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Posted inNews

Ai Weiwei Watch: Guggenheim Petition, Tate Sign, Street Art Response, Harvard Protest [UPDATE 3]

Today Hyperallergic is launching Ai Weiwei Watch, a permanent liveblog of the events and issues surrounding Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s arrest. Our initial two liveblogs covered the artist’s detainment and early news, but the controversy has gone international, provoking diplomatic reactions from France, Germany and the US, statements released by major artists and uncountable words of commentary online and in print. This post will collect any and all news, including translations from Chinese sources. Photos are also being published from inside Ai’s studio, post-arrest. Check them out below.

The latest: Ai is being charged with “economic crimes,” and even though the government argues “the law won’t bend” for Ai, his detainment is actually illegal under Chinese law.

Posted inNews

Ai Weiwei’s Status Still Unknown; Studio Occupied by Police [LIVEBLOG]

On Sunday morning Beijing time, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was arrested and detained at the airport on his way to Hong Kong. We haven’t heard from the artist since. Ai’s studio remains occupied by police forces though the larger neighborhood of Caochangdi is unaffected at present. Studio assistants, including foreigners, are being questioned by the police. This post will be live updated with news.

Posted inOpinion

Video: A First-Hand Witness on Ai Weiwei

PBS documentary show Frontline features Alison Klayman’s work filming Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s tumultuous past two years. The journalist has followed Ai through art exhibitions and political scandals alike, interviewing the artist and his family as well as the Chinese artistic community in a powerful portrait of one of the world’s most striking artistic figures.

Posted inOpinion

Tour Zaha Hadid’s Alien Opera House

Architectural criticism takes to the streets in this video walk through of starchitect Zaha Hadid’s new opera house in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province in China. Wandering through the structure’s alien curves and strange spaces, Guardian architecture critic Jonathan Glancey explains how the opera house combines high-concept intellectualism with populism, showing how audiences interact with the space and interviewing an effusive (not to mention operatically dressed) Hadid.

Posted inOpinion

Why China’s Auction Market is Tops

A study by Artprice finds that the Chinese art market is the largest in the world — but only in terms of auctions. The misleading news bite is telling in other ways, though. The Chinese domestic auction market is growing so quickly in part because Western auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s have failed to dominate even while the Chinese collector community has grown hugely.

Posted inOpinion

Top Ten Twitter Follows for Chinese Art

As far as the year in social media goes, Twitter is far and away my choice for a handy source of updates, information and air-testing inside the art world or out. Pretty much anything that you want to know about gets broadcast into your Twitter stream with a good enough group of follows. To the end of blowing up your Twitterverse, I wanted to give you my personal recommendations for ten English-language Twitter follows that will help you keep track of the Chinese contemporary art world.

Posted inNews

Ai Weiwei’s Internet Cut, Banned From Leaving China

In advance of the awarding of the Nobel Prize to imprisoned Chinese dissident writer Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese government severely restricted travel for a group of liberal intellectuals who they fear may have attempted to attend the ceremony. Ai Weiwei was among those banned, though the artist recently has been a magnet for political controversy himself after a planned party to celebrate a government-mandated studio demolition ended in house arrest to prevent Ai from attending.

To me, it looks like Chinese political pressure is coming to a head for Ai and his time living with any freedom in the country may be coming to an end.

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