Ai Weiwei Puts New Yorkers in a Chinese Prison at his Brooklyn Museum Show

Ai Weiwei, 2012 (Photo credit: Gao Yuan)
Ai Weiwei, 2012 (Photo credit: Gao Yuan)

A new exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum pushes visitors into a simulation of the boxlike prison Ai Weiwei inhabited in China. This, along with many other works, some exhibiting only in Brooklyn, make up “Ai Weiwei: According to What?”

Ai is not permitted to leave China, even as his artwork tours galleries and museums on the other side of the world. Despite being held stationary, a review by Complex Media relayed messages from Ai, and his hopes for the exhibit.

A New York Times article also offered a hefty background on Ai’s perpetual struggles with the Chinese authorities. In many of his pieces, the themes of his activism and art remain linked.

An article in The Brooklyn Paper details how Ai communicated with the Brooklyn Museum curator while in China. The article reminds us that Ai lived in Brooklyn for a period of time, when he made his career in the New York art scene.

Brooklyn supporters marched to the museum in support of Ai, and Ai met them from far away, with a video message, in support of free expression.

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