Breathing, Houhai, Back Sea
© Song Dong
These two photographs document Song Dong’s performances in January 1996. He laid down face first on the ground of Tiananmen Square under sub-zero conditions for forty minutes. As he breathed on the ground, a thin layer of ice formed. When he repeated the act on the frozen surface of Houhai, a small lake near Tiananmen Square, the ice he wished to melt remained unaffected, symbolising the conflict between the individual and the establishment. Together, the two performances illustrate the artist’s desire to use his body to facilitate a change in the environment, regardless of its minimal impact.
Chromogenic colour print
120 × 180 cm

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