Ai Weiwei is an artist and critic of the Chinese regime. Arrested for his critique on the communist system and alleged fiscal offences in April 2011, he served 81 days in jail. Now he is allowed to go about in Beijing, though “every time I leave, I’m supposed to tell them where I am going,” he said (NYTimes quote) Weiwei must not leave China, which is the reason for his absence at his exhibition opening and closing at the Martin-Gropius-Bau exhibition building in Berlin, Germany. However, Weiwei’s exhibition broke the attendance record: about 240 000 visitors within 14 weeks (April 3rd -July 13th, 2014). That is the house record of visitors at an exhibition of a single artist at the Gropius-Bau.
In a gesture of peaceful protest against the Chinese government’s confiscation of his passport, Weiwei started putting a fresh flower bouquet in the basket of a bicycle outside his studio in Bejing on November 30th 2013.
Nine in the morning is when I start work. I put the flowers in the basket, take a couple of photographs and upload them to the Internet. (NYTimes interview)