Happy Birthday Ai
"The Chinese art world does not exist. It is impossible for a totalitarian society to create anything with passion and imagination." - Ai Weiwei
Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei celebrates his 56th Birthday today. A Conceptual artist, sculptor, and curator, Ai Weiwei lives and works in the Art District of Dashanz in Beijing. An outspoken human rights activist, Ai was listed as one of the top 100 of most influential people in the world by Time Magazine.
Ai Weiwei’s Opinion
The Chinese artist and human rights activist Ai Weiwei has written an opinion piece for Bloomberg about the fascinating trial of former Chinese Politburo member Bo Xilai.
In the piece, the Chinese artist writes that the just-concluded trial will be “remembered as one of the most critical political milestones in contemporary Chinese Communist history.” Furthermore, he states, “Bo’s case must have felt to party leaders like a tumor growing near a carotid artery — too dangerous to treat, yet too aggressive to be left alone.”
Ai Weiwei’s Music Career
Chinese activist, artist, and now musician Ai Weiwei announced plans to release a Heavy Metal album. Who would have predicted this to be his genre of choice?
"The lyrics are about the current political situation," said Ai Weiwei of his debut album Divina Commedia, named after a poem by Italian poet Dante, which will be released next month.
This album is not Ai’s first foray into the music world; his parody of Gangnam Style was a huge success in October 2012.
But the real question is: how will the Chinese government react?
"What single thing would improve the quality of my life? The freedom to express myself" - Ai Weiwei
Find out more about the Chinese dissident artist.
Elton John Supports Ai Weiwei
Some shocking news from China:
Sir Elton John stunned an audience in Beijing by dedicating his show to Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei.
At the concert on Sunday, the 65 year old said the performance honored Ai’s “spirit and talent.”
There was no mention of the singer’s dedication to Ai Weiwei in Chinese media reports, which are state-controlled.
The indefatigable artist and activist’s first post is a video in which he argues for the role of the internet in establishing a civil society under authoritarian rule.
Read the full story here.
Ai Weiwei Loses Business
Officials in China are revoking the business licence of Fake Cultural Development, the company owned by Chinese rebel Ai Weiwei, because the artist failed to re-register.
The news is bittersweet, as it could mean that the artist avoids paying the remainder of a 15m yuan tax fine, reports The Guardian.
Sala for France
Albanian Contemporary artist Anri Sala has chosen Christine Macel, chief curator at the Musee National d’Art Moderne at the Centre Pompidou, to curate his exhibition at the 2013 Venice Biennale.
Ai Weiwei Loses Tax Appeal
Artist and dissident Ai Weiwei has again failed in a bid to challenge a tax evasion fine. A Chinese court upheld the US$2.4 million fine against the artist on Thursday, ending his long legal battle with the authorities.
Ai Weiwei risks jail time if he fails to pay the substantial fine.
"If I need to go to jail, there’s nothing I can do about it," the artist told Reuters. "They don’t need an excuse to arrest me—they can always find another excuse at any time."
Ai Weiwei Represents Germany
Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is among four artists representing Germany at the next Venice Biennale.
Susanne Gaensheimer, the curator of the German pavilion said about her choice that “Both everyday life and the cultural landscape of Germany are determined by different religions, economies, and political approaches.”
Ai Weiwei told dpa in Peking that “It is an honor” to have been chosen to represent Germany.
Some Facts About Ai Weiwei
In 2012, Ai Weiwei’s works have achieved over US $1.1 Million at auction, with an average sale price of US $238,198.
Also, his highest sale price at auction occurred at Sotheby’s in May 2012, with the sale of Kui Hua Zi (Sunflower Seeds) for US $782,500.
Find out more on artnet Analytics.
News On Ai Weiwei
"I’m an artist. I have to have a real touch with reality…I have to express myself. I have to communicate. So what I did is really minimal…demanding for human rights and for freedom of expression." - Ai Weiwei
Chinese police lifted Ai Weiwei’s strict bail conditions but warned him not to leave the country, as he is under investigation for pornography, bigamy and other offenses.
According to the artist, the allegations are intended to intimidate him rather than being the basis for a serious inquiry.
Check out the trailer to his movie Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
Check out the trailer to Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei's movie Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, which is in theaters July 27, 2012.
Herzog & De Meuron and Ai Weiwei
Swiss architects Herzog & De Meuron—who are primarily known for designing Beijing’s bird’s nest stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games—and dissident artist Ai Weiwei, unveil the 12th Serpentine Pavilion in London’s Kensington Garden.