A Shanghai museum has apologised for an exhibit that rated 5,000 female university students from “prettiest to ugliest” and removed it from display. In a since deleted WeChat post on Thursday the OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT) advertised artist Song Ta’s installation work. The artwork, with the Chinese title “ Campus Flower ” and English title “ Uglier and Uglier ”, was a collection of still images and videos completed in 2013. Song said in the project introduction that he was on a university campus and recorded women passing by him on camera. Then he rated them and numbered them according to how beautiful he thought they were, showing them in a seven-hour video from prettiest to ugliest. “So if you want to see the campus queen, you have to go to the museum as early as possible. Otherwise, as dusk comes, it will become a living hell in this place,” he said. The museum said in response to public criticism of the work that it would immediately remove the artwork and close the venue for further adjustments. “After receiving criticism, we re-evaluated the content of this artwork and the artist’s explanation, we found it disrespected women, and the way it was shot has copyright infringement issues,” OCAT said on Weibo on Friday morning. “As a museum that supports diversity, we will take this as a warning, improve our services and treat everyone with empathy.” The post has caused a public uproar, with many wondering how a project that objectifies women could be shown at one of China’s most prestigious modern museums. “This artwork is not only insulting, but infringes on individuals’ portrait rights, and these women didn’t even know they were being filmed,” one commenter said on Weibo. “Artworks need to have good merits. I cannot call Song an artist, or even a human being,” another said. Song did not respond to an interview request from the South China Morning Post . In January 2013 the Uglier and Uglier project was exhibited at the Beijing-based UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, and was controversial at the time as well. A similar project called One Worse than the Other , a live fashion catwalk display, was exhibited in Wuhan in September 2013. In 2019, Song was at the centre of controversy after an interview with the Chinese-language Vice magazine, where he rated the reporter’s looks “277” out of 5,000. He said he had hired three assistants for the project, carefully sorting out the 5,000 women, when they got to the “ugly” parts, they named the folders “forgivably ugly” and “unforgivably ugly”. “In the end, it was scary ... they were normal people, not missing an arm or an ear or an eye, but just so ugly that it made people uncomfortable,” he told Vice. But he argued that even though he felt that he had harmed those he had labelled “ugly”, he would not compromise. “I objectify you in an honest way, that’s a type of respect. I will not randomly rank you first place, that’s disrespect, that’s toying you with clever words,” he said. Since the 2013 Uglier and Uglier exhibit, he had planned another one called One Worse than the Other, where he had 44 female volunteers walk on stage, from most beautiful to ugliest.