Researcher Petra Poelz Investigates Performative Art Practices in Chengdu between 1995 and 2001

Why We Recommend it

In this talk, curator and researcher Petra Poelzl explores her field research on the overlooked performance art scene in Chengdu during the 1990s.


After 1989, performance art in Mainland China entered a new era. During the 1990s, the most notable performances were undertaken by Beijing East Village artists who tested the limits of their bodies and used animal or human corpses as material to reflect on the sociopolitical circumstances of the time.

Around this time, performance art also started to emerge in Chengdu. The artists generated awareness for local social and environmental problems through participatory and socially-engaged behaviour, providing a counterpoint to their peers in the capital city.

Poelzl begins her investigation into the Chengdu performance art scene with the collaborative art activist event Keepers of the Waters (1995), which was initiated by the New York–based performance artist Betsy Damon.

The event influenced the local art scene, and resulted in the formation of the 719 Artist Studio Alliance, who organised performative events and ephemeral group exhibitions in public spaces until the turn of the millennium.

The talk is free and open to the public with registration.


When: 21 Nov 2017 - 21 Nov 2017 Where: Asia Art Archive – 233 Hollywood Road – Tai Ping Shan