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Love the future

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爱未来 (ài wèilái): Love the future

"Love the future" is a coded reference to Chinese artist and dissident, Ai Weiwei (艾未未) that began to be used after Ai's disappearance in early 2011. Ai’s surname sounds the same as the word “love” in Chinese, and his given name “Weiwei” can be converted into the word “future” by adding two small strokes to the second character. After the phrase "love the future" became a synonym for Ai, the word "future" became a sensitive word in China. See here.

From Wikipedia

Ai Weiwei is a Chinese artist and activist, who is also active in architecture, curating, photography, film, and social and cultural criticism. Ai collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuronas the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics. In addition to showing his art he has investigated government corruption and cover-ups. He was particularly focused at exposing an alleged corruption scandal in the construction of Sichuan schools that collapsed during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. He intensively uses the internet to communicate with people all over China, especially the young generation. On 3 April 2011 police detained him at Beijing airport, and his studio in the capital was sealed off in an apparent crackdown by the Chinese authorities on political dissidents.

On June 22, 2011, Ai was released on probation with strict instructions to not leave Beijing.

A terrific profile of Ai Weiwei is available in the New Yorker, here.

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