Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Too Hot to Handle

Activist artist Ai Weiwei is hot property -- so scorching that a progressive art gallery in Beijing won't be exhibiting his work there.

His show was supposed to start in March at UCCA, a gallery founded by Belgian art collector Guy Ullens in the 798 art district that I've written about in my Beijing Calling blog many times.

Apparently the gallery finds Ai too politically sensitive.

"The timing is sensitive and politically they feel it is not suitable for the moment," said the 53-year-old artist. He said organizers wanted to postpone it, but he decided to scrap it all together.

UCCA communications director Vivienne Li said the gallery did not want to upset authorities by exhibiting a sensitive artist like Ai.

Wonder what kinds of subtle threats the gallery was receiving or is it self-censoring out of fear?

One may never know, but it's disappointing to hear this as UCCA would be the one gallery in Beijing I thought would have the determination to put on Ai's show.

1 comment:

  1. yet one more example of the strong arm of politics. ai's london exhibition of the 'sun flower seeds'cancelled under the disguise of dust pollution some time ago. but ucca is more open on their decision.