“Who’s Afraid of Ai WeiWei?”

stencil by artist Tangerine in Hong Kong

Apparently the Chinese government is.

After almost 3 whole months of having gone “missing” at the hands of the Chinese government and then being let out on bail, artist Ai Weiwei is now being charged with tax evasion.  Anything to make it seem legit, right? Luckily some very brave counsel has stepped up to represent Ai WeiWei; I wouldn’t be too shocked to hear that said lawyer comes up “missing” in the near future as well or on the govt DoNotWorkW/AiWeiWei list (a la Liu Zhenggang and ZhaoZhao, anyone?)  This is a prime example of exactly how much the powers that be in China just don’t give a fuck-fuck.  If they’re willing/unafraid/not worried about nabbing arguably the most well-known and recognized artist of China, that gives you an idea of how much regard they have for the “regular folks.”

In a recent interview w/street artist, Tangerine, she relays that the same tension and fear is even felt in Hong Kong now, a place usually thought of as a far cry from the Motherland in attitude & policy. I guess the ocean surrounding it hasn’t stopped the spread to this little island.

“Crack teams of street cleaners took just three hours to remove or cover up many of the Ai Weiwei stencils sprayed around Victoria Harbor,… That’s in stark contrast to other graffiti in Hong Kong, which is often ignored for months, if not years.”

“…fears that political censorship could be spreading to Hong Kong, which he worries could lose its special freedoms if people don’t defend them.”

Get Vocal Now.

Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn

Besides being one of their best + brightest artists, Ai WeiWei has also been one of China’s loudest & most outspoken critics. As another blogger put it, “This is what happens when you exile the dude’s famous poet father to a labor camp during the Cultural Revolution. The sons gonna drop all your famous shit.”

flash graff by Cpak Ming

Stay up-to-date with developments in Ai WeiWei’s case:

www.freeaiweiwei.org

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2 thoughts on ““Who’s Afraid of Ai WeiWei?”

  1. ..HONG KONG AFP Chinas army has warned that an image of detained artist Ai Weiwei briefly projected onto a Hong Kong barracks amid a campaign in the territory for his release was illegal a report said on Saturday.

  2. Apple Daily reported today that the West Kowloon Regional Crimes Unit has launched an investigation into the Ai Weiwei-inspired graffiti.As mainland Chinese artist Ai Weiwei remains missing after 12 days frustration is building in Hong Kong s artist community.Ai was detained at Beijing airport on April 3 when he was about to board a flight to Hong Kong. Many Hong Kong artists view Ai s detention as part of China s increasing clampdown on political dissidents.Hong Kong artist Kacey Wong feels that as an artist it is his responsibility to speak out about Ais detention. We are really concerned about this arrest and the suppression of freedom of expression said Wong. Best known for co-designing Beijings Birds Nest stadium and the Sunflower Seeds installation that is currently exhibiting at the Tate Modern in London Ai has also collaborated with Hong Kong gallery Para Site and the Asia Art Archive.

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