Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Released

Max Read · 06/22/11 07:42PM

Two and a half months after his imprisonment on charges of tax evasion, internationally-renowned artist Ai Weiwei was released by Chinese authorities because (according to state news agency Xinhua) "of his good attitude in confessing his crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from" (likely diabetes or hypertension).

Artist Ai Weiwei Detained in China

Max Read · 04/03/11 07:49PM

Ai Weiwei, the artist behind the 2008 Olympics' famous Bird's Nest stadium (and last year's Tate Modern Turbine Hall show), has been detained by Chinese authorities in Beijing after attempting to board a flight to Hong Kong. Ai—a funny guy whose "Study in Perspective" series has a special place in our eternally-teenaged hearts—has been "keeping an informal tally" on Twitter of the writers and activists detained by China in its latest series of crackdowns; as of this writing it's unclear whether he'd been "formally detained" (bad news) or simply held for questioning (less bad news). Police have also surrounded his Beijing studio and cut off its power, just in case any art escapes. [WSJ; image via MoMA ("Study in Perspective - Beijing") and AP]

How One Hundred Million Porcelain Sunflower Seeds Are Like Twitter

Max Read · 10/12/10 03:02AM

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei carpeted the Turbine Hall in Britain's prestigious Tate Gallery with a sunflower seeds. Well, not quite: With painted porcelain replica sunflower seeds. One hundred million painted porcelain replica sunflower seeds. It's like Twitter, Ai says.