Cheng Li was sentenced to one year of “reeducation through labor” at a labor camp after performing unsimulated sex acts on March 20 on a balcony and in the basement of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Beijing. The 51-year-old performance artist appealed for administrative reconsideration yesterday, since his charge of “causing a disturbance” is overzealous – only a small private audience of artists and critics was present. These spectators were also arrested.
Performance piece Art Whore comments on “the popular trend of commercializing art” that is “nothing but a trade of sex for commercial benefits.” Derivative. Sure. In China, that’s derivative with major balls, considering what constitutes punishable pornography.
The artist’s wife has spoken out in his support, contesting that he did not cross “the boundary from art into crime.” No comment has been made about the official punishment for his yet unnamed female accomplice… which is very unnerving.