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Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei may still be under heavy surveillance in Beijing, but his art continues to speak across the globe.
Here in New York’s White Box art gallery, Ai Weiwei’s fellow artist and friends have put on a show carrying on his message.
China-ism II: Democracy or Economy asks the question: China is changing the world, but is the world changing China?
As China has become more economically prosperous, human rights and freedom of speech have only taken a turn for the worse.
On display are several art pieces by Ai Weiwei and Anton Kandinsky, who coined the term China-ism in response to Andy Warhol’s transformation of Mao into pop art.
[Anton Kandinsky, Artist]:
"Chinaism is a very interesting direction in art. It's just like that, If an artist is not Chinese and make art about China."
With a glitz all his own, Kandinsky is transforming familiar CCP images into his own form of pop art.
Behind the exhibit is curator David Rong, long time friend of Ai Weiwei.
The painting behind Mr. Rong has a special meaning for him. The image existed only online, but when the Chinese regime cracked down on Ai, it was removed and lost forever.
It shows Ai joined at the shoulder with Chinese leader Hu Jintao. The characters on the left are part of a well-known Chinese saying, "We are brothers, why are we fighting." It was said by the brother of Cao Cao, an ambitious Chinese warlord in ancient times. But Cao Cao conquered his brother’s land, preferring to dominate China rather than honoring blood ties.
This piece has only half of the saying, “We are brothers.” Kandinsky has replaced the second half with gems, falling like drops of blood.