- Gordon Dumoulin
Maybe China's most talked-about artwork in 2021...
“Momentary Ownership”, the graduation art project of Zou Yaqi, student at Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts is a movie compilation of how she lived for 21 days in Beijing as a “social elite” without spending a single yuan earlier this year.
The secrets to her success? A fake Hermès handbag, bright red lipstick, and a velour designer tracksuit — all of which helped Zou pose as a member of China’s wealthy social elite.
She slept at airport VIP lounges and hotel lobbies, making use of their washing facilities and often free buffet services. She tried on jade bracelets at auctions, sampled free foods at malls and used the Ikea showroom as her office.
The project motivation was her long-standing interest in whether a person could live on the “excessive material” produced by society. Comments varied from
She was though not prepared of the huge social media attention and also controversy when she posted a few short clips of her movie on Weibo in June. The art student found herself caught up in discussions about wealth inequality and materialism. While many supported her exposing, others criticized her of being a student at one of China’s fines art colleges therefore enabling her to to do this kind of project or called her a “fake socialite”.
Wealth inequality has been a viral topic in Chinese society this year with also the Chinese government announcing policies towards a fairer society, common prosperity.