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.
Chinese Hackers Attack Ai Weiwei Petition
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.
The Backlash Against Ai Weiwei
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 Watch: Ai as Plagiarizer, Hong Kong Protest Pics, Driver and Accountant Arrested [UPDATE 1]
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.
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.
The Other Victims of China’s “Big Chill” Crackdown
Though he is the most visible victim, artist Ai Weiwei’s arrest is only one symptom of a greater crackdown on free expression in China that has been deemed the “Big Chill.” Other victims detained and arrested include writers, lawyers and Chinese cultural figures.
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.
BREAKING: Ai Weiwei Arrested and Detained in Beijing, Current Status Unknown [LIVEBLOG]
Approximately 14 hours ago just before a planned flight to Hong Kong, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been arrested and detained at the Beijing airport. 10 hours ago, police raided Ai’s studio on the outskirts of Beijing. Ai’s status is now unknown: his phone is off, and power has been cut to the studio.
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.
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.
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.
The Ides of March Auctions
The New York Observer has a report about the recent New York art auctions and it lists who the author thinks are some of the winners and losers … In other news, BBC announced that China just became the second biggest auction market in the world.