BEIJING--It was supposed to be an artistic stunt poking fun at the constant surveillance he is under.
But Chinese authorities do not appear to be amused.
On April 4, public security officials in Beijing instructed artist Ai Weiwei to stop an experiment in which he had broadcast everything he did in his private life live on the Internet.
According to Ai's family members, the 54-year-old artist set up four cameras in his home the previous day and connected them to the Internet. The idea was to satirize the numerous surveillance cameras the authorities have erected around his home to monitor his movements.
"They say, you can only let us come and peep at you, but you shouldn't come forward and help yourself be peeped at by us," Ai said in his blog. "It's so absurd that I can't describe it."
Ai is known for his open criticism of the Chinese authorities. For instance, he helped compile a list of the names of children who perished during the 2008 Great Sichuan Earthquake under poorly constructed buildings.
Ai was taken into custody on suspicion of tax evasion in April last year, but was released on bail in June.
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