时 间：2014年5月30日 上午11:30
对 话 者：于萍（笔名：于困困） 纽约时报中文网文化版主编
艾未未：没有原原本本地呈现出来，实际上我看到没有我名字的地方，你们并没有问我。我并没有看到他们的网站或者什么，我看到的是他发给所有人的一封news letter。这个东西是他告诉别人他们有这么一个展览，这应该是最官方最普遍适用的一个信息，对于一个展览也好，一个博物馆也好。那么在这个里面是没有我的名字的。他们一再混淆说，我们这个地方有那个地方没有，我们曾经有后来没有，我都不管，我只是说在最终人们的接受端上他是怎么呈现的。在接受端上是没有， phil不应该在这个事实上他再故意含糊其辞。作为一个人，我们都知道这个审核制度是存在的。这个毫无疑问。不一定在中国，在其他地方也存在，他不应该主动地去掩饰这个问题……这是他做得很假的地方。他私下跟我谈的完全又是另外一回事。你们并没有完全核实这个问题。
于困困：四月份吧，因为我收到了news letter, 我觉得这个展览很有意思。
于困困：他写这个评论，并不一定是来… 他只要跟… 他跟我的关系好与坏，跟他在这篇文章中中立不中立没有关系，我要找一个人，一定也得是我有联系的人我才能找到这个人呀，然后我们要判断他发表一个观点，唯一的一个判断就是，他不是戴汉志这个展览的策展人也不是他的赞助商也不是他的参展艺术家就可以了。
Date and time: At 11:30am, 30 May 2014
Location: Ai Weiwei Studio
Recorded through: Mobile phone
Persons in conversation: Yu Ping(pseudonym: Yu Kunkun) Chief Editor of Culture for the New York Times Chinese Edition
Yu Kunkun: I am the editor of New York Times Chinese Edition. This morning our reporter Luo Tian told me that you had some objections about this article. She communicated this to us, and then I wanted to call you and have a conversation with you again.
Ai Weiwei: What I think is, there are a few problems. I think this incident involves some issues in the public domain, so it is necessary to clarify. First is the problem of your relationship with Bao Dong, who is a rather controversial person in the industry, and has attacked me on domestic media many times. Phil(Philip Tinary) and he are very good friends, he has also worked for him, and they curated an exhibition together. I never paid attention to this man, I have never acknowledged any of his critical language, I don’t need to take notice of it. But this, as New York Times Chinese Edition, handling such a big incident, hiring such a person, this is not a neutral position. My first question is, how did you think to find him to write this article?
Yu Kunkun: No, this article has both yours and Phil’s opposing sides of the argument. Bao Dong is an art critic, I’m not very close to him, it’s just that I have a list of names, he writes an art review, and the question I’m mainly considering is whether or not he is related to this exhibition, then what kind of person he is. So I’m actually not too clear about his relationship with you or Phil.
Ai Weiwei: Ok then, let me ask you first, you say you have a name list, how did you get this list?
Yu Kunkun: I chatted with people, I wanted to find...
Ai Weiwei: Who did you obtain it from?
Yu Kunkun: For example some editors of art magazines...
Ai Weiwei: Why did you think of Bao Dong during this exhibition? Do you know this person?
Yu Kunkun: I have met him, but I don’t think I’d say I know him.
.Ai Weiwei: Under what circumstances did you and Bao Dong meet?
Yu Kunkun: ...I called him, asked him to be our art critic, he said he’ll write if he had time, he’s written before. After that basically at a certain exhibition we bumped into each other and said hello, that’s how it was.
Ai Weiwei: As New York Times’ Chinese site, don’t you have some aptitude screenings before letting someone write art reviews?
Yu Kunkun: I’ve read his articles before, whether they were commentary he wrote before or the review he published in this article, they all have a basis in art.
Ai Weiwei: Do you think subjectively speculating on the motive of an artist, saying that he must be conspiring to plan withdrawing from an exhibition, do you think this is an art review?
