Professor Ai Weiwei

November 20, 2015

ArtStars* 71 – Ai Weiwei (Kempton’s note: I LOVE this video)

AP – Germany – Artist Ai Weiwei joins Berlin Uni as guest lecturer | Editor’s Pick | 26 Oct 2015

An Evening with Ai Weiwei (Sept 16, 2015, over an hour long, fascinating) (the discussion of the inspiration and use of 2008 Sichuan earthquake rebar at 32m40s)

Ai Weiwei: “I’m not brave – I’m trying to be funny”

Ai Weiwei: In Conversation (Tate – Published Dec 30, 2014)

In The Studio With Ai Weiwei (Feb 2014, “how the internet has profoundly impacted his artwork and led to international recognition”)

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Ai Weiwei and global citizens against Lego

October 28, 2015

Jan 13, 2015 Update: BBC News (audio interview), “Lego changes bulk buy policy after Ai Weiwei backlash

NYT, “Lego Changes Policy After Ai Weiwei Controversy

TorStar, “Ai Weiwei praises Lego’s change of heart on bulk orders for political art

Lego Press Release, “ADJUSTED GUIDELINES FOR BULK SALES

Dec 10, 2015 Update: Guardian report, “Ai Weiwei interview: ‘In human history, there’s never been a moment like this’

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(for the record. the begining) aiww In September Lego refused Ai Weiwei Studio’s request for a bulk order of Legos to create artwork to be shown at the National Gallery of Victoria as “they cannot approve the use of Legos for political works.” On Oct 21, a British firm formally announced that it will open a new Legoland in Shanghai as one of the many deals of the U.K.-China “Golden Era.”

aiww “Everything is awesome”

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"Everything is awesome "

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Quoting WSJ [emphasis added],

“Lego’s refusal to sell its iconic toy blocks in bulk to Ai Weiwei for an installation in Australia has raised the question of how the controversial Chinese artist managed to get his hands on 1.2 million Lego bricks last time around.

Mr. Ai used Legos last year to construct the portraits of 176 prisoners of conscience from China and around the world. The portraits were displayed on San Francisco Bay’s Alcatraz Island, the site of the former notorious prison.

The group that sponsored that project told China Real Time that it had obtained the blocks directly from Lego through bulk orders — the same method that Mr. Ai used in his latest request, which Lego turned down. Lego did not immediately reply Tuesday to a request for comment.”

(inserting Lego outside Beijing studio)

aiww The Lego Container of NGV

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The Lego Container of NGV

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Slate which makes a good observation,

“For Ai, Instagram isn’t just a venue for distributing his latest photographs; it’s a medium in its own right. Likewise, Twitter is a way of orchestrating his followers, not simply communicating with them. More than almost any other prominent artist, Ai takes social media as his basic form of expression.  “The Internet is like my canvas,” he told the New York Times. Social media, by extension, would be his brush.

Perl points to Ai’s 2007 Fairytale, describing it as a “quintessential work of social engagement involved bringing to Kassel 1,001 Chinese citizens who under normal circumstances had little or no chance of ever leaving the country to spend some time in Germany.” Though it lacks a title, Ai’s Lego protest feels no less deliberate—and no less productively ambiguous. As with Fairytale, it’s not entirely clear what we’re supposed to take from this project, especially when he retweets messages of skeptical condescension side by side with those of uncritical support.

All of this suggests the troubling, and arguably charming, possibility that we’re already part of Ai’s work and world. Every tweet, every article—even this one, no doubt—is another brick, one more piece in a portrait still emerging.”

(video of Weiwei’s son) shh…… 不让卖….

aiww The Brooklyn Museum will be the collection point in New York for LEGO donations. Starting 10/29, drop-in deliveries will be accepted in a BMW vehicle located in front of the main entrance to the museum during open hours. Postal donations can be sent by mail to the museum at 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York 11238.

2015/10/28 Guardian, “Victorians turn out to back Ai Weiwei on free speech, one Lego brick at a time ‘He’s going to have to build something massive,’ says Wolfgang Maltby, seven, as he joins others at the National Gallery of Victoria to donate his toys to the artist who was refused a bulk order of Lego for a free-speech artwork

2015/10/27 The Atlantic, Ai Weiwei Versus Lego Fans have been mailing the dissident artist boxes of toy bricks after the company declined to participate in ‘political works.’

2015/10/27 CNet, “Donate your Lego for art: Ai Weiwei fills cars with Lego bricks in protest Dissident artist Ai Weiwei has taken his battle with Lego to the next level, calling on people across the world to donate their unused Lego bricks in the name of “freedom of speech.”

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2015/12/03 Update: Unrelated.

Mr. Uli Sigg is the donor of the awesome M+ Sigg Collection.

A Swiss Champion for the Art of a Rapidly Changing China” By BARBARA POLLACKAUG. 15, 2005, NYT


Why is China Screwed?

November 23, 2012

Check out this short documentary (with English subtitles) via Chinese artist activist Ai Weiwei.


艾未未称当局令他拆除网络镜头

April 6, 2012

WeiWeiCam - bedroom pix

BBC, “艾未未称当局令他拆除网络镜头

RT @bengmugenr “摄像头果然下线了。难为@aiww了,整天和一帮神经病打交道。他们装摄像头看你可以,你装摄像头帮他们看你却不可以。呵呵,荒唐至极。RT@Scswga: RT @langzichn RT @thisisrui: 艾未未称当局令他拆除网络镜头”


Best Defence Against the 50 Cent Army if you support @aiww 帮艾未未时,如何应付五毛党

February 8, 2012

What is 50 Cent Army (五毛党)? According to Wikipedia50 Cent Army/Party is a term for (emphasis added with minor edit),

Internet commentators (网络评论员) hired by the government of the People’s Republic of China (both local and central) or the Communist Party to post comments favorable towards party policies in an attempt to shape and sway public opinion on various Internet message boards.

How did I get myself tangled with the 50 Cent Army (五毛党)? Well, I’ve written about Ai Weiwei (艾未未 @aiww) once in a while since I think he is a great Chinese artist/political activist. Recently, when I tweeted something about Weiwei that got retweeted by @aiww, I would get Twitter mentioned by one of the 50 Cent Army (in this case Twitter user 20uI30a)!

OK, the best defence against the 50 Cent Army (五毛党) is to ignore them. Yes, ignore them! Don’t waste your energy, just ignore them!

In my case, so far I’ve taken one step further to confirm the offending Twitter accounts actually have the telltale signs of 50 Cent Army and I then will block the user and report them for spam. Of course, my act of blocking and reporting the accounts for spam is a complete waste of time! Why? Because these type spam Twitter accounts are disposable accounts! They are automatically created. Once these accounts did their job of wasting your time/energy to read and reply, etc the posters had already moved on to a brand new spam account. The spammers are “smart” and fully expected these accounts to be suspended. So after posting a few tweets (127), they will stop using an account and move on.

So save yourself the time, just ignore the 50 Cent Army. I’ve wasted my time to write this post so that you don’t have to waste your time. :)

P.S. Part of me is sad for people in the 50 Cent Army but then thinking they get 50 cents per post, it makes me laugh at the topsy turvy world of China.


指天罵地 中指森林

January 29, 2012

Pictures of Middle Fingers Salute to the Absentee Ai Weiwei as Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry won U.S. Documentary Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance at Sundance 2012. RT@aiww:指天骂地 RT @denghaoyang:中指森林。@aiww RT @AWWNeverSorry:昨夜 圣丹斯颁奖给@aliklay @AWWNeverSorry @aiww现场,表彰他们’道歉你妹’的反抗精神

For the record, two film reviews from industry respected sources. Excerpt from The Hollywood Reporter review (emphasis added),

“The filming is much of the point: Like Warhol 2.0, Ai documents his surroundings obsessively and views Twitter as a necessity. Through a constant online presence, he has become “Teacher Ai” to a legion of followers, and some of his most important art/politics hybrid projects — like one intent on uncovering facts about the Sichuan earthquake that the government wants buried — rely on their participation. As we spend time with him in his studios and home, Ai seems authentically driven by a need for more freedom than China is currently offering.”

Excerpt from Variety review (emphasis added),

“Rather than dwelling too heavily on his museum shows, much of the film expands upon Ai’s key tweets of the past few years. Hence, the incidents that take precedence include the wrenchingly unjust demolition of his Shanghai artist’s studio and his confrontational attempts to seek justice for a police raid that left him with a bleeding head wound — both major events for Klayman to have caught oncamera.

Among Ai’s better-known work is a series of photographs that feature his extended middle finger superimposed over Tiananmen Square and other iconic sites. Whereas many contemporary artists question authority via their work, Ai does not confine his criticism of hegemony to galleries and museums. Instead, he takes the assault directly to the powers that be, which in turn expands the scope of his work to a form of pseudo-performance art, providing Klayman with a handful of lively “happenings” to include in her film, such as Ai’s heated confrontation with the officer who allegedly beat him.

Though the docu provides occasional insights into Ai’s personality, China serves as the more interesting character here, a complex adversary capable of inspiring a range of creative reactions from the artist. By opening with a metaphor about exceptional cat that has learned to open doors, Klayman stresses the one-in-a-billion odds of someone like Ai existing. The film is a good start, but such an important artist deserves a more rigorous portrait.”

As I tweeted, I am very much looking forward to watch Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry. Alison has captured some very important moments and stories in Ai Weiwei‘s life and it is about time more of us get to know him.


這是對抗強權的人民幣

November 12, 2011

“這是對抗強權的人民幣” New meaning for Renminbi (People’s money), “People’s money battles with oppressors.”

Two more days to lend money to Ai Weiwei, so far $7,571,713 yuan from 26,723 micro creditors have been raised to protest Chinese government’s attempt to censor artists and internet users.

From Ai Weiwei’s Google+ Account.

艾未未 – 9:13 AM (edited) – Public
截止11日中午12时,共收到26723笔借款,总金额7571713元。其中:

支付宝 19322笔 2477717元
建行卡 4559笔 2704123元
paypal 792 笔 290522元
现金 335笔 1385257元
邮局汇款1715笔 714094元

距借款截止日还有2天。”