Citizen artist Ai Weiwei (part 2)

Grass Mud Horse (草泥马) is rumoured to inhabit the Mahler Gobi. How do we get there (and will there be cowbells) ?


Ai Weiwei’s bronze zodiac heads at Washington’s Hirshhorn Museum



Another zoömorphic installation in “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” at the Hirshhorn


Ai Weiwei thanks his supporters by singing the Grass Mud Horse Song –

The Caonima, literally “Grass Mud Horse”, is supposedly a species of alpaca. The name is derived from a profanity (Chinese: 肏你妈/操你媽; pinyin: cào nǐ mā). Grass-mud horse became the de facto mascot of netizens in China fighting for free expression, inspiring poetry, photos and videos, artwork, lines of clothing, and more.  As one Chinese blogger explained, “The grass-mud horse (草泥马) represents information and opinions that cannot be accepted by the mainstream discourse, and ‘the Song of the Grass-Mud Horse’ has become a metaphor of the power struggle over Internet expression”.

                                                                                – China Digital Times (Berkeley)

Ai Weiwei published a series of nude self-portraits with only a ‘Caonima’ hiding his middle region, accompanied by the caption “草泥马挡中央” – “cǎonímǎ dǎng zhōngyāng”, literally “a Grass Mud Horse covering the centre”. One interpretation of the caption is: “Screw your mother, Communist Party Central Committee”.

Illustration by T. Tian

More art of Ai in Magasin 3 (Stockholm) –











Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s