Ai Weiwei on Twitter Usage: ‘I Have Broken Some Rules’

Artist Ai Weiwei (Photo:

Two months after being released from jail by Chinese authorities, who detained him for 81 days on charges of tax evasion, artist Ai Weiwei continued to discuss his arrest in the Western press, with an interview with The Los Angeles Times.

The occasion for the wide-ranging talk was the unveiling of Mr. Ai’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads installation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which he told the paper is “about the future and the past, and how China is looked at today and how it looks at itself”

Mr. Ai recently joined Google Plus and returned to his Twitter account, apparently violating the terms of his release, which had reportedly required him to avoid such services. He told the paper:

“Twitter is not allowed, of course… I can’t talk about my case. I have broken some rules, but I have to take the consequences. I have been warned again.”

Mr. Ai reported that his blood sugar and blood pressure have improved since being incarcerated (he has high blood pressure and diabetes), but told The Times, “I cannot concentrate very well. But maybe that will be nice for an artist.”

Curiously, the artist also spent a fair amount of time discussing a pet cat that had disappeared from his Beijing residence:

“This cat always wants to escape. He’s a very smart cat… I don’t know if I should congratulate him or keep worrying.”

Ai Weiwei on Twitter Usage: ‘I Have Broken Some Rules’