It may sound like a familiar scene from a sci-fi film set in the dystopian future, but Beijing artist Liang Kegang was actually able to sell a jar of air in China, though the sale was more of a symbolic gesture than a life-or-death situation.

Kegang was expressing her distaste in the air quality of her home country, a place where dust masks are worn by a large portion of the population on a daily basis because pollutants in the air have reached levels way beyond what is considered safe. According to the Huffington Post, Kegang's protest is one of several by Chinese artists in hopes that those in power will do more to solve the issues.

The entrepreneur that won the auction for the jar of air said to Huffington Post, "I have always been appreciative of Kegang's conceptual art, and this piece was very timely...This past year, whether it was Beijing, Chengdu or most Chinese cities, air pollution has been a serious problem. This piece of work really suits the occasion."

[via Huffington Post]