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Ai Weiwei

Biography

Chinese, b. 1957; lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Details

Ai Weiwei is one of China’s most widely acclaimed contemporary artists and political activists. During a twelve-year stay in New York from 1981 to 1993, he began to produce conceptual sculptural objects and countless photographs of his daily life. After returning to Beijing in 1993, he served as an important conduit of information, providing emerging Chinese artists with details of the main currents of contemporary European and North American art, including performance, conceptualism, and installation art. An outspoken critic of China’s authoritarian political system, Ai became a committed activist following the government’s cover-up of corruption issues surrounding the deadly 2008 earthquake in Sichuan province. Although he was arrested and imprisoned for three months in 2011 on unspecified charges, he has continued to produce installations and sculptural works that explore a wide range of Chinese social and cultural issues. In 2016, he moved his residence and studio to Berlin.

Artworks by Ai Weiwei

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