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The extreme performance artist's blood-drenched, masochistic displays are intended to demonstrate that some things are worth making sacrifices for.In a work staged in March, he painted the fingernails and toenails of 10 mannequins with his own blood.In a 2010 performance entitled "One Meter Democracy," He gathered 25 people for a poll on whether he should endure a knife gash – without anesthesia – from his collarbone to his knee.Although contemporary art has flourished in China, the Communist Party maintains tight controls on freedom of expression and only a minority of artists convey political messages with their work.China's most renowned dissident artist Ai Weiwei, who has faced detention and strict surveillance for his more confrontational work, praises his friend's approach. The two are neighbors in Caochangdi, an avant-garde artists' community on the outskirts of the capital.His performances are not always easy to carry out, and he has run into trouble with officialdom – in the U.S., not China.In 2005 police thwarted his attempt to stand naked on a rock atop Niagara Falls for 24 hours.
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