Some performance art in Guangzhou last weekend has left a sour taste in many mouths, and has circulated widely in Sina Weibo.
Kang Yi, a performance artist who has earned some notoriety over the years, stood mostly (but not completely) naked last Saturday with well-done roast chickens hanging from his limbs. A young girl then bit the man’s flesh in several places. What is the significance of this, you ask? Lola B at Beijing Cream proffers this:
What do roast chickens and love have in common? Absofuckinglutely nothing.
With this piece, Kang Yi theoretically hopes to inspire people to choose a more traditional Chinese path of love. I think this performance will turn me off physical contact with others altogether — and that takes a lot. Performance art is always best experienced in person, and perhaps I would have hated it a little less had I been present, but to add insult to injury, the video documentation that has been circulating for Kang Yi’s work is insultingly poorly edited.
The watching of it leaves me a little confused at best. There is no feeling between the boy and girl. The chickens are there to make the connection between human flesh and meat? — it’s either too obvious or too obscure, and aesthetically very displeasing.
The girl involved is a sophomore university student from Hunan Province. She ended up biting (some say ‘kissing’, although marks were left behind) Kang Yi more than 1,000 times.
Shanghaiist notes the art hasn’t been received all that well online:
The video of the performance has been much forwarded and commented on by netizens. One outraged commentator said: “Today’s society consider rubbish to be art, consider criminals to be normal, and illegal lawyers to be defenders of the law…. where are the police? why have the news reported on this? It just promotes it! Don’t profane art!” Another less outraged commentator said “It’s a waste of good chicken“.
Kang Yi said: “It is inevitable for the body to react when it has contact with females, especially on such a cold day. It is like ice with fire, carnal desire with the attempt to resist temptation. I need to choose one of them. I hope my work can wake youths up to look for faithful love.”