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Another altercation for Ai Weiwei: Chinese art news, 9-15 August

August 17, 2010

Ai Weiwei claimed last week that he was attacked by police in Chengdu while trying to report last year’s attack by security forces that left him hospitalized for internal bleeding. In the midst of the scuffle, a mobile phone camera was in use, although the portly plainclothes policeman in green certainly did his best to block it.

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Clearer footage was taken at a distance by independent filmmaker Alison Klayman, who is is currently directing “Never Sorry,” an independent documentary about Ai Weiwei produced by MUSE Television and AW Asia coming in 2011.

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McClatchy bureau chief Tom Lasseter commented on the incident:”This is the world of Ai Weiwei, and it may literally be a unique one in China these days — a combination of performance art and something like a Socratic sense of patriotism. Whatever one thinks of Ai, it’s beyond dispute that his very public calls for transparency and accountability are unusual in a country noted for its authoritarian tactics.”

Ai Weiwei’s upcoming installation as part of the Unilever Series at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall opens October 12.


A list of top ten shows to see in Beijing includes Gulou Dong Dajie, likely the next Old Beijing casualty in the gentrification process.

The MFA Houston commissioned Cai Guo-Qiang to create one of his trademark gunpowder drawings.

Julien’s Auctions announced its first-ever pop culture auction in Asia, including objects from Michael Jackson, Lady Diana, and Bruce Lee

Yin Jinan: the strange map of Chinese contemporary art (in Chinese).

Shan Jixiang, head of China’s State Administration for Cultural Heritage, says that the frenetic pace of development is destroying cultural heritage.

What’s special in China’s special zones? Jiang Jun for ArtHub Asia.

China makes an “appointment” with the Venice Architecture Biennale: unveiling the concepts behind the Chinese pavilion.

Chinese art and buyers feature prominently in Christie’s first half success of $2.57 billion.

As Newsweek reports that the Chinese artist makes the brand,  the “artketing” partnerships between contemporary Chinese artists and major international brands seem more like standard practice than simply a trend.

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