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Ai WeiWei Supporters Detained, Questioned by Beijing Police

Ai WeiWei Supporters Detained, Questioned by Beijing Police

At an art show in Beijing on Wednesday, organizers reserved a blank gallery wall for artist Ai WeiWei, who has been detained by the Chinese government since April. The empty space at the CCD300 Modern Art and Design Center was marked with a small, unobtrusive card bearing Ai WeiWei’s name. Though subtle, this supportive gesture nonetheless drew the attention of Beijing police.

Artists Lin Bing and Fei Xiaosheng were subsequently detained and questioned after the show’s opening, gallery employee Yang Xiaoyan told Reuters. “Lin Bing has already returned, but Fei has yet to be in contact.” Neither artist could be reached by mobile phone.

As reported by Reuters, users of Chinese microblogging site Weibo are claiming two other artists associated with the show, Wang Jun and Zhang Feng, were also questioned by police.

The CCD300 exhibit was part of the third annual Incidental Art Festival. According to Lin Bing, Ai WeiWei would have participated in this year’s show if not for his detention. The missing artist and political dissenter had contributed to a previous show.

The Incidental Art Festival featured photography, video art and conceptual pieces. The show’s opening came just days before the 22nd anniversary of the pro-democracy Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.

The New York Times reports that authorities forced the gallery to close the show on Thursday afternoon. “The whole thing has been canceled and everything has already been taken down,” Yang told the Times.

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Photo credit: Daniel Lobo

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24 comments

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9:18AM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

I hope to god he is still alive... These people are scary... Please god he is still alive and will be released soon.... I notice this hasn't been on the news!!! Are they afraid to upset the Chinese????

3:09AM PDT on Jun 8, 2011

i will pray for him and his family

7:15PM PDT on Jun 6, 2011

My heart goes out to everyone living under oppressive regimes!

8:24AM PDT on Jun 6, 2011

What a powerful image! A whole blank wall and a card with his name! Hope all three artists are soon released.

3:16AM PDT on Jun 6, 2011

Noted thanks for the article

12:22AM PDT on Jun 6, 2011

Actually most of the Chinese support their government... They say they are prospering and the system works. They compare America and China, and say America is going down, while China keeps on rising. IMF supports their claim...

7:45PM PDT on Jun 5, 2011

thanks

12:23PM PDT on Jun 5, 2011

Thanks for the article.

3:04AM PDT on Jun 5, 2011

the only thing communist in china are...the leaders of the party...because they do not want to give away their power...their money!

.ordinary people want capitalism...they will make and sell you anything...they want to make a living and dont care about politics!

They want money and a good life...just like us!

BUT if you want a good job....YOU have to join ...the PARTY!!!!

8:16PM PDT on Jun 4, 2011

thanks for sharing.

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