Guo Gai released from detention, but unable to leave Beijing

Guo Gai, the Chinese artist detained on Mar. 24 after photographing a pro-democracy performance at the Beijing Museum of Contemporary Art is free. The Soap Factory here in Minneapolis confirms its earlier note, adding that according to University of Minnesota professor and sculptor Tom Rose, Gai was released on April 24 and is in "reasonable health." The artist won't, however, be allowed to leave China -- or Beijing -- for any reason, including attending the exhibition of his politically charged large scale photos (pictured) and choral piece in Minneapolis late this summer.

Debra DeNoyelles at the Soap says the art venue is having discussions about how to present and discuss Gai's work in the context of the current crackdown on dissent and free speech in China. His work will be presented with that of Meng Tang and Natalia Slinko. Tang, DeNoyelles writes in an email, was "barely allowed out of China at the beginning of [last] month. (She was only able to leave because a friend who is a flight attendant allowed her to change flights surreptitiously.)" A former instructor at the Beijing Academy of Film, Tang now says she doesn't think she'll be able to leave for the next year.

More on this exhibition, Gai's work and the work of Slinko and Tang as the Aug. 27 exhibition opening approaches.

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