China's Ai Weiwei blacked out after self-surveillance experiment
April 5, 2012 -- Updated 0306 GMT (1106 HKT)
- Dissident artist Ai Weiwei set up four cameras at his home in Beijing
- Ai: "Website has just been shut down by order of public security"
- He was arrested and charged with tax evasion last year
- His family and rights groups say the charges are politically motivated
Hong Kong (CNN) -- It was intended as a nod to the constant surveillance he finds himself under since being released by Chinese authorities last year.
Dissident artist Ai Weiwei set up four cameras at his home in Beijing over his computer, bed and courtyard to broadcast a 24-hour live feed at a website he set up called weiweicam.com.
But soon after the cameras went live he was blacked out. His website displayed a blank screen.
Ai Weiwei turns camera on himself
"The website has just been shut down by order of public security," Ai told CNN late Wednesday.
Ai Weiwei rises: Art and activism online
The 54-year old, who helped design the iconic Bird's Nest Olympic stadium in Beijing, has endured a difficult relationship with Chinese authorities. Last year he was detained for 81 days and ordered to pay 15 million yuan ($2.38 million) in back taxes officials said he owed through his company, Fake Cultural Development Ltd.
He paid 8.45 million yuan ($1.3 million) late last year so he could contest the charges. Had he not paid the sum, he said at the time, his wife would have been jailed.
Ai's family and human rights advocates have said they believe the Chinese government is targeting him for his criticism of the regime.
An internationally renowned artist, Ai's works -- often with political undercurrents -- command hundreds of thousands of dollars. His 2010 installation at the Tate Modern in London involved 100 million porcelain sunflower seeds, each one hand-painted by specialists in China, spread on the floor of the museum's large entrance hall.
CNN's Judy Kwon contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 0621 GMT (1421 HKT)
For the families of passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the wait for news is agonizing.
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 0835 GMT (1635 HKT)
China plans to hold special courses to train government leaders in ways of managing online public opinion, according to a report in state-run media.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 0430 GMT (1230 HKT)
Is China a land of opportunities, or land of anger and despair? Tao Xie weighs in.
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 0204 GMT (1004 HKT)
Just call it the Fake Leap Forward: Hong Kongers dressed in Mao suits to protest increasing mainland Chinese influence in their city.
March 7, 2014 -- Updated 0719 GMT (1519 HKT)
For some local Hong Kongers, the local economy is being geared to the needs of cashed-up Chinese day-trippers, rather than locals.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1027 GMT (1827 HKT)
Vladimir Putin is seeking China's support in Russia's standoff with Western powers over Ukraine.
March 8, 2014 -- Updated 0559 GMT (1359 HKT)
Despite the country's improving economy, women in China still face rampant discrimination.
February 27, 2014 -- Updated 0824 GMT (1624 HKT)
What's the story with WeChat, the messaging app taking China by storm?
As China's annual parliamentary meetings kick off, Beijing gauges progress on key economic reforms outlined last year.
February 28, 2014 -- Updated 0501 GMT (1301 HKT)
Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke speaks to CNN about his time in China.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 0449 GMT (1249 HKT)
Limited investment options in China means real estate has been a popular choice for consumers looking to expand their portfolios.
February 27, 2014 -- Updated 0140 GMT (0940 HKT)
It's sexy, sophisticated, skintight, and started as a Chinese feminist statement. Here's the story of China's "cheongsam"
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 0911 GMT (1711 HKT)
Linkedin, the networking site for professionals, has done what few other foreign online services have achieved -- it has successfully set up its China operations.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 0408 GMT (1208 HKT)
With its tradition of free speech, Hong Kongers pride themselves on their strong opinions -- but now local journalists say they are being shut up.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 1019 GMT (1819 HKT)
Beijingers are once again choking as smog levels hit "heavy or even worse" levels in the capital and other cities across the country.
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 1349 GMT (2149 HKT)
China has urged U.S. President Barack Obama to call off a meeting at the White House with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
February 19, 2014 -- Updated 1205 GMT (2005 HKT)
Far from being censored, the U.S. political drama 'House of Cards' is widely available in China -- and surprisingly popular.
Today's five most popular stories