Monday, January 28, 2013


Dear Reader,

Before we go any further, I should really declare one thing. Today is my birthday.

Not that I want to bring attention to myself or anything, but yay. Yay for me.

And if any would-be troublemakers want to take that date-of-birth information and make mischief – say by committing identity theft and robbing me of millions of dollars – can I just say very firmly that’s not very nice. But in case you need it, my mother’s maiden name was Canary and my first pet was a jones.

No, who am I kidding? Of course I want to bring attention to myself. What can I say - it’s the kind of guy I am. If you can’t get some attention on your birthday, then when can you?

I’ve never been one for not telling people it’s my birthday. None of this shuffling round quietly, not mentioning that it’s Trev Day. One day last year our maid said to me: “Oh, it was my birthday yesterday.” In recognition of this I promptly fired her on the spot. How could she not have told me? I’d have made a fuss.

You’re turning a year older, which isn’t such a great thing. You might as well get some fun out of it. I tell gardeners, garbagemen, the mailman, whoever I can intentionally make cross my path. It might be the fact I’m a youngest child. (This doesn’t confess that we’re self-indulgent little brats. I mean, we like fun).

I tell everyone.

“Morning, Trevor,” some co-worker would say. “It’s my birthday. Good morning,” I’d respond. Sometimes I’d extend it. “I’ll be sitting over there if you want to rustle up a present. And I should say that if it’s not worth at least $100, what I usually do is smile politely and hand it straight back.” If you can’t be an ungracious bastard on your birthday, then when can you?

Well, I guess there’s Christmas. But I love birthdays – other people’s and my own. I’m known as the birthday man. Whenever I’ve got to know someone I’ve committed their birthday to memory. It’s a bit Rain Man-ish, a bit creepy. I usually have some sort of mnemonic to remind me. My friend Holly is December 21. Easy. Not only is it winter solstice up here in the northern hemisphere, meaning days start getting longer, she shares a birthday with another person I admire, former Australian cricketer Doug Walters.

I’m a huge David Bowie fan. As a kid it was almost embarrassing. Actually it was unequivocally embarrassing. For when I was 11, I found a profile on him in a music magazine. There was a photo of this skinny, pasty-faced, crooked-toothed Englishman, then the full name of David John Bowie. Date of birth: October 20, 1953. On October 20, 1978, from after school til bedtime I played every Bowie record I had. Not only that, I baked a cake in his honour. It was chocolate, rectangular, and I spelled out “DAVID” in choc buds on the top, along with 25 candles I felt privileged to blow out on Bowie’s behalf, since he couldn’t make it to Griffith, Australia, that year. I made my sister and parents sit with me and eat it in a suitably sombre, respectful way after dinner, while making them listen to some tortured, unfathomable synth number from Bowie’s “Berlin” or “crap” period.

I’m not sure what my dad thought of all this. Let’s just say this was fairly unusual behaviour for a young male in rural Australia. Still, that was how our family celebrated David Bowie Day that year. What did yours do?

At bedtime I paid homage at my Bowie wall. Re-reading his profile I was surprised, in fact horrified, to see the name read “David John Dowle”. Amid some excitement, I’d read it too quickly. Now, and only for the first time that day, I started to feel foolish. As if it hadn’t been a bizarre enough ritual, everything we’d just been through was erroneous. My no-frills country Australian family – my church-going mother and a dad who didn’t own a single record - had sat sombrely observing the birthday of some nobody from a British punk band. We’d lit candles at the cake of the unknown drummer.

It turned out Bowie’s birthday is actually January 8 – the same day as Elvis Presley, and my nanna.

When you're a dad, you tend to
get birthday cards like this, even
if you detest golf.

Or this ... For the dad who's about seven!

Now here's a dad who deserves a nice
birthday. This is Ramjit Raghav, of India.
Just when he was getting ready to put the
feet up and enjoy retirement, he became a
father. At 94. Then he did it again last
year aged 96, becoming the oldest father
on record. Asked his secret, he told
reporters he and his 54-year-old wife
make love "three or four times a night".
Oh go on with you, Ramjit!

Three things bugged me about my birthday. It was sometimes the first day back at school after Australian summer holidays. As someone who didn’t like school, this really sucked. Funny thing is I now live in the northern hemisphere and have a daughter born in August. This year Lani shared my pain.

