April 16, 2011

Release Ai Weiwei!

Art & Education
Ai Weiwei, Study in Perspective, 1995.

International art community demands the release of artist and activist Ai Weiwei.

On April 3rd, Ai Weiwei—internationally acclaimed Chinese artist and insistent government critic—was detained at the Beijing airport while en route to Hong Kong. Shortly after Mr. Ai was seized, more than a dozen police officers raided the artist’s studio in the Caochangdi neighborhood, cut off power to part of that area and led away nearly a dozen employees—a mix of Chinese citizens and foreigners who are part of Mr. Ai’s large staff. By Sunday evening, the foreigners and several of the Chinese had been released after being questioned, according to one of Mr. Ai’s employees, who was not in the studio when the public security agents arrived.

Rights advocates say the detentions are an ominous sign that the Communist Party’s six-week crackdown on rights lawyers, bloggers and dissidents is spreading to the upper reaches of Chinese society. Ai Weiwei, the son of one of the country’s most beloved poets, is an internationally renowned artist, a documentary filmmaker and an architect who helped design the Olympic stadium in Beijing known as the Bird’s Nest.

We, members of the international arts community, express our concern for Ai’s freedom and disappointment in China’s reluctance to live up to its promise to nurture creativity and independent thought.

Support the release of Ai Weiwei

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is petitioning the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China (Minister Mr. Cai Wu) for the release of Ai Weiwei.

SIGN THE PETITION– and forward it to everyone you can.

1001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei

On Sunday, April 17th at 1pm – in front of the Chinese Consulates, BRING A CHAIR and
 demonstrate your support for the his immediate release.


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