Thousands of Chinese have rallied together to support Ai Weiwei by making donations towards the artist’s punitive US$2.4 million tax bill. Since the financial campaign was launched on Chinese microblog Sina Weibo on Thursday nearly US$500,000 has been raised, with some supporters even throwing paper planes made from folded notes into the artist’s Beijing compound.
Despite being warned by authorities not to accept the cash, Ai and his helpers intend to ‘borrow’ the money and repay it all eventually. While he’s still a long way from the $2.4 million mark, Ai has been buoyed by these subversive acts of generosity. “Over the past three years, during all the efforts I’ve made, sometimes I felt like I was crying alone in a dark tunnel,” he said. “But now people have a way to express their true feelings. This is a really, really beautiful event.”