Per­for­mance artist sucks up par­ti­cles into a brick

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - ByWANG YANFEI wangyan­fei@chi­

A per­for­mance artist has just fin­ished a 100-day project to col­lectsmo­gin Beijing with a spe­cial vac­uum cleaner.

“I have com­mis­sioned a fac­tory in Tang­shan, He­bei prov­ince, where work­ers will squeeze the pol­lu­tion par­ti­cles stored in the vac­uum cleaner into a brick in the next two days,” said the founder of the project, who pre­ferred to be iden­ti­fied as “Jian­guo Xiongdi”.

“Then it will be used for con­struc­tion in the fu­ture, just as any other build­ing ma­te­rial.”

Air pol­lu­tion lev­els in Beijing sky­rock­eted on Mon­day to more than 20 times the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion’s safe level. The for­mer ad­ver­tis­ing man­ager, based in Shen­zhen, Guang­dong prov­ince, said that it was the strik­ing num­bers of PM 2.5 in the north that planted the seeds of his project.

“This is some­thing I can do to call pub­lic at­ten­tion to the fact that air pol­lu­tion is really pos­ing haz­ardous threats to hu­man health.”

He started the project soon af­ter he bought a suit­able vac­uum cleaner — “large enough to col­lect smog in Beijing”, he laughed.

The huge vac­uum cleaner, with a ca­pac­ity to ab­sorb 1,000 cu­bic me­ters, cost him 6,800 yuan ($1,060).

He has col­lected smog in many places, in­clud­ing Tian’an­menSquare and at the door of the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, usu­ally for four hours a time, even on days “when the gov­ern­ment sug­gested res­i­dents stay in­side as smog lev­els soar”.

“The most in­ter­est­ing part of the project is peo­ple’s feed­back — some passers-by thought I was a real cleaner. I have even met peo­ple who in­quired about the price of clean­ing a three-bed­room apart­ment us­ing my vac­uum cleaner.”

He asked passers-by to take pho­tos for him, and then posted on a mi­cro blog ev­ery time he went out to col­lect smog.

This is some­thing I can do to call pub­lic at­ten­tion to the ... threats to hu­man health.”

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