The news that Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been detained by authorities has prompted significant concern here at TED-HQ. We had shown a film of him at last month’s conference, an unexpected and courageous statement about his treatment by the government, social change, the power of the web, and his hope for the future of China. The film, which was shown as Ai Weiwei himself watched live over the web in the middle of the night, prompted a huge standing ovation from the TED audience.



タイトル Ai Weiwei detained. Here is his TED film
スピーカー アイ・ウェイウェイ
アップロード 2011/04/05

「アイ・ウェイウェイ氏が拘束された。こちらが彼のTEDフィルムです(Ai Weiwei detained. Here is his TED film)」の文字起こし

Ai Weiwei is recognized broadly as one of the world’s great artists. I’m going to show some of his works of art.

This is the Sunflower Exhibition currently at the Tate. There are more than 100 million seeds there, each of them actually its own work of art created by hundreds of artisans over many months.

And there’s the beautiful Bird’s Nest Stadium, the centerpiece of the Beijing Olympics.

In recent years, Ai Weiwei has become increasingly critical of the Chinese government and has faced consequences for that. He’s had exhibitions canceled, faced beatings, and his beautiful new studio in Shanghai was bulldozed on January 11th.

We’d invited him to come and speak here, but because of his current circumstances, he couldn’t come. However, he was able to get to us a secretly recorded talk on video.

TED is a nonpartisan organization. We have no formal stance for and against the Chinese government, and we’ve had plenty of talks here in the past that have celebrated the astonishing things happening in China, including the largest escape from poverty of more people than any other time in human history.

But we are proud to present the personal statement of a courageous artist.

“My name is Ai Weiwei. I’m based in Beijing. I’m an artist. My work relates to art shows, communications through internet, architecture, design, and documentary films.

In China, most internationally one on internet site being blocked such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, or YouTube. In general condition, my name cannot even be tapped in China. In the domestic internet sites, the line will come out like illegal words being used or the article will just disappear.

And because of the kind of nature of my work which encourages a new generation of people who use Internet to be aware of the real situation, also we are very much in digging of truth facts which mostly are covered by the government medias.

So my blog has been censored and also I’m constantly under surveillance. In front of my studio, there are surveillance cameras. Sometimes I’m even being tailed, and my phone is being monitored, and my internet account is always being checked by the unknowns.

I’m living in a society where freedom of speech is not allowed, and also it’s very hard to find individual expressions through media or through any public territories.

So to help the change, to help China to become a more democratic society, you need people who can act, who can give out their opinions and talk to the young people and trying to find a way to encourage people to be involved.

So only when you’re doing that, you can have a civil society. So what I’m doing is more on involve my art with the reality, and beaut a possible possibility and to connect art under the social change.

Since 2005, I started working on Internet. I write blogs and Twitter’s and organize activities through the internet. We did the 2007 fairy tale which is art show in castle they organized 1001 Chinese to go over to Germany under the whole organization and work is through the internet which became a very success and a lot of young people first time earn.”

They realized the power of this kind of social media and social communication. Later, in 2008, China had a huge earthquake which was devastating. After the earthquake, the government refused to give out the truth of who is dead and how many of them. There were a lot of students who were crushed by mishandling of the construction work and were victimized by corruption.

So through the internet, we organized an investigation and asked volunteers to join us under 200 to go to Sutra in the local area at the backdoor of illegitimate villages. After a year of research, we found out over 5000 to 119 students’ names, their schools, and their families’ contacts. By doing that, we encouraged a lot of young people to be involved and we are always trying to remind people of individual efforts and making an impact.

I think the internet is the most valuable thing that happened because that’s the only way people can freely associate with others and freely give out information. But internally, China has a Great Firewall that forbids any sensitive information. So the struggle is always very strong because the government basically censors everything they don’t like.

I think in the next few years, China is faced with a moment for social and political change. Even though over the past thirty years, China made a great difference economically and became much more connected and recognized by the international community, we are still a communist society. Some basic values such as freedom of speech and human rights are still in poor condition. Many people, only because they speak out their mind, can be put in jail or in a very difficult situation.

By not letting people have the freedom to get information and to freely associate with other people, and to have a free election, the whole political situation is still very corrupted, and the society sacrifices its environment, education, and moral standards just to try to become rich. And that cannot last long. So far, we don’t see any real consciousness and willingness to make a difference through the party itself.

So we can see through the internet, people are very aware of that. But in reality, even internationally, all the Western nations are trying to tolerate what’s happening in China today. I think this is very short-sighted and this will not help China to become a modern society. So I think what we can do as individuals is really to use the internet and using the new technology to communicate with young people and to have much broader discussions and to make the change more smoothly. And the change will come and nobody can really avoid that. So I think this is a time for people to be more conscious about that.

It’s the middle of the night in China, but I believe Ai Weiwei is watching live with us now. Do we see him there

Ai Weiwei

「アイ・ウェイウェイ氏が拘束された。こちらが彼のTEDフィルムです(Ai Weiwei detained. Here is his TED film)」の和訳