XING WEN: I have one recurrent dream that I’ve dreamt many times. In the dream I’m walking down a street, all alone, there’s nobody else around. I’m very short and skinny. There is a big machine on the street, I don’t know what it is used for, but I can see that the machine is working. Somehow I come to sit underneath the machine. I just sit there staring at the street. It’s cold outside, the leaves are falling from the trees, there’s a lot of rubbish on the street, but there’s nobody else around. I had this dream many, many times.
When I was a little child, my parents used to fight and argue all the time. I cried every day. I was always alone, I had nobody to play with. I’m the only child in our family. Later, I went to middle school, but I wasn’t really doing well. Now I’m studying at the local art academy. It’s easier to get into the art academy than to get into university, you don’t need such high marks. My mother isn’t in good health. She always hoped that I would make it into a good university. I used to hang out with some rather unpleasant people and when I came home my father would always beat me. He is very violent. He even beat me the day before I started studying at the art academy. Now I’m in my second year and he no longer beats me. I like studying at the art academy. Well, it’s all right.