The Macau Museum of Art a few months ago had a survey of Chinese Performance Art. It was an interesting exercises in seeing what other Chinese Artists were doing especially coz it's in my surrounding area. The show probably took a general 4 out of 10 rating. Most of the work was so-so, some slightly interesting and a few down right daft. There is no soft way of saying it really.
All the while my friend and I were looking at the pieces, I kept referring to two pieces of perform ace art I saw in another show in London, one by Zhang Huan, and the other by Ma Liu Ming 2. Both the strongest pieces in the China Between Past and Future Show.
In 1994 Zhaung Huan sat in a public toilet in Beijing covered in something sticky and sweet, so that his body was covered by flies as an exploration into endurance and most likely the unsaid (coz you can't criticize the government) statement against the state of public health and infrastructure. For me it always evoked the Yoko Ono (my favorite conceptual and performance artist) Film "Fly," where flies crawl on a woman's body in close up and wide shots but this is far more serious, difficult, and political.
The other was Ma Liu Ming where he walks on the great wall naked until his feet bleeds. The images of an effeminate male walking on China's most potent symbol of power, history and size, was thought provoking. Those to me were really important pieces of performance art rather than some of the other things that was in the exhibition.
Luckily, at the very end were three pieces that made the trip to Macau worth while, one of each by Ma Liu Ming and Zhang Huan, the other probably the best piece of "Handover" art I have ever seen by Song Dong called "Reclamation."
Place of creation The common coastal boundary of Hong Kong and Shen Zhen in Shen Zhen side, China
Again reminding me of Yoko Ono's
Cut Piece, where the artist provides the space for the audience to interact and the art is made by the decisions each participant makes.
12 Square Meters (1994)
Ma Liuming walks the Great Wall. 1988