Chances are if you’ve been following art news in the past few weeks, you’ve seen the name Ai Weiwei. Ai’s been all over the place lately, having a public conversation with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, getting interviewed on CNN about the role of social media in Chinese politics, and documenting recent artist protests in Beijing. The artist was even announced as the eleventh commission for the London Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall installation series, a run of exhibitions featuring such luminaries as Doris Salcedo, Rachel Whiteread and Olafur Eliasson.
Beijing Contemporary Art vs. The Man
Artists jerked out of their studios, cast out onto the street by the government. Building complexes in art zones destroyed without notice, their occupants harassed by hired thugs. Little to no compensation offered for leases cut short, real estate lies and lost investments in renovation and construction. These images, formed from media headlines, blog posts and on-the-spot photos, all contribute to a shocking (and not unrealistic) picture of the displacement of artists in Beijing.
China Bulldozes Studios, Flash Mobs Follow, Avatar Invoked
While we live our artistic lives in the West in relative calm, if sometimes obscurity and poverty, artists in China face some very serious dangers from an autocratic government that only allows art to flower when it fits its political agenda. So when artists in China create a flash mob to protest the systematic destruction of artist studios, it is shocking that no one notices. Thankfully, Austrian blogger Karel has written something for mazine.ws about this vast injustice …
A Golden Palace We Shouldn’t Ignore
The mandala, one of Himalayan Buddhism’s most ubiquitous symbols, is created as an artistic aid for meditation but there may be other motivations as to why Tibetan art doesn’t get the attention it deserves, namely China.