Ai Weiwei

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14K Refugee Life Jackets Now Cover Berlin Landmark

Ai Weiwei makes statement about Europe's response to refugee crisis

(Newser) - Some 14,000 life jackets discarded by refugees entering Europe via the Greek island of Lesbos now adorn the six pillars of Berlin's landmark Konzerthaus concert hall. It's the work of Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, Quartz reports, who has been a vocal critic of Europe's... More »

Lego Changes Policy on Using Bricks for Politics

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei can now get his Lego bricks in bulk

(Newser) - Whether it was a genuine change of heart, the #legosforweiwei hashtag, or other public backlash, the Lego Group is now OK sending piles of its famous bricks to the person who's been called "China's most dangerous man." The company had refused to sell in bulk to... More »

China to Free Top Human Rights Lawyer

He criticized the Communist Party online

(Newser) - One of China's most prominent human rights lawyers is set to be freed after a Beijing court on Tuesday gave him a suspended jail sentence in a case involving online comments critical of the ruling Communist Party. The court convicted Pu Zhiqiang, who was arrested in a May 2014... More »

Lego Refuses to Sell Bricks to Dissident Artist

Ai Weiwei's supporters are sending him plenty

(Newser) - Lego's attempt to keep its products out of the hands of Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei has come down on it like a ton of bricks. After Ai announced in an Instagram post that the Danish company had refused to sell him Lego in bulk because they can't... More »

After 4 Years, This Man Has His Passport Back

Dissident artist posts image on social media he's supposedly banned from

(Newser) - Ai Weiwei announced on Instagram that he got his passport back today, four years after it was confiscated by Chinese authorities. The artist and government critic posted a photo of himself holding a Chinese passport with the caption, "Today, I got my passport." Ai was detained by... More »

Protester Smashes $1M Weiwei Vase in Miami Museum

Tells police he's angry that local artists don't get represented

(Newser) - A South Florida artist is facing a criminal charge after police say he smashed a $1 million vase at Miami's new art museum to protest what he called its favoritism for international rather than local art. Maximo Caminero, 51, was charged with criminal mischief after Sunday's incident at... More »

Next for Ai Weiwei: Heavy-Metal Album

Seems prison time turned Ai Weiwei toward hard rock

(Newser) - Artist, activist, and persistent thorn in the side of Chinese authorities Ai Weiwei has decided to turn up the volume—by way of a heavy-metal album. The 55-year-old dissident says he gained an interest in music during the 81 days he was detained by authorities in 2011. The guards "... More »

Elton John's Shout-Out Could Get Him Barred From China

Singer dedicated entire show to dissident Ai Weiwei

(Newser) - Chinese Elton John fans who missed his sold-out show in Beijing last night may never get another chance to see the superstar. In a move certain to infuriate authorities, the singer dedicated his "whole show" to dissident artist Ai Weiwei, the South China Morning Post reports. A murmur of... More »

PSY Teaches 'Gangnam Style' Dance to UN Boss

As Ai Weiwei releases weird parody

(Newser) - South Korean rapper PSY has taught his insanely popular "Gangnam Style" dance to Britney Spears and Ellen DeGeneres and even Wolverine, aka Hugh Jackman —but his latest student may be his most impressive yet. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon did the "horse dance" alongside PSY at UN... More »

Ai Weiwei's Design Firm Loses License

Artist says needed documents were confiscated

(Newser) - Days after losing his last appeal in a tax case , embattled Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei is facing another legal battle. China has canceled his design firm's business license because he hasn't re-registered the company, the BBC reports. But the artist says he couldn't re-register after officials confiscated... More »

Ai Weiwei Loses Final Appeal in Tax Case

Dissident must pay $2.4M fine—or face jail

(Newser) - Ai Weiwei lost his second appeal against a $2.4 million tax evasion fine today, settling the case for good. Now, if he doesn't shell out the remaining $1.05 million, the dissident artist could face jail time—and he says he's not paying, Reuters reports. To pay... More »

Ai Weiwei to Thousands of Supporters: Please Sue Me

Dissident artist's unusual move comes on heels of tax-case loss

(Newser) - Ai Weiwei today lost his challenge against tax evasion charges and the $2.4 million fine China has slapped him with—but he once again wasn't allowed into court to make his case, he says. Police barred him from attending today's court date, calling him to explicitly tell... More »

Photograph Could Lead to Porn Charge for Ai Weiwei

China restricts artist's travel despite lifting bail terms

(Newser) - Ai Weiwei is free—sort of—but his problems could just be beginning. China lifted the strident conditions of the artist's bail today, allowing him to leave his home without alerting police for the first time in a year. But police also told him that he is suspected of... More »

Ai Weiwei Reports Police Siege

Cops harass him at home, rough up cameraman

(Newser) - Ai Weiwei says police have prevented him from leaving his studio for a scheduled court appearance today, roughing up one of his employees in the process. "The police started calling me repeatedly yesterday afternoon, warning me to stay away from the court today, which I find pretty confusing,"... More »

Warhol's Double Elvis Sells for $37M

Lichtenstein's 'Sleeping Girl' brings in $45M

(Newser) - Another strong day for Sotheby's, though maybe not on the scale of the The Scream :
  • Andy Warhol's silkscreen Double Elvis sold for $37 million. One of 22 made by Warhol, it's based on a movie still and shows Elvis as a gun-toting cowboy, notes the Guardian .
  • Roy
... More »

Blind Dissident Faked Sickness Before Escape in China

Chen Guangcheng shows up Beijing by slipping away

(Newser) - So how exactly does a dissident who has been blind since childhood escape house arrest in China and travel hundreds of miles to safety? The details of Chen Guangcheng's feat are still murky, though the Washington Post says the lawyer pretended to be sick for weeks. When his captors... More »

Ai Weiwei: China Will Never Beat Internet

Censorship only builds pressure in Internet age, warns famous artist

(Newser) - Authoritarian societies are all about propaganda and control, but the Internet has destroyed both of those pillars, writes the famous Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in the Guardian . Unlike Russia's glasnost, China never really opened ideologically to the West, only practically. Then came the Internet, and thanks to blogs and... More »

China, Thailand Applaud Twitter Censorship

Dissidents fear losing free-speech tool

(Newser) - Twitter's controversial decision to allow censorship of tweets on a country-by-country basis has won praise from two of the countries with the busiest censors. In Thailand—ranked 153rd in the world for press freedom because of its strict laws against offending the monarchy—the country's information minister called... More »

Chinese Strip to Support Ai Weiwei

Pornography probe provokes dissident artist's supporters

(Newser) - Supporters of outspoken artist Ai Weiwei are using their bodies as well as their cash to defend him against the Chinese government. In response to news that an Ai assistant might face pornography charges over a nude photo he took of Ai with four women last year, scores of supporters—... More »

Supporters Send $840K for Ai Weiwei Tax Bill

But state paper accuses him of 'illegal fundraising'

(Newser) - Ai Weiwei has raised $840,000 toward his $2.4 million tax bill , thanks to nearly 20,000 people who have sent in donations to the Chinese artist and dissident. But Ai—who views the money received as loans, not donations—says he will repay it all, though, the Christian ... More »

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