Photo: Zhang Huan
Previously on Neatorama: Giant Sculpture of Confucius (also by Zhang Huan)
Still photographs from a performance entitled Homeland, these images are by turns disturbing in their physical intensity and politically confrontational. Zhang, a Chinese performance artist, covers his body in pieces of raw meat until he resembles a flayed superhero or mythical beast, often burrowing into the arid ground. The original performance took place in his native Shandong province, where farmers have abandoned the land to go to the cities in search of work. The self-portrait, then, is a kind of collective portrait, but work like this may test the viewer’s patience for self-indulgence as much as it tests the state’s tolerance for political art.