Reub's journey

02 May 2011

Why why

Ai Weiwei, the prominent Chinese artist, was detained by the Chinese government a few weeks ago, accused of pornography, bigamy, and "economic crimes."

Mostly they're just mad because he posed nude in a satiric piece of art, covering his private parts with a toy horse, which looks like a llama.

The toy horse stands for a graphic curse, a homonym used by Chinese internet users to mock censors.

China, observing the unrest in the middle east, has recently been cracking down on dissenters. They arrested Weiwei, and have refused to allow him to come to the US for the unveiling of his 12 bronze heads of the zodiac in New York City.

photo: Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
 The art was going to be unveiled today anyway, without the artist's presence, but it was postponed.  Why? Because of the surprising news of Osama Bin Laden's death.

Nude artist, toy horse, crackdowns, uprisings, death of an enemy, rabbit, horse, dragon, tiger...does it all have to make sense? I guess not.


  1. He has been a pain in their tush for a while. Let's just hope he is out soon.

  2. A pain in the tush for sure:

    He has been a serious critic of authoritarianism in China, having had the audacity to make a list of the thousands of school children who died in the 2008 earthquake, an embarrassment to the government. Plus he was out-spokenly cynical about the Beijing Olympics. The charge of polygamy is trumped-up; he has been married just once, but did father an illegitimate child (only one...not an outrageous number for an artist!)

    His arrest has precipitated an international outcry and brought more attention than ever to his cause.

  3. Censorship on the Internet, how paranoid can you get.

    Ah, that reminds me, the internet can be a force for violent change, see North Africa. No wonder they're scared.


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