Ai Weiwei » press http://aiweiwei.com Wed, 10 Dec 2014 03:41:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8 New Album “The Divine Comedy” http://aiweiwei.com/2013/06/17/new-album-the-divine-comedy/ http://aiweiwei.com/2013/06/17/new-album-the-divine-comedy/#comments Mon, 17 Jun 2013 09:50:36 +0000 http://aiww.burabura.me/?p=105 BEIJING, June 22, 2013 – The Ai Weiwei Studio released Ai Weiwei’s first music album, “The Divine Comedy”, today to commemorate the second anniversary of his release from an 81-day secret detention.

The single “Dumbass”, premiered last month along with its music video, is included in the album. “The Divine Comedy” features six tracks with vocals and lyrics by Ai Weiwei, and music by Zuoxiao Zuzhou. Each song is a different take of Ai’s newfound channel for expression through music. The album includes commentaries on current events (Just Climb the Wall, Hotel USA), documentations of real dialogues (Chaoyang Park, Laoma Tihua), and personal reflections (Give Tomorrow Back to Me, Dumbass). The full album crosses musical genres with influences from pop, rock, punk and heavy metal, and takes us on a journey through Ai’s experience with the conditions of China.

The album hits all major online music stores today, including iTunes. It is also available on http://aiweiwei.com.

Ai Weiwei is an artist, and his work encompasses diverse fields including fine art, curating, architecture, design and social criticism. He works in Beijing. He is a fierce defender of freedom of expression, and is always seeking new ways to communicate with the public.

For more information
Press: http://aiweiwei.com/press/the-divine-comedy
Music: http://aiweiwei.com/music/the-divine-comedy

For interview requests and further questions:
Jennifer Ng
press@aiweiwei.com
+86 10 8456 4194

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Single and Music Video “Dumbass” Released http://aiweiwei.com/2013/05/22/single-and-music-video-dumbass-released/ http://aiweiwei.com/2013/05/22/single-and-music-video-dumbass-released/#comments Wed, 22 May 2013 09:48:25 +0000 http://aiww.burabura.me/?p=102 BEIJING, May 22, 2013 – The Ai Weiwei Studio released Ai Weiwei’s new heavy metal single, “Dumbass”, the first piece of Ai Weiwei’s forthcoming music album “The Divine Comedy”.

On the choice of music as his latest creative endeavor, Ai explains, “During my detention, the conditions were very restrictive, but the guards would often secretly ask me to sing for them. Being in that environment makes me realize that for these people, the only available release or means to kill time, is music. I felt deeply sorry that I couldn’t do it, either I was not in the mood or I didn’t think I can sing. The only songs I knew were the revolutionary ones. It is the same for many Chinese people; we had to memorize every red song. Creating music is a way to break through that situation.”

“Dumbass” features vocals and lyrics by Ai Weiwei and music by Zuoxiao Zuzhou. The track is Ai Weiwei’s reflection on the struggle of protecting human rights and the freedom of expression in China. His frequent run-ins with the Chinese government eventually led to his 81-day secret detention between April and June 2011. This led to high-profile protests from international media, the diplomatic and art community, and the public at large. Ai was released on June 22, yet around the same time the government proposed amendments to its criminal procedure law, article 83, stating that the police may put suspects for subversion of state power under house arrest at secret locations without notice to his/her family members. The move was widely believed to be a response to Ai’s ordeal.

According to Ai, the music video for “Dumbass” is a precise and detailed simulation of the prison he was in. Every detail in the room was reconstructed; even the soldier’s uniform was custom-made. The video dives in and out between the prison’s reality and the soldier’s fantasies, it is surreal yet realistic. Ai said, “When I was detained, I memorized every single detail of the room because I had nothing else to do, and I really believed that the story should be told because it was so incredible. The song and this video are the best forms to represent that experience. Everyone who’s been through similar trauma has been hurt, the anger and feelings are difficult to release, and I am using imagery and sound to overcome the fear. As an artist, it is my job to find a way for that.”

Ai’s detention led to high profile protests from international media, diplomats, as well as galleries and museums, which quickly spread across the public sphere. In response to the pressure worldwide, Ai Weiwei was released on June 22, but around the same time the government proposed amendments to its criminal procedure law, article 83, stating that the police may put suspects for subversion of state power under house arrest at secret locations without notice to his/her family members.

The first single “Dumbass” and music video will premiere on Wednesday, May 22 at 10:00 am (CST). Both the track and music video will be available for download on www.aiweiwei.com.

Ai Weiwei is an artist and activist. His work encompasses diverse fields including fine art, curating, architecture, and social criticism. He currently resides and works in Beijing. He is a fierce defender of freedom of expression, and is always seeking new ways to communicate with the public.

For more information:

Press: http://aiweiwei.com/press/dumbass
Music: http://aiweiwei.com/music/dumbass

Jennifer Ng
press@aiweiwei.com
+86 10 8456 4194

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