Yu Kunkun: How can I say this?
Ai Weiwei: You can use either Chinese or English to say it; don’t ask me how to say it.
Yu Kunkun: If he has a comment like this, we can’t go tampering with it.
Ai Weiwei: It’s not you tampering with it, it’s you intentionally using a non-artistic criticism.
Yu Kunkun: It wasn’t intentional, first of all. Secondly, the article presented many of the unfair treatments you’ve received in China; this was also a component of the article. On a factual level, we wrote very clearly that the UCCA indeed didn’t mention your name.
Ai Weiwei: This isn’t the point I want to argue. My argument is, as I mentioned just now, you said you hired a professional to do an art review, you don’t understand the field of art; so give me your decision now: does Bao Dong’s review fall under the category of art?
Yu Kunkun: ...his view...
Ai Weiwei: I’m just asking if his view is an aesthetic criticism?
Yu Kunkun: I think this is a neutral way of saying it...
Ai Weiwei: I think your way of saying it is inappropriate, no matter what kind of special relationship you and he have. What the reporter who got in touch with me before said was very simple, I first asked her about the relatinoship, and she said that you’ve had him write articles for you before, and you’d hoped he’d write a piece about the Hans exhibit. Then this isn’t a third party relationship, he’s already part of this exhibition so he could write this article, right?
Yu Kunkun: Our standards are: First, a person can’t be the curator, secondly they can’t be a sponsor, thirdly they can’t be a participating artist…
Ai Weiwei: Did you know he was the curator of a very big exhibition at UCCA before? Do you know he is a very good friend of Phil? Please don’t avoid this, you need to be honest about this question, I’m recording this.
Yu Kunkun: We have also met before, you know, …to answer your question, if Bao Dong was the curator of the last exhibition…
Ai Weiwei: Did you know he is the curator of that exhibition? Did you?
Yu Kunkun: I didn’t.
Ai Weiwei: You say you didn’t know he was ever one of Phil’s curators, first of all I don’t believe this, you asked him to be a professional critic for you, and this was the only exhibition he curated, so I don’t believe you.
Yu Kunkun: I really didn’t know.
Ai Weiwei: You didn’t know what relationship he had to Phil?
Yu Kunkun: I didn’t, I don’t know him very well.
Ai Weiwei: How could it be that you don’t know, is it because you weren’t in contact with him, or was it someone else who knew?
Yu Kunkun: I had brief contact with him but it was all discussing how to write the article.
Ai Weiwei: You talked together about how to write the article?
Yu Kunkun: has helped us write a review…
Ai Weiwei: Say this, let’s go straight back to my question, how did you invite him to write this article?
Yu Kunkun: I saw in a magazine that he has influence with readers in the field, so asked him to write some exhibition reviews…
Ai Weiwei: Why did you let him to write this criticism of me? Why in his review did it never go into the basic problem that my rights had been infringed upon, but directly say there was a plot and conspiracy?
Yu Kunkun: OK, first in this matter, you want to understand the relationship between me and Bao Dong, and I have said enough already. Secondly, we can not temper with anything that people say. Thirdly, we indeed want to remain objective, but your dispute with Phil… We couldn’t present it in this essay. Perhaps I’ll give you a suggestion, if you have objections to Bao Dong’s review as presented in the article, you can write something for us and we can publish it. This is the New York Times’ standard, in the end to be objective. If you’re willing, we can also publish your viewpoint, including your objections to Bao Dong, and then you can further clarify this incident, it can all be published in the magazine.
Ai Weiwei: You think you’d definitely publish it?
Yu Kunkun: Yes.
Ai Weiwei: This article would be long, because I’d attach some recorded materials.
Yu Kunkun: I’d have to look at the technical conditions for recordings.
Ai Weiwei: I don’t mean put the recordings in it, I mean some of the materials are recordings.
Yu Kunkun: Can you understand the New York Times’ position on this matter?
