ai weiwei to direct berlin, i love you via skype after passport confiscated
The controversial Chinese artist hasn’t been allowed to leave the country since 2011, but that won’t stop him directing the next in the Cities of Love series remotely.
One of the bravest figures in the art world today, Ai Weiwei's quest for transparency within China's officialdom and his critique of the Communist Party (especially his attack on how the government handled the 2008 Sichuan earthquake) led to his arrest without charge in 2011, 81 days in detention, the confiscation of his passport and his confinement to China ever since. But that hasn't stopped him making art all over the world. From @Large - his installation on Alcatraz prison - in San Francisco to the Serpentine's Gallery Pavilion in London, the controversial artist hasn't let his oppressors stifle his work.
Now, Weiwei will be directing a short film in the 10 part series Cities of Love, where acclaimed directors pen a love letter to different cities across the world. Following on from Paris, Je T'aime (2006), New York, I Love You (2009) and Rio, Eu Te Amo (2014), Weiwei will direct Berlin, I Love You, from his hometown of Beijing. Producer Claus Clausen will head up the directorial role from the ground while the Chinese artist oversees the project via Skype. The film will focus on Weiwei's relationship with his son Ai Lao, who turned six last week. Lao has been living in Berlin since August and his dad hasn't been able to visit him. The script is by Lao's mother, the documentary filmmaker Wang Fen.
We can't wait to see what Weiwei does when he is released, "They have told me I will be released one day, but it's still uncertain when," he told The Hollywood Reporter.
Film still from Alison Klyman's Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry