Ai Weiwei © Ai Weiwei Studio
Ai Weiwe (b. 1957 in Peking) is one of the world’s best-known contemporary artists. He is a film maker, sculptor and installation and concept artist, and is also one of the most radical critics of the Chinese government. In the late 1970s he studied at the Peking Film Academy before moving to New York for twelve years in 1981. In 1994, after his return, he founded the China Art Archives and Warehouse, a gallery for experimental art. Spectacular photo actions in which for instance Ai Weiwei smashed Han Dynasty vases, created a furore. His political art project ‘Remembering’ shed light on state corruption and cover-up by the Chinese government after the Sichuan earthquake. Ai Weiwei became internationally known at documenta 12 (2007) with his projects ‘Fairytale’ and ‘Template’. In 2010 he carpeted the Tate Modern Turbine Hall with more than 100 million sunflower seeds hand-crafted in porcelain. In 2011 Ai Weiwei was imprisoned for alleged economic crimes. After being released on bail he was under house arrest and his passport with withdrawn. His travel ban was lifted in 2015 and Ai Weiwei has since then lived in Berlin. There was an exhibition of his work in the Martin Gropius Bau in 2014, entitled ‘Evidence’. He was invited to take his documentary film ‘Human Flow’ on the consequences of the international refugee crisis to the Venice Film Festival in 2017. His latest project, the big show ‘Good Fences Make Good Neighbours’ could be seen in 300 public places in New York in 2017-2018.
territorial, in the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main 2006)
Fairytale and Template, documenta 12, Kassel 2007
Sunflower Seeds, Tate Modern, London 2010-2011
Evidence, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin 2014
Good Fences Make Good Neighbours, New York 2017-2018