Ai Weiwei: I’ve been reading the New York Times since you were born, don’t say that to me, I am familiar with the New York Times, so I called you, it’s because this article you did distorts the truth, it’s more like an article from a tabloid.
Yu Kunkun: If this is how you see it, I can’t do anything about it ….
Ai Weiwei: It’s not that you can’t do anything, you’re avoiding the point while we are having a specific discussion. I’m asking you, is what Bao Dong said an objective art related critique?
Yu Kunkun: I personally think it was.
Ai Weiwei: Have you verified the conjectures that he made?
Yu Kunkun: This is not fact, this is his viewpoint.
Ai Weiwei: Would you just put anyone’s viewpoint in there?
Yu Kunkun: ...things are like this, I don’t think we purposely put his viewpoint…
Ai Weiwei: Some types of views, some views which are extremely atypical, I have no way to refute these, and this puts me in a bad position, but I am really disappointed that you so lightly use just anyone’s viewpoint, a viewpoint that is slanderous to someone else, and you didn’t even verify it.
Yu Kunkun: The key point here is that I don't have any way to verify it.
Ai Weiwei: Or say at least that you agree with this viewpoint.
Yu Kunkun: Another thing I want to say...I stand on your side.
Ai Weiwei: You don’t have to stand on my side, you hired a person who is badmouthing me, of course I’ll object to his viewpoint, why would you choose this person, have no need to verify his viewpoints, but publish his viewpoint, as an editor you have a problem, so I made a call to the author of the article.
Yu Kunkun: I want to say a little, I think there is no problem because first he didn’t have anything to do with the exhibition…
Ai Weiwei: He is deeply connected to this exhibition, he is a very good friend of Phil’s, and he has collaborated with Phil before. Therefore if you still claim there are no connections, then you are not qualified to be staff at the New York Times. I will talk to the New York Times regarding this matter, so there is no need for me to discuss this with you any further.
Yu Kunkun: I can’t get through to you, it seems that making this phone call has complicated things. I think it is Bao Dong’s opinion you have something against.
Ai Weiwei: It’s not that I have anything against his opinion. For the New York Times Chinese Edition, a branch of the New York Times, to publish an article of such inferior quality is unfathomable. Everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion, as a somewhat pubic figure, the ideology I am representing does not only belong to me. When you hire someone to make slanderous comments about me, it makes me question your quality. And I’m doing this for myself as well.
Yu Kunkun: I based my judgments on whether he had connections to Hans van Dijk’s exhibition…
Ai Weiwei: No, you didn’t. I spoke to the assistant editor Luo Tian, and I discovered that you have formed a contractual relationship with Bao Dong by hiring him to write a review for Hans van Dijk’s exhibition. If the person you hire to review this exhibition has a prejudice against me, it makes me question your ability as the editor-in-chief.
Yu Kunkun: Ai… there is nothing I can do about his relationship with Phil… I took his relationship with this exhibition into account, he is neither a curator nor a sponsor, and this gives him the right to comment on…
Ai Weiwei: Let me put it this way, this article is about me pulling out of the exhibition, shouldn’t it be based on the reasons and implications behind my actions instead of making subjective assumptions about me scheming the pullout? I think you’ve misunderstood what I’ve been saying.
Yu Kunkun: ...the way I see Bao Dong’s opinion…
Ai Weiwei: No, it’s wrong for the New York Times Chinese Edition to drop to the standards of a tabloid.
Yu Kunkun: …the New York Times has published Putin’s (Vladimir Putin) opinions before…
Ai Weiwei: Ha ha ha… you’re out of your mind for putting Bao Dong’s opinion next to Putin’s.
Yu Kunkun: This is a principle, publishing an opinion does not mean we agree with it. We have no right to alter the writer’s views.
Ai Weiwei: What you are saying is not true. This article is about my withdrawing, right? You were looking for a so-called neutral third party to write an art review about it, am I correct?
