Yesterday, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was named the most powerful person in the art world, according to a poll compiled by ArtReview magazine. The Snake Bag is a perfect example of why China sees the Ai Weiwei as a threat. The artist/activist was detained by his home country for 81 days earlier this year.
Ai Weiwei created this 55-foot-long undulating snake using 360 children's backpacks, which he found at the deadly 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Sadly, the backpacks belonged to children who died because of the poor building code, which was attributed to local corruption. As you can imagine, fashioning bags into a wicked symbol of Chinese lore certainly sends a loud statement to the entire world.