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China’s capital city has struggled with severe air pollution for years, with many pedestrians frequently spotted donning surgical masks while out and about. One man took to his craft to make a statement about Beijing’s pungent smog.

Artist vacuums Beijing's air and creates a brick of smog


Daksha Rangan
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 10:13 AM - China’s capital city has struggled with severe air pollution for years, with many pedestrians frequently spotted donning surgical masks while out and about.

One man took to his craft to make a statement about Beijing’s pungent smog.


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Chinese artist “Nut Brother” spent four hours a day trotting through the streets of Beijing with a 1,000-watt industrial vacuum, collecting smog.

After 100 days of collection, Nut Brother’s collection was mixed with clay at a factory and crafted into a solid brick of air pollution. The final product was completed Monday.

“The day we exhaust all of the earth’s resources, we will ourselves turn into dust,” Nut Brother said in regards to his work.

The artist reportedly received some criticism on his Weibo microblog account, where many felt the use of clay into the dirt mix exaggerated the amount of pollution collected.

But Weather Network meteorologist and science writer Scott Sutherland says the clay simply acts as a binding tool to hold the air’s fine particulate matter together.

Particulate matter is a generic term used to describe a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets in the air, including aerosols, smoke, fumes, dust, ash, and pollen, Air Quality Ontario notes.

In an interview with Mashable, Nut Brother said many mistook him for an air quality assessor or a cleaner – some reportedly found it to be a ”cool” effort from the city to employ staff for air quality assurance.

On Monday, Beijing saw its worst air pollution alert of the year, reaching “orange.”

All images courtesy of Nut Brother's Weibo.

SOURCE: The Weather Network | Mashable | New York Times | Air Quality Ontario

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