On Friday 3 August, Ai Weiwei’s’s largest studio in Beijing’s Zuoyou Arts District was demolished as part of the area’s redevelopment, The Art Newspaper reports. Other art spaces in the area has already been demolished, but according to Ai’s assistant Ga Rang, the studio had been given very little notice to move out and a demolition date had not been given. ‘They came and started knocking down the windows today without telling us beforehand. There’s still so much stuff inside,’ Ga Rang has reported, ‘The authorities say they want to develop things here, build malls and commercial buildings. But it’s a shame—you won’t ever find a place in Beijing like this again.’
The demolition of art spaces in the Zuoyou district is the result of Beijing’s attempt to redevelop parts of the city, and not the only area to be directly impacted by the capital’s new building projects: last year the Heiqiao (Black Bridge) village, which was known for its low rent artist studios was demolished, and last month in Caochangdi, an arts area located on land owned by the railway, two galleries were evicted ahead of demolition.
In a series of Instagram posts Ai wrote: ‘Today, they started to demolish my studio ‘zuo you’ without notice… Farewell’.
6 August 2018