The Green Chinese Lantern: James Powderly Detained

I worked as an intern previously at the Graffiti Research Lab. Just today it was made public that one of the two artists that compose the collective GRL, James Powderly, has been detained in China. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for his speedy release. Here’s the blurb:

“International Artist Detained in Beijing for Planning Pro-Tibet Free Speech Exhibit
Students for a Free Tibet Notified of Detention by Twitter Message

Beijing – Internationally known artist, technologist and co-founder of the Graffiti Research Lab, James Powderly, was detained in Beijing early this morning while preparing to debut a new work and technology of protest, the L.A.S.E.R. Stencil. According to a “twitter” message received today by Students for a Free Tibet at approximately 5 pm Beijing Standard Time, Powderly had been detained by Chinese authorities at 3 am. His current whereabouts remain unknown.

from Wikipedia:James_Powderly

“James is a unique voice in the world, who lives and breathes art and technology for the purpose of promoting and enabling freedom of expression for all,” said Nathan Dorjee, Director of Technology for Students for a Free Tibet. “His trip to Beijing, in support of the Tibetan people and all people around the world whose voices have been silenced by their governments, is a small piece of his portfolio as an artist who won’t back down in the face of authority.”

The work, “The Green Chinese Lantern,” uses a 400 milliwatt handheld green laser with micro-stencils to beam simple messages and images up to three stories high on surfaces such as billboards, buildings, and bridges. The Laser Stencil technology was developed in conjunction with Students for a Free Tibet.

Images from the US Debut of the Green Lantern Technology

The images below were shot in New York City in July, shortly before James departed for Asia. For more information and high-resolution photos of the work, please visit

[via Free Tibet]

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