'The energy comes from the drawings. I look to entice a person into the picture, and direct their eye. William Hogarth is my hero. All his work possesses what he called the line of beauty,' he says, drawing a sweeping black 'S' shape upon the studio wall.
I remember clearly my first trip to New York City. I was seven and in awe of the skyscrapers and the sense of possibility. I remember too my uncle lying down on the floor to take a photo, which my younger, well-behaved self found shocking.
The art world, and particularly how we foster and develop it in Britain, is in a period of crisis. And if you haven't noticed that, then it's a worrying testament to the way we debate and celebrate the creative processes in this country.
Beijing is not the first place you'd think of finding Turner Prize-winner Susan Philipsz. But the artist, who usually creates works of sound sculpture from Celtic or Western pieces of music, is part of a new trend.
The winner of the 2011 Turner Prize will be announced on tonight live on Channel 4 but, at 27 years old, how is this annual art event still capable of causing outrage?