In an interview published today in Germany, Ai Weiwei provided some new details about the status of his relationship with the Chinese government and said that, when officials returned his passport last month, they assured him that he will be able to return to China after traveling abroad, according to the Associated Press. The remark quieted concerns that the Chinese authorities would perhaps refuse to grant him reentry after finally being allowed to leave the country following four years sans passport.
Ai recently traveled to Munich for a medical check up and to visit his young son. The artist told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, a Munich-based daily, that the Chinese authorities are feeling more positive about him now—which is certainly intriguing news. “They know that I want to make China into a better country, that I am concerned about the young generation,” he said. “There is a basis of trust, otherwise they would not allow me, the former enemy of the state, my exhibitions; otherwise they would not have returned my passport.”
Quite a few institutions have invited Ai to stage shows and give lectures in the coming months, so he has a busy travel calendar planned.