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Chen Tianzhuo – ceremonial master of ecstatic rituals

Artist Chen Tianzhuo practices Buddhism and organizes mud fights.

“Don’t take any drugs,” Chen Tianzhuo urges his 12-member troupe shortly before the big show. But stimulants would certainly be helpful tonight: the “Asian Dope Boys,” as Chen’s art collective is called, want to dance, sing, scream, roll around in mud they’ve scraped together themselves, and perform tribal rituals they’ve invented themselves for a whole twelve hours at the Berlin techno club “Traumabar” until they, and the audience, enter an out-of-body state. Drugs, says the shy master of ceremonies, would only distort the authentic trance experience.

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