Ai Weiwei is a Chinese contemporary artist and activist.
As an artist his work spans across media: sculpture, installation, photography, performance, documentary film and architecture.
He collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
He is also one of the world’s most important artist-activists and a powerful documentary filmmaker. His work and art call attention to attacks on democracy and free speech, abuses of human rights, and human displacement — often on an epic, international scale.
He has been incredibly vocal and openly critical of the Chinese Government’s stance on democracy and human rights. He has investigated government corruption and cover-ups, in particular, the Sichuan schools corruption scandal following the collapse of so-called “tofu-dreg schools” in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
In China, WeiWei — a brave and unrelenting critic of the authoritarian regime — has spent time in jail, was not allowed by the government to leave Beijing for a year and cannot travel without official permission. As a result, he has become a symbol of the struggle for human rights in China.
Since being allowed to leave China in 2015, he has been living in Berlin, Germany, with his family, working on installations, and travelling extensively.
Tags: Art, china, Philosophy
“Art is about aesthetics, about morals, about our beliefs in humanity. Without that there is simply no art,” — Ai Weiwei