Tony: What are some of your childhood memories?
Aunt: Some of my memories are very interesting. You see, there were many children in our family, so your grandparents were very busy. Grandma helped Grandpa with his farm work. Back then, it was much safer. When they left for work, they would partially close the door and put a bench in front of it so that we wouldn't leave. We could still see the view outside. [Your] grandma would go sell vegetables at the local market for the day. We would stay at home. Soon, some workers would arrive to sell breakfast, which usually included soymilk, fried food, and soup. We would sit on the bench as we watched them sell breakfast. From time to time, one of them would give us some of the food for free. During those days, it was very safe. Kidnappings were rare. Usually, we sat on the bench and looked at the view while we ate breakfast. We would then play and rest nearby. We had a sense of safety, there were no criminals. Now, people worry about these things. In the past, everyone was wholesome and kind. We waited for [your] Grandpa and Grandma to return home as we played near our house. Before we went to school, every day was like this.
Tony: Okay. What do you remember about the place you grew up in?
Aunt: The place I grew up in? Well, our apartment was located in an alley in Songshan District. To the left of our alley, there was a large field. Back then, there were few cars. There were more motorcycles and bicycles. Your grandfather had a bicycle in the past, but he bought a motorcycle more recently.
Tony: Okay, let’s end the interview here.
What was your goal when making this artwork?
Firstly, I wanted to show the story told in the interview. I wanted to make it as accurately as possible because accuracy was a large part of this project. Secondly, I wanted to practice my painting skills when making this artwork as well as improving them. I am still struggling to paint. Every time I try, the paint eventually ruins the pencil drawings and blurs them. This problem has been frustrating me greatly for a long time. So, through this painting project, I want to improve my painting skills significantly. Thirdly, I want to improve my drawing skills in this project. In the past, I was not bad at drawing, but far from good or even decent. I barely knew how to draw three dimensional pictures. So, in this project, I hope to improve my drawing skills. And finally, I want the viewers of my artwork to know the background and story behind it. When most people look at artworks, they have little knowledge about its background and the artist’s goals when making the artwork. Other viewers tend to ignore it. I tried to make it clear to the viewers what my artwork was about.
How do you want the viewer to feel when they look at your project?
I want the viewer to feel multiple emotions when they look at the interview, transcript, and artwork. Firstly, I would want them to feel calm when they look at the artwork. The painting mainly consists of rather darker blue and gray colors, which unlike brighter colors, will give the viewers a sense of calmness and relaxation. I also used more white in the artwork to let the viewer feel more relaxed. In addition, I used different colors for different parts of the picture, giving each part a contrast. The colors for the artwork also sets the mood of the people depicted in it: joyful and calm in an environment that is not the most desirable.
What else do you want viewers around the world to know about your artwork?