Zhang Ding: Hello! Happy April Fool's Day! Ha ha!
Journalist: I am very glad that you accepted this interview, I saw your photographs on internet a long time ago. To be honest, at the beginning it reminded me artworks of the famous Japanese photographer, Araki.
Zhang Ding: Everyone says that, except himself. He says: "He's not as good as me!" It's a friend who told me that.
Journalist: What do you think about that?
Zhang Ding: I think we share the same place! No one is better than the other, attitudes and point of view towards life are different, that's all. I am more interested in life itself, as both of us approach woman's sex, I choose the most direct way of photographing, without any particular composition, posture, or angle. I shoot freely, without any stress, the model is very relaxed too, as if we have an intimated relationship. There isn't any fix plan, it's just life!
Journalist: In your photographs I saw some similarities between your creation and his, like painting on the photos. This isn't a coincidence, is it?
Zhang Ding: Of course it is, I didn't know before he was doing that, I saw that afterwards. I don't know why he did that and I don't want to, there's no need. It's not because he did that that I should evade my issues. My reasons are simple, it's a social system's problem: my social environment doesn't tolerate photographs, people think that they're erotics, pornographics, but at the same time I have to think of a way I could exhibit them. I use paints to turn what they consider erotics into what they consider artistic. It's as simple as that! Of course the result isn't bad either, but it's not the method I prefer. I like orignal things, without any "fig leaf", but there's no choice, you have to be raped. This kind of rape is the kind that the man imagine: finally the nature of the act changes, and the woman starts to enjoy being raped.
Journalist: Do you consider that your photographs are erotic?
Zhang Ding: From a certain point of view, they could be erotic, but in my opinion they aren't. I don't know when our society started to define something so important in our life as illegal. I think it's absurd, and it's this absurdity which leaves me rester quoi
Life itself is erotic.
Journatist: I saw that a lot of erotic websites used your photographs, put theirs and yours together, does it disturb you?
Zhang Ding: Oh is it? I never go on this kind of websites, but I don't mind, I actually think it's good, it satisfies people's needs, ha ha.
Journalist: Where do you think are the differences between theirs and yours?
Zhang Ding: On the picturial aspect, there aren't differences, there are even some pictures which are better than mine. However, intention and process aren't the same.
Journalist: What is different?
Zhang Ding: I consider that they respond to a pure auto-satisfaction, and all the things I do are a realistic reflection of the world, that I reveal in its "nudity".
Journalist: Are you satisfied with your photographing technique? Because I saw your pictures, they seemed to be amateurish, are you seeking for that? What kind of camera do you use?
Zhang Ding: I'm very satisfied. I don't think there's any distinction between amateurish and professional pictures. Recently, I have been using a basic digital camera, it's very convenient, I like it a lot, before I used to shoot with a 135 camera.
Journalist: I noticed that you use flash in the two thirds of your photographs, why?
Zhang Ding: Ha ha, you are very observant! I use flash because there's not enough light, and I like the feelings it gives. I'm nearly infatuated with it.
Journalist: I am very curious to know the way you work, how did you photograph so many women? It's inimaginable for me.
Zhang Ding: It's a question of charm. Women of the actual society are very openminded, and there are too many opportunities to frequent them, for example internet is a good medium, you get to know girls from everywhere, and communicate with them.
Journalist: As you're taking pictures, what to you think is the most interesting?
Zhang Ding: Everything is interesting, these women make me understand life a bit more.
Journalist: Do you consider that you're doing art?
Zhang Ding: I do!
Journalist: How do you see the link between art and erotism?
Zhang Ding: Art is an erotic job/field.