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April 22, 2006

Gao Zhen and Gao Qiang



The Utopia of Hugging: A performance by the Gao Brothers from Beijing at Arboretum Park, Nottingham/UK, SUNDAY APRIL 30, 2006 FROM 11:30 AM. A video of the Nottingham Hug will be online 3 hours later [14:30 GMT] at

As part of their global World Hug Day performances, internationally renowned Chinese artist brothers Gao Zhen and Gao Qiang invite you to participate in the most ambitious event of the series to date; a group embrace of epic proportions orchestrated at the Networking Artists Network [NAN] conference and representing the first ever mass hugging to be staged in the British Isles.

Volunteers wishing to take part in the performance are invited to come to Arboretum Park where they will be directed with hundreds of others by the Gao Brothers to embark on a hearty fifteen minutes hug with a stranger, followed by one gigantic hugging cluster formed by the entire group, all accompanied by the music of J.S. Bach. Speaking about their first performance of a group hug THE UTOPIA OF HUGGING [Shangdong Province, China, September 2000] the Gao Brothers explain:

"We invited some 150 volunteers, who were previously strangers to each other, to participate. We asked the participants to choose a person at random for a hug, which they would then do simultaneously with hundreds of other couples. We then asked everyone present to cluster into one big group hug. Since then, we personally have hugged hundreds of strangers, and organised group hugs amongst strangers in different public locations and in different ways all across China."

World Hug Day series will continue in Marseille on the 9th of June, running concurrent with an international travelling photo exhibition documenting all performances so far.

The event will be followed by a press-conference / presentation with the Gao Brothers and their co-organsing partners from artists group Digital Art Projects at the nearby Waverley lecture theatre of Nottingham Trent University from 12:30 onwards.

Posted by jo at April 22, 2006 07:13 AM