Howl: The Artist Who Pushes Ideas (and the Journalist Who Didn’t).

In this online Wall Street Journal story Kelly Crow reports the debut of a documentary about Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist known for both helping design “Bird’s Nest” and expressing dissident ideas. Seriously speaking, there isn’t much about arts in this article. Instead, Crow tries to present a comical view of Ai’s activism, another part of his life that has almost defined the artist nowadays.

However, I think she has done it too comically.

In the beginning of the fourth paragraph, Crow describes Ai as being “both impish and serious” in the documentary. But she barely tells us how serious Ai is. All we can see are three anecdotes about Ai’s confrontation with the government, informing us that Ai is serious about throwing stones at the surveillance cameras. A much harder piece of the story can be found here in the Los Angeles Times.

Crow’s story appears to me as merely the teaser for the documentary. Fortunately, there are a lot of excellent things that journalism has done for artists like Ai. Is there an example? Look no further than the documentary we are talking about.

Text by Steven Yuan. Image from the Wall Street Journal.

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