Beggar, 120x200cm, 2001
The most striking thing in the streets of Beijing is that we often see beggars loiter around foreign embassies and consulates where rich people of Chinese or foreign descent, come and go. The beggars ask for small change. When I came to Beijing and saw such a weird thing in 1993, I felt very depressing. So I did a performance, called Beggar (1993-1994). For three days, I walked on the street in Sanlitun, where foreign embassies and bars were located, and asked for money from foreigners only and did not give any reasons when they asked. However, I failed. I did not get any money. I did not get any sympathy either. In 2001, I reshot this memory through the shutter of camera and called it Beggar. However, by 2001, my perspective was different. Besides the value significance we give to paper currencies, I also want also to satirize the pompous attitude the rich give to the poor. This is the situation occurring with China’s growing gaps between the rich and poor.

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