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HomeCultureChinese artist stirs climate action with toxic soup and heavy metal music

Chinese artist stirs climate action with toxic soup and heavy metal music

One early morning after the rain in the eastern Chinese city of Zibo, two people dressed as fishermen stir dozens of giant inflatable fish and peppers in the polluted, dark-brown water of the Yueyang River, shouting, “Zibo’s hotpot fish!”

A crowd of people point, take videos and laugh at the giant “soup.”

Days later, on April 1, 2021, a video of the performance was uploaded to the Internet, garnering more than 10 million views. As a joke, someone posted an entry for “Zibo Hotpot Fish” on the popular city-guide dianping.com that soon became the most-liked page in the “local food” category.

The man behind the show was Nut Brother, a performance artist who has been stirring up public opinion over pollution in the country for seven years in the belief that environmental activism that is humorous and creative can have a powerful effect.

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