Chinese Artist, Ai Wei Wei, a design consultant for the Bird’s Nest Stadium, says he plans to stay away from the Olympic Opening Ceremony.
"The "Bird's Nest" National Stadium, which I helped to conceive, is designed to embody the Olympic spirit of "fair competition". It tells people that freedom is possible but needs fairness, courage and strength. Following the same principles, I will stay away from the opening ceremony, because I believe the freedom of choice is the basis of fair competition. It is the right I cherish most."
The Guardian, Wei Wei says he wanted the stadium to represent freedom, not autocracy, and that China must change.
"We live in a world where everything is politicised, but some people insist the Olympics should be different. They imply that this fortnight of sport is somehow disconnected from history and psychology, unrelated to theory and morality and on a more elevated plane than base human nature. They argue that anyone who links the games with politics has sinister ulterior motives, that they are anti-Chinese. But the real reason they don't like politics is because any discussion of the subject reminds people who was responsible for making China so detached from the rest of the world."
The Olympics are planning to throw quite the bruhaha to celebrate the unveiling of this stadium. They’re going to blow up 35,000 fireworks in 1,800 locations around the city. People are so pumped, they’re not even complaining that Jackie Chan is performing. (musically!)
And as the designer at the center of this spectacle, Wei Wei stands to take a healthy share of the credit (Who designed the Athens Olympic Stadium? Zeus?) Wei is an important player and this is his big moment. The fact that he's willing to forego his ultimate celebration because he thinks it's all a guise and a sham is admirable.
Good for you, Asian Zeus. I respect your conviction.
Beijing Olympics: The Bird's Nest stadium (The Telegraph)
Why I'll stay away from the opening ceremony of the Olympics (The Guardian)