Chinese artist Ai Weiwei under house arrest

November 6th, 2010 - 10:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Nov 6 (IANS) Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei said Saturday he has been put under house arrest, a day before he was to hold a party at his Shanghai studio to protest the government’s order to demolish the structure, a media report said.

According to CNN, Ai Weiwei said he has been placed under house arrest until Sunday. He said that about 800 people were expected to attend his planned concert and a river crab feast at the studio Sunday.

The Mandarin word for river crab sounds like “harmonious”, a word some use to describe government censorship.

“Just recently I heard the new studio I built in Shanghai studio will be demolished all because of my activities,” Ai was quoted as saying.

“So what is my activity? My activity is very very simple, asking basic right for people to freely express themselves and also to find a new structure, a new way of communicating. Because I’m an artist this is what I do and I believe in that.”

Ai said he was not allowed to leave his house, which was guarded by police.

“Please accept my deepest apologies,” he tweeted addressing his guests in Shanghai. Ai said he chose to “celebrate our life” since the studio was going to be razed anyway.

He has accused the Chinese government of trying to silence dissidents.

The artist helped design the iconic Bird’s Nest stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but later called for a boycott of the games because he believed China was using them as propaganda.

He has also held exhibits in Europe and the US, and his work is on display at the Tate Modern gallery’s Turbine Hall in London, England.

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