Advertisement

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei says government demolished his studio

By Daniel Uria
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei says government demolished his studio
Chinese officials demolished artist Ai Weiwei's Bejing studio. Ai said there was no advanced warning for the demolition which began on Saturday. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Chinese officials demolished a studio belonging to artist Ai Weiwei, the artist, who has been critical of the country's government, said.

Ai shared videos of the demolition of his "Zuyou" studio in Beijing, which he said happened without advance warning Saturday.

Advertisement

He said he used the East German style socialist factory building as his main studio since 2006.

"We didn't receive any advance warning or announcement of the demolition," Ai told NPR. "We were required to move by a certain date, which we have not yet reached. The demolition came as a surprise."

RELATED Ai Weiwei to fight Chinese tax bill

Ai also shared photos of various works he completed at the studio throughout the years and said some recent works were damaged due to the "unannounced attack" on the studio.

"Compared to the memories which have been lost, compared to a society which has never established trust in the social order, a trust in the rule of law, or a trust in any kind of unity in defending the rights of its people, what has been lost at my studio is insignificant, and I don't even care," he told NPR. "There are profoundly deeper and wider ruins in this deteriorating society where the human condition has never been respected."

Advertisement

It wasn't immediately clear whether officials specifically targeted Ai's studio for demolition.

RELATED Artist Ai Weiwei poses as drowned refugee toddler to protest immigration crisis

Ai told NPR that any authority that cracks down on artists, journalists, intellectuals and lawyers has "lost its legitimacy to rule."

"It is evidence of vulnerability and fragility in facing the challenges of today and the future, and an inability to do so with a peaceful mind or a rational manner," he said.

Ai helped the Chinese government design the so-called Bird's Nest, the main stadium used in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, but became an outspoken critic of the government the same year when he drew attention to victims of the 2008 earthquake in China.

RELATED Chinese gov't shuts down Ai Weiwei's site

He was arrested at Beijing Airport while boarding a plane to Hong Kong in 2011 and detained for nearly three months on tax evasion charges.

A post shared by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

Advertisement

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement