The Utopia of 20 Minutes Embrace Favorite 



Sep 11 2007



On the afternoon of September 11th, nearly a hundred people hugged each other to feel the beauty of the hug on the Paris Square in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, under the leadership of the Chinese artist Gao Brothers. At the beginning of the event, the Germans have not yet adapted to the behavior of embracing strangers, but encouraged by Gao brothers, people have opened their arms and gave the strangers around them a warm hug.

Since 2000, the Gao brothers have started their "The Utopia of 20 Minutes Embrace" activity. Because hugs convey all kinds of warm and beautiful messages among people, these warm and beautiful messages can break the gap between people and ease the anxiety between people. In Jinan, they successfully gathered 150 volunteers and experienced 20 minutes complex psychology. Since then, they have promoted hug activities to the world, and they have left a shadow of their hugs in Britain, France and other places.

For the Gao brothers, since everyone has the desire to love and be loved, everyone also has the desire to embrace and be embraced. Especially after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, people have more deeply felt the importance of embracing to the world. Through "The Utopia of 20 Minutes Embrace", they created an artificial hug environment, allowing participants to release their desire to hug and feel the joy of hugs. The Gao brothers even proposed setting up a World Embrace Day to satisfy people's desire to embrace.
Embracing in Berlin is very meaningful in the eyes of the Gao brothers. The Berlin Wall is a symbol of war and obstacles. It in real life has collapsed, but in people’s minds it still exists tenaciously. Modern society has set up many physical and psychological communication barriers for people in public spaces. People always keep a certain distance intentionally or unintentionally and embrace can break the Berlin Wall in people’s minds, the barriers set up by society, and eases people’s loneliness and alienation.

Posted by Mingke Zhao on

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How does this project help?

Timeframe For change

The project tries to break the communication barrier among the world, and they even desire to set up a world hug day for people to reconsider the meaning of social relationship.


The projects did open people's hearts, at least volunteers and allow them to reconsider love, equality and intimacy in societies. But it cannot be measured, and it is hard to say at what level it really changes people's attitudes to others.