Guangdong artist He Guoqiang posted this blog entry on November 1, 2009, recalling his provocative performance art piece in honor of the opening of the 16th Party Congress in 2002. Photos from his performance reemerged online last month, as netizens drew parallels between the changing of the guard ten years ago and today.
He was detained for 15 days in 2002 after streaking through a public square in Guangzhou and waving a flag that called for elections. This has not deterred the Chengdu native, who continues to post images of his politically-charged paintings online [zh].
He was questioned by police on the evening of June 3 this year about paintings he had planned to unveil the next day, which they suspected would recall the the massacre of protesters in Tiananmen Square on June 4th, 1989. He told VOA this work was not the case, but that he had simply chosen a “sensitive” date [zh]. Neither the VOA report nor another from Chinese Human Rights Defenders [zh] specify whether He was able to show his paintings.
Parentheses mark three places in the blog post where text has been removed. It is unclear who deleted the text, or why. It is possible that He deliberately “left out” language.
Today is my holiday. And what holiday is that, you ask? Why, it’s the day I performed my streaking performance art piece “Want! Want!! Want!!!” (also called 111), of course! Now, because it’s the first day of the 11th month, naturally, I Want! Want!! Want!!! It is because of this that I have called my performance art piece “Want! Want!! Want!!!”
I even held a white flag with the words, “Please give me a ballot. I want to vote for my dearly loved leaders!” Simply like this, I performed my piece, “Want! Want!! Want!!!”
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