Ai Weiwei in China, February 1, 2013 (Photo: Robert Vos/AFP/Getty)
Ai Weiwei, dissident Chinese artist and social activist whose work has been exhibited around the world, was celebrated Friday, October 4 at 8:30 pm at Toronto City Hall rotunda. Forever Friday: The Rise of Modern Art was hosted by George, and featured a special video message from Ai himself.
The event also included tons of music and art, with performances from Whitehorse and LAL and a live art painting by Gene Pendon.
There was a screening of C.C. Hudson Hwang's "Fake Fake" video reinterpretation of Ai's works, with comments from Justin Podur (a friend and representative of Canadians Tarek Loubani and John Greyson, currently imprisoned in Egypt), Wei Lee (OMNI News: Mandarin Edition anchor) and Roger Petersen (CityNews Tonight anchor).
Closing out the festivities was a performance by the Samba Punk drummers leading into a thematic DJ set from k-os.
Here's George at the event with Ai's 'Forever Bicycles' behind him:
Forever Friday is part of Nuit Talks, a series that explores the themes of freedom of speech and expression through art in the leadup to Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto's annual all-night celebration of contemporary art.