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He may be locked up, but his art keeps fighting his good fight. Artist and activist Ai Weiwei is still in captivity after being detained by the Chinese government on April 3 on suspicion of “economic crimes” (code for: “he’s making us uncomfortable so let’s shut him up”).
(image by hoa1090)
Most known in the West for his design of the 2008 Beijing Olympic stadium “Bird’s Nest,” and most loved globally for his gutsy art, Ai has made quite the name for himself, especially in the online world.
(Bird’s Nest & Fountain of Light)
His investigation of government corruption and promotion of the freedom of public expression inevitably caused the guys on top to squirm in their seats (euphemism for: “they tore down his studio, shut down his blog and beat him”), eventually landing him in jail.
(Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn)
But as to be expected, support for his work and cause have only grown since then. His interview footage from Alison Klayman’s documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry was featured at the United Nations conference last week. The film also received a grant from Sundance/Cinereach and has been earning much international media attention, one of my favorites being The Colbert Show interview with Klayman.
This summer, we can show our support for Ai on both American coasts. In New York, Ai’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads is currently showcasing at the corner of Fifth Avenue & 59th Street for its first stop on a global tour. Then all 12 of these 800 pound bronze sculptures will make their way to LACMA in LA.
Damn straight he’s still not sorry. Can’t wait to get in line for the LACMA show.