Have a listen and read of this NPR report “Hong Kong Graffiti Challenges Chinese Artist’s Arrest“. Here is an excerpt,
“The bearded face of the detained Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is spray-painted on a nondescript gray wall overlooking the steep lanes of Hong Kong’s nightlife capital, Lan Kwai Fong.
Given his real-life circumstances — summarily disappeared at the hands of the Chinese authorities with no charges yet laid — the furrowed forehead and hooded, tired eyes of the image now seem a representation of suffering. Underneath his face is one simple question, “Who’s afraid of Ai Weiwei?”
This graffiti, appearing all over Hong Kong, has become a political statement, more than a month after the world-famous artist was detained by the authorities at Beijing airport. The campaign could yet lead to a jail term for the young graffiti artist responsible. And that fact has led to fears about the erosion of Hong Kong’s distinct freedoms, which are a legacy of its colonial past under the British.
Despite causing consternation for the authorities, many Hong Kong residents like both the graffiti’s aesthetic and its political message.
“It’s cool,” says passerby Peter Chan. “The graphic is cool, and the presentation of protest against China is cool.””
See my other Ai Weiwei entries.