VENICE, Italy (AP) — Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been prevented by Chinese authorities from traveling to Venice for the opening of two new works on the sidelines of the Biennale contemporary art show, so his mother came instead.

Weiwei's elderly mother, Gao Yng, on Tuesday viewed for the first time a series of dioramas depicting six episodes of pressure during her son's 81 days in detention in 2011.

Gao walked quietly through the exhibit, peering through openings in the 1.5-meter (4.5-foot) high boxes. Inside them, Weiwei constructed in great detail scenes of his captivity. His mother did not speak to journalists who documented the moment, but she was moved to tears as she left the exhibit in the church of Sant'Antonin.