Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
MIAMI BEACH — There has been a stabbing in the Nova section of the Art Basel Miami Beach fair. According to a person on the scene, who refused to be identified, two people were involved in an altercation that appears to have involved a small knife. The person said, “People thought it was a fight or performance art.”
The incident took place before 6pm, and soon after a section near the Freedman Fitzpatrick gallery booth was cordoned off. By roughly 6:30pm, maintenance workers were seen at the site mopping the floor. By 7:15pm the scene was clear and life at the art fair had returned back to normal.
The Miami Herald is reporting that “one woman pulled an Exacto knife and allegedly stabbed the other in the arms and neck,” and that the injuries are not life threatening. An unidentified gallery representative told the paper, however, that the instrument was a pen.
The motivation for the incident is currently unknown, but Miami artist Naomi Fisher, whose “The Swamp of Sagittarius” installation is currently on display in the Nova section, told the Herald that she saw a woman being carried away by paramedics.
UPDATED, 8:17pm ET: Fitz & Co. president Sara Fitzmaurice released the following statement:
At 5:20pm a visitor was assaulted by another visitor in the Nova sector of the fair. The attack was an isolated incident that was immediately secured. The suspect was apprehended by police who were at the scene within seconds of the incident. The extensive security provided by the Miami Beach Convention Center is supporting the investigation.
The victim was taken directly to the hospital and according to the Miami Beach Police Department the victim’s injuries are non-life threatening. Our thoughts are with the victim.
UPDATE 2, December 5, 12:35am ET: WPLG reporter Liane Morejon has been posting images of the victim and assailant. Morejon says she has been IDed as 24-year-old Siyuan Zhao of NYC.
— Liane Morejon (@LianeMorejonTV) December 5, 2015
ABC affiliate Channel 10 is reporting:
Authorities said the victim confronted Siyuan Zhao about purposely following her around the art show and bumping into her several times. Zhao then stabbed the victim in the right side of the neck and left shoulder without warning or provocation, causing several cuts.
According to the police report, when the attacker was being arrested, she said:
I had to kill her and two more.
I had to watch her bleed.
NBC’S Channel 6 South Florida reports that Zhao is facing an attempted murder charge, according to police.