CHINESE Internet authorities Thursday blocked a “Gangnan Style” parody by dissident artist Ai Weiwei, which took aim at the government’s efforts to silence his activism.
The four-minute music video, a parody of South Korean artist Psy’s viral hit, was uploaded to China’s video-sharing site Tuduo on Wednesday.
But it was removed by Internet censors after getting thousands of hits, Ai said on his microblog web page.
The parody can still be seen outside China on the video-sharing site YouTube, which is blocked inside the country.
Ai, 55, had joined the likes of hipsters, flash mobs, convicts, wedding parties and even UN chief Ban Ki-moon in mimicking the South Korean rapper’s signature horse-riding dance.
In his parody, Ai appears in a bright pink T-shirt and satin-lapel black jacket from which he pulls out, about a minute into the clip, a pair of handcuffs – a symbol of Beijing’s efforts to silence him.
Last year Ai spent 81 days in detention amid a roundup of Chinese activists. In August a court upheld a $US2.4 million tax evasion fine against him. He also 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 since he is banned from travelling abroad.
Psy, 34, whose real name is Park Jae-Sang, rocketed to international fame when Gangnam Style – a techno ode to a trendy Seoul neighbourhood – went viral in July on YouTube. It has now notched up more than 530 million views.