On December 12, Psy’s “Gangnam Style” will become the first YouTube video to reach one billion hits, racking up 4,062 views a minute. This worldwide phenomenon is that impressive that even Barak Obama was seen doing the «Gangnam Style» horse dance. Even serious causes find it a popular way to spread a message across the world. Controversial Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei created a parody to criticize censhorship in China for which he transformed the original horse riding-themed choreography into an evocation of handcuffed hands. The video went viral, but Ai Weiwei’s tongue-in-cheek comment on the lack of freedom in China didn’t go down well with the authorities, which blocked it shortly after its release.

Ai Weiwei who is banned from traveling outside China, found in Anish Kapoor a support fo his cause. The Indian-born British artist recorded a YouTube video  called “Gangnam for Freedom – Anish Kapoor and Friends.”  in which he wears a T-shirt with a picture of Mr Ai Wei Wei while others  wear black-and-white masks of Mr. Ai and Gao Zhisheng, a Chinese human rights lawyer who went missing in 2009.

“Our film aims to make a serious point about freedom of speech and freedom of expression. It is our hope that this gesture of support for Ai Weiwei and all prisoners of conscience will be wide-ranging and will help to emphasise how important these freedoms are to us all”, said Kapoor.


Anish Kapoor’s version, choreographed by Akram Khan, also includes cameo appearances from leading figures in the cultural world, including Mark Wallinger, Hanif Kureishi and Southbank Centre director Jude Kelly. Some organisations like Moma, Guggenheim and Amnesty International also support this video.
As sculptor, photographer and installation artist, Ai Weiwei has used his art to draw attention to injustices in Chinese society and the need for greater transparency and rule of law with protection of human rights.