We post a link to a fascinating PBS FRONTLINE documentary on Ai Weiwei by Alison Klayman, “Who’s afraid of Ai Weiwei.” We could not embed the video – lovin’ Flash – so we post a link to the PBS.org page where you can watch the FULL DOCUMENTARY, here.
Ai Weiwei (born 18 May 1957) is a Chinese contemporary artist, active in sculpture, installation, architecture, curating, photography, film, and social, political and cultural criticism. Ai collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics. As a political activist, he has been highly and openly critical of the Chinese Government‘s stance on democracy and human rights. He has investigated government corruption and cover-ups, in particular the Sichuan schools corruption scandal following the collapse of so-called “tofu-skin schools” in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. In 2011, following his arrest at Beijing airport on 3 April, he was held for over two months without any official charges being filed; officials alluded to their allegations of “economic crimes” (tax evasion). In October 2011 ArtReview magazine named Ai number one in their annual Power 100 list. The decision was criticised by the Chinese authorities. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin responded, “China has many artists who have sufficient ability. We feel that a selection that is based purely on a political bias and perspective has violated the objectives of the magazine”.“
This is a link to Ai Weiwei’s Twitter feed – which the artist calls a diary of sorts.
The photo above is of Ai Weiwei, Dropping a Han-Dynasty Urn,1995 (detail), © Ai Weiwei, from here.