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Chinese Artist Stirs Climate Action With Toxic Soup, Rock Music

China’s famous environmental artist Nut Brother struggles to keep exposing problems as authorities tighten their grip on the media.

Nut Brother and a friend set up inflatable fish and peppers for his "Zibo Hotpot Fish" project in 2021.

Nut Brother and a friend set up inflatable fish and peppers for his "Zibo Hotpot Fish" project in 2021.

Source: Nut Brother

One early morning after the rain in the eastern Chinese city of Zibo, two people dressed as fishermen stir dozens of giant inflatable fish and peppers in the polluted, dark-brown water of the Yueyang River, shouting, “Zibo's hotpot fish!” 

A crowd of people point, take videos and laugh at the giant “soup.” Days later, on April 1, 2021, a video of the performance was uploaded to the internet, garnering more than 10 million views. As a joke, someone posted an entry for “Zibo Hotpot Fish” on the popular city-guide dianping.com that soon became the most-liked page in the “local food” category.