Song abruptly stopped making art in 1989, after China’s violent military response to the Tiananmen Square protests. Though he had been trained as a painter, he turned to performance, photography, and video installation when he resumed making art a few years later. For his performance Breathing, the artist laid face down on the ground of Tiananmen Square in subzero conditions, remaining for forty minutes until the condensation from his breath formed a thin layer of ice. When he repeated the act on the frozen surface of Lake Houhai, an artificial lake in Beijing, the ice remained intact. These performances embodied the conflict between the individual and stronger natural forces.
If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).
MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.
If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].