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Ai Weiwei mocks China in video

May 22, 2013

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei has released a satirical music video about his imprisonment in China on a tax-eviction charge. Ai sings the explicit song in Chinese and mocks state power.

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei speaks to AFP on June 25, 2012, inside his compound in Beijing. Photo: Ed Jones/AFP/GettyImages)
Ai Weiwei China Künstler PortraitImage: AFP/GettyImages

The music video accompanied Ai's first single, "Dumbass," from his upcoming album "The Divine Comedy," was released on Wednesday.

At a release ceremony in Beijing, Ai commented on what the video meant to him.

"People who are detained suffer traumas, and those who detain us know this very well," Ai said. "This is why we are secretly detained, blindfolded, cuffed, not allowed to meet with lawyers and relatives. I had been thinking about how to recover from the trauma. And I came up with the idea of using music to convey a sentiment that is tremendously secret, and private, to the public."

Ai Weiwei mocks China in video

Ai's 81 days in detention on a tax-evasion charge drew international attention. The sentence was seen as part of a wider crackdown on dissent in China. Ai Is considered a very vocal and prominent critic of Beijing.

The song is dedicated, Ai said, to "all those people who do not have the opportunity to raise their voice, who will never be able to raise their voices."

The release of the video was heavily covered at the event in Beijing, and Ai released a link to the song on social media, including Twitter and YouTube. Those sites are banned in China, however, and most Chinese won't have the ability to watch it.

Ai's full album is scheduled to be released on June 22.

mz/ipj (dpa, AP)