“With his art, Ai Weiwei bears witness and reflects on the political oppression in his home country. And that’s exactly how he has managed to become a global brand, a sort of art martyr from China, whose work is celebrated all over the globe, from Berlin to New York. (…)
In fact, Chinese authorities are trying everything in their power to defame Ai Weiwei in his own country. He is being called a “pornographer” and large-scale campaigns denounce him as a “criminal” and a “spy for the West.”
“The government in Beijing would love to let him leave the country but only if he promises to never return home,” suspected Gereon Sievernich, director of the Martin Gropius Bau. But that’s exactly what Ai Weiwei doesn’t want. “He wants to be able to travel back and forth as a Chinese citizen, and to be able to freely express his opinion.””
Deutche Welle – 2 April 2014:
Ai Weiwei: provocateur without a passport
He’s China’s most famous artist – and probably also its most uncomfortable. Ai Weiwei isn’t allowed to leave his country. But that doesn’t stop the international community from celebrating him with a solo show in Berlin.
US News – 2 April 2014:
Stuck in China, Ai Weiwei Continues Art Activism
Exhibit of Ai’s work opens in Berlin as a Kickstarter project launches for a film starring the artist.
Ai Weiwei asks for his passport back
The Berlin show, called ‘Evidence’, runs through 7 July 2014, and in video messages Ai has lobbied the Chinese government to return to him his passport so he can see the exhibit in person.
At a press conference held on 26 March 2014 a prominent group of Berlin art-worlders has renewed calls for the Chinese government to allow Ai Weiwei to travel freely. The artist sent the following video message:
Published on youtube.com on 21 March 2014.
Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei had his passport confiscated by Chinese authorities three years ago for reasons never explained to the artist. In a press conference in Berlin on 26 March 2016, the art community called for the Chinese government to allow Ai Weiwei to travel freely, and the artist released this video.
» Complex.com – 24 March 2014:
Here’s a Video of Ai Weiwei Asking for His Passport Back From Chinese Authorities