ai weiwei studio demolished
Getty Images / Drew Angerer

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has shared videos reportedly showing authorities tearing down his Beijing art studio.

As per Ai Weiwei’s Instagram, the footage seemingly shows his creative space, and work housed inside, being demolished by construction machinery. In one caption, the artist claims the demolition job was executed without forewarning.

A post shared by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

My Beijing studio since 2006.

A post shared by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

Located in the outskirts of Beijing, the former factory building has served as the artist-cum-activist’s base since 2006. According to AFP, Ai was expected to leave the property — as confirmed by his assistant Ga Rang — who informed the publication that his rental contract had expired last autumn.

“They came and started knocking down the windows today without telling us beforehand,” Ga told AFP. “There’s still so much stuff inside.”

While the official motive of the demo remains unclear, AFP reports that the building was slated for redevelopment.

Moreover, in 2011, Ai’s Shanghai studio was also destroyed by demolition workers.

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Words by Candice Nembhard
Staff Writer

A Berlin-based gal from Brum.