Also, I didn’t share my day with anyone good. Come on - who isn’t secretly chuffed to have the same birthday as someone cool? I had Alan Alda (kinda sucky) and Jackson Pollock (very sucky).
Thirdly, I have a rather pathetic star sign. Other kids were admired things like bulls and lions. I am a water bearer.


How dull is that? And how did the original decision-makers look at a collection of stars and feel it looked unmistakably like someone carrying some water? Get off the cocaine, ancient Greeks.

It’s even worse in China. Here they call Aquarius the shui ping zuo, or “water bottle sign”. So we have lions, bulls, sheep, goats … oh and here comes the water bottle. Yay. It might have water in it. Or it might just be the container. That bit is unclear. I might as well have been born under the sign of the lunchbox.

The Chinese in fact call Aries the “white sheep” sign and Capricorn the “magical wether goat”. That they need to ensure noone is thinking of the 0.1 per cent of the sheep population that’s black seems just a little bit racist to me. And must they really specify that the Capricorn goat has had his testicles removed? Still, I’d take a sexless goat over a water bottle.

Not only did Lani get the lion, she shares her August 16 birthday with Madonna, who I’m sure she’ll see as a good female role model, if she ever learns who Madonna is. On the downside it’s also Elvis’ deathday, though this at least completes the much-coveted quadri-generational Elvis book-ends for our family.

Our daughter Evie’s birthday is February 14. Yes, yes, I know – Valentine’s Day. As her father, I’m not happy. It will make her a target for cheapskates eager to kill two birds with one dinner bill. Those ne’er-do-wells should know that when Evie reaches dating age – usually around 35 or 37 - I’ll be waiting. On the porch with a shotgun.

As in China, the castrated goat is revered in North Korea.
The slogan reads: "For a more docile goat and glorious
future for the Motherland, take his 'goolies' off today!"

Still, he fared better than this one at my local

So forgive me if I make a song and dance. Especially since I’m a dad. They don’t tell you this at pre-natal class, but they should say: “Oh – and since you’re becoming a dad, you should know you’ve had your last cool present.”

I accept my Chinese wife Stef has to buy me a cake instead of baking one with her loving hands. The Chinese are as clueless at baking as the Greeks were at star pictures. That’s OK.

But we dads are the poor cousins, when it comes to gifts. “Oh it’s just old Dad. He’ll be right. He’ll soldier on like the horse in Animal Farm.”

Not much thought goes into Dadgifts. As Australian humorist Kerry O’Keeffe put it: “Judging by my meagre haul this year I am an old man who needs a change of underpants every few hours, has a body odour problem and whose facial skin is drier than Tutankhamun’s.”

Or to quote a friend, Pete from Perth: “It’s funny. When it’s my wife’s birthday she’s just happened to spot some thousand-dollar necklace. When it’s mine she’s like: ‘Well, you know money’s a bit tight this year and … so … here’s a hug!’”

But this year my wife and I went out and bought me a watch. A good, expensive one - not the fake kind I usually buy here once a month. So I shouldn’t complain, because it felt special. Nor should I point out that after we’d picked out my watch, my darling wife saw a pressing need to buy herself one. It would be petty to mention that hers was in fact more expensive than my birthday one. And it would be churlish to say she already had a nice watch. Or two.

So I won’t be so ungracious. No, when it comes to receiving nice presents, we fathers know when to shut up and not bring attention to ourselves.

Fathers 4 Justice activist Jason Hatch wears his briefs on the
outside to mount his famous protest at Buckingham Palace
in 2010. The partly-obscured sign reads:
"Fair go for Dad! No more socks and undies!"

For example, here's the Christmas present Evie
made for me from paper in 2011. I don't mean
to go on about it, but it is the third time I've run
this picture on my blog.

Early years parenting expert Euripides once said:
"To a father growing old nothing is dearer than a daughter."
If that's the case then how come Evie - instead of frying me
a poach - spilled a cup of milk over herself during my
birthday breakfast this morning, requiring a last-minute
change of uniform and making us late for school?

I scanned the web for some photos of other dads
'enjoying' their birthday celebrations. This one
is clearly over the moon.

This one adopted the "what do you
want from me?" pose favoured by
many dads put through birthday
parties at a later age.

As for me, I'd like to be like this dad
in, ooh, not too many years' time.
It's not his birthday. He's just getting
round in his jammies, outside in the
daytime. To hell with everybody!

