BB Articles

On the disparity of cultural perceptions: from Gorbachev to Ai Weiwei

An interesting, mixed nationality BB inner circle dinner last night led to reflections about the disparity of cultural perceptions.
A wealthy Russian entrepreneur and his interpreter for the night, a St Petersburg finance under-graduate, expressed astonishment at Gorbachev’s popularity in the West.
Gorbachev, who enjoys a quasi celebrity status and whose Raisa Gorbachev Foundation counts wealthy philanthropists as its patrons and donors, is regarded as something of an “Essex man” by the sophisticates of Moscow and St Petersburg, we were told.
Post-Soviet Russians are similarly lukewarm about Gorbachev’s political significance and allegiances.
A prominent Chinese art patron similarly expressed dismay at the Western media’s obsession with Ai Weiwei, suggesting his current popularity has a lot to do with hype and much less to do with talent.
His current status as the ‘dissident hero’ of the art world is unwittingly fuelled by the Chinese Government’s handling of the situation, the art patron opined.
A case of the Emperor’s new clothes?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *