk!"
"Saving my woman and children!"
" he once tried to steal Margaret?"
"Isn't it out of revenge... and envy?"
"Brown bought her for me!"
"She has loved me more than he will ever know!"
"You lie!"
"I'll throw her back on the street!"
"To me! To her fellow creature!"
"Why hasn't Brown had children..."
Going abroad
Speaking of going abroad, it's very popular right now.
People will try to go abroad by any means possible.
I had a dream once that I described to many of my friends.
I dreamed that one day my best friend,
An American,
And his girlfriend wanted to take me abroad.
In the dream, I was so scared that I hid from them
I just didn't want to go!
But people always say that things in dreams are the opposite of reality
Which proves that I actually tried really hard to go abroad
I think America is probably the cultural centre of the world right now
One of my Danish friends wrote to me saying
That she and her Danish husband wanted to go to America
But once she asked me,
"Do you think it's easy to go to America?"
"As easy as going to the toilet?"
"It's not easy!"
So I thought of going to America as a ridiculous dream.
But I unexpectedly got an American visa
In May this year.
So now it's "bye bye".
Zhang Ci has gone abroad.
Maybe she got the visa through marriage.
Whether she's really married or not, she's gone abroad.
It doesn't matter how she did it.
She wanted to go abroad and she did.
I think that's great.
When I think about going to America,
It's like going back to the womb.
It's very dark and you don't know how bright your future will be.
When I arrive in America...
I think... I should get a job first.
Then the thing I want most is to have a stable place to live,
A stable career, savings in the bank
And a car.
Then I can start to prepare...
I want to write.
Zhang Ci has gone to America already.
How do I know this?
Nobody told me, but I sensed it.
I remember one afternoon, she brought round an American man.
Well, it's the American husband now.
My first impression of the old man was that he looked like Hemingway.
I liked him a lot.
I cooked dinner for them and they were very happy.
When I heard about this I didn't feel comfortable.
I did not feel comfortable.
I wouldn't go abroad that way.
I wouldn't sell my marriage like that.
I think marriage is a serious thing in life.
Talking about Zhang Ci going abroad,
I remember what she confided in me.
She said, "Would you prefer to marry a kind old American man
"Or an unpleasant, hypocritical, young American boy?
"Which one would you choose?"
Her words...
I don't think an ordinary woman can say this kind of thing.
I've heard a lot of rumours.
My opinion is that if a person wants to do something
Then she has guts.
No matter how she does it,
If she can acheive it,
Then that's a valuable thing.
Dali has gone abroad.
I think it's normal.
It seems like it ought to end this way.
With a lot of people going abroad by marrying foreigners.
Nationality and race shouldn't matter to artists.
They should be international.
So I think it's very normal. It's good.
And anyway, they have deep feelings for each other.
Rare and valuable feelings.
I think marrying a foreigner should be no different from marrying a Chinese.
What shall I say about going abroad?
I think it's not about whether I want to go abroad or not.
Anyway, I've always said:
I am very confident about myself,
I think I can definitely go abroad,
But not because I want to.
It's because it's bound to happen to me one day.
I don't know if I can say whether I want to marry a foreigner or not.
I may meet a Chinese girl I like and marry her.
But it seems more possible for me to marry a foreigner and go to Europe.
Because I really want to go to Europe.
Everyone has her own means and reasons.
Everyone is different.
Some are trying to escape from something
Some are just looking for a sense of superiority.
Anyway, they're different.
Some are looking for knowledge.
For me,
If I go abroad I won't wash dishes or something like that
I would do what I like to do.
That's what I think, anyway.
Zhang Ci married an American called George in August 1988
and went to live in Hawaii.
Zhang Dali married an Italian called Galli in July 1989
and went to live in Bologna.
October 1989
The remaining drifters in Beijing
"I step on the ground with my head against the sun
"I pretend that I am alone in this world
"I close my eyes tightly, with my body against the wall
"I pretend that there isn't a head on these shoulders
"La la la...
"I don't want to leave, I don't want to exist,
"I don't want to live too realistically.
"I want to leave, I want to exist,
"I want die and then start again."
The madness of Zhang Xiaping
I'd heard of Xiaping a long time ago,
But I had never met her.
I only met her for the first time three days ago
At the exhibition opening.
When I saw her,
She told me a mystery was unveilled
And everything was clear to her.
I thought she seemed fine and was in very good form.
But the next evening, something went wrong.
Alright. OK, God is speaking now. Listen.
This isn't me speaking now. This voice is from God.
This is God.
This's me.
I don't know.
Is this a girl? Do you think it's female?
Is it God?
Is it a man or woman?
- Does God have a gender? - I don't know.
Who knows? Tell me if you know.
Let me fire up a cigarette first.
Damn it! Fire all the time.
Damn it, the world lacks fire.
My mother's cunt.
I just want to start a fire.
Fuck! I can't start a fire.
I want to piss.
I can feel it in my cunt.
Damn, damn.
I want to speak with the sky.
God, did you hear me?
God, did you hear me?!
Damn it, who am I?
Damn it, who am I?!
Too horrible!
Let me tell you.
This is damn world is fucking screwed up.
It is fucking screwed up.
What the hell am I?
I don't fucking know.
Let me fucking tell you,
I am speaking.
Slow down, let me tell you,
this show starts at 11.30.
At least 11.30.
I wanted it to be at 11,
But more people means more rumours.
More rumours means more variables.
Mother's cunt.
Fuck, I thought it was only me in this show.
What's the fucking point of hanging up all these paintings?
I want to them to fucking fly onto the wall themselves.
No dates, no limits.
Where did you all come from, damn it?
The next evening I went to Wu Wenguang's place.
Suddenly we received a call from a young man.
He had been at the exhibition and had asked Xiaping to dinner.
They went to KFC.
Xiaping refused to leave KFC.
She had a mental breakdown.
A lot of people were staring at them
And the young man didn't know what to do
So he tried to phone Wenguang, but he didn't have the number
So he looked it up in Xiaping's phonebook.
He kept calling and finally got through to Wenguang.
Wenguang immediately rode with me and another guy to KFC.
When we got there we searched both floors, but couldn't find them.
We asked the waiter if he had seen anything
And he took us to the warehouse behind the kitchen.
Xiaping was sitting there.
She looked like she wasn't right in the head
And she had a horrifying look in her eyes.
There were people surrounding her
And the young man looked like he didn't know what to do.
The police had arrived and told us to call an ambulance
To take her to the emergency centre or a homeless shelter.
So we called an ambulance, but when we got to the emergency centre
They told us they couldn't deal with her
And told us to take her to a mental hospital.
She was singing.
It looked like her "Qigong" had become uncontrolled.
She was singing and saying some very mysterious things.
At the hospital she was given an injection and some medicine.
"Art is the colour of the human heart and spirit
"Only if you shake the dust of this mortal world off your body.
"If you are worried, Please come in
"To see this small, small world. You're puzzled, you are fresh,
"You haven't got used to it." Forward of Zhang Xiaping's exhibition.
The difference between me and Xiaping...
We are essentially the same, spiritually,
But the difference is that she is mad and I'm not.
That's the most obvious difference.
Whether I'll go mad, or whether I want to go mad,
I don't know.
But we should try and reach that purity in art.
It seems like it's a rule.
If you really want to reach that kind of purity, you have to be mad.
The best art is crazy art.
After deranging your senses, you're more likely to find the creative zone.
Staging 'The Great God Brown'
The Central Academy of Drama's theatre
Preparing 'The Great God Brown' for the stage
Please bind the rope to that tree.
Don't let it hang down in front.
There are always some very moving moments during rehearsals.
I have said so many times that no matter what play or actors...
I always feel so happy I could cry
Now that I'm putting on more and more plays,
Including 'The Great God Brown' now,
I find I have more and more friends.
We all have the same cause,
We've all talked about it so many times...
It's our shared spirit that brings us together.
We eliminated the cowards...
No, I shouldn't say coward...
Just ordinary people.
In the end, the outstanding people will come together.
Working with these people, I feel stronger,
My heart feels warmer.
This, I think, is related to theatre.
In fact, it's just like what was read before...
Theatre is a about a group of people being together
And this group has something that they spread to more people.
The death scene will take place there.
The tables on both sides must be covered with black drapes.
No black velvet?
How about black cloth?
Can you go buy some?
How much? Is it expensive?
That kind of cloth absorbs light.
It's too motherfucking grey.
Do you need more light here?
- Here, here, this bit. - Top light.
"The Frog Experimental Theatre" Discussing the programme text.
"Dear audience, tonight, while you are here to enjoy
"This performance of 'The Great God Brown',
"On another stage in our capital, senior artists in the People's Art Theatre
"Are performing Lao She's most famous play, 'The Teahouse'."
Your turn, Mou Sen.
"We're a group of young people who choose art as our lifestyle.
"Basically, art itself is a way of living.
"As Peter Brook wrote in his forward to Grotowski's book 'Towards A Poor Theatre',
"Somewhere in the world acting is an art
"Of absolute dedication, monastic and total.
"That Artaud's now-hackneyed phrase 'cruel to myself'
"Is genuinely a complete way of life, somewhere, for less than a dozen people.
"The theatre is not an escape, a refuge. A way of life is a way to life."
We choose theatre as our way of living, for we want to have the most essential,
The most perfect satisfaction and the release of our force of life.
Now that a new century is coming,
I feel a sense of urgency.
This makes me feel stronger. I'm very moved.
I think whatever I do is for the new century.
I have told so many people that wherever I am on 31st December 1999,
I will go back to Beijing to see the first light of the new century there.
I'm not boasting,
My friends that were born in the 1960s,
Including painters and the people who work in this theatre.
Will be the most outstanding people
At the end of this century and the beginning of the next.
They will dominate the first decade of the new century.
I think after ten years, history will prove me right.
I'm sure of that. No doubt.
Are the actors all ready? Well, prepare to start.
"... Now, with both hands full of paint.
"I am striving to meet God...
"There's nothing left,
"Except man's final attitude.
"With this gesture, he wins!
"Billy, forgive me."
Goa Bo was invited by "VO" photographic agency in France in February 1990
And has lived in Paris since then.
Zhang Xiaping married Scheicher, an Austrian, in August 1990
And now lives in Vienna.
Mou Sen still lives in Beijing.
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1990, Beijing