demolition of ai weiwei’s shanghai studio
all images courtesy of duyanpili’s flickr
authorities have stayed true to their decision to demolish ai weiwei‘s shanghai studio,
located in the northern district of jiading. destruction of the building has begun.
considered one of the most outspoken contemporary chinese artists / activists of our time,
ai weiwei’s studio was deemed illegal by the government who said it did not follow the
proper building permits, so plans for the building’s demolition were slated.
funnily enough, it was also the government and jiading mayor sun jiwei who originally
approached the artist two years ago, inviting him to open a studio space in the chinese city’s
agricultural district as part of their plan to develop into a cultural centre of the metropolis,
and they had promised to help him acquire the necessary documents to erect the building.
aerial view of the demolition site
back in november 2010, the artist offered his supporters 10, 000 river crabs as a means of celebrating
the government’s order to demolish the structure. crabs as the dish of choice could be
considered a bit of a political statement as the chinese name for the river crustaceans sounds like ‘harmonize’,
a common figure of speech used by chinese authorities in reference to government censorship.
more than 400 followers attended the successful event.
supporters and followers of ai weiwei have been uploading their documentation of the demolition real time.
you can view images of the progress here.
ai weiwei’s studio in the northern district of jiading in shanghai before demolition
see our designboom article on ‘ai weiwei: never sorry’ here.