Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Ai Weiwei Studio - Demolished

Ai Weiwei with his Tate Turbine Hall installation

Ai Weiwei has had his Shanghai studio destroyed by the authorities, in a move he says was politically motivcated, reports the BBC.

The 53-year-old, one of China's most famous and controversial artists, said the demolition started in the night and he flew from Beijing to Shanghai as soon as he heard.

Mr Ai told the BBC Chinese service why he believed the building was destroyed: "They wanted to demolish it overnight without us finding out because they were worried the demolition would attract attention.
"We asked why it was demolished earlier than when we were told and they just answered that sooner or later, it would have been done anyway."

The artist has long been outspoken in his criticism of the Chinese government.

Ai Weiwei had his major public break in Britain with his Tate installation (above), made up of literally millions of handpainted sunflower seeds. The exhibition itself became controversial when health & safety officials banned the public from walking on the installation. For more info on the work, see here.

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