Art is often subversion.

Over the weekend Chinese authorities detained Ai WeiWei, a contemporary artist and critic of the Chinese government.

From the New York Times:

Rights advocates say the detentions are an ominous sign that the Communist Party’s six-week crackdown on rights lawyers, bloggers and dissidents is spreading to the upper reaches of Chinese society. Mr. Ai, 53, the son of one of the country’s most beloved poets, is an internationally renowned artist, a documentary filmmaker and an architect who helped design the Olympic stadium in Beijing known as the Bird’s Nest.


By singling out Mr. Ai, the authorities are expanding a campaign against dissent that has roiled China’s embattled community of liberal and reform-minded intellectuals. In recent weeks dozens of people have been detained, including some of the country’s best-known writers and rights advocates. At least 11 of them have simply vanished into police custody. Two weeks ago, Liu Xianbin, a veteran dissident in Sichuan Province, was sentenced to 10 years on subversion charges.

Members of WeiWei’s family were also taken into custody.



Beijing-based journalist and filmmaker Alison Klayman has spent the last two years working with WeiWei to document his artistic process as well as show his frequent clashes with the Chinese government; she is currently in the post production phase of the project, entitled Ai WeiWie: Never Sorry, which will be the first full-length documentary on this iconic artist. With this weekend’s events, support for this documentary couldn’t be more timely.

As WeiWei says, “If you don’t act, the dangers become stronger.”

Take action by supporting the film Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry.