Artist derives authenticity and beauty from fakes

For gallery goers, a Sept 25 visit to the Cervantes Institute in Beijing was a chance to pique their curiosity and enjoy the bizarre.

Each visitor was instructed to wear a breathing mask at the reception desk before entering the exhibition hall. They were surprised to find that the usually quiet exhibition space had been turned into a busy and noisy fashion designer’s studio.

A number of young Chinese ‘designers’ (models, actually) were focused on their work. Among them, a tall, lean and muscular man attracted a gaggle of visitors to stop, watch and photograph his performance.

The young man first stuck a pair of light grey sweatpants on the wall. He then picked up an aerosol can and began spraying colored paint on the pants.

Before long, his efforts turned the pants rainbow-striped. Then he blow-dried the paint, put on the pants, and strode up to a rotating display stand for photo shoots.

Other models did similar work, all in a silent and serious manner, which struck viewers as interesting but bizarre.

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