Back in 2011, after I saw this picture of a man in an empty field, I blogged about him and said:
"I've been reading about Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei -- the big praise in London for his '100 Million Porcelain Seeds.' Ai Weiwei has disappeared. No one knows where he is -- but he is probably in a detention center in the middle of nowhere, because he publicly denounced the 2008 Beijing Olympics as propaganda.
"Weiwei's art -- bronze replicas, animal heads -- will be on display outside Central Park in NYC next month. He's got 78,000 followers on Twitter. He says that he asks questions through the objects he creates. Communist China's officials do not like questions. His disappearance has focused international attention on the current bout of repression in China.
"That photo is a guy arranging leaflets for one of Ai Weiwei's canceled exhibits. My blog generally supports or puts down this and that -- Trump, Glenn Beck's talk show; silly shoe styles -- I've been worrying about Muslims, Oprah, and fracking -- sometimes I feel like the guy in that empty field arranging leaflets for an exhibit that people can't-won't-don't attend."
Okay! Right now, today, summer of 2013, Ai Weiwei's work was not just ON the cover of my Time Magazine -- it IS the cover of the June 17th issue. Today, in 2013 he has 218, 591 followers on Twitter, and 3,013 followers on Facebook.
He is no longer "nowhere." Though he is spied on, and followed by police, he goes to and from his studio in Beijing, where he is creating new works of art, writing and publishing Rap songs and articles about repression in China, and the fact that he cannot travel -- the government has taken away his passport.
Hey, that gives me hope as an artist. Maybe my ideas won't be noticed or make any difference, or change what people say or do, but the subjects I've written about are in the air, and that breeds thoughts -- breeds words that impel some kind of action -- so nowhere is ... well, it's more or less somewhere, isn't it?
Take a look at Weiwei, and what the art world thinks of his "Circle of Animals." .
Not a particular fan of his work as art but the fact that he uses it to speak out in a country where repression is the norm is more than admirable. And you make a well-argued point about nowhere being somewhere, a point we should all bear in mind in this mad, mad ... world, my masters.
I'm a little confused. Is he in Beijing now near his home or has he disappeared into a probable detention center?
Great article Em...I think you've matched my feelings and there's little I can say except "Yay for you."
I agree wholeheartedly that the main responsibility of every artist is getting our art "out there." We each experience the world in a unique way, and our interpretations of our life, our environment, our feelings and thoughts, is important to us personally, and to the historic tapestry of humanity. We are ALL pieces of the puzzle!
Thank you, as always, Em, for sharing YOUR art with us!
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