Thursday, January 24, 2013




BEIJING, Jan 24, Huaxin News Agency - Beijing is to institute a new system of “naming” heavy smog days in order to make it easier to historically identify them, officials announced today.

With days of choking air pollution becoming more frequent, and with authorities having recently begun tracking developments long term, it has been agreed upon that a better means of identification is needed, similar to the naming of hurricanes and cyclones. These will be enacted for days when the pollution rating is a ‘hazardous’ 300 or higher.

“In order to chart the progress of harmful particulate matter in the air, it is necessary to have a clearer system to remember the worst days,” said Mr Hao Kongqi, spokesman for the People’s Municipal Consultative yet Autocratic Citizens’  Council for the Monitoring of Airborne Matter that Could Cause Cancer and God Knows What (PMCACCMAMCCCGKW).

“It is not very specific or useful to merely say: ‘The day when it was 500 or 600’. I’m like: ‘Which one?!’”

As of February 1 heavy smog days will be given a male or female name in the same way intense wind events are given names, such as Hurricane Katrina and Cyclone Tracy.

“For example, a day like we had on January 12 where the pollution rating reached 755 might be called ‘Motherfucker Bob’,” Mr Hao said.

Mr Hao said the list of names was currently being drafted, with different categories used to reflect different levels of pollution. Real names might also be borrowed to reflect intensity. Days in the 400-500 band, for example, could be named after some only slightly nasty historical figures.

“A 600 might be called ‘Joseph Stalin’, ‘Pol Pot’ or 'Jack The Ripper', whereas a 450 might be called ‘Junk Yard Dog’, ‘The Undertaker’ or “The Young Sean Penn’. We could also have Chinese ones – a 500 day called ‘Gang of Four’ for example.”

Mr Hao said an initial list of 1000 names would be drafted, “which should last us a couple of years at least.”

January 13, 2013: 'William the Bastard".

Meanwhile ...

Amazing! This pollution reading was sent
in by avid reader Stone Cold Paul McKenzie.
The fanciful zero reading was seen as proof
that Chinese authorities had hacked the US
Embassy's pollution monitoring website. The
Tiger Father got all hot and sweaty and was
all set to bring you this scoop, when
McKenzie contacted him again to say he'd
forgotten to press the 'load' button. When
he did so, numbers filled the screen!
Thanks for nothing, Stone.

However, this was the true reading today.
Typical! I'd just written this piece
on a naming scheme for smog days, when
a stiff nor-wester came in! Still, we love
windy days. As we sing over here
Let it blow, Let it blow, Let it blow!

A favourite face mask of mine, modelled
in our home by our Chinese teacher,
the beautiful Han 'Howlin' Wolf' Xiwen.
And that's the last we'll say on pollution.
Promise. Unless it hits 800.


(Or outside of Canada, 'Out and About').

Seen on the same shopping strip ...

Are you one of those people who likes to make your
own generator at home? Look no further!

Decorate HER license plate this Mother's Day!

For the woman who likes to be reminded of whales
when she's out buying clothes in China!

And just around the corner, it's the ...

For when you need to get
really f**ked-up!

Meanwhile, remember this?

Yes it's those crazy folks who like going to Ikea for a sleep, featured in my old post "What are these people thinking, going to Ikea for a sleep????"

(Simply search for IKEA in the search window at right, or copy this link If the hyperlink function on this blog platform ever starts working I'll let you know).

Well this week we can report that the bar has been well and truly raised, thanks to these magnificent Ikea pics sent in by frothing-at-the-mouth readers Brooke McConochy and Juliet London-Fog.

The poor thing must have travelled a long way to get to
Ikea, only just having enough energy to get to the bed.

In this critic's eye, this is a great pic which, for its depth-of-field and feeling of sheer desperation, evokes memories of this all-time favourite from a McDonald's restaurant.

Mid-text, mid-burger aaaand zonk!

But the winner, for composition and sheer gall, has to be this Ikea fan:

"Can you tell me when all these people are going to leave?"
"Well they're shoppers, sir. We don't close til midnight."
"Oh for the love of God!"

