Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tea for Ai Weiwei

In a further sign that authorities in Beijing are determined the Arab spring will not spread to China, and that the Jasmine Revolution will be thwarted at all costs, one of the country's most high-profile artistic gadflies, Ai Weiwei, has been arrested. Police also apparently seized 30 computers from his home. Here's the story in The Guardian.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that a public art installation designed by Ai, and set to occupy the fountain outside the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, will go ahead as scheduled--even if the artist is unable to be present.

I guess one always knew this would happen eventually, given Ai's outspokenness. Still, it was thought his significant international profile offered him a degree of immunity. With that no longer the case, it's now up to the international art community that has embraced Ai's work to put political pressure on Beijing.


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