Name: Jin Xueshi
Chinese zodiac sign： Ox
Education: After I graduated from middle school I started to work in a village because of the Cultural Revolution; a lot of young people had to help grow crops in poor regions at that time.
Profession: I grew crops on the fields for 20 years. Then I started to work in a factory and became the director. Now I’m retired and devoting all my energy to painting.
When you are at home, what is your favorite activity? What do you enjoy the most?
I love painting. I have been interested in painting since my early school days, but because of the Cultural Revolution I couldn’t realize my dream. Now I am learning how to paint by myself.
I get up around 4 or 5 a.m. and practice for 6 to 7 hours every day. I have a strong self-discipline and I am always trying to improve my skills. I have been through lots of things in my life, good and bad, and now I only care about achieving my personal goals and please myself. No matter whether I will become famous and rich (as a painter), or not.
Almost all of my paintings and drawings are copies from artworks made by others and my favorite subjects are the leaders of my country. It is because of their wise leadership that we can live the wonderful life we live today.
Although the Cultural Revolution had a big impact on my life and ended my study in school, I have no negative thoughts towards the government at all. We have to regard the history dialectically. Making mistakes is inevitable during the development of a country, and we wouldn’t even have started the development of our country without Chairman Mao.
Name three of your daily routine activities:
Taking a walk, painting, and doing some housework.
What is your favorite food?
I prefer food with light flavor, such as fruits and vegetables, not too oily or too salty; and I love drinking tea.
How much money do you spend on food per day?
There are six people in my family: my wife, my son, my daughter-in-law, my two grandchildren and me. We spend around 60-70 RMB/day.
Where is your hometown? (if not Beijing: do you miss your hometown? if so, what do you miss most?)
Beijing, I was born and raised in this village (He Gezhuang). Three years ago we built a second floor on the house and that’s where we live right now. The rooms on the ground floor are rented out to tenants.
What is your most precious childhood memory?
The most precious childhood memory to me is studying. When I was young, I got full scores for every course, and helped my teacher making test sheets. I used to be the leader of the Student Council and the militia commander, my role was always a leader among all the students. They called me “secretary”, which means the helper of teachers. It was amazing.
What are the three most important things in life for you?
I think spirit is of the biggest importance to everyone. One must achieve a goal, and get rid of emptiness. I have never done anything shameful so far. Maybe it’s because of the traditional education at my time. Call it old fashion, but I don’t see anything bad about it. And that’s also what I taught my child. My family is extremely harmonious. My son is a decent guy and he also asks his children to be decent. Also of importance: I believe that one should be practical.
What are, according to you, the values that one needs to live up to in life?
I have no strong desire for material stuff. I think one should be practical and be peaceful inside.
Would you say you are a) happy b) somewhat happy c) somewhat unhappy d) unhappy
I’m extremely happy now. Painting with my bare hands, presenting the essence of society, as well as everything I love, is the best thing that ever happened to me.
In a broader context; I’m pretty satisfied with the current society. I thank the government for giving farmers such a good treatment and appreciate their efforts on improving laws and in cultural matters. News is pretty much the only thing I watch on TV. I can watch speeches of our leaders for hours, crying for the words. One should always be on the same side with one’s country. ”If there is any aggression, I would fight for my country without a thought”.
What do you expect will the future bring for you?
I believe that I can make some achievements in the future, maybe having my own exhibition, or traveling and learning from the world. All people in my family lived a long life, so I still have time. If my house is about to be demolished someday, I will go traveling with the money I get from the demolishment team. I’ll go to the Le Louvre Museum and learn from those masterpieces. I may also visit some museums in Russia.
What is your religion?
I have no religion.
Video of the 360 degree panoramic photo
(click full screen icon for best view)
the below video is on Vimeo; banned in China