China dissident joins ‘Gangnam Style’ posse
WASHINGTON—Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei hopped onto the “Gangnam Style” bandwagon Wednesday, posting his own parody of Psy’s viral hit that remained at number two on Billboard’s Hot 100 for a fifth week.
Ai, 55, banned from traveling abroad, joins the likes of hipsters, flash mobs, prison convicts, wedding parties and, on Tuesday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in mimicking the South Korean rapper’s signature pony dance.
He appears in a bright pink T-shirt and satin-lapel black jacket from which he pulls out, about a minute into the YouTube clip, a pair of handcuffs — an unmistakable symbol of Beijing’s efforts to silence his outspoken views.
Last year Ai spent 81 days in detention amid a roundup of Chinese activists. He has also been prosecuted for tax evasion, a charge he denies, and remains under investigation for posting supposed “pornography” on the Internet.
A major exhibition of his photographs, videos, sculptures and installations opened earlier this month at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, but Ai was unable to attend as the Chinese authorities withheld his passport.
Psy, 34, whose real name is Park Jae-Sang, rocketed to international fame when “Gangnam Style” — a techno ode to a trendy Seoul neighborhood — went viral in July on YouTube, where it has notched up more than 530 million views.
But his dreams of reaching the summit of the Hot 100 chart, which reflects CD sales, digital downloads and radio play, have been thwarted week after week by Maroon 5, which remains at number one with “One More Night.”
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