“Ai Weiwei and I are very good friends. And we have this ongoing, joking discussion about China. It goes more or less like this: he would say, ‘Oh man, you are so naïve, you think China is this, and this, and this.’ And then I would say, ‘But China is really great, blah blah.’ I would exaggerate my admiration for China a little bit to oppose him. He is a very, very angry man, very angry in China. They have done things to him, and he cannot forgive. I’m a foreigner, I’m an outsider, I see things more with rose-colored glasses. But he doesn’t see a great future for China. So even my argument ‘at least you have a great future’ doesn’t work with him.
We are afraid of China. And he gives us hope. Every night in the newspaper or other media, we are told that we are in a good country, that Europe is safe, that we can get on with our lives, that we are better here than in China — which I do not agree with. I think I would be very happy in China. I think I would be less oppressed.”
-BELGIAN ARTIST WIM DELVOYE, EXPRESSING HIS OPINION ON CHINA AND AI WEIWEI’S DETENTION.
Until 2010, Wim Delvoye worked on a pig farm in China where he tattooed pigs and sold their skin as art after they died naturally. Earlier this month, Delvoye invited Ai Weiwei to rebuild his demolished Shanghai art studio in Belgium.
Read more of Shanghaiist’s Ai Weiwei coverage here.