Thursday, 25 March 2010

Ai Weiwei “Freedom is a high-risk business”

Tate Modern announced this month that one of the most influential Chinese contemporary artists Ai Weiwei is going to design an installation for the Turbine Hall this year from October to April 2011. The first ever artist living and working in the Asia-Pacific region to be commissioned for the series.

Born in 1957 in Beijing, Ai spent over 10 years in New York before returning to Beijing to establish the experimental artists’ group East Village. Today Ai’s better described as a social and cultural commentator, a political activist, an architect and a critic whose work encompasses a wide range of challenging and often provocative activity, from smashing antique Ching vases to gathering 1001 Chinese to ‘colonizing’ the German town Kassel. Ai is critical of the Chinese political state and has recently been ‘attacked’ by Chinese police in an attempt to stopping him from attending protests.

His most recent work involves installing a video camera to record the journey of the famous Danish Little Mermaid, which is making a remarkable trip from Copenhagen to Shanghai to attend the World Expo so that 70 million people can experience the iconic symbol of the Danish capital. The 5 foot statue has been cut loose and lifted onto a truck at a ceremony today but the exact route she is taking remains a secret.

While the Mermaid is on vacation, Ai has placed a video camera on her spot at the harbour to document and reveal the scenes she encounters. Lord Mayor of the City of Copenhagen Frank Jensen says: “We are proud to lend the Little Mermaid to China. I am convinced that she will be an excellent ambassador of Denmark...At the same time I am delighted that Ai Weiwei’s video installation will make it possible for the Danes to follow her throughout her journey.”

The Little Mermaid is unable to comment today but considering that she has never left Denmark since she was born in 1913 and was twice beheaded and had her arm cut off, we think the holiday is long overdue. Freedom is indeed a risky business, even when you are a statue.

To see the free broadcast of the video footages, visit


Cain and Todd Benson said...

Ai Weiwei "Freedom". Art, image.

justsheryl said...

Oh cool thanks for this:-)

high risk merchant accounts said...

It's true that freedom is the high risk business that we push through. Many people are died in their country just to have and freely feel the freedom.