Xing Danwen's Proust Questionnaire

Xing Danwen is one of the first Chinese artists to use photography as an artistic medium. Her work involves photography, video and multi-media installations and has been exhibited on numerous occasions in China and abroad. She answered for Doors the Proust Questionnaire (a parlor game popularized by French writer Marcel Proust, who believed that answering these questions reveal an individual’s true nature).


What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Chancing on wisdom, gaining insight and seeing something anew.

What do you fear most?

Having so much to express but being too weak to actually do so.

What characteristic do you really hate in yourself?

I’m not sure.

What characteristic do you really hate in others?


What is your current mood?

I hope I can become productive soon.

Under what circumstances do you lie?

When I’m in love.

Who do you despise most?

Lazy people without ability who make them selves out to be someone. Idiots.

What characteristic do you like most in men?

Attention to the self.

What characteristic do you like most in women?


Do you have a personal mantra?

This is very easy.

Who and what do you most love?

My mother’s mother and my family.

When and where are you at your happiest?

When I meet someone I’ve been pursuing, and I don’t just mean lovers but also smart people I admire.

What talent would you most like to have?


If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Getting older.

What do you see as your greatest achievement?

My work.

Where would you like to live?

My studio.

What is your most valued possession?


What is your most stand out feature?


What is your biggest regret?

Not learning French.

How would you prefer to die?



Read our interview of Xing Danwen

Read our interview of Feng Li