Yu Kunkun: Yes, that’s correct.
Ai Weiwei: Do you think you have achieved that?
Yu Kunkun: Achieved what?
Ai Weiwei: As I just said, did you find someone neutral to write an art review on my withdrawal, or did you find someone to write slanderous comments and make assumptions about what my alternative motives may be? It is not only Bao Dong’s opinion, but also Phil’s comment about me not wanting to hold an exhibition quietly. This comment is ridiculous.
Yu Kunkun: You are entitled to your own opinions as well.
Ai Weiwei: Of course I have the right express my opinions, this is between me and Phil, what I am talking about is the standards of the New York Times.
Ai Weiwei: It’s not a matter of whether you publish it, I don’t care about the Chinese Edition reporting it, so there is no need for you to try to salvage this situation.
If you truly understood the situation, you would realize that using Bao Dong’s article is the wrong thing to do. If you can’t even see that, then I don’t want to debate about this and Bao Dong’s comments with you any further. I am simply questioning the standards at the New York Times, which is what I wish to discuss with you.
Yu Kunkun: I don’t know. I feel that this phone call has created even more misunderstandings.
Ai Weiwei: This is not a misunderstanding. What you are trying to do is typical of Chinese people, to try to shrug it off by putting the blame on others, complicating matters further.
Yu Kunkun: I did not try to shrug it off or try to put the blame on others.
Ai Weiwei: You have come across a very difficult man, I take things very seriously, you know?
Yu Kunkun: I know you quite well and I respect you a lot. As an individual, I cannot express my personal opinions in the article… I just think that what has happened to you deserves sympathy, or should I say, I can relate to your pain.
Ai Weiwei: You didn’t finish off your sentence just now. I find it amusing how you, as an editor tend to leave things hanging. You said “As an individual”… then you moved on.
Yu Kunkun: As an individual, I need to have my own opinions.
Ai Weiwei: What is your personal opinion?
Yu Kunkun: Mu personal opinion is that I sympathize with your… but writing an article like this…
Ai Weiwei: Let me put it this way, what are your personal views on the things Bao Dong has said, do you agree with it?
Yu Kunkun: Bao Dong did not comment on the facts, so I cannot agree or disagree with him. All he did was provide the readers with a different perspective, suggesting that your artwork was very well planned. We also mentioned other artworks in the article, and it shows that you are a strategic person.
Ai Weiwei: Can you name an artwork made by an individual that is not strategic? Can you honestly tell me that an unpremeditated artwork can be considered art at all?
Yu Kunkun: What happened was, Bao Dong then…
Ai Weiwei: As an editor of the New York Times, can you honestly claim that you didn’t understand his motives and intentions in doing this? You can’t even make a simple judgment?
Yu Kunkun: Another thing is, we expressed his opinion through a second person’s point of view, and no mistakes have been made in the facts printed in the article. This opinion did not alter your…
Ai Weiwei: There are factual errors in this opinion. Phil claims there was no self-censorship involved but I have the proof, how can you say you’ve made no mistakes? Phil also said I do not wish to hold an exhibition quietly, which is an assessment of values instead of the reasons behind my pullout, am I right? As someone who sympathizes with me, do you think it is appropriate for your so-called third party to discuss whether I had premeditated intentions?
Yu Kunkun: This article does mention the fact that you think there was self-censorship involved. It clearly states that it was not self-censorship but pressure enforced by unmentionable authorities in our interview with Phil. These are the facts we wish to clarify, we did not state whether we think it is self-censorship or if they were under investigation of the authorities, however, it is one or the other. We even mentioned where your name was erased.
