Video: Going Gangnam style for Ai Weiwei

Friday, November 23, 2012

Video: Going Gangnam style for Ai Weiwei

Psy, the Korean singer and Gangnam style video made tons of hits on YouTube. According to Telegraph, Gangnam style video has reached over 750 millions views, breaked the record Justin Bieber on YouTube.

Even Ai Weiwei, the not-exactly-incarcerated-but-pretty-much-under-house-arrest Chinese artist, posted his own ‘Gangnam Style’ video on the internet. It featured him in handcuffs and was promptly banned by the Chinese authorities.

So, in the heady rush of all things Gangnam, it’s pleasing to see the great and the good of the international art world doing their Gangnam bit in aid of Ai.

Commissioned by Amnesty International and choreographed by British dance wonder Akram Khan, 250 art-worlders, led by Sir Anish Kapoor, Gangnam their way through Psy’s song and writhe around in handcuffs. On the wall behind them, the names of dissidents, Pussy Riot among them, are written.

Kapoor is quoted as saying: "Our film aims to make a serious point about freedom of speech and freedom of expression. It is our hope that this gesture of support for Ai Weiwei and all prisoners of conscience will be wide-ranging and will help to emphasise how important these freedoms are to us all."

Gangnam stlye Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei in his own Gangnam Style video.

And it’s interesting to see how a Korean pop song with banal lyrics about sexy ladies and knowing men, that invokes the name of a high-class Seoul district, has pressed people into action. It probably won’t convert any Chinese officials, but like the vast ‘RELEASE AI WEIWEI’ sign that was placed on top of Tate Modern in 2011, it will certainly be seen by an awful lot of people.