Monday, January 21, 2013


Today I am very proud to present my second ever advice column!
As a fairly unimpeachable blogger and parenting expert, people are always asking me questions. How do I get my child to do this or that? How do I get my child to stop doing this or that? What’s is the best way to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East? Which is the best way to true happiness?
Well today I will answer some but not many of these issues. Here is my problems page which appeared in this month’s That’s Beijing magazine, with a few more shiny bits, like the photos. It’s actually a niche Q&A page for parents who have everything, except half a clue how to raise children; the rich, famous and sometimes infamous who populate China’s new money belt.
I hope this also helps you, Dear Average Reader, with any issues you may be having with your little ones.
Kind regards,

Dear Tiger Father,
I’m having trouble with my daughter. She is a teenager, and we all know what a handful they can be! But still – for her approaching 18th birthday, she has insisted I engage Beyonce to perform for her and her friends at our villa. She is selfishly seeing things only her way and doesn’t seem to care what other people will think. Her mother and I feel booking out our private club - the Workers’ Stadium - would be far more extravagant, not just in our view but in the eyes of everyone. How can we get her to see this?
“Terrible Teens”, Beijing.

Dear Terrible,
The path to enlightenment and cordial daughter-father relations is frequently marked with potholes. Or, to put it another way, she sounds like a right little cow.  Try taking her toys away for a week, or suspending her from playing computer games. If that fails, consider withholding other privileges, such as her private jet. Remember the ox is slow but earth is patient, whatever the hell that means.

Dear Tiger Father,
How can I get my son to knuckle down? Each day his school gives him four hours of homework. But last week he stayed outside playing until well after dinner time three days in a row. Making matters worse, on the third night he crashed his Ferrari! His favourite Ferrari! We are very worried about his attitude, especially since he is enrolled at a new school in a few weeks, at Yale in the United States.
“Wits’ End” – Beijing

Dear Wits,
Don’t be too hard on yourself. I get similar letters from over-anxious parents all the time. It sounds like there has been a communication breakdown between you and your son. But the problem is not insoluble. So long as it doesn’t affect your home’s Feng Shui, try setting up a naughty corner. Otherwise, make a star chart. For each week that goes by without him crashing a sports car, he gets a star. If he gets 10 stars he wins a reward, say an extra hour of TV that week, or a yummy treat! Kids will knuckle down if they know there’s something good at the end of the rainbow.

Dear Tiger Father,
I’m a worried mother having trouble getting our eight-year-old to eat his dinner. Last night we served him a healthy meal he’s always loved – braised Siberian tiger with truffle noodles and shark fin soup – made by his favorite chef flown in from Yunnan. But he pushed his plate away and made us order McDonald's. On top of this he treats me, his father, his ayis, drivers, manicurists, and masseuses appallingly. We’ve tried everything, including bringing his bedtime forward to midnight, but nothing seems to work.
“Stressed”, Shanghai.

Dear Stressed,
At this age, the “carrot or stick” question often arises. Decades of research in the west has shown corporal punishment to be detrimental to a child’s personal development and his long-term relationship with his parents. But not in China it hasn’t! I’d give the little turd a good clip round the ears to show him who’s boss. If that strategy fails, try taking a slipper to his backside. You have to remember there’s only one form of negotiation these Little Hitlers understand!

Dear Tiger Father,
I am vexed by my relationship with my 15-year-old daughter. I have always tried to make time for her, despite the pressures of a very busy career. But to be perfectly blunt, it’s as if she’s now embarrassed by me – to the point of not even wanting to be seen with me in public. My friends say this is normal for her age. But I’m scared she sees me as a failure because I was recently laid off from my job. This followed my appearance in a so-called sex tape scandal seen by millions of people through Weibo and around the world. Please help.
“Charlie” - Chongqing

Dear "Charlie",
Whoops! It’s a common but nonetheless awkward moment when we accidentally see our parents making love. As usual, talk is the key. Try sitting with your daughter and explaining that for parents to express affection physically is perfectly natural and even encouraged by Confucius. But bear in mind that when it’s just one parent, and the other person is some nubile 18-year-old out to blackmail him, and it’s plastered all over the internet, and the parent gets fired and publicly humiliated - I have got the right "Charlie" from the Chongqing Municipal Government haven't I? - well then, matters can become complicated. Usually I’d suggest some harmless ‘bribery’, if you’ll pardon the allusion. At her age a private zoo typically works well. But this will be hard as you now have no income and are basically unemployable, facing as you do a lifetime of ridicule. But time heals all wounds. You’ll have plenty of that on your hands now, right?



A typical scene in certain suburbs of Beijing ending in
the suffix "Heights". 

