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Ai Weiwei is the focus of a panel at LACMA

December 5, 2011 | 11:51 am


Ai Weiwei will be the focus of a panel discussion Monday evening at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the museum's Bing Theater and is free to the public.

Ai has made international headlines this year for his problems with Chinese authorities. In the spring, the artist was arrested and held in secret detention for more than 80 days before being released on bail. He is currently fighting a multi-million-dollar tax bill from the Chinese government.

Supporters of Ai believe Beijing is punishing the artist for his online activism. In recent years, the artist has taken to Twitter and other forms of social media to criticize the Chinese government and advocate for free speech.

LACMA is currently hosting's Ai's  "Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads," a large-scale, outdoor installation featuring the animals of the Chinese zodiac. The traveling work will be on display through February.

The LACMA panel will feature Stephen Little, curator and department head of the Chinese and Korean art department; Franklin Sirmans, curator and department head of contemporary art; and Christina Yu, assistant curator of Chinese and Korean Art.

Earlier this year, LACMA director Michael Govan was one of many museum leaders around the world to sign a petition demanding Ai's release from detention.


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Ai Weiwei talks about art, his health and life out of prison

Demonstrators in L.A. show support for Ai Weiwei

-- David Ng

Photo: Ai Weiwei exercises in a car park in Beijing in November. Credit: Peter Parks / AFP/Getty Images