The dissident artist Badiucao—the man dubbed the “Chinese Banksy”—is showing works around Miami criticising the Chinese government’s record on human rights ahead of the Winter Olympics in Beijing next February. The posters, called Beijing 2022 Olympics, appear in more than 20 locations including the Wynwood district. “It’s important that art is not just a market commodity,” Badiucao says.
“This wild posting campaign strives to raise awareness among the global art community about the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics,” according to a statement from the New York-based Human Rights Foundation, which has organised the project. “Through his collection, Badiucao is calling for a boycott due to the Chinese government’s disrespect for rule of law, human rights and freedom.” The Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC did not respond to a request for comment.
The collection was initially shown at the New World Center’s Soundscape Park as part of the 2021 Oslo Freedom Forum in Miami and is also on view in an exhibition at the Museo di Santa Giulia in Brescia, Italy (China is (not) near: Badiucao, until 13 February). In October, the Chinese embassy in Italy requested its cancellation, but the city’s mayor, Emilio del Bono, rejected the demands.
Badiucao was born and raised in Shanghai but lives in exile in Melbourne, Australia. He is known for making political cartoons that typically take a critical stance of the Chinese Communist Party.