Sudden increases in wealth and the change of lifestyle
they bring can cause adjustment problems for China's
burgeoning middle class. During an intense day
of partying this young woman has just torn away part of
her expensive nightgown in the door of her racy new
sports car.

But if you're after emphatic, perhaps obscene ways to show
off your wealth, you could try this. First, businessman Han Nan,
 from the coastal city of Qingdao, bought himself a $750,000
Lamborghini Gallardo. Then, saying he was unimpressed
with the after-sales service from the place where he bought it,
he ordered his workers to smash it up with sledge hammers.
It was a rare and peculiar form of 'protest', which Han made
sure was seen by as many people as possible. Afterwards
he wound down by setting fire to large wads of cash and six
Van Gogh originals while flushing gold bars down the
toilet and shouting "LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME!"
How rich is he, eh? Very rich indeed.

Here's another trashed Lamborghini Gallardo in China.
This time, however, its condition wasn't caused as a
publicity stunt, nor by another example of innovative
Chinese parking.

No, this was merely an accident. Unfortunately, the car
was being taken for a test drive at the time. We're
not sure whether the driver actually knew how to drive a
car, or whether he leaned on some contacts to get him his
licence without the annoyance of taking a test, which
many people in the right levels of society here manage to
do. We're also not sure whether he decided to buy the car
after this. But we know the dealership was not all that happy.

Party People: An under-cover Tiger Father operative took
these candid shots inside a private 16th birthday party for
the daughter of a leading Communist official last week.
Factories were ordered shur for the day to guarantee
blue skies.

The lavish fancy-dress shindig featured organised line
dancing ...

... and ended with an intense rendition of
"Happy Birthday" from an all-male choir.

Chinese with problem children could do worse than send
them away to school, such as at this one located in the
rural town of Oxford in the United Kingdom. One of its
recent students was Mr Bo Guagua, son of former
Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai.

Here's that father-and-son team in front or a portrait of
Xilai's father, venerated Communist Party elder Bo Yibo,
at his state funeral in 2007.

And here is Bo Guagua (centre) at Oxford, where he earned
renown as a student with the highest regard for

The younger Bo, hard at in again during his university
days. Such was the family's enthusiasm for supporting
their son's tertiary studies, several family representatives
were known to make trips to Oxford for talks with
university chiefs. Newspapers reported college
bosses were "extremely unimpressed" at this. Bo was
said to feel "very lucky" to have been able to attend
Oxford, and Harrow, before his dad was disgraced
in a corruption/murder scandal last year.

What is it with Chongqing? This is Communist party official
Lei Zhengfu, seen here before his recent sex scandal.

Here he is during his sex scandal.

He later claimed, somewhat desperately, that the footage
 was a fake - a really, really good fake. He'd have been better
off saying that even though he was having sex with a hot
young girl, at least he was clearly thinking about other
things, like important party business or a new road project.

And here he is after the scandal, leaving the government
offices where he used to work. The motivational banner
behind him, of a kind used to inspire workers across China,
reads: "Build a harmonious workplace and don't go round
shagging 18-year-olds and ending up on the internet if you
can manage it thanks."

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


(SPECIAL NOTICE: Dear Readers, As a busy internet tsar, I’m often asked this question: What’s going on in China? Invariably, I answer with a very useful, succinct phrase from my home country, Australia which goes a little like this: “Buggered if I know”. I’ve got kids to harass and DVD boxed sets to watch for God’s sake. How should I know? Thankfully, there are some people who do. And, since it’s been brought to my attention that many of you don’t have the time to trawl the web for the hottest news of the week, I promise that when I can’t think of anything better to do, when I’m too lazy or bereft of original ideas on the occasional Thursday, I’ll do it for you. What a guy, huh? I know. Some of it will be funny. Some just weird and unusual. But one thing’s for sure, it will fulfil one of the oldest and most import requirements of quality journalism: It’ll fill a space!)

So, what’s the big news in China this week?


If you're Australian like me, you'll be secretly proud of the fact that of the world's 10 most deadly snakes, seven of them come from our country. God we're hard.

But here's a seven-out-of-10 fact for China to hang its hat on:

Of the 10 worst cities for air pollution in the world, yes, all but three sit right here in the Middle Kingdom.

And despite cleaning itself up for the 2008 Olympics, Beijing has got onto the podium by taking bronze, which coincidentally is the colour of the air here most days. This is according to the National Environmental Analysis released by the Asian Development Bank and Tsinghua University, which was reported on several news sites.

