Art & Activisim

Art & Activisim

Do I have time for a quick blog post? Let’s find out.

Here’s a direct quote from an article in this past Sunday’s New York Times (by Olivia Mitchell Ryan and Zoe Mou, “A Health Complaint Delivered In 9,000 Crud-Filled Bottles”):

Water pollution is very common, it’s very common around the world, but it never receives any special attention. There are so many villages like Xiaohaotu who have been drinking water like this for years, and then they get cancer, skin disease, their sheep die, but no one cares. People just don’t know. — Brother Nut

“Brother Nut,” as the article points out, is an artist and activist known only by this pseudonym. [My free advice: get a better pseudonym. “Nut” does not translate too well in English.] Brother Nut created an art exhibit, in China, featuring 9,000 bottles of “brown, murky groundwater collected from a Chinese village.” Brother Government, however,  wasn’t impressed. Authorities ordered the show closed, and police confiscated the bottles. That was back in June. And while the attention his “Nongfu Spring Market” exhibit drew did get officials to take some action, he still plans to do more. Beginning Saturday, as the Times article points out, he aims to use an old van, “known as the Moving Art Museum,” to display another 1,000 bottles of polluted Xiaohaotu water.

As the article states, this is not the first time Brother Nut has turned pollution into art: “in 2015, he used an industrial vacuum to suck up particulate matter” in Beijing, which he then formed into a brick.

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