Ai Weiwei Protests the Restrictions on His Travel
I feel my artworks, to a great degree, they are desires that will never be fulfilled. But that doesn’t impact on what we do manage to do. Just as I feel that the great part of the demand for freedom lies in fighting for it, and not just in it being a goal. I feel that the process of striving is where value lies in life. In the process of living our life, whether it’s an artist’s, a theoretician’s or a philosopher’s, we’re doing something very difficult.
In a recent interview on the New York Times’ China blog Sinosphere, Ai Weiwei discusses his latest act of protest against the travel restrictions imposed on him by the Chinese government — placing fresh flowers each day in the basket of a bicycle outside his Beijing studio. Within Ai’s characteristic light touch lies a potent message, the significance of which extends well beyond his own experience of government repression:
I say we can’t just count the numbers, we have to remember every fresh life. I can buy a bunch of fresh flowers every day to remind everyone that loss of freedom happens, that it’s a possibility, and that it happens amid all our lives.
Ai Weiwei is documenting the protest each day online.