Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei has produced and released a video in which he dances to the smash hit viral video “Gangnam Style”.
The artist, usually known for his outspoken views on Chinese human rights, says he decided to make the humorous film after hearing that a friend’s family home was being demolished by Chinese authorities.
“Our happiness is constantly being taken away from us, our homes demolished, we are always controlled, passports can be taken away from us, all these can affect our happiness,” he said. “However, every morning we have the opportunity to give others something to laugh about. Laughter is important.”
Ai told the Associated Press that he uploaded the video early Thursday and it was played on several Chinese websites. He says government authorities quickly shut it down, but not before tens of thousands of people saw it.
In the four-minute video, Ai imitates South Korean performer Psy’s signature horse-riding dance. At one point, Ai pulls a pair of handcuffs from his pocket and waves them in the air in a possible reference to the 81 days he spent in detention in 2011.
Ai said he was surprised by how many “media outlets” ran his video which is entitled “Grass Mud Horse Style” after the animal invented by Chinese citizens to protest against internet censorship.
The Chinese pronunciation of “Grass Mud Horse (Cao Ni Ma)” sounds similar to an insult banned in Chinese internet and social media.