China loves its pigs, and Shanghai has said NO to pig cruelty. In latest news, the eight pigs tattooed with Louis Vuitton logoes and other Walt Disney characters — highly controversial works of art by Belgian artist Wim Delvoye — has been banned by the organisers of SHContemporary, the city’s largest contemporary art fair. No explicit reason has been given by spokespeople for the ban. From Bloomberg:
Workers, escorted by security guards, dismantled the sty at the Shanghai Exhibition Center at 11:30 a.m., said Xin Beijing Gallery’s manager Yu Tiantian, the dealer of Delvoye’s work. The pigs, tattooed with Walt Disney Co. characters and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA’s motif, were banned from the art fair which starts tomorrow and ends Sept. 13. Yu wouldn’t say if the government had ordered the ban. Gu Zihua, spokesman for SHContemporary, declined to comment.
Quite understandably, the artist Wim Delvoye was not too happy. He told Bloomberg:
“It’s unbelievable how aggressive they are becoming in stopping this show… We have collectors who’ve traveled to China all the way from Europe to see the pigs. They’re very disappointed.”
The article also sheds some light on how Delvoye’s living works of art were bred and sold:
Delvoye bred his pigs on a farm outside Beijing, letting his tattoos grow with the animals. The animals’ skins are sold for up to 7,500 euros ($10,600) a piece. A canvas, marked with Walt Disney characters, was sold to Chanel SA and made into two bags, displayed at the fashion group’s Feb. 26 Mobile Art exhibition in Hong Kong, according to Delvoye’s spokeswoman Xia Jie.
Photo from art218.com