The installation piece, "Ai Weiwei: 21st Century Revolutionary" is intended to inform viewers of the contemporary Chinese artist/activist Ai Weiwei, who has been detained by Chinese Authorities since April 3, 2011. The work brings to question “what is criminal?” considering the fact that Ai has been the target of camera surveillance, physical abuse and the demolition of his artist studio in Shanghai by the hands of Chinese officials. In late April, the website change.org, which has been petitioning for Ai’s release came under a cyber attack from within China. Ai Weiwei’s vehement criticism of the Chinese government has resulted in his detention, which has led many human rights activists around the world to ask “Who’s afraid of Ai Wiewei?
The four panels are mixed media (collage, wheat paste, spray paint/stencil) paintings which comprise an 8-foot by 4-foot composition. I incorporated printed material from websites that published articles on Ai Weiwei's situation. As of today, May 24 2011 - the latest news is the Chinese government is accusing Mr. Ai of tax evasion. Four associates of Ai Weiwei are also reported missing.
The background text is a mix of news reporting on the missing artists as well as some relevant lyrics from Public Enemy's "Hazy Shade of Criminal" and "Public Enemy #1" songs.
Scarlett had contributed to the effort by making over 50 ceramic forms which I hand painted with either chinese characters (like "Justice" and "Civillity") and other text corresponding to Ai's circumstances.