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Chinese Artist Has Rib Removed WITHOUT Anaesthetic.. And Wears It as a Necklace

When somebody asked artist He Yunchang to show them his body of work, he took the request rather literally.

Never one to turn down the chance to suffer for his art, the Chinese performance artist had one of his own ribs removed - and wore it as a necklace.

In order to perform the operation, held under the supervision of a doctor, he cut a metre-long gash from his neck to his thigh, and filmed it on a camera.

Incredibly, he underwent the entire procedure without any form of anaesthetic. 

Chinese Artist Has Rib Removed WITHOUT Anaesthetic.. And Wears It as a Necklace
Body of work: In order to perform the operation, He Yunchang performed under the supervision of a doctor, he cut a metre-long gash, from his neck to his thigh, and filmed it on a camera


The scarred way: He wears the rib in his studio in Beijing, left, before showing the scar he got when performing the artwork

Chinese blogger and art consultant Mélanie Wang described the oeuvre, called 'One-Meter Democracy', on her blog.

She wrote: 'Before the execution of this operation, there was a pseudo-democratic voting procedure.'

'According to the artist Ah Chang [sic], the vote was under the guise of a democratic process to decide whether he was going to perform his work or not … the result was 12 votes in favor of the work and ten against, with three abstentions.'

That's when the gruesome procedure began.

Chinese Artist Has Rib Removed WITHOUT Anaesthetic.. And Wears It as a NecklaceBody tension: He said the work, called 'One Meter Democracy' was intended to highlight the 'tension between the individual and the state' in China

Chinese Artist Has Rib Removed WITHOUT Anaesthetic.. And Wears It as a Necklace

'Artistic performance can be distinguished from everyday life only when it is given a certain intensity,' he said after the performance. 'I want my work to move people.'

He added that the work was designed to highlight the 'tension between the individual and the state' in China.

Born in 1967, He is now one of China's leading performance artists, known for performances designed to test his strength and endurance.

Previous works include casting himself inside concrete for 24 hours, trying to ‘cut a river in half’ with his own blood while suspended from a crane.

Chinese Artist Has Rib Removed WITHOUT Anaesthetic.. And Wears It as a Necklace
Strong art: Born in 1967, He is now one of China's leading performance artists, known for performances designed to test his strength and endurance

Chinese Artist Has Rib Removed WITHOUT Anaesthetic.. And Wears It as a Necklace
He says: 'I feel that China is a very complex society, one in which it is important to use your body and your intellect so you can stop and face its reality'

He says: 'I feel that China is a very complex society, one in which it is important to use your body and your intellect so you can stop and face its reality.

'Highlighting the body in this way, as separate, is also important because, historically Chinese people have not endowed the physical body with value, rather they have valued the spirit of the Chinese people, as a collective.

'Contemporary China is much more individual in its thinking, so it’s a pull between the two. By putting pressure on an idea about myself (my intellect) and my own body, I can make it into something much larger.'

WATCH THE VIDEO:


 
By Matthew Blake

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