Millions tune in to watch Beijing man’s performance art of self-quarantine

·2-min read
A screenshot of the live stream of Pang’s ‘Bye Bye Disco’ performance. — Picture via Weibo/ Star Gallery
A screenshot of the live stream of Pang’s ‘Bye Bye Disco’ performance. — Picture via Weibo/ Star Gallery

PETALING JAYA, April 28 — An artist in China is broadcasting his two-week “self-quarantine” to the world for the sake of performance art, despite being free of Covid-19.

Since last Saturday, Pang Kuan has relegated himself to living on a small 2.5m x 2.5m platform at the Star Gallery in Beijing.

The open platform, marked off by white lines, means that every small move he makes is on display for all to see.

Announcing his performance in a Weibo post, Pang Kuan said he would have basic essentials such as water and food (along with some alcohol), an armchair, a toilet, as well as “the most fashionable clothes”.

Sixth Tone reported that after one day of being open to the public, the show has since been closed to “cooperate with the epidemic prevention and control”.

Instead, the performance is currently being streamed live around the clock on Star Gallery’s WeChat and Weibo channels.

The stream has racked up 3.3 million views and thousands of comments so far, with many being amused by the concept.

Pang’s attempts at making a hole in the platform he resides on, on day 5 of his quarantine performance. — Picture from Weibo/ Pang Kuan
Pang’s attempts at making a hole in the platform he resides on, on day 5 of his quarantine performance. — Picture from Weibo/ Pang Kuan

Pang is more famously known as the keyboard player of New Pants, an indie rock band from Beijing acclaimed for its blend of punk and synthpop.

The name of the performance itself, ‘Bye Bye Disco’, is the title of a New Pants song.

According to Sixth Tone, while some art critics have praised the “courage” of the artist, others have labelled the performance as “grandstanding”.

Screenshots from Pang’s live stream, showing him going about his day. — Pictures via WeChat/ Star Gallery
Screenshots from Pang’s live stream, showing him going about his day. — Pictures via WeChat/ Star Gallery

The stream is as true-to-life as one might expect; audiences can catch Pang going about his daily routine of being on his phone, writing, preparing instant meals with bottled water, and even (discreetly) using the toilet.

Occasionally, Pang gets up to some antics — in his latest Weibo post on Wednesday, he said some of his “tools” were "confiscated" after he tried to make a hole in the platform.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting