Posts Tagged ‘Ai Weiwei’

“Themes & Variations”

October 10, 2015

A short CG film by Ziye Liu, based on artworks by Yayoi Kusama and Ai Weiwei.

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Ai Weiwei Got His Passport Back

July 24, 2015

Ai Weiwei Got His Passport Back

Artist and human rights activist Ai Weiwei got his passport back from Chinese authorities this week and is free to leave his homeland. His papers were seized in April 2011 when he was taken into custody by the Chinese government, detained and questioned for 81 days then put under virtual house arrest for a year, and his passport was withheld until now. Without his passport, Mr. Ai was unable to attend openings of major exhibitions of his work in the US and Europe, and could not visit his son, who lives in Germany.

More:

“Ai Weiwei free to travel overseas again after China returns his passport,” Tom Phillips, The Guardian

“After 4 years, Chinese authorities return passport to artist Ai Weiwei,”Jonathan Kaiman and Juli Makinen, Los Angeles Times

“Ai Weiwei’s Freedom by Fiat,” Evan Osnos, The New Yorker

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Good Politics, Bad Art?

February 3, 2013

Good Politics, Bad Art?

“The political causes that Ai embraces are noble. This cannot be said often enough. But when he takes his place inside the Hirshhorn Museum, with its Matisses and Brancusis and Mondrians, I cannot help but feel that he poses a threat to the artistic universe he dreams of inhabiting. This is not a question of left versus right, or of communist versus capitalist, or of political art versus art for art’s sake. It is a question of what an artist is actually doing when he makes a work of art.”

“Ai may be a hero when it comes to speaking out for the victims of the Sichuan earthquake, but when he talks about his art he is jeeringly manipulative. It is hard to have patience for an artist who justifies his work with references to Mickey Mouse.”

— “Ai Weiwei: Wonderful dissident, terrible artist,” Jed Perl, The New Republic

“Today we need all the great art and all the political agitation we can get. But it may be too much to expect that both will emanate with any frequency from the same person.”

— “The Message Over the Medium,”  Roberta Smith, New York Times

Related:

“Ai Weiwei: According to What? October 7, 2012 to February 24, 2013,” Hirshhorn Museum

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Ai Weiwei: Jailhouse Bound

September 28, 2012

Ai Weiwei: Jailhouse Bound

China’s Chaoyang District Court upheld a $2.38 million tax evasion penalty imposed on dissent artist Ai Weiwei on Thursday. In the old days, Chinese authorities used psychiatric commitments to isolate dissents; now they use tax law.

Ai Weiwei says he won’t pay. A major show of the Chinese artist’s work opens at Washington’s Hirshhorn Museum next week, but the authorities are holding his passport. Looks like Mr. Ai is going to jail instead of DC.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Ai Weiwei, Nude, and the Conceptual Art of Taxes

November 27, 2011

Ai Weiwei and the Conceptual Art of Taxes
Dissident artist Ai Weiwei is in trouble with Chinese authorities who say he owes millions in taxes on donations he received from around the globe. So how did he pay the $1.3 million tax case appeal bond? With donations.

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Newsweek’s Newest Writer: Ai Weiwei

August 30, 2011

NewsWeek's Newest Writer: Ai Weiwei

Two months after he was released from government detention, dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has written an essay for the online version of Newsweek. It’s about economic oppression, human rights, and urban sprawl in Beijing:

“Every year millions come to Beijing to build its bridges, roads, and houses. Each year they build a Beijing equal to the size of the city in 1949. They are Beijing’s slaves.”

Read it here.

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-b0B

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Ai Weiwei Tweets Again

August 11, 2011

Ai Weiwei Tweets Again
Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is back on Twitter, condemning the Chinese government’s detention of bloggers and artists who had previously protested his own 2-month prison detention. It is believed that this violates a gag order that was a condition of Ai’s release.

Twitter is blocked in China but the censorship can be circumvented through use of VPNs and other tactics. Ai speaks English but his primary audience is domestic so he’s tweeting in Chinese. His messages are being translated into English here and on a Tumblr.

Ai Weiwei has also joined Google+ and given an interview to the Communist Party’s official English-language tabloid Global Times.

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Ai Weiwei Goes Home

June 22, 2011

Ai Weiwei Goes Home

Chinese authorities have released dissent artist Ai Weiwei from prison after three months. Charges against him are not being pursued. He remains “on bail,” and charges still hang over his head and prevent him from resuming his provocative statements. A piece of Ai’s work on exhibit at London’s Lisson Gallery captures his current situation: a stone surveillance camera.

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Ai Weiwei Website Attacked by Hackers

April 24, 2011

Free Ai Weiwei Website Attacked by Chinese Hackers

Change.org, the website hosting an online petition to free dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, has been experiencing denial-of-service (DNS) attacks from hackers. While the source of the attacks has not been determined, they are believed to originate in China.

The petition, organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, is addressed to Cai Wu, Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China. As of this writing, over 119,000 people have signed.

 

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Ai Weiwei Held in China

April 3, 2011

Ai Weiwei Held in China

Chinese artist and designer Ai Weiwei was detained by police at the Beijing airport before he could take a flight to Hong Kong yesterday. Even if you haven’t seen his current exhibition at London’s Tate Modern or those at Munuch’s Haus der Kunst and Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum, you still may know his work.  Ai Weiwei helped design the “Birds Nest Stadium” for the 2008 Olympics, the National Stadium of the People’s Republic of China.

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