Recently freed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is back at work.
The famed activist is not allowed to give interviews to the press as part of the strict bail conditions placed on him by the Chinese government, but a Swiss gallery owner tells the New York Times that he has visited the artist and found him in good health and hard at work crafting his next art project.
“The detention could not break his incomparable presence and vigor, his humor and his alertness!” Urs Meile told the paper in an email. “He is full of energy and again intensively dedicating himself to his artistic creation.”
Meile did not specify what type of project Ai was working on but added that he “is able to work without interruption, to make plans and to realize projects together with his team.”
Ai’s last project before his arrest was an attempt to show that the ruling Communist Party attempted to manipulate public opinion by paying Internet commentators, who pretend to be ordinary citizens, to post pro-government remarks.
According to a Danish report, Ai wanted to find out who these people are, how they organize and how they get their assignments from the government. While the report claims that leaked classified documents from the Communist Party prove that paid propaganda campaign does indeed exist, it is doubtful that Ai – under his current bail conditions – will aim to uncover the alleged scheme as part of his current project.
Ai’s previous investigation into potential government corruption in school construction resulted in Ai being beaten up by police officers, according to the Times.
Authorities arrested Ai on April 3 on a number of charges, including nonpayment of taxes, although many international observers believe that the arrest was instead based on his increasingly political art and his criticism of the ruling Communist Party.