Ai Weiwei's early photos being exhibited in NYC

June 29, 2011 - 11:14 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — More than 200 photographs of New York City taken by Chinese activist artist Ai Weiwei (eye way-way) in the 1980s and early '90s are being shown at a Manhattan exhibition.

Weiwei was recently released after nearly three months in detention in China for speaking out against the government.

His series opened Wednesday at the Asia Society. The organization says it's the first time they're being shown outside of China.

The photos were taken when Weiwei lived in New York's East Village section, before attaining fame as a conceptual artist.

The black-and-white photos chronicle the area's flourishing avant-garde scenes, including poetry readings and riots in Tompkins Square Park.

One photo captures beat poet Allen Ginsberg and American photographer Robert Frank together.

The show runs through Aug. 14.

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Online: http://www.asiasociety.org