The Australian Embassy in Beijing is seeking more information on Guo Jian, after the Chinese-Australian artist and activist's reported arrest and detainment by Chinese police on Sunday.
"The Australian Embassy in Beijing has contacted Chinese authorities to seek further information on the reported detention of Mr Guo Jian and to underline our strong interest in the matter," according to a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
"The Australian Government stands ready to extend all possible consular assistance to Mr. Guo."
Amnesty International has also released a statement condemning Guo's arrest.
A former People's Liberation Army soldier during his teens who later took part in the pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989, Guo has since made a name for himself creating art featuring an anti-government theme.
On Sunday, Guo told an AP reporter and friends via text message that police were removing him from his home in Songzhuang, an arts colony located in the eastern suburbs of Beijing, and that he would be held until June 15.
The artist's detainment takes place amid China's recent crackdown on a wide range of government critics and an increase in police presence on Beijing's streets ahead of Wednesday's 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests.
- Tiananmen Square anniversary sparks security crackdown in China
The 52-year-old artist had recently completed a provocative new artwork depicting a diorama of Tiananmen Square covered in ground pork. He had also been featured in international media, including a May 30 profile in the Financial Times newspaper that showed images of the new artwork and in Australian TV interviews earlier this spring.
Guo became disillusioned with China's Communist Party after his time with the PLA as a painter of propaganda posters and a propaganda officer. He left the army in the early 1980s.
He graduated from Beijing's Minzu University of China with a bachelor of arts in Chinese painting and literature in 1989 but, after his participation in the Tiananmen protests, struggled to find work. In the early 1990s, pressure from Chinese authorities forced him to leave his home country.
He moved to Australia and, based in Sydney, became an Australian citizen. Guo eventually built an international reputation for his artwork, which explores themes such as political upheaval in China and the use of celebrities, entertainers and women for propaganda in his home country and the West.
His work, considered part of the cynical realism movement of contemporary Chinese artists, has been exhibited and featured in museums and private collections in Australia, China and internationally.
He returned to China in 2005, choosing to settle in the arts community of Songzhuang.