UPDATED: 16:47, September 29, 2006
A Chinese performance artist will live for 10 days in a cage in a wildlife park. He will not talk to anyone and every move he makes will be confined to the cage.
Ye Fu, a poet and performance artist, locked himself in a lion cage Tuesday in Qingdao Forest Wild Life World, in east China’s Shandong Province, starting a 10-day performance art work in which he will switch roles with lions.
His goal is to feel what it is like to be an animal locked up in a cage by men and to call for public awareness of animal protection, the artist said.
A 26-year-old woman has quit her job in Beijing to join Ye Fu for the project. Though living in the same cage, the two will not communicate or have any physical contact.
Their life in the cage will involve no talking, no cleaning, no changing of clothes and all activities including defecation will take place inside the cage, just like an animal.
Ye Fu will eat like an animal too. For his first lunch, Ye Hu ate half a kilo of raw beef.
The artist’s intention has not won public acceptance. More than 50,000 comments were posted online, with over 90 percent critical.
Many say that Ye Fu is “out of his mind”, “going nuts” and motivated by “self publicity”. Some say that Ye Fu’s behavior is nothing to do with “art” and what he is doing is a “smear on art”
Nutritionist Hu Min said that half a kilo of raw meat represents a protein intake far in excess of human needs and raw beef with blood can have bacteria and will possibly lead to disease.
“I felt terrible the whole afternoon after eating the raw beef, ” Ye Fu wrote in his diary. “My limbs feel weak and I want to puke… Watching the lions under my cage fighting each other, I feel extremely depressed…”
Last year, Ye Fu built a “bird nest” in Beijing’s Jianwai Soho Complex, an upscale office building in downtown Beijing. He lived in the “bird nest” for a month through rain and sun, which made him rise from obscurity.
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