Updates to the April 12 post [see below]:
- Almost a month after he was detained, more than 127,000 petition signatures have been gathered. Click here to add yours.
- Ai’s whereabouts remain unknown, but what is certain is that due process under Chinese law has been denied him.
- Watch a 3-minute conversation with the artist on British Tate museums’ website.
- Read Salman Rushdie’s editorial in the New York Times.
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original post, published 11:17 am 2011-04-12
On Sunday, April 3, acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was detained by police in Beijing as he was boarding a flight to Hong Kong. His current whereabouts are unknown. The arbitrary arrest of artists and intellectuals by any government is very troubling, and this news has struck a deep chord with me and with the art community worldwide.
Weiwei is one of the world’s leading contemporary artists. He is widely regarded for his visionary conceptual work, which often examines structures of power and morality. Weiwei’s work has been exhibited across the world, and recently ArtReview hailed him as one of the “100 Most Powerful Figures in Contemporary Art.”
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation has launched a cooperative effort to petition Chinese authorities for Ai Weiwei’s release. The petition was jointly issued by a coalition of curators and directors from museums and organizations worldwide, including the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Tate, the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Walker, along with several others.
The petition has already generated tremendous momentum, but we need your participation. I invite you to take a moment to lend your support to this important effort by signing the petition.