On June 22, the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was released on bail after nearly three months in prison. Ai was charged with tax evasion, though supporter believe his arrest was motivated by his outspoken criticism of the Chinese government.* Ai's imprisonment shocked the international art world and highlighted the increasingly repressive tactics of the Chinese state's censorship regime, which has clamped down on even the faintest hint of protests in the wake of the democratic revolutions in the Arab world. Ai's politically confrontational work is something of an outlier in China, where most high-profile artists steer clear of explicitly political material. But he's not the only one who has pushed the boundaries with his work -- and paid the price.
*This article was updated on June 22.