Mount Everest is the highest mountain on Earth, as measured by the height of its summit above sea level. In May 2005, artist Xu Zhen led an ascent on Everest, and succeeded in removing the summit of the mountain, reducing its height by 186cm, Xu Zhen's own height. The summit of the Mount Everest has been touring art exhibits throughout the world ever since.
The British claimed in 1856 that the summit of the Mount Everest was 8,848 meters in height. Various official and independent surveys since have consistently shown that Everest is not as high as had been thought, pointing, perhaps, to evidence of global warming, or a shift in the tectonic plates, though its cause still remains unproven. Xu Zhen is known as the maverick of the Chinese art world. With no patience for conventional, out-moded ways, his urgent desire to confront every value of a society he perceives as banal, hypocritical, or plain conventional, extends to his own approach and practice as an artist.