Ai Weiwei has decided to close his exhibition ”Ruptures” at Faurschou Foundation Copenhagen, Denmark. This decision follows the Danish parliament’s approval of the law proposal that allows seizing valuables and delaying family reunions for asylum seekers. Jens Faurschou backs the artist’s decision and regrets that the Danish parliament choses to be in the forefront of symbolic and inhuman politics of todays biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe and the Middle East, instead of being in the forefront of a respectful European solution to solve the acute humanitarian crisis.
Ai Weiwei boycotts Denmark over 'shameless' migrant bill
Ai Weiwei. Photo: PAWEL KOPCZYNSKI/Scanpix
27 January 2016
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has pulled his works out of Denmark in protest against the Danish government’s controversial bill that allows authorities to seize valuables from refugees.
Ai, China's most prominent contemporary artist, went on social media to decry Denmark’s “shameless” bill that among other things allows authorities to confiscate valuables from migrants and delays family reunifications for refugees for up to three years.
The artist announced that as a direct result of the bill he will pull his exhibitions from ARoS Aarhus Art Museum and the Copenhagen gallery Faurschou Foundation.
Ai shared the text of a letter sent to the leadership of ARoS explaining his decision.
“I am very shocked about yesterday's [Tuesday’s, ed.] news that the Danish government has decided to seize refugees' private property. As a result of this regrettable decision, I must withdraw from your exhibition ‘A New Dynasty.Created In China’ to express my protest of the Danish governments' decision. Please accept my regrets and thank you for your long-term support. I apologize for the inconvenience caused,” the artist wrote.
In a later post, he announced that he would close his exhibition ‘Ruptures’ at the Faurschou Foundation. He wrote that the gallery’s owner supported the decision.
“Jens Faurschou backs the artist’s decision and regrets that the Danish parliament chose to be in the forefront of symbolic and inhuman politics of todays biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe and the Middle East, instead of being in the forefront of a respectful European solution to solve the acute humanitarian crisis,” Ai wrote on Instagram.
On Twitter, the artist posted news about the passing of Denmark’s controversial bill and called it “shameless”.
This is not the first Denmark-related controversy for Ai, who helped design the Bird's Nest stadium for the Beijing Olympics and his work has been exhibited worldwide.
Danish toy giant Lego refused a bulk order from Ai in October, saying it would not sell directly to users with "political" intentions. The decision set off a firestorm of criticism and ultimately led Lego to change its policy.
Ai is currently on the Greek island of Lesbos and is flooding his social media accounts with images of arriving asylum seekers.