Monday, April 04, 2011

I support Ai Weiwei!

Ai Weiwei still missing after being held by Chinese police. Artist's assistants and wife released but his whereabouts not disclosed by Beijing authorities.” This is the status today of the acclaimed Chinese artist, thinker and activist Ai Weiwei as reported by The Guardian. Weiwei was detained by the Chinese authorities on Sunday (April 3, 2011) at the airport when he was about to board for Hong Kong. 

In case you are not aware of him, his work, his lone fight against the stubborn Chinese authorities, I would strongly recommend this great video on PBS, called “Who's Afraid of Ai Weiwei?”

Ai Weiwei (b.1957), son of a highly regarded Chinese poet Ai Qing is not just an art superstar, but is also a thinker, a philosopher and an outspoken activist. The impact of his art and his philosophy has been so intense that the government of the “all well, all rapidly progressing” China has become extremely uncomfortable. The Chinese government is dealing with a highly celebrated, world renowned artist here. Weiwei was the art adviser for the very popular ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium China had constructed for the Summer Olympics of 2008. Although Weiwei contributed to this monumental miracle, he refused to participate in the Chinese (Government’s) triumph showcasing a false picture of ‘all well, all happy’ new China. His various installations and sculptures not only display his artistic talent but also deal with the discrepancies he observes and daringly makes statements against them.
Despite house arrests, beatings, detentions and demolition of his studio by the authorities, he has chosen to remain in mainland China all these years. He is making his art, writing his thoughts, communicating with thousands of young Chinese people through internet and most importantly he is standing firm by his own philosophy. Recently he exposed a corruption racket which was responsible for faulty construction of residential projects and school buildings in Sichuan. In the 2008 earthquake, thousands of school children died as a result of these badly constructed schools. Authorities, outrageously, kept the exact numbers and names of these children undisclosed. Weiwei, with the help of several volunteers researched and uncovered the names of more than 5000 schoolchildren who had died. Then he went ahead and made a startling installation in the form of a memorial to these unfortunate kids. 

He is dealing with the powerful, control freak rulers who have a proven track record of insane censorships, data manipulation and unruly arrests of the intellectuals. In the current times where the world is coming ever so close and newer media for communication and expression are evolving every other day, China is ridiculously choosing to regress back in time. 

Today the entire world is concerned about Ai Weiwei’s whereabouts. Not only artists, but any person who recognizes the thing called ‘freedom of expression’ would be concerned for Ai Weiwei. I do not know where this is all going to go from here, but all I can say is, “Yes, I too support Ai Weiwei and in the name of art and freedom demand that he, and the others detained now in China be released immediately.”


Anonymous said...

Bonjour Debu, je vous approuve et je soutiens votre démarche;

cristina dalla valentina said...

Art has the power to say what sometimes words cannot express, even the strongest accuses ... Ai Weiwei is paying for this, and in the hope we can soon have good news, I join your demand. Thanks, Cristina

notmassproduced said...

I didn't know this had happened..what a depressing world we live in. I'm going over to amnesty international's website immediately to see if there is a campaign for his release. well blogged.



Nomi Lubin said...

Thank you for this reminder.

Lynn said...

Thank you for posting about Ai Weiwei.

It's a shocking reminder of the power of art and the artist - and that the freedom of speech and expression that so many of us in so many parts of the world take for granted, is not universal.

We can only show our support, and hope that we hear some good news about his whereabouts soon.

Debu Barve said...

Still no news of Ai Weiwei as I write this. The only good development is that various governments are strongly demanding his release.
Thanks guys for expressing your concern. Let's hope for some good news soon.

bicocacolors said...

wow! he is a genius!!!
I looove his art!
thanks a lot Debu,

A big hug,

Mariann Lennert said...

Thank you for posting.

Debu Barve said...

Elena, Mariann,
Thank you!

Andrew Graeme Gould said...

Thank you for standing up and posting this, Debu...

Debu Barve said...

Thanks Andrew.
BTW, you have a very fascinating photo-blog, loved your pictures!

Ben Gage said...

When artists leave the safety of aesthetics, ideas can be powerful weapons....

Debu Barve said...

Hi Ben,

Very rightly said!

Geandy said...



In the evening of May 20th 2011, Cuban American artist Geandy Pavon, as part of his Nemesis series, projected a video portrait of jailed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.
The artist Geandy Pavon conceived “Nemesis” to protest and bring to light the death in a hunger strike of Cuban prisoner of conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo while in custody of the Cuban government. In similar circumstances, Ai Weiwei has been unjustly incarcerated by the Chinese regime. The concept of the project is to impose the face of the victim on buildings walls that house government offices. This act serves as an indictment of the Chinese totalitarian oppression. The light on the wall is a symbol of revelation.
Nemesis Ai Weiwei: The Elusiveness of Being. By Geandy Pavon.
Contact info: (201) 289 2843 or email at :
The video:

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