Artist and Artwork
A renowned figure in contemporary art world, Ai Weiwei is a filmmaker, activist, curator and an artist who is active in his criticism of the Chinese government. Son of a Chinese poet Ai Qing, Ai was born in Beijing in 1957. When he was a year old his family was sent into labour camp in Beidahuang, Heilongjiang and was subsequently exiled to Shihezi, Xinjiang in 1961, where they lived for 16 years. Upon Mao Zedong’s death and the end of the Cultural Revolution, the family returned to Beijing in 1976.
Ai, famous for his rebellious ideas has faced tough response from the government. He was detained for months in 2011, then released to house arrest. In an interview he had said “I don’t see myself as a dissident artist,” he says. “I see them as a dissident government!” Some of Ai’s best known works are installations, often tending towards the conceptual and sparking dialogue between the contemporary world and traditional Chinese modes of thought and production.
Here are some of his works: