Ai Weiwei is still missing

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Ai Weiwei is still missing.

A petition calling for Ai Weiwei’s release has been started by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Addressed to the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China (Minister Mr. Cai Wu), the statement reads:  

On April 3, internationally acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was detained at the Beijing airport while en route to Hong Kong, and his papers and computers were seized from his studio compound. 

We members of the international arts community express our concern for Ai’s freedom and disappointment in China’s reluctance to live up to its promise to nurture creativity and independent thought, the keys to “soft power” and cultural influence. 

Our institutions have some of the largest online museum communities in the world. We have launched this online petition to our collective millions of Facebook fans and Twitter followers.  By using Ai Weiwei’s favored medium of “social sculpture,” we hope to hasten the release of our visionary friend.

This petition can be signed here.

Following worldwide protests for Ai Weiwei at the weekend, another campaign appeared on New York’s streets:

“Missing.

Call Chinese Ambassador to the US Zhang Yesui.

Demand the release of artist Ai Weiwei

202-495-2266.”

If you’re interested in supporting Ai Weiwei, please sign the petition here.
 
Ai Weiwei - Without Fear or Favour was made by Alan Yentob for the BBC’s Imagine series last year.

Architect, photographer, curator and blogger, Ai Weiwei is China’s most famous and politically outspoken contemporary artist. As Ai Weiwei’s latest work is unveiled in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, Alan Yentob reveals how this most courageous and determined of artists continues to fight for artistic freedom of expression while living under the restrictive shadows of authoritarian rule.

As one reviewer noted:

If you found yourself thinking that you were watching Mission: Impossible rather than Imagine, you could have been forgiven. Alan Yentob had clearly been banned from meeting Ai Weiwei in China, and so one of their interviews was conducted over a webcam, with Yentob sitting in the dark, like some spymaster of the arts.

This was even before Ai had been put under house arrest to prevent him from attending a party he arranged to celebrate the demolition of his studio in Shanghai (a studio which the Chinese Government had asked him to put up in the first place…). All of which prompts the question: what does that say about the place of the artist in China?

 

 
Previously on DM

Artist and Activist Ai Weiwei arrested and missing in China


Artist Ai Weiwei under house arrest


 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion