He Yunchang: A Buddhist's approach to the unspeakable

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He Yunchang's performance works, with their scenes of self-torture or long durational meditative acts, are driven by an urge to respond to social issues that cannot be openly addressed. They are often staged with a vivid painterly image in mind. He applies paint and concrete, incisions, textures, sculptures and piercings to his body, and has even extracted one of his ribs and turned it into a work. Many such actions leave him in a critical condition or even imprint permanent traces on him. He has been able to execute physically demanding works in Belgium, England, the United States and his home country of China, where performance works, particularly with nudity, are still censored. To avoid official intervention, he usually performs with only a small audience from the arts community present.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Specialist publicationArt Monthly Australasia
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes


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