One woman, a performance artist from Taiwan, tied herself up with bras, but left her nipples exposed. Another artist, a Romanian woman in a bathing suit, had someone write the Chinese characters for "control" and "art" across her buttocks.

But, for the most part, the annual OPEN international performance art festival, held in a secret venue in Beijing out of sight of China's increasingly active censors, was a relatively tame and quiet affair this year.

Only 15 acts performed last month at the long-running festival, which drew an audience of around 40 people, most of them the artists themselves or event staff.