AI WEIWEI, The World is not changing if you don’t shoulder the burden of responsibility, 2013
hand numbered, signed in print on deck
published by TheSK8room.com
This is part of a set of three, hand-numbered and signed in print skateboard decks by Ai Weiwei. In the works of Ai Weiwei, the story and political context is important, if not more relevant than the objects themselves. In the case of the depicted crabs on his skate board design he refers to a story about a dinner party Ai arranged in 2010 as a protest against a sudden bureaucratic decision to demolish his brand-new studio. In 2008 when the mayor of Jiading (a northern district of Shanghai) invited Ai to build a studio space that would provide a cultural center for the city. The government promised to provide all the proper permits and to support the studio’s construction. Soon after the building was completed in 2010, the same government pledged to demolish Ai’s newly built studio. In response, Ai invited friends and supporters via Twitter to gather in his studio’s courtyard for a feast of 10,000 river crabs standing for the false “harmony” and invitation the government offered. Ai was placed under house arrest and couldn’t attend the feast with the crabs, but it went on without him. In the beginning of 2011 the studio was razed.
Based on stories like the one above porcelain crabs and sesame seeds have become part of his oeuvre, accompanied by one of his aphorisms, such as “The World is not changing if you don’t shoulder the burden of responsibility” or “There are no outdoor sports as graceful as throwing stones at a dictatorship in the world.”