Beginning this month, Stockholm's Magasin 3 art hall is showing the first exhibition in Sweden by controversial Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. The free-thinker, dissident, teacher, human rights activist and political reform advocate is one of the best-known and most outspoken critics of China's communist regime. Many of his works were created in criticism of China's Cultural Revolution (1966 - 1976), under which countless cultural artefacts and other historical items were destroyed. That revolution paved the way for the China of today, where communism and capitalism co-exist in an untamed Wild West atmosphere.
In his works, Ai Weiwei also criticizes the cult of consumerism, mass production and China's image as a source of cheap labour. In April of 2011, Chinese authorities arrested Ai Weiwei and detained him for 81 days, allegedly on the grounds of suspected tax evasion. A number of influential international arts organizations - including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and MoMA in New York, as well as Tate Modern in London - vigorously campaigned for Weiwei's immediate and unconditional release. In November of 2011, Chinese authorities announced that they are considering charges of pornography against the artist, on the grounds that some of his photographs contain nudes. Last autumn, ArtReview magazine deemed Ai Weiwei as the world's most influential contemporary artist, placing him at the top of its Power 100 list. The exhibition in Stockholm is showing some of Ai Weiwei's monumental installations and political works, as well as documentary films about the activities that the artist has undertaken to promote change in China, and which have put him on a collision course with the ruling regime.
SE - 115 56 Stockholm
Keywords: Stockholm, exhibition