Beijing — Ai Weiwei, the Chinese dissident artist, appeared in a new send-up of “Gangnam Style,” the internet smash hit by Korean rapper Psy, but his government didn’t waste any time in censoring the irreverent video.
Ai Weiwei and friends made the video and uploaded Wednesday night, but it has already been scrubbed from Chinese websites.
AP explains what motivated the prominent activist to shoot the video, which includes him dancing to Psy’s soundtrack while handcuffed to another dude:
“[Ai Weiwei] decided to make the video after learning that the family of his friend Zuoxiao Zuzhou, a famous rock star in China, was losing their home to a demolition crew. The artist said he thought a little humor could alleviate some of the frustration felt by the Chinese public.”
Jailed for about three months last year by Chinese authorities apparently for his political activism, Ai Weiwei added this according to AP:
“Our happiness is constantly being taken away from us, our homes demolished, we are always controlled, passports can be taken away from us, and all these can affect our happiness. However, every morning we have the opportunity to give others something to laugh about. Laughter is important.”
The Vancouver Post has more of what the artist had in mind while making the video:
“Ai said Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ song and dance was a grass-roots expression of individualism that should be allowed in his country.
” ‘Overall, we feel that every person has the right to express themselves, and this right of expression is fundamentally linked to our happiness and even our existence,’ Ai said.”
Ai calls his version of the”Gangnam Style” video “Grass Mud Horse Style,” the Chinese characters for which apparently form a crude, vulgar insult and which was meant to tweak the censors.
Watch Ai Weiwei’s cover of “Gangnam Style”: