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.
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.”