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How many kilometers from the truck driver to the painter

2015-06-24

An interview with 《people》 magazine: Kong Longzhen's second life: how many kilometers from the truck driver to the painter.2015, issue 4, 314 in total. 
The Second Life | how many kilometers from the truck driver to the painter 
Text | Shanghua pigeon   editor | Zhang Wei   photography | Shanghua pigeon
  
A used Geely car was recently transferred to Mr. Kong Longzhen at a low price by a friend. Compared with the big trucks he used to drive on Xiamen wharf and mountain road, the former truck driver doesn't have to climb high when entering the new cab any more, but has to bow down. In the past, when driving a truck, the first thing Kong Longzhen had to do after washing was to check the fuel tank of the truck to see if the oil was stolen by thieves. Now this habit left Kong Longzhen the day after he left the truck half a year ago. 
Kong Longzhen, 32, officially became a professional painter after leaving the truck. 
  
Driving half an hour from his signed Gallery in Huyuan Road, Xiamen, Kong Longzhen came to his new studio and began to prepare for his personal exhibition in Zhengzhou. His hometown is kongzhai village, zhimawa Township, Taikang County, Henan Province. He didn't go back to his hometown for 4 consecutive years because he didn't feel developed. 
  
In the past year, almost all of his paintings in the previous 10 years have been ordered by domestic and foreign buyers, so that the number of exhibits for the exhibition appears to be in short supply. In 2014, Kong Longzhen became a student of Mr. Wang Tong, a Swedish Chinese artist, and a contract painter of a gallery in Xiamen. Every year, the gallery will buy 120000 yuan of Kong Longzhen's paintings to provide him with a comfortable creative environment. In January of this year, Konar Art Association of Denmark invited Kong Longzhen to hold a solo exhibition in Europe. Before that, three Chinese people had been invited to kangna Painting Association, namely Qi Baishi, Xu Beihong and ye Qianyu.
  
Half a year ago, Kong Longzhen was still painting in his old studio day and night. At the same time, he and his wife continued to quarrel every day. At that time, he was a truck driver, his studio was the cab of his container truck, and his steering wheel was an easel. He promised his wife that he would become a painter in 10 years.
  
2014 is the ninth year. The wife cried to a friend who came to persuade her one summer night and said that she "regretted" Marrying Kong Longzhen. His wife cried desperately to his friend that he could not make money and support his family. Kong Longzhen, sitting at the door of a small restaurant, looked up to the sky, closed his eyes and didn't say a word, but raised his right hand, slapped his forehead constantly and made a lot of dull noises. The night was already dark, and the place was outside the small restaurant operated by his wife. The opening of this stewed noodle restaurant is a helpless move for the wife to subsidize the family.
  
Recalling the scene, Kong Longzhen told people with a smile, "I was really ashamed." "
  
Kong Longzhen, a truck driver, was not diligent in making money. He focused more on painting. He thought he had talent and didn't want to work in his own small restaurant at all. Unable to resist the scolding of his wife, he had to come to the restaurant to take care of the guests. "I think I'm ruining a master......I'm gonna clean the table first. " he said to a reporter drunkenly late at night. 
  
His wife's complaints may be less if he concentrates on driving a truck to earn hard money. But after a car accident nearly killed him 10 years ago, Kong Longzhen no longer wanted to earn money. "I have a dream to realize, I can't wait. "
  
On the 10th day before New Year's Eve in 2006, Kong Longzhen, who drove a truck through Longyan mountain road, encountered the driver's worst fear: brake failure. At that time, the truck was passing a 14 kilometer downhill, which the drivers called "devil road". The whole world is quiet, only the roar of the engine. At that time, his younger brother was also in the car. Kong Longzhen suddenly felt sorry for his parents: the new year was coming, and both of their sons would be gone.
  
The timely emergence of the escape Lane keeps the two sons of Kong's family alive. This kind of driveway is a man-made uphill road, and the road surface accumulates sand and stone for buffering. But the trucks borrowed 130000 yuan were also scrapped because they rushed into the sand.
  
After the accident, Kong Longzhen's attitude toward time and money changed dramatically. The seven kilometer journey that the truck might take him and his brother to fall into the cliff at any time took about five minutes. In the five minutes, Kong Longzhen thought, "money is just like shit. It doesn't matter at all."
  
Let Kong Longzhen be busy making money again, he couldn't bring up any energy. From the beginning of his infatuation with illustrations in textbooks in primary school, he had his own dream: to be a painter. He didn't want to die as a driver, he wanted his paintings to hang in the museum. Hundreds of years later, Kong Longzhen was no longer there, but some people watched his paintings and pointed.
  
