An Artist Takes Role of China’s Conscience

The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who disappeared into police custody in Beijing after he was detained on Sunday while trying to board a flight for Hong Kong, is a fully 21st-century figure, global-minded, media-savvy, widely networked. He is also the embodiment of a cultural type, largely unfamiliar to the West, that dates far back into China’s ancient past.

Holland Cotter

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