China’s Latest Obsession: Live Stream Performance Art

Just when you thought China had reached its peak, it has now become obsessed with the live streaming of performance art by celebrities. April 23 saw the launch of a two-week performance art exhibition by Pang Kuan – a member of the famous Chinese rock band, New Pants. The event is streamed live on the Internet via Star Gallery’s official WeChat video account and Weibo.

What it is

Since its debut, the experimental livestream has garnered over 3.7 million views and many hashtags about the rock star have topped Weibo’s trending list, such as #PangKuanonthetoilet, #PangKuangetupquickly and #PangKuanlivestream. In it, a solitary and silent Pang Kuan has only water, food, wine and some personal effects to play with as well as an armchair and a toilet.

Hashtags like #PangKuanonthetoilet and #PangKuangetupquickly were trending on Weibo after the exhibition launched. Photo: Weibo

why is it important

Performance art has a volatile history in China, but this latest release shows the extraordinary speed of change in the country’s culture. This too provides a source of amusement for citizens who are still locked down due to the country’s zero-COVID policy. Pang spends time playing on her mobile phone, reading and writing, but many curious netizens are simply more concerned about her toilet habits. Fashion is also at the center of their concerns. Pang often wears elegant clothes and changes outfits at least three times a day; the public is eager to know which brand they have opted for.

The bottom line

Art has always been an important source of inspiration for luxury houses and is of particular importance in China. There are countless instances where luxury brands have collaborated with fine artists, from Louis Vuitton and Takashi Murakami in 2003 to Dior and KAWS in 2018. Thus, it is common for houses to use art to embellish their reputation – whether through designs on ready-to-wear -clothing and accessories, or as a basis for showcases and offline exhibitions.

But as times change and consumer demand grows, performance art can open up new possibilities. Live streaming provides media immediacy that luxury names need to reckon with. Picture this: Pang Kuan wearing a Gucci suit to dance every night or playing with his Fendi phone accessory while working out on his Dior exercise machine. If so, they have the opportunity to reach millions of curious viewers in a story of art and commerce.

About Selena J. Killeen

Check Also

Lucid’s Air Grand Touring (LCID) performance is the fastest production car to climb the hill in the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed’s Timed Shootout

Get instant alerts when news breaks on your stocks. Claim your one week free trial …