Out of control: artist puts on 27 hazmat suits for Times Square performance protesting China’s Covid restrictions

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New Yorkers might have seen an individual lumbering through the city streets last month wrapped in a whopping 27 protective hazmat suits.

The Chinese artist Zhisheng Wu crowbarred himself into the Covid-19 defence suits for a very personal protest against China’s draconian coronavirus restrictions. 

“I had a lot of repressed emotions during the pandemic period, and I wanted to give vent to some of them as a tiny individual,” he tells us. “The title of the work is Drowning. The control during the pandemic caused countless individuals’ emotions to be drowned, and I wanted to speak out as an individual to express my feeling of powerlessness in the flood.”

The artist cannily timed his flaneur protest to coincide with the National Congress of the Communist Party of China, hopefully sending a powerful message to President Xi Jinping.

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