Winnipeg artist's work disappears in China

Ben Clarkson is a former-Winnipeg artist now living in Montreal, whose art disappeared shortly after it went on display in China.
Detail from Mao in the Rockies by Ben Clarkson (Ben Clarkson)

It sounded like a great way for a young artist to gain international recognition.

But it's turned into a story of mystery and international intrigue.

Ben Clarkson is a former-Winnipeg artist and illustrator now living in Montreal, whose art disappeared shortly after it went on display in China.

It started in August when Clarkson got a call from someone saying they heard about him through a friend, and were interested in displaying his work at a gallery in China this fall.

Ai Weiwei's head on a pike by Ben Clarkson (Ben Clarkson)
Some of the work Clarkson sent had a chinese theme. One has Chairman Mao in sunglasses. Another features the head of Chinese artist and cultural activist Ai Weiwei on a spike.

Clarkson says the timing was very tight, but he managed to get some pieces organized and he sent them off to Duck Soup Projects, a Beijing-based exhibition space. As far as he knew, things were fine, until he tried to look in on the show.

On the day the project was set to open Clarkson noticed that the website had been replaced with an official Chinese government seal, saying the site had been shut down by the government.

Clarkson still isn't sure if his art was stolen, or seized by the Chinese Government.

To hear more of Clarkson's story, tune in to Information Radio with host Marcy Markusa on Monday November 4 between 6 and 7 a.m.


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