“I’m wearing a wedding dress because I think people are married to nature. We need to show we love the environment,” explained Kong Ning, a Beijing-based artist that often dresses with a purpose.
Earlier this week, Beijing issued a red alert for smog for the first time ever. Just before that, Kong made a statement in an eye-catching orange dress, since at the time the capital had been on only orange alert, meaning factory production was slowed, large trucks were forced off the roads and schoolchildren were kept indoors; but you could still barbecue.
Kong wandered through the smog, garnering mixed reactions from spectators wherever she went. Her dress was made of dozens of plastic orange megaphones, to send a loud and symbolic message.
However, it is unclear who exactly is still unaware of China’s air pollution problems. Some passersby didn’t see the point of her performance art, somehow criticizing it as unclear, and suggesting that next time she should simply come with more people and banners to draw more attention, or at the very least bring something useful along like an industrial vacuum cleaner.
This wasn’t Kong’s first fashion protest. Last year, she made a wedding dress using 1,000 respiratory masks.
Kong Ning is also known for her paintings, which feature women donning face masks, though many photo uploads of her paintings to Weibo have been deleted by government censors.
Watch a quick BBC interview with the artist:
By Mary DeMay
[Images via Weibo // NetEase]