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Vltava River, Prague
In a boat on the river Vltava in Prague, with a red lipstick I wrote on the back of my white shirt “16. 1. 1969 Jan Palach“ (the name of a Czech young man who terminated his life as a protest against Soviet army occupation of Prague and the date of his death). Then I took off my clothes and with the lipstick wrote on my naked back: “4th June 1989 Beijing“ (the date and place of the 4th June Tiananmen incident). I painted my lips red with the lipstick and then the whole of my face. When I repeatedly wanted to wash the lipstick off, the red colour would not wash down. I put on my clothes and closed the performance.
before my first journey to Prague, I had known two main things about the Czech republic: it had once been a socialist country, and a young man named Jan Palach had burned himself to death in 1969 as a protest against Soviet army occupaion of the country. I was born the year Jan Palach terminated his life. Later in 1989, when Chinese students demonstrated for democracy and the Beijing government ordered to slaughter them, the incident changed completely my attitude towards life. Czech republic has been a democratic country for some time now, but China is still under governance of one party. My friend Zdeněk Sklenář, organized a realization of my performance in Prague. Through my artistic work I wanted to present my knowledge about the Czech republic and my experience of the life in China to Prague, a city I arrived in for the first time in my life. Through my work of art, I wished to commemorate ordinary people‘s lives of those, who in the name of defending their rights, sacrificed their lives.