Person for Sale, 1995
Blue cotton jacket and fabric sign with acrylic and graphite framed under glass. Jacket: 26 x 30 in. (66 x 76.2 cm); Sign: 14 x 17 5/8 in. (35.6 x 45 cm). Signed and dated « Zhu Fadong 1995 » lower right of frame.
“In 1994, Zhu Fadong moved to Beijing where he staged the performance, “This Person is For Sale”. The artist walked around Beijing City carrying a black briefcase and dressed in a dark blue Mao-jacket, written on the back in red characters was: « This person is for sale – Negotiate price on the spot. »
Zhu Fadong continued the performance every day for two weeks. He would start at his house in Beixinqiao (on the west side of the city), and each time took a different route around the city. One day he took a route towards the Beijing labor Market near the city center where he sat down among other people who sold their labor. The entire project was recorded on video, and is often seen as a critique of the way people can be turned into commodities to be sold off. The work also points at the loss of self for Chinese citizens who have found themselves enmeshed in an increasingly commercialized society. Finding inspiration from some of Karl Marx’s theories of labor, Zhu Fadong experienced a form of personal freedom by being able to sell himself.”
Thomas J. BERGUIS – Performance Art in China