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Sorry Sight: Ai Weiwei&#146s Shanghai Studio Demolished

Ai Weiwei’s Shanghai studio, as designed by the artist, before it was wrecked

What Chinese government authorities had ominously promised has now occurred: The Shanghai studio of Beijing-based dissident artist Ai Weiwei was demolished yesterday, as reported by NY Times reporter Edward Wong, who described Ai as a “protean artist.”

The Times piece is accompanied by a woeful photo of Ai at the site, holding a piece of the rubble. Not notified in advance, he flew in from Beijing to witness the devastation-in-progress.

For photos of the demolition work, see this flickr page, linked on Ai’s Twitter feed.

Evan Osnos blogs about the demolition for the New Yorker‘s website:

Knocking down the studio of China’s most uncooperative public
intellectual is the kind of spectacularly counterproductive
public-relations move that makes one wonder how China’s economy is run
so professionally when other parts of the state are not.

There’s a different kind of promise that the Chinese government has been less efficient in fulfilling: Human Rights Watch has just published a 67-page report on China, tellingly titled: “Promises Unfulfilled.”

an ArtsJournal blog