Su Zizi (苏紫紫), a student at Renmin University of China, stripped and dunked herself in ice-cold water after giving naked interviews.
She has become the latest Chinese Internet sensation.
On January 6, as part of her body art photo collection, she jumped into a big fish tank in a Beijing market, filled with ice-cold water to “experience the awful feeling of icy suffocation.”
She does not swim.
The 19-year-old student also stripped naked for two-minute interviews with reporters.
“Reporters represent the eyes of the public. If I can face you in a composed and comfortable manner, then I can do the same to the public,” she told journalists who wanted to cover the story.
A male reporter from Fazhi Evening News (法制晚报) said it was the most uncomfortable interview he had ever taken.
Sensing his embarrassment, Zizi took the initiative, asking the reporter how he felt facing her naked body.
“This is just work as I have to eat,” the student said of her part-time job.
She charges 3,500 yuan (US$530) for a day’s shooting.
Artist Yang Linchuan (杨林川), head of Zhongshan School of Arts and Science in Nanjing, supports Zizi, saying she is working for her school, dreams and art.
Other media reports:
From China Daily – A college student paid her tuition fees by posing as in naked model portraits, sparking a heated discussion online, Beijing News reported on Jan 5.
Su zizi is a sophomore at the influencial Renmin University in China. She threw a small exhibition named ‘Who Am I at the end of 2010′ at her university, demonstrating some of her nude portraits.
“I have to support myself during study. I can get 500 yuan ($ 75) for each set of naked pictures.” she said, “at the very first, I was so nervous about others’ reaction to me, but later on I know how to protect myself and my family, such as signing a contract, which means if the images are distributed by studios they will face legal penalties.”
But not everyone understands her choice. Rumors, even unfriendly words could be read from some online posts.
“I should clarify that my job as a naked model is legal, though it is despised by some. I get more interests from this naked portrait as an art form. Since I have learned how to display one’s inner beauty through nude body, I would like to become an excellent photographer in this industry in future.”
From Global Times – Nude modeling is a controversial career in China. Some think it is shameful, while others think it is brave. But for Su Zizi, a 19-year-old student from Beijing-based Renmin University of China, nude modeling offers her the chance to pursue pure art.
“In my eyes, nude modeling is a career that needs to be respected, and it is a kind of art I will explore in my whole life,”Su told the Global Times.
“Being a nude model doesn’t just mean wearing nothing for me, it also helps me to know my body better and express my attitude toward the world.”
Su has worked as a part-time nude model for nearly nine months. As a student from a poor family, Su decided to be a nude model to earn money. However, she gradually fell in love with the career and took it as a path to deeply examine herself and society.
At first, Su did not tell her parents about her part-time job, but finally, her parents found out.
“My father asked why I chose this way to express myself as he thought my job would not be approved by society. However, I persuaded him, hoping my art can be understood by my family,” Su said.
Although her parents did not say yes to her modeling career, they did not stop her either. For Su, her parents were silently supporting her behind her back.
In addition to pressure from society, Su also needed to endure unpleasant experiences while being photographed. According to her, some photographers do not like to communicate with models and just force them to pose as they order.
“Being a nude model demands that I endure the psychological and physical stress, but I choose to carry on,” Su said.
‘Who am I?’ exhibit
As part of her artistic expression, Su held an art exhibit themed, “Who am I?” on campus, at which she exhibited her nude photos and videos.
“The exhibition is my homework, and I am not afraid of expressing myself this way. I think people need to get rid of their burdens and by being naked they can know themselves better,” Su said.
Su spent a lot of time and money on the exhibition. She took all the photos and videos herself and she borrowed more than 20,000 yuan ($2,900) from friends to finance it.
“I did almost all the preparation work by myself. For example, touching up the photos, inviting the hosts and choosing the venue. But I am so glad that my friends are supportive,” Su said.
But her bare-all exhibit also received criticism. “Some female students said they couldn’t accept my photos and my mother also called me ‘psycho’. But some teachers liked it and encouraged me to keep on working,” Su said.
Stamps of approval
Cong Zhiqiang is Su’s tutor, and said he was surprised when he saw how she chose to express herself.
“Su was the only student that expressed herself this way, which shows she is unique and creative,” Cong said.
“At first, I was shocked, but after a second thought, I accepted it because everyone had their own style to express themselves.”
Cong added that Su did a good job and her exhibit showed she had seriously thought about the meaning of life.
Tan Jun is a 37-year-old director and a supporter of nude modeling careers.
“She not only showed a vivid personality in her works but also displayed the value of art itself,” Tan said.
“We should enjoy her works from a high spiritual level, and then our hearts will be purified,” Tan added.
Dong Jinling, 41, a filmmaker and close friend of Su, also approved and said that her works showed her understanding of life.
“Su has had a rich and tough life experience, so she sees some things that others ignore. Her works also displayed her pursuit of pure art, so I suggested the viewers explore the deep meaning of her art rather than take them as something shameful,” Dong told the Global Times.