PEN America demands the immediate release of Chinese artist Yang Licai, who has been detained by authorities in China for his alleged online support of the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests.
Yang was arrested in the city of Shenzhen in southeastern China on December 11 on charges of inciting disruption. According to PEN America, the artist could face up to five years in prison. Police also raided Yang’s home and seized his computers, according to the group Chinese Human Rights Defenders.
This is not Yang’s first brush with Chinese authorities. In 2010, he was detained while protesting the government’s demolition of artists’ homes and studios in Beijing. Acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who was active in the protests, posted a tweet last month in support of Yang. Ai’s tweet shows a defiant Yang raising a middle finger.
According to PEN America, Yang has also been persecuted in the past for signing “Charter 08“, a pro-democracy manifesto penned by Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo in 2008 and signed by thousands of Chinese citizens. (In 2009, Liu was sentenced for 11 years in jail for subversion).
“The arrest of Yang Licai is an assault on free speech and artistic freedom,” said Julie Trebault, director of the Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) at PEN America, in a statement on December 31. “It’s part of an alarming crackdown against Chinese activists and artists involved in pro-democracy protests, who bravely stand up for human rights on a daily basis in the streets of Hong Kong and mainland China.”
In an exhibition that consists of mostly small-scale black and white works on paper, viewer engagement almost magically awakens the sleepy room.
Maria Maea’s All in Time continues an intergenerational conversation and exemplifies the artist’s process, not simply the finished pieces.
The program, along with recently announced visiting critics, will provide long term funding, promote access, and safeguard experimentation for future students of color.
Koestler Arts works with incarcerated people and patients in secure mental health units, aiming to improve their lives through creativity.
Local artists and culture workers are wondering how the arena will impact the arts landscape, including museums and alternative spaces.
Huaca Pintada comprises a rare mixture of elements of two northern Peruvian civilizations.
Lensa AI’s digital avatars have captivated users, but some say the app is stealing from artists and reflects racial stereotypes.
Contemporary art, original sketches, and more explore how the Japanese character sprung from the pages of a manga and became a global cultural sensation.
New research contests the myth that it was Christianity’s opposition to public nudity that led to the decline in large-scale bathing in the late Roman Empire.
An exhibition at San Francisco’s Letterform Archive highlights typography’s role in iconic social movements from the 1800s through the present.
Eleven Contemporary Artists Explore the Meaning of Shelter at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art
Artists collaborate with nonprofit institutions and field experts to examine historical and contemporary determinants of housing and the feelings of safety and connection integral to places of living.
Rocks, ducks, and a self-organized survey of Gingham are some of the things to see right now in four Chicago art galleries.
Three weeks into their strike, part-time professors are escalating their protests, backed by public figures and disgruntled parents.