Ai Weiwei: You did not show it as it is, and I had to find out on my own, you did not ask me about that. I did not go on their website or anything, all I read was the newsletter they sent to everyone else. A newsletter holds information about the exhibition, so technically speaking it should consist of the official message they wish to convey, be it for an exhibition or a museum. My name was not mentioned in the newsletter. They tried to confuse me by saying where my name was or was not mentioned, how my name was included to begin with but now it isn’t. I don’t care. All I see is that they did not put my name in the official newsletter everyone received. Fact is, they didn’t mention my name in the newsletter and Phil should not be giving evasive replies. Everybody knows without a doubt that the auditing system exists. Not only in China but in other countries as well, it was unnecessary for him to cover it up… which makes it a very pretentious move on his behalf. What he said to me in private was a completely different matter. Your process of verifying the facts was not thorough enough.
Yu Kunkun: Which part are you referring to?
Ai Weiwei: You did not make it clear enough. You mentioned that my name was not on their website, but failed to mention the fact that my name was not on the newsletter either.
Yu Kunkun: We mentioned that your name was not on the website, which we discovered on our own. Secondly, we found out that your name was not in the introduction as you mentioned. Thirdly, they did mention your name in the press release.
Ai Weiwei: The press release I read did not mention my name, which is a contradiction to that you have said.
Yu Kunkun: We received a copy of that press release as well. In fact, we received two. One of them was an introduction that did not consist of your name, the other one was a long newsletter in which your name was mentioned.
Ai Weiwei: That has nothing to do with this. Facts are facts and opinions are opinions. There isn’t much left to be said.
Yu Kunkun: Your opinion is very important to us. I think you disagree with Bao Dong and Philip Tinari’s opinions. You also disagree with the statements Phil made. I can publish another article writing about your perspective if you are willing to do so. Of course we would also respect your wishes if you decide otherwise. We wrote this article in hopes of providing a neutral and just perspective for the readers.
Ai Weiwei: Okay, I understand. If I have the time and energy to do so I will… but I still haven’t figured out what your personal opinion is. You can say ‘personally I don’t really like you, Ai Weiwei.’ That is fine as well.
Yu Kunkun: My personal opinion is that you have created a lot of propaganda in China. That is a very…truth.
Ai Weiwei: That is not an opinion. It is a fact.
Yu Kunkun: My opinion is that it infuriates me.
Ai Weiwei: Thank you.
Yu Kunkun: I think this article was another conflict point… this is a result of both your opinion of Bao Dong’s views, and people’s opinion of the UCCA over the internet… best case scenario would be… a neutral and just… how should I put this, we did not take sides, we have taken both perspectives into account.
Ai Weiwei: You are still a little unclear on the whole situation. I don’t have an opinion towards Bao Dong’s views, I don’t know this man and I have no idea why he has made personal attacks against me in the past. What I find shocking is why the Chinese Edition used his perspective, and this is what we are debating over. What does his perspective matter to me, he can think of me however he wants, he is entitled to that. The New York Times hired him to review this exhibition, how is he
ment in the article.
Ai Weiwei: You’d better get the story out fully, don’t make yourself too stuttery, I’m recording everything you’re saying.
Yu Kunkun: I know, it’s no problem, everything I’m saying is fact.
Ai Weiwei: Then tell us another fact right now, I’m also going to interview Bao Dong, the same way. Did you commission Bao Dong to write this review? This question I’m asking is extremely simple.
Yu Kunkun: I talked with him about having him come write a report.
Ai Weiwei: At what time did you talk with him?
Yu Kunkun: Before this incident occurred.
Ai Weiwei: When was that? Be more specific.
Yu Kunkun: In April, because I’d gotten the news letter, and thought this exhibit was quite interesting.
Ai Weiwei: Very interesting! You mentioned a very troublesome problem, because in April you two had discussed having him write you this essay. So then you’re still making him, as the “neutral party”, write an accusatory review about me, do you think this is tenable?
Yu Kunkun: Him writing this review, it’s not necessarily… he just wanted… his relationship with me is good and bad, whether his stance in writing the essay was neutral or not doesn’t matter. I wanted to find a person, and it had to be someone I had a relationship with, so I found this person, and then we had to determine with his publishing a viewpoint, our only decision was, as long as he was not the curator for the Hans Van Dijk exhibit, wasn’t a sponsor nor a participating artist then it was ok.
