Artist proves how difficult it is to avoid Chinese surveillance

Artist proves how difficult it is to avoid Chinese surveillance

Artist Deng Yufeng spent months trying to scout a route that would let him avoid detection from security cameras. The project was meant to prove a point about surveillance in China.

On a sunny autumn day in Beijing, a group of people snuck down a street, inching sideways in a line, hand in hand. On the next block, they crouched next to a group of bicycles. 

These people were not running from the police or trying to avoid an ex; they were on a mission to “disappear” from the street as part of a performance art piece organized by Deng Yufeng.

The staged art project was an act of defiance against China’s pervasive surveillance system

He wanted to dig into the invasion of privacy in China and he views his work as enlightenment for the public. 

The idea had first come to Deng in 2015, who uses art to critique sensitive topics in China. He had gone undercover in previous projects to investigate buying kidnapped children, fake ID cards, and personal information on the black market.