One of his favorite painters is Van Gogh. He saw the first Van Gogh painting sunflower in his primary school textbook. Many years later, he still remembered that he couldn't understand it at all. "What are these paintings? "Until he came to Xiamen in 2002 to work and study painting, Kong Longzhen began to understand Van Gogh slowly. He repeatedly looked through Van Gogh's picture books in the bookstore, and found that Van Gogh's daily life was almost as hard as his own, maybe better than himself. After all, Van Gogh had a rich brother to help him. Besides, they all study painting very late. Van Gogh began painting at the age of 26. Kong Longzhen found his bosom friend in painting.
  
Kong Longzhen became a truck driver in 2005. The driving journey is long and boring, the cab is narrow and cramped, and the truck driven by Kong Longzhen is used to transport containers. The speed will not be very fast, but it needs to be on standby 24 hours a day, and the rest time can not be guaranteed at all. One time, after driving more than 20 kilometers, Kong Longzhen found that he didn't remember how he drove. The only reasonable explanation is that he was lucky to fall asleep and nothing happened. 
  
Painting is a very sober moment in his stupefying time. Sometimes the two or three or four or five hours waiting for the container to load are used by him to draw pictures in the cab. The painting is usually placed on the sleeper behind the driver's seat of the truck. In the driver's cab, he took a paintbrush and daubed it. Kong Longzhen "had a very quiet heart and no mess thoughts."
  
Sometimes he was driving, but his mind was bursting with the inspiration of painting. The painting tool lies quietly on the truck sleeper less than one meter behind him, like a beautiful woman on a horizontal couch, constantly seducing and teasing him. Kong Longzhen had to put his hands on the steering wheel and stare his eyes until his creative desire subsided.
  

In the moment of being captured by inspiration, Kong Longzhen's most hope is to meet a gas station, rush in and stop, grab the painting tool and put it on the steering wheel, and pray that inspiration still exists, and God can let him draw many details in his mind.


All the drivers were exchanging time for money. Kong Longzhen came in the opposite direction. He seldom drives, just wanted to be able to change money for time to draw. The drivers eat, drink and play poker together. Kong Longzhen never took part in it and didn't talk much. They talked about how to save fuel and whose children look good. Kong Longzhen said that these things "don't mean anything. "

He sometimes felt like a wild dog floating in the world. When he started to learn painting by himself, he called himself "the wild dog painting school". Some painters have asked, who are the painters in this painting school ? Kong Longzhen replied with a smile, "no one, just me. "
  
In the summer of last year, Kong Longzhen, a poor man, donated 3000 yuan to his hometown's primary school. He always felt that some of these children would like to draw as much as he did when he was a child. He went back to his hometown and brought a group of children to the fields to show them his live sketch. Two women looked for a while and said, "I can't understand." The third woman came over and shouted, "come out quickly, what do you do if you trample my bean sprouts to death?! Kong Longzhen left with the children in embarrassment.
  
Even the youngest son would use the idiom to scold him, "no business." He knew that his son's words were learned from his mother's trivial thoughts. Everything happened around him is persuading Kong Longzhen to give up: stop insisting, stop drawing, making money quickly. Kong Longzhen told all the people and things around him with his continuous brush: No.
In 2012, Kong Longzhen, who felt that he could make a staged summary for himself, wanted to hold a painting exhibition after preparing dozens of paintings. He didn't want his works locked up at home all day. However, he had no money, no venue, no contacts. He chose a place where there are bound to be many tourists. It is located in Baicheng beach near Xiamen University. He named his exhibition after a question: how many kilometers is the truck driver from art?
  
Kong Longzhen just put his easel under the palm tree on the beach, and the urban management officer came. Kong Longzhen explained patiently with a smile and hands in the cigarettes. The officer repeatedly looked at his paintings, did not take his words, did not take his cigarettes, did not embarrass him, and left.
  
In a day and a half, tourists from all over the world stopped to watch Kong Longzhen's paintings. Most of the paintings on the exhibition of Kong Longzhen are based on trucks, and the scene of his own driving accident has been described many times by him. Kong Longzhen sat down and saw a woman eating chicken legs and looking at his paintings. He saw another man carrying vegetables and looking at his paintings. He felt that his paintings were having a relationship with strangers around him. His paintings had the charm of letting others stop to appreciate them. He was very happy.
  

This unexpected exhibition is the beginning of Kong Longzhen's getting attention from the outside world. He became a celebrity in the eyes of the media, and the CCTV news report "the living method of the Chinese people" made Kong Longzhen and his paintings completely hot.


Near the end of the interview, Kong Longzhen hopes that the reporter of "people" can go to his small restaurant to have a meal. This is not because the money is not so tight now, but the small restaurant will soon plan to transfer out. 

He finally has the ability and opportunity to fulfill the promise 10 years ago that his wife should be the wife of an artist.