Before his arrest and subsequent release by the Chinese government, Ai Weiwei was an active Twitter user, frequently updating and interacting with his over 90,000 followers about his life and projects. It has been speculated that one of the terms of Ai's release, including not speaking to reporters, was a ban from social media sites like Twitter.
Which is why it was a huge surprise when a Google+ account by Ai was opened recently. As ArtInfo mused, "the question is, will the Chinese government allow Ai to retake his place as the online godfather of the Chinese art world, or will the Google Plus account end with a rude awakening that no online space is safe?"
Since joining the new social networking site Ai has posted two messages saying "来了，问候" ("I'm here, greetings"), and "有生命体征" ("Here's proof of life") a message that included a shirtless photo of the artist. And people have already begun to take notice; over 6000 people have already added Ai in their circles.
According to Steven Millward of Penn Olson:
Ai Wei-wei has sneaked some cheeky humour into the 'About' section of his new G+ profile, describing himself as a "suspected pornography enthusiast and tax evader" - a reference to two of the many police charges leveled at him recently.
If you want to add Ai Weiwei to your Circles on Google+ click here.
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