Trailer for the first feature length documentary on the iconic Chinese contemporary artist, Ai Weiwei. Opening in US theaters on July 27th.
Read this Sampsonia Way article with Warhol Museum director Eric Shiner about Weiwei’s 2012 exhibit at the Warhol and the connection between Pittsburgh artist Andy Warhol and Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.
Definitely at the top of my documentaries I need to see list.
Very interesting Q&A with Ai WeiWei. Definitely worth while if you are interested about his perspective on art and expression in China.
In recent years, you have merged the Internet with political activism. How did that happen?
Even though writing is the most admirable skill, I had no chance to become a writer because of my educational background. I hadn’t really studied it except for Chairman Mao’s sentences. So I just started to type. My first blog post was one sentence, something like “To express yourself needs a reason, but expressing yourself is the reason.”
Later I became very involved in writing. I really enjoyed that moment of writing. People would pass around my sentences. That was a feeling I never had before. It was like a bullet out of the gun.
So, what would you like to see in China?
We need clear rules to play the game. We need to have respect for the law. If you play a chess game but after two or three moves you can change the rules, how can people play with you? Of course you will win, but after 60 years you will still be a bad player because you never meet anyone who can challenge you. What kind of game is that? Is that interesting? I’m sure the people who put me in jail, they’re so tired. This game is not right, but who is going to say, “Hey, let’s play fairly”?
Second, they cannot stop people from communicating freely, to get information and to express themselves. When they do that, this nation is not a right place to live. They sacrifice generations of people’s opportunities. This is a crime.
If you had a chance to go overseas, would you?
I have to evaluate, Is it better to stay in a jail here or go abroad? If you go, you really have to say goodbye.
You feel you wouldn’t be allowed back?
Not only that. I’m afraid I would lose the sensitivity to this reality. There are so many things you can do in life, and of course, activist isn’t my top choice. I think I would lose touch with here, and I certainly feel I owe a lot of people. If I can make a good effort, I would continue to do that.