Hu Xiangqian disagrees with being categorized as a performance artist—he thinks both “performer” and “actor” are more appropriate terms to describe his performance and video practice. Hu, who never formally studied theater or film, says: “I lend my body to a story.” Hu also was influenced by the teachings of Indian mystic Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh on the subject of boredom. Hu’s pieces draw on current events, popular culture, or biographical experiences as sources. For example, one of his best-known works, Blue Flags Everywhere (2004), documents his humorous campaign for mayor of his hometown at the age of 21. Hu tends to make humorously absurd narratives, with themes of uncertainty, social perception, and cultural identity.