‘Who’s Afraid of Ai Weiwei?’ Graffiti Girl Risks 10 Years in Jail

05.05.11 Marina Galperina

“I have to thank the police for drawing so much attention to this issue,” activist Tangerine tells the press. “Even if I have to go to jail, I think that would be a very, very worth it price to pay.” With her signature Ai stenciled and illegally projected all over Hong Kong, Tangerine is being investigated by a serious crime squad that usually deals with rape and murder.

Instead of a standard fine and three months detention for “graffiti,” the authorities want to charge the 22-year-old artist with damages and sentence her to an unusually stiff term of 10 years. She’s willing to risk it to deliver her message:

[Ai] is one of the most prominent contemporary artists in the world right now. And if he can be arrested, then there’s no identity we can hide behind: Being a Hong Kong citizen doesn’t help anymore; being rich or social status doesn’t help. There’s no shield any more against this very naked power that’s trying to engulf us.

(Photos: The Standard)