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From renting studio space in which to live and work to expectations concerning the sale and reproduction of artwork, making decisions with legal implications has been increasingly entrenched in being an artist.
They are images that, once seen, can never be unseen. Three large black-and-white photographs from 1995 show Ai Weiwei dropping a Han dynasty vase allegedly costing thousands of U.S. dollars. Known collectively as Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, the photographs have been cited as evidence of a willful iconoclasm, despite their having been made under far more prosaic circumstances (according to one account, Ai was simply attempting to test the speed of his new camera.)