There is no existing vocabulary to illustrate a condition that requires a special kind of reality. Once it comes to a point when the authority cannot rationally communicate or have a clear exchange of ideas or when they cannot allow the argument, then the only thing they can do is to make you feel that rationality, moral judgment and the law no longer work. They must prove to you that nothing works except power itself. And that power is identified with incomprehensible treatment..
You began an 81-day confinement on 3 April 2011. What happened that day?
That day, I woke up and prepared to go to the airport with my assistant Jennifer, who had begun working with me not long before. This was our first trip together and we were going to go to Taiwan to prepare for an exhibition opening later that autumn. Our flight was to Hong Kong where we would transfer to Taipei.
Many things happened in the days before the trip. I had been under surveillance and followed by secret police for years, but the days before the trip involved more frequent visits. There were all kinds of excuses: a fire safety check, residential registrations, many strange reasons that had not been used before. I could sense something was coming, but I could never have imagined what would happen.
They could have come to my home in Beijing to see me and take me away if they had wanted to. They could have come and questioned me at any time, but they never directly confronted me. When we approached the immigration checkpoint that day, I knew something was going to happen. A police officer took my passport and I saw the other police gathered in the hall begin moving toward me. Another police officer came and told me he had something to discuss. I followed him into another room. From there, I was led to a car, a black hood was put over my head and I was driven to an unknown area. That was the beginning of 81 days of solitary confinement….