The Chinese dissident Artist Ai Weiwei, who is currently in Germany, after being granted a visa to visit Europe, has stated that he expects to be allowed to return to China when his retrospective exhibition is complete, at the Royal Academy in London. It has been four years since the Chinese authorities confiscated his passport and he was kept under virtual house arrest in Beijing.
In an interview in Munich on July 30, Mr Ai told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily that he thought the Chinese authorities were still keeping a close watch on him but would not bar him from returning to the country of his birth. When questioned about the restrictions that the Chinese government had placed upon him the artist replied that there were “Nearly none.”
“They also promised, I could come back, which was very important to me,” he said. “They said: you are a free person.” When asked whether he was under surveillance by the Chinese authorities in Germany, Ai replied: “Of course.” “They are keeping close tabs on what I say and do,” he said, in comments published in German. “But it is very different from before — the atmosphere is more open.”
In September 2015, the Royal Academy will present a landmark exhibition of the Honorary Royal Academician Ai Weiwei. The show is the first significant British survey of his artistic output, and will include major works spanning Ai Weiwei’s career, as well as including new work by the artist.
Photo: Via Ai Weiwei on Twitter