Berlin, 12 March 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).
Dissident artist Ai Weiwei has appealed for the return of his passport from the Chinese authorities, appearing in a video published by the German magazine Der Spiegel.
Filmed in the artist’s atelier in Beijing, the video represents a last-ditch attempt by Ai Weiwei to apply direct pressure on the Chinese government: his passport was originally confiscated following his 81-day arrest for tax evasion in 2011, and Weiwei has remained confined to China since this date.
The significant involvement of the German press in this episode is, in part, prompted by the forthcoming exhibition of the artist’s work at Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin. The exhibition, scheduled to open on 3 April 2014, takes the title “Evidence”. Furthermore, a group of diverse personalities, the self-named “Friends of Ai Weiwei“, is calling for action from Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to push for the release of Ai Weiwei in her imminent meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping, when the pair meet as part of his forthcoming European tour.