Previously, owning an Ai Wei Wei was reserved for the one percent; an ironic reality considering his “man of the people” MO. But now, for less than the price of a pair of designer shoes, mere mortals can own their very own piece by the acclaimed Chinese artist; this cute and cuddly (sorta) panda.
Why the “sorta?” Well, you can’t actually cuddle with Panda to Panda; it’s a digital artwork, realized with the help of technologist Jacob Applebaum. It was a complicated collaboration as Wewei cannot leave China on account of seriously pissing off the government via his politically charged work (this probably isn’t going to help) and Applebaum’s travel capabilities are limited due to his involvement in Wikileaks (he’s cool to go to China though). So they met in Beijing to stuff twenty pandas with shredded Wikileaks docs and memory cards, contents unknown. You didn’t seriously think it was just a panda, did you?
Anyway, this creepy little guy can be purchased as the Panda Edition EO1 at the New Museum this month (or right here). And if $599 is too steep or you’d rather buy shoes, you can watch a video of its creation for free here.