TIME Asia

Fresh Air Sells for $860 a Jar in China

China Jar of Clean Air
Beijing artist Liang Kegang is pictured with the jar of fresh air collected in Provence, France, in an art gallery in Beijing, China. Didi Tang—AP

Beijing artist Liang Kegang auctioned off a jar of fresh French air as a form of protest against Chinese air pollution

A Beijing artist has decided to auction off a jar of fresh air from a business trip to southern France, as a form of artistic protest against his smoggy city.

The rubber-sealed jar of Provence, mountain air went for 5,250 yuan (or $860), the Associated Press reports.

“Air should be the most valueless commodity, free to breathe for any vagrant or beggar,” Liang Kegang told the AP. “This is my way to question China’s foul air and express my dissatisfaction.”

Chinese scientists recently said the air pollution is so bad that it’s “somewhat similar to a nuclear winter.”

Artistic message aside, Liang’s air isn’t a bargain: Recycling tycoon Chen Guangbiang sells “Good Person”-branded fresh air in a can to Chinese consumers for $3 a pop.

[AP]

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