Fresh bottle of French air sold for $860

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

French air
A fresh jar of French air!

When Beijing artist Liang Kegang returned from his business trip in Southern France, he brought back well-rested lungs and a small jar of fresh air. Sounds weird, right? Well, the tightly sealed case of French oxygen was his way of protesting China’s pollution problem. He put it up for auction, and a group of about 100 Chinese artists and collectors fought for the item, until a winning bid of $860 was made.

Kegang’s work is just a small part of a bigger compilation of artists who are showcasing their dissatisfaction over the air quality in their toxic homeland. In fact, Chinese cities reach dangerously high pollution levels, that the World Health Organization considers terribly unhealthy.

Still, paying $860 for fresh air seems steep. After all, the artist’s jar is just ordinary glass, rubber-sealed with a flip top. At least it comes with three small, handwritten paper labels – one with the name and coordinates of Forcalquier, the French Village where he closed the jar, another saying “Air in Provence, France,” and the last bearing his signature in Chinese beside the date March 29.

Featured image courtesy of David Barrie on Flickr. Image courtesy of Liang Kegang.