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Cagey artist makes a ‘psychic break’

Hedy Zhang, performance artist in Union Sq. Park 6/15/2019
Hedy Zhang, performance artist in Union Sq. Park 6/15/2019

BY BOB KRASNER | Hedy Zhang, a fine-art major at Parsons, started branching out into performance art last year. But it wasn’t until a Saturday a couple of weekends ago that she put herself out into a public space — in a cage. More specifically, a dog crate, in which she sat for 10 hours in Union Square Park performing a silent piece called “Self Imprison.”

Performance artist Hedy Zhang in Union Square Park on June 15. (Photo by Bob Krasner)

The idea, she explained later (she did not speak to anyone except her assistants while performing) was to make people aware that they sometimes put themselves into their own psychological prisons. By becoming aware of this, they can begin to break free.

When it was over, she kicked open the door, breaking it.

Hedy Zhang spent 10 hours in a cage in Union Square Park on June 15. (Photo by Bob Krasner)

“The most difficult part of this performance,” Zhang explained, “was to get over my own fear and finish it — I didn’t know how people in New York City would react.”

For announcements of Zhang’s upcoming performances, check @hedyyyyyyyyyy on Instagram.

Zhang said she had to overcome her fears to do the cage project. She wondered what kind of reactions she would elicit. (Photo by Bob Krasner)

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