May 03 2011

Love the Future: Take to the Streets

by The Editors

24 April 2011. A protester brought a “Grass Mud Horse” (a Chinese Internet meme widely used as symbolic defiance of the widespread Internet censorship in China) to the protest. “Grass Mud Horse” appeared many times in Ai Weiwei’s art creations. Photo Credit: Lam Yiu Him

On April 17, thousands of activists showed up at Chinese embassies and consulates around the world to protest China’s detention of artist Ai Weiwei. The worldwide event, entitled “1001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei,” took place at Dublin, Munich, London, Stockholm, Tallinn (Estonia), Hong Kong, Los Angeles and New York. The peaceful protests, where people brought individual chairs to stage mass “sit-ins,” were inspired by Ai’s 2007 installation 1001 Qing Dynasty Wooden Chairs (2007), in which 1,001 Qing Dynasty-era chairs were displayed in a grid at the 2007 documenta in Kassel, Germany.

Below are slideshows of photographs taken at the protests in Hong Kong (top) and New York (bottom).

30 April 2011. Gary Fan, a member of the District Council, displayed a “Free Ai Weiwei” roadside banner to show support for Ai Weiwei. Photo Credit: Gary Fan.
“1,001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei” in New York: Ai Weiwei’s supporters gather opposite the Chinese Consulate to protest for his release.