Ai Weiwei: I can at least say that you have affection for him?
Yu Kunkun: I don’t really feel anything towards him, I’ve also found many other prople to write all kinds of exhibition reviews.
Ai Weiwei: But you had commissioned him in April to write the review of the Hans exhibit, and at the same time you said you had found a third neutral party to write his comments on the incident about me, are you joking?
Yu Kunkun: I think that in this if I had a…
Ai Weiwei: An error in your work?
Yu Kunkun: It’s just that through a few objective facts I determined that he was neutral, like I just repeated, he doesn’t have to do with the Hans exhibit, and doing this kind of interview, his viewpoint doesn’t, it doesn’t, it stands at…
Ai Weiwei: Don’t avoid what I’m saying, I’ve heard this already, if you avoid what I’m saying again you should just hang up the phone, do you understand? I asked very clearly, in April you commissioned him to write a piece about the Hans exhibition, correct? So after this incident occurred – like you said you commissioned him before the incident – so after the incident, you say you wanted a third party who had no relation to the exhibit to comment on me, so this commentary clearly involved conjecture and could even be accusatory, or was steering towards this type of criticism. Can you say this is the New York Times’ style?
Yu Kunkun: He… his writing this exhibit review… with the exhibit…
Ai Weiwei: Answer my question, just clearly answer the question, I’m not asking you to make a moral judgement.
Yu Kunkun: I don’t think there was any bias or problems.
Ai Weiwei: You believe there is no conflict then?
Yu Kunkun: Yes.
Ai Weiwei: I understand, you don’t have to say anything else, all right. I want to ask one more thing, how much is the payment for the New York Times?
Yu Kunkun: Are you saying you want to publish an essay?
Ai Weiwei: No, I’m saying how much was the renumeration for Bao Dong writing this essay for you?
Yu Kunkun: 150 USD.
Ai Weiwei: Thanks, I’ll give you another opportunity, to reconsider this again, is it or is it not inappropriate?
Yu Kunkun: I think this has hurt you emotionally.
Ai Weiwei: Ah, you’re telling me the same thing Wang Xingwei did, hurting me emotionally, I’m asking you is it appropriate or not? You don’t care about who it hurts or doesn’t hurt emotionally, right – using the New York Times standards, is it proper? What is this hurting me emotionally stuff.
Yu Kunkun: Doing this did not violate the New York Times’ editing standards.
Ai Weiwei: So the New York Times is a paper with no standards?
Yu Kunkun: We have standards, the standards are based on whether or not a person has a conflict of interest or relationship with the subject.
Ai Weiwei: This person didn’t have a relationship or conflict of interest with you, but had conflict of interest and relation to me?
Yu Kunkun: Conflict of interest means whether or not he was related to the Hans exhibit…
Ai Weiwei: Aren’t I the main person you’d write about in relation to the problem with the Hans exhibit? So didn’t you think about whether he had conflict of interest with me, or whether had conflict of interest with Phil from Ullens?
Yu Kunkun: He expressed his personal viewpoint here.
Ai Weiwei: Ah, you’re starting to get off topic again, saying the same things again, can you answer my question or not? I asked it extremely simply, if you can’t answer you are creating confusion, you know, this kind of confusion making will definitely not solve any problems, it can only get you in deeper.
Yu Kunkun: Yes. Whether he had any conflict of interest with you, or had conflict of interest with Phil Tinary, means on a personal level, this isn’t the question we’re considering when going to write the essay, what we’re considering is whether he was curating the Hans Van Dijk exhibit…
Ai Weiwei: If the Hans Van Dijk exhibit didn’t have me, or if the curating incident itself… you continue to use his comments about me, aren’t you trying to solve this problem first, and not the problem with the exhibit, don’t change the subject of things, you know that it’s me you’ve run into now, it’s very hard to avoid the subject.
