As China busies itself preparing for tomorrow’s 60th anniversary celebrations, one of its most notorious artists is recovering from brain surgery in a hospital bed in Munich.
Ai Weiwei was reportedly brutalized and detained by Beijing police back in August for his presence at a friend’s trial. It is not known whether the brain hemorrhage is linked to his injuries from that incident.
Notable Ai Weiwei facts:
-He is a conceptual artist, photographer, architectural designer and outspoken activist.
-Ai maintains five blogs and a Twitter account with over 8000 followers. He has said of his intentions: ‘I do my blog because this is the only possible channel through which a person can express a personal opinion in China.’
-The Beijing native spent the 1980s and early 90s living in the US and attended the prestigious Parsons School of Design in NY.
-He was raised in a labour camp when his father, poet Ai Qing was sentenced to ‘reeducation through labour’ by the government.
-Ai was the art consultant for the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics (although he has publicly voiced criticism for the event).
-Ai has posted scandalous semi-nude photos of himself to protest internet censorship (on his blog, now mysteriously inaccessible). Luckily (?), you can still view them here.