From NPR.org: Artist, Social Critic Ai Weiwei Breaks Silence, Attacks Chinese Government
The dissident artist Ai Weiwei has struggled with the Chinese government for years. Earlier this year, the conflict came to a head, when Ai was detained by the government for about 80 days. He was let go under the condition that he would not talk to the press.
Ai, known for his spectacular conceptual art, including China’s Bird Nest stadium, didn’t stay quiet for long. Last night, Newsweek published a stunning piece from Ai in which he describes Beijing as “a constant nightmare.” It’s a stream-of-counciousness piece, but it’s clear that Ai is unhappy with an oppressive government that he says has sucked the life and joy out of the people of Beijing.