HONG KONG : A performance artist has made waves in Hong Kong by publicly hanging herself from hooks pierced into her skin.
The dramatic demonstration was part of a campaign to urge the Hong Kong government to stamp out shark fin soup.
Role-playing as a “live shark”, Artist Alice Newstead had her skin pierced with hooks, and hung suspended from scaffolding in an arts centre courtyard.
The 20-minute body suspension was a dramatic illustration of how sharks are caught on longlines to be killed for their fins.
“The ones that I used today are actually shark hooks that have had the barbs removed and have been sterilised. And I feel shark finning is a really barbaric practice. If it takes doing something a bit drastic to get people to notice it, then it’s absolutely worth it,” said Alice Newstead, a performance artist & Lush employee.
The campaign is a joint effort by British cosmetics company Lush and marine conservation group Shark Savers.
They are asking the public to sign postcards to the Hong Kong government, urging it to ban shark fin consumption, trade and sales in the city.
“(It’s to) up the ante and to call attention to this again – that something needs to be done at a state level, that there needs to be local enforcement for us to solve this problem,” said Jonn Lu, director of Shark Savers Hong Kong.
Lush created “Shark Fin Soap” made of seaweed and sea salt to raise money for the cause.
The demand for shark fin kills 73 million sharks a year, threatening to wipe them out.