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Chinese Activist Vacuums Beijing’s Air For 100 Days Then Makes A Brick With The Pollution

Nut Brother, a performance artist in China, vacuumed Beijing’s toxic air four hours a day, for 100 days in a row, to make a statement about the environment.


If you think your city’s air quality is poor, try living in Beijing, China. According to authorities in the communist country, the city’s pollutant levels have increased to over 40 times the level deemed safe by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) air quality index. That number represents levels of PM 2.5, airborne particulates smaller than 2.5 micrometers that are classified as carcinogens by the WHO.

To raise awareness about the issue, one activist, who goes by the nickname Nut Brother, vacuumed his city’s toxic air four hours a day, for 100 days in a row.



He wasn’t hoping to improve the city’s air; rather, he used his industrial-strength vacuum to turn the capital of China’s notoriously heavy smog into a brick. Nut Brother’s real name, for the record, is Wang Renzheng.

From Beijing’s hutongs (old lanes) to the Tiananmen Square to the Bird’s Nest’s national stadium, Renzheng diligently kept up with the task. Every day on his Sina Weibo account (link in Chinese, registration required), he noted the date, the weather, and his vacuuming area. The then added a photo he asked individuals lingering nearby to take.


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