Artist Performance Projects 1995-96
Tibet and Sichuan, China


In 1995, Damon traveled to China and ended up as the first artist to direct a public art project in China. It was a 2-month long process consisting of three US artists, and 25 Chinese and Tibetan artists. Together they developed thirty public art pieces and events, and were on national Chinese television for two weeks.

One artist took a series of photographs, made a collection of prints, and, in a public display, allowed the images to visibly decompose in shallow dishes of polluted river water. Another group of artists created in a public square a large ice sculpture made of dirty water from the Fu River. Then they provided curious citizens with brushes for symbolically “scrubbing” the tainted ice as it melted into dirty puddles in the heat of the Chengdu summer. A third group of artists re-enacted an ancient Chengdu legend in which a great warrior is said to have washed silk in the cleansing waters of the river. But the long white sheets of silk washed by the artists only became stained and brown.