Wu Yuren, also known as Dawu, Ah Ren, was born in Jiangsu Province, outside Jintan City in the house his father built out of brick on June 15, 1971. His family was classified peasants up until he was 10 years old, when his father got a job as a factory director inside the city. Life changed a bit for wee Wu, as he would spend his weekdays in the city with his father, and come back to the country house on the weekends to be with his sister and mother. Wu showed an art talent as a 5 year old, and so the family took a risk during the late 70s to find a painting teacher for Wu, blacked out windows in a small shack down the alley. Dawu later went on to study art history, western art, oil painting and design, and to teach for 8 years before leaving Jiangsu and arriving in Beijing in September 2001. His purpose on leaving Jiangsu Province was to develop himself as a conceptual artist, not unlike every other artist in China who leaves the fields and rice paddies to move to Beijing. Shortly after arriving in Beijing, Wu and Miss Karen Patterson met at an underground art exhibition, where they dated and were married in May 2003, at the height of SARS. Miss Hannah WU was born to the Wu family on August 29, 2004, which is Michael Jackson’s 45th birthday (she is his number one fan!!!).
Over the past several years, Wu has taught Chinese art and given lectures on Chinese contemporary art in Calgary, Saskatoon, and Regina. In 2007 he was a full scholar artist in residency at the University of Calgary, Canada. In May 2010, Wu held his first overseas major solo art exhibition at the Tang Ren Contemporary in Hong Kong, during the Internationally acclaimed Hong Kong Art Fair 2010.
Wu Yuren was illegally detained on May 31st, and later officially arrested on July 2nd, 2010, in Beijing. The charge is “Obstructing Public Service”. He is presently waiting trial in the Chaoyang District Criminal Detention Center, in a 20 sq m room with 24 other men (no air con). He has not had any outside contact, except for 3 lawyer visits. He was denied bail on July 16th. Wu received extensive injuries to his arm, shoulder, forehead and skull during a police beating he received in the Jiuxianqiao Police Station on the night of May 31st, 2010, to which all Chinese authorities deny. He has not received medical attention, medical care, or special treatment while in detention. On June 1st, he asked for an x-ray, paid for and received one, but was not given permission to view it.
The next lawyer visit will be mid to late August. Trial is expected to take place in late October 2010. Lawyer guesstimates he will receive somewhere between 12 and 24 months, time already served will be deducted. Maximum punishment is 3 years, but anything under about 18 months will be considered ‘light’.