Stabbing of Woman Seen as 'Performance Art'

Patrons at Art Basel Miami Beach are left stunned
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2015 3:11 PM CST
Benjamin Kamino, of Toronto, Canada, attempts to read a newspaper and drink a cup of coffee as water rises over him during a performance at Miami Art Week, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, in Miami.    (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
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(Newser) – A stabbing at a Miami art show Friday night sparked confusion for champagne-swilling patrons: Was it real or was it performance art? Sadly, the assault at Art Basel Miami Beach was all too real and left the female victim bloodied with knife wounds to the arm and neck, the Miami Herald reports. "A guy walked up to me and said, 'I thought I saw a performance, and I thought it was fake blood, but it was real blood,'" says Miami artist Naomi Fisher, whose art installation "The Swamp of Sagittarius" was in the same corridor. "It's horrible ... I'm so freaked out. I feel nauseous." Others thought police tape cordoning off the crime scene at the Miami Beach Convention Center was also part of an artist's work.

Fisher says she heard a struggle break out nearby and saw the victim, unnamed in media reports, removed by paramedics at roughly 5:30pm. Police arrested 24-year-old New York student Siyuan Zhao at the scene, CBS Miami reports. According to police, she was intentionally bumping into the victim and following her around the gallery before attacking her with an X-Acto knife. When handcuffed, Zhao reportedly said that "I had to watch her bleed" and "I had to kill her and two more." Photographer and Hollywood artist Rudy Perez, who snapped a shot of the bloodied victim, says Zhao "was just standing there calm. Almost smiling." The wounded woman was transported to hospital and is expected to survive.

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