Ai Weiwei, Chinese Artist Threatened by Government

The Art Newspaper is reporting that internationally-acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is under pressure from the authorities in China for his campaign to uncover the corruption that lead to the death of schoolchildren in the Sichuan earthquake of May 2008. Read about this troubling development here.

Ai Weiwei may be best now for his installation piece Bubble (pictured above), which was one of nine works that made up the Art Projects Exhibition at Art Basel Miami Beach 2008. View the installation and hear an interview with the artist here.

This development is highly significant because many voices around the art world have questioned the limits of China's patience with her artists. As pivotal figures like Cai Guo-Qiang and Zhang Huan ascend to new critical heights with their provocative work, more and more Chinese artists will risk retaliation from the government to allow art the role of morality mirror in that society. The fate of Ai Weiwei may indicate the shape of what's to come for a whole generation of Western-influenced, self-aware contemporary artists from China.

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