Sharron Lovell / Polaris
Ai Weiwei, whose sculpture representing the mythical figures of the Chinese zodiac will be unveiled Monday in New York, has been detained by Chinese authorities and accused of serious crimes. Click to see photos of some of his most influential works.
BEIJING – China’s Ai Weiwei on Wednesday released a profanity-laced heavy-metal single based on the 81 days the firebrand artist and activist spent in detention.
Written and sung by Ai with music by prominent Chinese rocker Zuoxiao Zuzhou, “Dumbass” is “is a wall-to-wall simulation of the prison cell that Weiwei was detained in,” a spokeswoman for Ai said.
Lyrics in the song, translated into English, include "**** forgiveness, tolerance be damned, to hell with manners, the low-life’s invincible," and "The field is full of ****ers, dumbasses are everywhere."
A video to accompany the song is available to watch on YouTube [note: profanity in Chinese].
Ai’s detention and the hefty $2.4 million tax bill later levied against him led to protests around the world, as well as an upsurge of support in China for the award-winning artist, who was placed under house arrest following his release.
Ai said that recreating his cell and the traumatic experience of being imprisoned – which Ai claims included 24-hour supervision by two military police sergeants, even as he slept and used the bathroom – was a cathartic experience.
The Chinese government has never confirmed the details of Ai’s detention.
The track, the first single off his new album “The Divine Comedy,” was described in a press release from his studio as “Ai Weiwei’s reflection on the struggle of protecting human rights and the freedom of expression in China.”
Ai’s spokeswoman said that the artist was working on a second album that will shift away from the heavy-metal and towards a more romantic tone.