Two China Documentaries to Support

Many of you know that I’m currently working on my own documentary with the ChinaGeeks team. Some of you even gave me money (but we spent it all already, and need more)! Anyway, mine is not the only cool documentary project around. In fact, here are two that are cooler and more professional than my own. At the very least, take the time to check them out, and if you like them, pony up a little cash to show support!

(Note: the text below is copied from the projects’ respective Kickstarter pages).

Never mind about that first one!

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Two years, seven countries and eleven cities later, I know Ai Weiwei. He is the ultimate prankster: simultaneously an international art star and a “dissident artist” in the Western press, with tens of thousands of Chinese netizens following him online and the government keeping almost constant tabs on him.

I have over 200 hours of footage (some of it viewable here) that includes never-before-seen interviews with Weiwei’s family, friends and fellow artists, and chronicles his preparation for major museum shows at the Haus der Kunst and Tate Modern, and a public sculpture work for New York’s Central Park. The two years I spent filming him really mark his rise to international renown, both for his art and his online activism. He is probably the fiercest and loudest internal critic of China, yet somehow he is not in jail. ((This is from her original pitch; obviously, there’s also an update about Ai Weiwei’s current situation.))

Weiwei’s story is extraordinary, but I need your help bringing it to the world.


These both look like really cool projects, so please check them out! I have only copied parts of their pitches here, so check out their Kickstarter pages for the full deal and the rewards you can get for donating.

Note: I am opening the comments in this post so that people can express their support for these cool projects. OFF TOPIC COMMENTS WILL BE DELETED. Please read that sentence a couple times before you hit “Post comment.”

0 thoughts on “Two China Documentaries to Support”

  1. Probably half of Ai Weiwei’s works are probably more politically motivated rather than artistically motivated, this the reason why he gained so much notoriety. There are certainly better Chinese artists out there like Chen DanQing whose works are less politically motivated but outspoken against the Chinese government nevertheless.


  2. Cut it out pug_ster, you’re not even making sense.

    Anyway some great projects, I’m looking forward to seeing them.

    What about your film Custer? Where are you guys at with it at the moment?


  3. breightgrey, can you elaborate why I am not making any sense?

    You mean this is not politically motivated?

    His other ‘works’ is just plain disgusting, like one of his exhibitions of people having sex on the rooftop. I have went to several museums in China over the past few years and saw some works made by recent Chinese Artists yet it seems to be out of flavor to Westerners compared to Ai WeiWei’s work. It is just my opinion.


  4. @ pug_ster

    Of course its politically motivated, but whats the difference between politically motivation and artistic motivation?…….What the hell is artist motivation?

    Westerners are mainly buying up painting, and they’re certainly in “flavour”. China has very few hard line conceptual artists. China has NO good art museums btw, the MCA shows some good stuff occasionally, otherwise you’re only going to see propagandistic garbage.

    As for your disgust, well, its sad your delicate sensibilities have caused chaffing?

    P.S. don’t get me started on that pseudo-nostalgic “twilight of the noble savages” Chen Danqing.

    This is off topic. I’m going on holiday.


  5. @brightgrey

    Of course its politically motivated, but whats the difference between politically motivation and artistic motivation?…….What the hell is artist motivation?

    That goes to show what I said earlier. How many other artists out there in some major museum that has an exhibition that is politically motivated? It reminds me of the other dissident in Jail Liu Xiaobo was recognized as a ‘writer’ because of his anti China views. Makes you wonder if foreigners care about a from a Chinese national’s work if it is original and innovative (artistic motivation) or their works has to be Anti-China in order to be recognized.

    If there are ‘no good’ museums in China then how come so many people visit there? Just because you don’t like them doesn’t mean other people do.


  6. FYI, I never really learned how to appreciate conceptual art. I recall when I first looked Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain”, I said to myself “who cares about an upside down urinal?”


  7. To be fair Ai also went to the White House and Champs Elysee and gave them the middle finger, it’s not a China-only thing. Sure this kind of art can be offensive/incomprehensible, but I don’t see why Beijing needs to throw a shitfit over this. It’s bad press man.


  8. @ pugster,

    You’re still not explaining what “political motivation” and “artist motivation” are, or why they’re mutually exclusive, or why art with “political motivation” is lesser than “artistic motivation”. Is what I presume you’re trying to imply is that people like Ai and Liu are capitalizing off their dissident status and cashing more than their fair share of popularity chips outside of China and you don’t think thats justifiable?

    There are huge numbers of political artists showing in major museums, conceptual or otherwise (though not in China). There are very few Chinese artists with direct political objectives, and those who don’t are still often well received by foreigners.

    Going back to Ai, I can’t think of a single work of his which is didactically and specifically anti-China, and if he did, I can’t see how that would make his work less or more significant. To make position clear on the guy I don’t always like Ai, but he’s certainly got balls for Africa.

    About the museums being popular, firstly I don’t think they actually are, and secondly of course if they were it still doesn’t make them good. What you see of contemporary Chinese art today in public Chinese museums is just a pitiful performance of creating soft-cock nostalgic romances of a discarded and long dead national project. Over and over and over.

    FYI, Nobody cares you that don’t get conceptual art, and Duchamp’s “Fountain” wasn’t upside down.


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