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Get to know: Yafei Qi
What kind of art do you make?
I make video and photography.
What made you start making video works?
I studied Film and Video Art with my bachelors during 2007-2011. To choose to study filmmaking was kind of a rebellious decision, so that I could do something else besides painting. I felt exhausted after few years working for several directors for their feature movies. So I continued my study at Bergen Academy of Art and design and took my Master degree in 2014-16. Since then I have been focusing on doing my own short movies with a small group of people. It has never been a big budget production in my case, but it gives me the possibility of having full control of my work during the whole process.
When did you know you wanted to become a professional artist?
I have never understood what is a “professional artist” and I never wanted to be a “professional artist”. In my opinion, artists should not be classified as any social profession, nor should they be hierarchical.
What are the best and worst parts of being an artist?
One of the best parts of being an artist is that you can be in a variety of struggles, between rational and emotional; political and personal; truth and falsity and so on. Pass through those struggles will enrich your life. You will also gain the ability to create your own little world, where it can be quiet and your voice can be set free. The worst part is that those struggles could be very demanding. You will often feel helpless and disappointed of yourself by seeing the dark side of the world.
Do you have a work or an artist that has been especially important to you?
The Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, the filmmaker Roy Andersson and Michael Haneke, the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, the photographer Joel Sternfeld and Stephen Shore.
In 2022 you are showing new work at Atelier Nord in Oslo. What are you working on for this show?
I am currently working on the script of a video installation. The video focuses on a person’s existences in three days in his daily routine. It offers a critical look into the ideas and practice of "state individualism”. The aim is to capture the restlessness, fear, excitement, helplessness, frustration and confusion in life, to discover the causes of alienation and loneliness. It is inspired by the movie “JEANNE DIELMAN, 23, QUAI DU COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES”, directed by Chantal Akerman and our present time during the epidemic.
What advice do you have for young people who want to become artists?
Be radical and be patient.
SEE MORE OF YAFEI QI'S WORK ON HER WEBSITE YAFEIQI.COM.