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Hanging Man

The Arrest of Ai Weiwei

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


The gripping story of post-Mao China and the harrowing fate of the artist and activist Ai Weiwei

In October 2010, Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds appeared in the Turbine Hall in the Tate Modern. In April 2011, he was arrested and held for more than two months in terrible conditions. The most famous living Chinese artist and activist, Weiwei is a figure of extraordinary talent, courage, and integrity. From the beginning of his career, he has spoken out against the world's most powerful totalitarian regime, in part by creating some of the most beautiful and mysterious artworks of our age, works which have touched millions around the world.

Just after Ai Weiwei's release from illegal detention, Barnaby Martin flew to Beijing to interview him about his imprisonment and to learn more about what is really going on behind the scenes in the upper echelons of the Chinese Communist Party. Based on these interviews and Martin's own intimate connections with China, Hanging Man is an exploration of Weiwei's life, art, and activism and also a meditation on the creative process, and on the history of art in modern China. It is a rich picture of the man and his milieu, of what he is trying to communicate with his art, and of the growing campaign for democracy and accountability in China. It is a book about courage and hope found in the absence of freedom and justice.

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 22, 2013 – Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, the co-designer of the Beijing Olympics celebrated Bird s Nest stadium whose international reputation blossomed with the Tate Modern s 2010 showing of the installation Sunflower Seeds, granted British journalist Martin (already an acquaintance of Ai s) an extensive multipart interview in the immediate aftermath of his 81-day detention by the Chinese government in April 2011. A still-dazed, but nevertheless expressive Ai, who remains under house arrest, describes the harrowing, absurd nature of his detention and interrogation by police and military personnel. The brutality of state power was nothing new to the artist; he grew up during the Cultural Revolution as the son of a famous poet and onetime friend of Mao, Ai Qing, who had fallen out of favor with the regime. Ai s account of his encounters with the Chinese police state comes in the same year as the memoir by poet Liao Yiwu (For a Song and a Hundred Songs) whom Martin interviewed only a short while before Liao left China for exile in Germany. To the credit of this engaging and timely book, Martin takes care to establish the historical, political, and artistic context of Ai s work. Martin s discussion of the current mindset and political health of the Chinese Communist Party is inevitably partial, but the book serves as an excellent introduction to Ai and the power of contemporary Chinese art. 16 pages of full-color illus.
Hanging Man
View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Sep 17, 2013
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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