HomeTechnologyArtificial intelligenceKemper Art Museum acquires Ai Weiwei’s ‘Illumination’ - The Source

Kemper Art Museum acquires Ai Weiwei’s ‘Illumination’ – The Source

“Ai Weiwei: Bare Life.”

“‘Illumination’ also speaks to Ai’s advanced use of digital technology, social media and ready-to-use materials,” said Eckmann. “We are delighted to add this important work to the Kemper Art Museum’s permanent collection.”

About the artwork

At the time of his arrest, Ai was preparing to testify on behalf of Chinese writer and activist Tan Zuoren. Tan, like Ai, had investigated human rights abuses related to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which killed an estimated 90,000 people – work that led to Tan being charged with “subversion of state power.”

But Ai never made it to court. Instead, he and a group of volunteers, all staying at a hotel in Chengdu, were awakened at 3 a.m., beaten by police, and watched for hours. Ai would later need surgery to drain the blood from his brain.


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