Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
Ai Weiwei is an artist, an activist, a rebel. He's the blur between the three. He's been dubbed the Chinese Andy Warhol, but he's much more audacious. He takes Neolithic vases and destroys them. He took a photo of his middle finger up in front of the Olympic stadium he helped design. After an earthquake left over 5,000 children dead in shoddy school buildings he captured the victims' names and published them when the government refused. He makes provocative documentaries and videos like the one telling his country to Fuck Off. He has over 1,000 Chinese artisans hand paint one hundred million porcelain seeds. Each of these pieces deserve to be discussed on their own and may seem merely interesting or even utterly fascinating in many countries. But, let's keep this in context. Ai Weiwei lives in China, a country full of political and social corruption. I won't give away what's happened so far, but let's just say in a country like China this type of expression leads to violence, destruction, disappearances, and death.
"Freedom is a pretty strange thing. Once you've experienced it, it remains in your heart, and no one can take it away." -Ai Weiwei
It's stories like these that, I'm sure, make you realize the simple freedoms we can easily take for granted. The Chinese government has shown, in multiple ways, the threat they feel from Ai Weiwei and his movement. His name is no longer allowed published online. His blog was destroyed, and he's being monitored on twitter. His voice could stop. Still, he's a man more fearful of what will happen if he does nothing than if he stands for what is right. He's captured the attention of thousands around the world by using art to fight for truth, transparency, and possibility.