China's Vacuum-Cleaner Artist Turning Beijing's Smog into Bricks Favorite 

Practitioner: 

Date: 

Dec 1 2015

Location: 

Beijing China

Beijing and the rest of cities in northern China suffer from years of smog pollution.The beige-gray miasma of smog brings coughs and rasping. Hospitals are crowded from respiratory ailments and a midday sky is so dim. But “Brother Nut(坚果兄弟)“, a performance artist, has something solid to show from the acrid soup in the air: a brick of condensed pollution.

For 100 days, Brother Nut dragged a roaring, industrial-strength vacuum cleaner around the Chinese capital’s landmarks, sucking up dust from the atmosphere. He visited near Tiananmen Square, the National Center for the Performing Arts, the China Central Television tower, and other landmarks. Now he has mixed the accumulated gray gunk with red clay to create a small but potent symbol of the city’s air problems.

“Nearly everyone in Beijing would have a brick in their stomachs. Older people, maybe five,” said one of over 4,000 often-rueful comments on an online photo gallery of Brother Nut’s project.

Brother Nut finished his vacuuming expeditions on November 30, 2015, and has baked the brick from his dust at a kiln in Tangshan, an industrial city 95 miles east of Beijing. Already, he said, he has received offers to buy the brick of up to 10,000 renminbi. But Brother Nut said he would leave the brick, without any fanfare, in an anonymous building site.

Sources from The New York Times

Posted by Zhe Tang on

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