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“ChinaForbiddenNews” Video: Beijing’s “Art of Enlightenment” vs. Benighted Treatment of Ai Weiwei

I had really wanted you to see the video below (from ChinaForbiddenNewsYouTube channel), which highlights the disconnect between the humanistic message of works in Beijing’s current Art of Enlightenment exhibition (which recently opened at the National Museum of China) and the deplorable detention of dissident artist Ai Weiwei by Chinese authorities.

NTD-TV has now helped me to correct my embed-code glitch, and I’m now able to post this incendiary clip, which also provides a tantalizing view of the works in the exhibition, loaned by three German museums for a year-long run. Germany has been in the forefront of pressing for Ai’s release.

But before we click the video, let’s interrupt this blog post with a Weiwei Watch news update. It sadly indicates that matters are only getting worse, notwithstanding the strong international pressure that is building for the dissident artists’ release. The longer he languishes, the more we must worry.

Tania Branigan (stay safe, Tania!) of the British Guardian reports today from Beijing:

The driver and accountant of detained artist Ai Weiwei have gone missing, according to assistants from his studio.

Friends
of Zhang Jingsong, known to friends as Xiao Pang, and accountant Ms Hu—who worked for Ai’s art and architecture practice Fake Design, and
whose full name is not known—have been unable to contact them since
the weekend….

His [Zhang’s] friend Wen Tao, 38, has also been missing since police reportedly detained him on the same day.

Meanwhile, the New Yorker has posted a piece by Mark Singer (to appear in next week’s “Talk of the Town” section) that gives a take on Weiwei’s situation from the perspective of Larry Warsh, the New York-based Chinese art collector who has been helping to organize the planned New York exhibition of Ai’s Chinese zodiac animal heads. (A largely concurrent show of these bronzes is planned for London’s Somerset House.)

Finally, here’s the hard-hitting video from New York-based New Tang Dynasty (NTD) News, which describes itself as “a truthful, uncensored Chinese-language alternative to
China’s state-run media,” broadcasting “directly into parts of mainland China via satellite,
providing a truthful, uncensored Chinese-language alternative to China’s state-run media”:

an ArtsJournal blog