A Farewell Ritual
In October of 2008, Li Xinmo continued focusing on the subject of water pollution in her performance piece, “A Farewell Ritual,” which she performed at the Dadao Art Exhibit.
A giant glass box was placed in the performance space. She collected river water from a river that flows from Tianjin to Beijing. The water was polluted and it was emitting a foul odor. She lay in the glass box wearing all white. The polluted water was ceaselessly poured in until it gradually covered her body. In the freezing cold, putrid smelling water, her belabored breathing and groans continued until she was completely immersed in water. This was where the performance ended.
She has previously given the following explanation of her work: “I’m just like a fish approaching death, lying in polluted, dirty water. This is the environment in which I live. The spectators are watching the process of my death, the same way many Chinese people can walk past a dying person and not even notice or see her/him. Sometimes the heart can be colder than the freezing river water.”