Posted inArt

Adrift in Shanghai’s Sin City

(Liu Dao) or island6, a Shanghai-based international collective of “multimedia artists, performers, writers, curators and tech-geeks” personify the aspirations of contemporary China by skirting verboten political flashpoints and keeping their content short, sweet, flirtatious, erotic and electronic.

Posted inOpinion

Advertisers Clone the Work of Liu Bolin

PHILADELPHIA — Unlike too many pop artists, Chinese artist Liu Bolin has managed to retain a balance, or maybe a synergy, between popular throwaway aesthetics and the conceptual, while keeping the work readable to a wide audience. His work is designed to go viral, but it isn’t as shallow as a LOLCAT. Of course, viral ideas don’t come around every day, and advertisers love them, so it should come as little surprise that Bolin’s Hiding In The Cities series has been blatantly ripped off by a number of advertisers across countries and trades.

Posted inArt

How Ai Weiwei Saw New York City

Ever wondered what New York City looks like through the eyes of a great artist? In a newly opened exhibition at Asia Society, viewers get the chance to see how recently released Chinese artist Ai Weiwei saw New York City in a series of diaristic photos taken between 1983 and 1993.

Posted inNews

Ai Weiwei to Pay $2 Million in Tax Penalties, Chinese Art Scene Moves On

According to Ai Weiwei’s lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan, Ai’s FAKE studio has been accused (and seemingly convicted) of evading over 5 million RMB ($770,000 USD) and is to pay 7 million RMB ($1 million USD) in fines, together totaling around $2 million USD. Ai’s mother Gao Ying speaks on her son’s arrest, release and current condition. In the meantime, the Chinese art scene continues business as usual, with the exception of some ripples — a well-known artist-run cafe has been closed by the authorities.

Posted inArt

Questions Remain After Ai Weiwei’s Release

Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been released, as has his cousin Zhang Jinsong, but that doesn’t mean the story is over. Ai’s legal case is still open, China is still detaining and jailing dissidents and the Ai’s freedom may just be political image clean-up for the government. What does the release actually mean?

Posted inNews

Anish Kapoor Snubs China, Supports Ai Weiwei

Today in putting your money where your mouth is: famed British artist Anish Kapoor has rejected an offer to show his work at the National Museum of China in Beijing in protest of Ai Weiwei’s ongoing arrest and detention. This, plus Chinese artists arrested for mounting a protest exhibition and the US State Department speaking out against Chinese cyber attacks on the Guggenheim’s Ai petition.

Posted inArt

Should Museums Protest Ai Weiwei’s Arrest?

Dan Keegan, director of the Milwaukee Art Museum, has recently been shoving his foot farther and farther into his mouth with statements about museums’ role in politics. Namely, he thinks that museums should be apolitical, and he has stated that his museum’s decision to collaborate with Chinese museums and show Chinese do not have any relationship to China’s arrest and detainment of artist Ai Weiwei.

According to Keegan, protesting China’s detaining of Ai Weiwei, an internationally regarded artist, is not only ineffective, but wrong. “We don’t do protests … I would say very emphatically that we should not protest ever,” the director said in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Mary Louise Schumacher. In an international situation such as Ai’s arrest, can museums avoid being political? Can they avoid caring about the well-being of the artists they support and show? I would argue that art institutions have to be political, and the protesting, far from being wrong, is exactly what museums should be doing.