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.
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.
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.
What’s your sign? Chinese artist and international icon Ai Weiwei will be bringing his own custom-designed set of Zodiac sculptures to New York City’s Plaza Hotel from May 2 through July 15, reports the New York Times. The works seem harmless, but they have a historical context that gives them a deeper political meaning.
Happy Chinese New Year! The Year of the Rabbit began this month, and fireworks have been rocketing off in Chinese cities ever since. In celebration, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s FAKE design office has created a contemporary version of a Chinese New Year’s tradition: Door Gods for 2011 (seen above). This new twist on traditional features some uniquely present-day symbolism, though.