‘Outspoken’ Chinese Artist/Activist’ ~ Ai Weiwei ~ Released On Bail

artwork: Ai Weiwei in Tiananmen Square in 2009 (the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre) ..On January 11, 2011 the studios of Ai Weiwei were demolished by the Chinese government. He was arrested April 3, 2011, and finally released on bail after 81 days in prison.

BEIJING – One of the first words that always came to mind for anyone trying to describe Ai Weiwei – the avant-garde Chinese artist and pro-democracy dissident – was “outspoken.” This is, after all, a man whose portfolio includes a portrait of his middle finger extended toward the Forbidden City. The man who spoke to The Globe and Mail by telephone shortly after being freed was only a distant echo of his usually bombastic self. After 81 days in detention, China’s best-known artist, Ai Weiwei, returned home a considerably thinner and noticeably quieter man.