What's going on around the globe Video and performance artist Cheng Shih-chun has gone through many of the same ordeals in life as a lot of people: heartbreak, hopelessness and disappointment. But his way of handling them is a bit different. After one recent breakup, Cheng took to defecating on a soft, white rug of fake animal fur, forming the Chinese character for 'love'. Entitled Big Love (2003), the video installation was one of his earliest in a series that played with the heart symbol. In his next video piece, Heart to Heart (2004), Cheng drew a heart on his arm with red lipstick, then took to the streets of six cities around Taiwan. As he visited parks and temples, he politely asked strangers for a cigarette - then asked them to put it out on the heart. Those who agreed stubbed the cigarette against the skin over and over. 'They were enjoying themselves,' says 27-year-old Cheng. 'Some even took the time helping me create a clearer shape of the heart.' Others, mainly matronly types, would scold him, and tell him he was committing a sin. Cheng says it's Chinese tradition to keep the bodies in the natural form given by parents - he wasn't about to do that. By the time his heart was nearly filled, the skin was covered in blisters at various stages of popping and weeping. It's something of a relief, then, to see Nothing Happens (2005), in which Cheng returns to animal fur rugs, this time lying face-down, his shirt half way up. I catch up with Cheng one evening at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, where he is camping out. Everything looks cosy as he flips through a comic book and eats junk food. But look a bit closer and you find a lit mosquito coil balanced on his bare back. A fan nearby keeps the flame alive. 'I'm showing that I'm enjoying life, yet something is hurting me at the same time,' he says. 'But actually I feel no pain.' Perhaps it was in South Korea that Cheng started healing. In Although Arrived in South Korea (2005), he finally abandons the heart symbol - instead putting live birds inside his painted guitar. A camera inside his guitar shows the birds at close range as Cheng strums, vibrating the sound box. The birds become increasingly anxious. A crowd gathers around him - but with the guitar strings resembling prison bars, it looks as if they're the ones who are being captured. Cheng then takes a knife and cuts the guitar strings until there's enough room for the birds to fly out. 'We are in cages although we are unaware of this since we cannot see the bars so literally.' Cheng says that by the time he made the piece he was free of his heartbreak. Weeping blisters, falling scabs ... how we suffer for love. Cheng's next exhibition has just started at IT Park Gallery in Taipei.