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China: Exclusive essay by Ai Weiwei: ‘On Self-Censorship’

23 June 2014

This month, Ai Weiwei withdrew his work from a show at Beijing’s influential Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, a tribute to the late scholar Hans Van Dijk, with whom he worked closely, reported Huffington Post.

AiWeiwei_HuffPost

It was a move made in protest: In a series of correspondences that surfaced online, UCCA chief Xue Mei admitted to removing Ai’s name from a press release, bowing to pressure from the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

The incident follows a similar one this spring, when Ai’s name and work were “wiped” from a retrospective in Shanghai to placate the government.

In an email to the Huffington Post, Ai analyzed the culture of “self-censorship” at play in China’s art world, drawing a line between the government’s actions and an old Chinese saying, which translates to “killing the chicken to scare the monkey.”

» Source: www.huffingtonpost.com


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