Ou Zhang in front of the former Charlie Hebdo headquarters on January 20, 2016

Chinese Performance Artist Does Nude Push-Ups at Sites of Paris Terrorist Attacks

Chinese performance artist Ou Zhihang has carried out a piece for which he did nude push-ups in front of Charlie Hebdo’s former headquarters, where eleven people were killed by the Kouachi brothers in January 2015, and across from the Bataclan concert hall, the site of a second terrorist attack in the French capital this past November.

A television personality in China, Ou Zhihang is also known for his series of nude self-portraits doing push-ups in front of emblematic sites and places associated with scandal. The series dates back to 1999, but did not receive broad public attention until 2007 when, just before the Olympic Games in Beijing, Ou Zhihang participated in a group show that caused a scandal in China.

Ou Zhihang’s work has gotten him arrested in China, but there was no such reaction in Paris. Quoted in Le Monde on February 5, the artist said, “Normally, there are police officers, security guards, cameras in front of a sensitive place. Especially in a country that is currently in a state of emergency. But, in the end, there was no control or restraint. This puzzled me.”