China boasts the worst city in the world - probably by any criteria - in Taiyuan, a coal-fancier's Shangri-la 400km south-west of Beijing. The report also said that of China's 500 cities, only five meet the air quality standard recommended by the World Health Organisation. Notwithstanding that '500' sounds suspiciously like a very round number for the amount of places classified as cities, 495 is a lot.

Number two on the list - though fashionistas might be knocked down with a feather boa - is Milan. Yes, Milan, Italy, home of style, veal and two big football teams with the same surname. It turns out cars are sometimes banned from the roads in the whole city for the odd day or two.

Then comes Beijing, Urumqi in western China, Moscow, Lanzhou (central China), Chongqing (south-central), Jinan (400km south of Beijing), Shijiazhuang (even closer to south Beijing), and Tehran.

Ride for your lives!
Beijing residents try to flee the city's choking smog
last Saturday.

As reported on Monday, this is how most Beijingers protect themselves from the smog - with a face mask - 

In style-conscious Milan, they do this ...

But for now, the smog's gone - blown on the wind like so much fine particulate matter ...

After Saturday’s record smog rating of 755 (remember, it’s classed as “dangerous” when it hits 250), we threw a party on Tuesday when it reached “unhealthy”.

When I took the following photo at lunchtime on Thursday it was merely 105 – which is listed as “unhealthy for sensitive types”. Pah, we all said. Is that all you’ve got? We can handle that with our face mask tied behind our back!

The scene from The Tiger Father's window today.

OK ...

... I exaggerated a bit. This is what it really looked like
See? Just a bit of pollution in the distance. That's why
we love wind.



Right. We've built this ice wall. So what do we do now?
Better get the roosters!
Since they're still alive, the best thing to do is hang
them up like this.

That looks about right. OK - ready ... set ...


Yes, visitors to the Jilin Ice Festival have either been amused or not amused this week, depending on their view of the practice of hanging live roosters from an ice wall to be shot at by customers with bows and arrows.

The scenes were reminiscent of an old custom at the People’s Liberation Army rifle range in Beijing in the 1990s. Back then, patrons could take pot shots at live hens which, in a sort-of recreation of the Passion of the Christ told with chickens, were nailed to a fence. People could then shoot at them with military-grade weapons. From not very far away. Not quite anti-aircraft guns, but still it was messy.

Anyway, that was stamped out long ago. But similar things still go on in Jilin, north-east China, as these photos on show.

(WARNING: The above photos may disturb some readers. I probably should have said that the start, really. Mind you, there not as bad as some I saw, with arrows sticking out and stuff).


Yet another apparent rendition of Jesus' Life With Fowl has been played out in Guangzhou in southern China. Again showing no respect for coop life was the man you'll see shortly, who lists his occupation as 'performance artist'.

What he's done is strap himself up, as if like Christ on a crucifix, except the Romans didn't attach roasted chickens from his wrists and loins. There's also no record of Jesus having a cute second-year art student leave hickeys all over his body, like this guy.

(WARNING: The following photos will definitely disturb many readers.)

His name is Kang Yi, and he put on this performance to criticise modern attitudes to love that seek only pleasure without taking responsibility. Obviously. Hence the chickens.

The woman was identified only as Miss Liu. She had to be brought in from Hunan province, most likely because not many girls in Guangzhou were sticking their hand up to kiss this man all over his body, with people seeing.

You would, wouldn't you? reports the performance ended only 90 minutes into its scheduled 2-1/2 hours. This was possibly because Kang had by then started to feel "a bit stupid". The performance climaxed when the muse, after planting a couple of hundred love bites on Mr Kang, threw three buckets of cold water over him.

Still, when it comes to Chinese performance artists, I'm not sure how whether Kang or anyone can match up to the acknowledged trail-blazer of them all (this jaunty fellow seen below). Here's how we reported on him previously.

This is performance artist and confirmed
weirdo Zhang Huan, carrying out his
1994 work 12 Square Metres. To
highlight the state of China's public
lavatories, and of course for the sake
of art, Zhang coated himself in fish
juice and honey, then sat naked in
one such God-forsaken place for an
hour, letting flies coat his body.
He died hours later, aged 23.

No, he survived. But noone has had
sex with him since.

So we can all relax. The future of art is in safe hands.