Peng De:What’s behind Han Xiao’s popularity

Good at art theory,working as an art critic,art educator and a member of Chinese Artists Association.
The breakout of art is often initiated by marginal people or outsiders.
Han’s performance has brought freshness to the contemporary art field which lacks in innovation. To some extent, it can be viewed as a breakout.
He incorporated plastic and cosmetic surgeries into the art field, which has won compliments of lots of critics. However,  the compliments also demonstrate people’s indifference to Chinese contemporary art.      In the current Chinese art field where people get used to mechanically imitate others, causing the lack        of freshness in the respect of easel, installation, performance, and video art. Han’s  arrival to is just like       a cup of water for the critics in the desert. In the art circle, critics have a variety of taste.In their view, however, the new grass is always greener , and thus they can hardly support the celebrities for a lifelong time.As gender is increasingly ambiguous , Han Xiao, who is crazy about entertainment and capable of integrating everything into art,can absolutely  mobilize the psychological needs of  men and women, with  his handsome appearance, creative thoughts and exquisite skills.
On the one hand, body art is a relatively ancient art form. For example, tattoo, chiseling teeth and other body patterns have become familiar idioms. On the other hand, if we measure time by century, body art has a great long way to go. Genetic engineering will make plastic and cosmetic surgery into rough medical skills, while it will be eclipsed by human body remodeling engineering. Finally, the more remote soul separation project will metamorphose body into skeletons only. Whether the body art targets at individuals or society, it has infinite styles of clues, such as crafty, implicit, weird, explicit, and gory. My basic principle is to worship the wise and avoid the bloody. It is blameless to do anything in the name of art, at the precondition that it does no harm to others. However, when the scalpel points to oneself, the issue will go complicated if it leads to self-mutilation. Recently, a man on the street took himself as a hostage, with knife blade on the neck which caused severe bleeding, and finally was arrested by the police. Therefore, on public occasion, self-mutilation is not allowed, or least will be warned.
Nowadays, it is usually happy for the parties to undergo conventional plastic surgeries, because it is in accordance with the desire to change themselves. Plastic surgery can be understood as the renewal of self-consciousness and self-physical, the goal of which is to become more handsome or beautiful. On the contrary, the ancient Chinese "plastic surgery" aimed to make people ugly and even dead. In the history,  the behavior of cutting the body mostly was negative and non-art, such as corporal punishment and dismembering the body. It feels tingling to think about such criminal laws,which were even more horrifying than the bloody body art today. In addition to this type of official criminal laws, there were other types
which were created by tyrants, thugs and jealous women. Several cases were listed as follows, and you will find that even today's cruelest plastic surgery can hardly go beyond them.
When the prince of  Yan  State held a banquet to entertain Jing Ke, there was a beauty playing Qin. Jing    Ke stared at the hands of the beauty and praised: “ Great!” The prince immediately cut off the hands of beauty, put them into the plate, and gave them to Jing Ke. (Sun Xingyan series "Yan Danzi")
Coincidentally, when Song Guangzong was washing his hands, he saw the the hands of a maid who was serving the water for him were very beautiful, so he made a compliment. Queen sent in a piece of things later, which were exactly the hands. ("The Biography of Queen Lee in Song Dynasty")
There were people who voluntarily cut off their hands. When the founder of Khitan died, the Queen would like to make a sacrifice. Considering that her son was too young to rule the Khitan, she went to the temple and cut off a hand which was buried with the emperor afterwards. This ritual was very artistic, after which a building called Wrist-Cutting was built in honor of her.
For ancient virtuous daughters-in-law, when their mothers-in law were seriously ill, some of them would cut off their breasts or livers as the medicine. After their death, the government or the folk set up the art arch in recognition of their heroic behavior, so as to summon the successor.
The vaginal barrier girl was called stone girl. Doctors made the lead pieces into sharp surgical instruments. They used them to stick in the girl’s vagina every day. It often took a long time to open the vagina. (Li Shizhen "Compendium of Materia Medica")
Apart from that, there were also plastic surgeries with drugs. Women began to wrap foot-binding in   the Five Dynasties. Women with feet 20 cm or so was bound to wrap around 10 cm feet, otherwise they were viewed as sluts. For a thousand years, women have been wrapped lifelong, deeply afflicted by the pain. In order to wrap the feet, some people used smashed and boiled white impatiens soup, so that the bones become soft and it would be less painful. Once, a couple who fled from calamity went on a bridge. The wife’s feet were too small to run, so she said “You go fast, or both can not survive.” After that she committed suicide by jumping into the river.
Emperor Liu Bang loved his concubine most. Queen Lv cut off the concubine's  limbs, eyes, and tongue,  and smoked her ears, after emperor died. The concubine was known as humen-pig, and thrown into thetoilet for people to visit. In addition, Queen Wu Zetian also turned beauty into humen-pig. She made two previously favored concubines be better off dead.
In short, having seen a pile of bloody history, I do not have special expectations, or even feel terrified  toward the current body art surgery.
Confucianism claims that one’s body is inherited from his parents, and he dare not hurt. Eunuchs fried the cutting testicles and hang them on the beam. After their death, the testicles were buried with their corpses, so as to be reborn completely. The cruel torture of Tyrants, thugs, and jealous women always led to unpleasant outcomes to the both sides, so when Chinese see self-mutilation and even the plastic surgery, they reject them consciously. On the contrary, people in the contemporary art circle understand that when ethical and political laws encounter art, they will give them a way out and forgive their deviant and even misbehaving performance, because art is the key to opening up the space of human spirit and satisfying the public's deviant or even misbehaving needs. Artists are like pioneers who have opened the new gap, so that the public can feel free to follow.