Yu Kunkn: I know.
Ai Weiwei: It’s best if you say this immeditely and clearly, otherwise we keep going around in circles, you know this world is a very pure world, everyone knows what everyone is saying.
Yu Kunkun: Yes, I think I’ve said it quite clearly.
Ai Weiwei: You’ve thought all along that Bao Dong didn’t have a conflict of interest with me or with Phil?
Yu Kunkun: Your confict of interest isn’t our business.
Ai Weiwei: What? So you didn’t investigate thoroughly, you just said the New York Times, you just told me, what you’re saying doesn’t match up. You said as the New York Times, firstly you want to know whether or not there’s a conflict of interest, in a situation where there is no conflict of interest, he is a third party, isn’t this what you originally said?
Yu Kunkun: Whether or not there’s a conflict of interest means whether he has to do with the exhibition or not.
Ai Weiwei: Of course he is related to it, he just did an exhibit at Ullens, Hans’ exhibit was curated by Phil, he is the director of the museum, how could there not be related benefits? So that’s to say, if you found a professor at a fine art institute or a any other person they wouldn’t have conflict of interest, or go look for Cui Cancan, he doesn't have conflict of interest, because he hasn’t done an exhibit there, he doesn’t need to kiss up to Phil, right? Even this way he could have other interests. So if this person has attacked Ai Weiwei before, he has confict of interest with both of them, didn’t you do this kind of screening?
Yu Kunkun: …
Ai Weiwei: If not just say no, if not it’s just a small mistake, but covering this up is a very big problem.
Yu Kunkun: No, but it didn’t influence the piece’s creative scope.
Ai Weiwei: That’s what you believe, I am just asking a simple question, don’t you do this kind of screening, and you said no, right?
Yu Kunkun: Right, because whoever he privately …
Ai Weiwei: This is you rationalizing in your head, no one wants to hear it. We’re just talking about some simple facts, you’ve already made me miss lunch, seems like you don't need to eat lunch.
Yu Kunkun: Because I really hoped to clear this up…
Ai Weiwei: Do you think you haven’t clearly explained the problem, or that you don’t want to explain clearly?
Yu Kunkun: I stated it quite clearly, I welcome you to write your opinion on the whole matter.
Ai Weiwei: Are you done?
Yu Kunkun: Yes, it’s like this, I’m quite dismayed, but I don’t know…
Ai Weiwei: Why are you dismayed?
Yu Kunkun: Because you have large objections to this, but I don’t think there’s any problem.
Ai Weiwei: You at the New York Times would be dismayed because of one person having objections to your reports? Don’t kid around.
Yu Kunkun: Because you’re very important.
Ai Weiwei: Why is my objection important?
Yu Kunkun: Because I really respect you.
Ai Weiwei: Well it’s better to respect Bao Dong, people like me don’t need your respect. You can clearly say whether or not there were mistakes made here, we still haven’t finished this.
Yu Kunkun: You object to me asking Bao Dong to publish the review right?
Ai Weiwei: We’ve already been through this long of a conversation and you don’t know what I’m saying, you’re still saying I object to you getting Bao Dong to write it, we can’t keep going around the question, this isn’t the New York Times’ style, ok, intellectually you should understand what I’m saying.
Yu Kunkun: I understand, there’s no problem with getting Bao Dong to write the review, the essay talked a lot about you being censored, etc.
Ai Weiwei: Ah, is there water on your brain? The only question I asked you was, as a New York Times report on the exhibit I withdrew from, the only supposed third party reviewer didn’t get into an art review, and also made malicious conjectures about me, and you didn’t verify this, didn’t verify his relationship to me or to other people, you didn’t verify the situation before publishing this viewpoint, is this appropriate or not? Just use one sentence, if you can’t say it then just hang up, I don’t want to hear you say anything else.
Yu Kunkun: I think there’s no problem, thank you, Ai.