Xinhua reports that Ai Weiwei’s FAKE studio evaded tax and intentionally destroyed accounting documents. US museums debate the ethics of working with Chinese organizations. Art Basel buys the Art HK fair, provoking some to call for a boycott.
At around 11:30 PM EST, the AP reported that detained Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was allowed a family visit with his wife Lu Qing at an undisclosed location. The artist is reportedly in good health.
Despite a very public unveiling of his sculpture in NYC, Ai Weiwei remains missing. A commercial solo show of the artist’s work will go on display at Lisson Gallery in London while protesting graffiti artists were arrested in Hong Kong. Ai’s case still doesn’t look good, says Peter Foster.
Finishing off this week with some Ai Weiwei news, the story continues to develop. China says Ai’s arrest has nothing to do with freedom of expression, Ai’s rocker friend is returned following a disappearance, academy Chinese artist Xu Bing disavows a relationship with politics.
Though the artist remains arrested and his whereabouts and status are still unknown, Ai Weiwei has been offered a guest professorship at Berlin’s University of the Arts, the official position financed by the Einstein Foundation and supported by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson. Meanwhile, NYU professor Jeremy Cohen writes that Ai’s legal case doesn’t look good.
Hong Kong news channel and media organization RTHK is reporting that Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has confessed to tax charges under torture. The original article came from a reporter claiming to work for Xinhua, the state-run media mouthpiece of the Chinese government.
A distributed denial of service attack carried out by Chinese hackers took down Change.org’s petition to free Ai Weiwei yesterday. Led by the Guggenheim museum and support by major international art figures, the petition has been gaining steam with over 90,000 signatures. The site is now back online.
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been missing for 12 days without official charge from the Chinese government. In protest, artists and activists all over the world are planning a global sit-in this Sunday, April 17 at 1 pm, staking out Chinese embassies with 1001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei, a take on Ai Weiwei’s 2007 “Fairytale” project in Kassel, Germany.
All over the world, protesters will bring chairs to Chinese embassies and consulates and “sit peacefully” in support of Ai. Spearheaded by New York City’s own Creative Time, the organization writes that “1001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei calls for [Ai’s] immediate release, supporting the right of artists to speak and work freely in China and around the world.” See the event’s Facebook page for details, including gathering places and times all over the world.
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is still missing after his arrest over a week ago, so the story now turns around how the arrest is being discussed in international dialogue. US, German and French officials have called for Ai’s release, but others, including one German museum director and a segment of Chinese netizens, publicly disagree with Ai Weiwei’s personal political methods.
Ai Weiwei has not been heard from for or seen in over a week now, but despite the lack of news from the artist, the story of his arrest keeps developing. In this update, a protest is held for Ai in Hong Kong, with a prominent government opposition leader joining in, and Ai’s driver and accountant are also arrested after a visit from police. In a bizarre turn, the Chinese government’s Xinhua news service has accused Ai of plagiarizing the idea for his “Fairytale Project” (performed in Kassel, Germany in 2007) from a lesser known Chinese art professor, even though the professor and “victim” denies the claim.