The latest Gangnam Style parody video, playing off of Koren rapper Psy’s hit song, comes from an unlikely source: Chinese artist and political dissident Ai Weiwei.
In the video, Ai Weiwei does Psy’s signature horse dance in a garden, while wearing a tuxedo jacket and a bright pink T-shirt.
As for why the celebrated artist, who has been jailed for speaking in favour of human rights, created the video, there is a clue, says the website arrested motion.
The video is titled “Grass-Mud Horse Style,” which refers to a Chinese internet meme, which “uses a pun that sounds like an obscene Chinese phrase to mock the government’s censorship of the internet.” At one point in the video, Ai Weiwei also dances while handcuffed to another man.
The New York Times explained the grass-mud horse phenomena when it first came to attention in 2009, saying it worked to make the Chinese government look foolish for censoring videos and images of the mythical lama-like animal because the name sounds very close to an obscenity.
Ai Weiwei has previously used the grass-mud horse, and a stuffed animal associated with the meme, in his work, including in a subversive self-portrait where he is naked and jumping with only the stuffed horse covering himself.