Chinese artist Ai Weiwei says he's being investigated on porn charges
Artist's fans are posting nude photos online in protest of the porn allegations
Ai faces tax evasion charges, which he calls punishment for outspokenness
Fans of China’s outspoken artist Ai Weiwei are not shy when it comes to posing nude.
The nude photos are part of an effort by Ai fans to show their support for the controversial artist who says he’s being investigated on porn charges. The latest allegations come after Ai was slapped with tax evasion charges, which he says is punishment for his outspoken criticism of the Chinese government.
Beginning this month, thousands of Ai supporters have donated money to help him pay an estimated 15 million yuan ($2.3 million) fine that the Beijing tax bureau says his design company Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd. owes in back taxes. Ai paid $1.3 million last week to prevent his wife, who runs the company, from going to jail and to appeal the charges.
Supporters donated an estimated 9 million yuan to help him pay the fines and now they’re lending their bodies by posting photos online.
More than 100 online supporters from around the world have posted images of themselves in nude poses – a nod to a photo of Ai titled “One Tiger, Eight Breasts” taken last year with four women – all of them nude. As a result, Ai says he is under investigation on porn charges.
The photo tactic has grown so quickly that a new website has surfaced featuring posts by fans with the slogan, “Listen, Chinese Government: Nudity is not Pornography. On blogger writes, “Don’t be afraid to bare all! The body is beautiful!” Another one says, “I love my body and freedom.”
Photos run the creative gamut from racy shower scenes to just breasts or buttocks. Others hide their private parts with photos of Ai, pose like famous statues by Rodin, display their middle fingers to the camera while covering their faces or even pose while on the toilet.
Despite the support, Ai says he is not optimistic when it comes to his tax charges and says he doesn’t believe in justice from the government since his detention for 81 days in April.