Yesterday, a group of about 100 people from the Toronto art community gathered outside the Chinese consulate in Toronto, in support of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who has been detained by Chinese authorities.
The event was organized by a group of local artists and art writers, and was part of 1001 Chairs that took place in Manhattan and in cities around the world.
It was an unqualified success, but it’s not over:
“We call on our Prime Minister and our Minister of Foreign Affairs to express concern over the treatment of Ai Weiwei. Leaders of the Guggenheim Museum, the Tate, the Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles Country Museum have called for his release. So far, the only Canadian art institution to do the same has been the Vancouver Art Gallery. We call on Canada’s art museums, institutions and artist-run centres including the AGO, the National Gallery, the ROM, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art to condemn the imprisonment of Ai Weiwei and call for his release.”
Read my previous post, HERE.
The idea of 1001 Chairs came from New York’s Creative Time and was taken from Ai Weiwei’s project Fairytale: 1,001 Qing Dynasty Wooden Chairs, which was an installation of Qing Dynasty wooden chairs that Mr. Ai displayed at Documenta in 2007.
Groups in Hong Kong, Berlin, San Fransisco also took part in the event. Read the article from the Guardian, HERE.
Ai Weiwei, Fairytale: 1,001 Qing Dynasty Wooden Chairs, 2007. Image: wuyrenincarcerated.com
I am pleased to report that Bravo! News was there with a camera, as was Canadian Art magazine, the Chinese papers Sing Tao and Ming Pao, as well as Torontoist.com and New Tang Dynasty Television, among other media.
The day was cold and grey, but for the hour that we sat outside the consulate, the sun came out. At exactly 2 pm, it began to snow!