b.1957, Beijing, China
Ai Weiwei is renowned for making strong aesthetic statements that resonate with timely phenomena across today’s geopolitical world. From architecture to installations, social media to documentaries, Ai uses a wide range of mediums as expressions of new ways for his audiences to examine society and its values.
Recent exhibitions include: RAIZ, OCA exhibition space, Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in Belo Horizonte, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, 2019; Bare Life, Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, Washington D.C., USA, 2019; Resetting Memories, MUAC Museum, Mexico, 2019; Life Cycle, Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles, USA, 2019; Refutation, Tang Contemporary Art, Hong Kong, 2018; Wooden Ball, Tang Contemporary Art, Hong Kong, 2015; Inoculation at Fundacion Proa in Buenos Aires; Good Fences Make Good Neighbors with the Public Art Fund in New York City; Ai Weiwei on Porcelain at the Sakip Sabanci Museum in Istanbul; Ai Weiwei: Trace at Hirshhorn at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C.; Maybe, Maybe Not at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem; Law of the Journey at the National Gallery in Prague, and Ai Weiwei. Libero at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence.
In 2019, Ai Weiwei won the GQ Magazine Men of the Year 2019 award in the artist category. His largest exhibition to-date ‘RAIZ’ is also the highest-ranking show by a single artist in The Art Newspaper visitor figures survey for 2019.
“One Second • One Year”: Chinese artist Zhao Zhao’s depictions of time
Chinese contemporary artist Zhao Zhao’s “One Second” series of drawings and paintings seek to establish a dialogue about depictions of time. Art Radar takes a look at Zhao Zhao’s recent exhibition at H Queen’s in Hong Kong, curated by Barbara Pollack, Professor at New York’s School of Visual Art, for Tang Contemporary.In 2015, Ai Weiwei wrote the following statement about Chinese-born, multidisciplinary artist Zhao Zhao: Today, Zhao Zhao is in a good state of mind. He still goes out looking for trouble where there is none. He still gets bored… Zhao Zhao has attitude, and this attitude of his, neither too hot nor too cold, is going to take him far...
Picturing Ai Weiwei in Istanbul
ISTANBUL — In an era where superstar Chinese artist Ai Weiwei feels ubiquitous, this past summer I experienced the full extent of that reality over the course of two months. After attending a New York preview for his new film about migrants, Human Flow (2017), I traveled to Israel to visit a major exhibition of his work at the Israel Museum in West Jerusalem, then a show of his porcelain works at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Istanbul. Shortly after that, I returned to New York City, right around the time his major public art project, Fences, opened. And these weren’t the only exhibitions by Ai being mounted around the world...
Ai Weiwei: ‘I’m like a high-end refugee’
Since his exile from China began in 2015, Ai Weiwei has focused his attention almost exclusively on the refugee crisis, with scores of international shows and his critically acclaimed documentary on the subject, Human Flow (2017). A selection of his migration works has landed on the shores of Hong Kong for the show Refutation (until 30 April) at Tang Contemporary Art’s new gallery space in the H Queen’s development. Here, Ai tells us about his old love for Hong Kong, his new love for Latin America, and why critics of his work should seek medical advice ...
Uli Sigg Collection of Contemporary Chinese Art Debuts in the UK at the Whitworth
The Whitworth art gallery in Manchester has announced that the next exhibition to grace its newly renovated walls will be “Four Decades of Chinese Art,” the first UK show of highlights from the Uli Sigg collection (see Censors Remove Ai Weiwei From Shanghai Show, Leaving Uli Sigg Powerless).
The exhibition brings together 80 works by leading contemporary Chinese artists, including Cao Fei, Zhang Peili, Zhang Huan, Weng Fen, and Ai Weiwei, whose installation Still Life (1995-2000) will fill the gallery with thousands of Stone Age axe heads (see Ai Weiwei Takes Over Downton Abbey-esque Estate and Ai Weiwei’s Zodiac Heads Hits Phillips Auction Block).
Cui Cancan | Ai Weiwei’s “Wang Family Ancestral Hall”
With a 400 year-long history, the “Wang Family Ancestral Hall” has changed innumerably with the times, and in various systems has held various functions, attributes, and values over the centuries. Today, passing through the walls and offices spaces of two galleries, the Wang Family Ancestral Hall is presented as a new work by Ai Weiwei. Its condition and experiences, implied suggestions and ambiguities, as well as the relationship it holds between itself and its owner, immerses the Hall in a debate between change and perpetuity – one that settles at neither one thing nor another. In comparison to other ancient architectures and cultural phenomena, the Wang Family Ancestral Hall has become quite an isolated case ...
Cui Cancan | Interview with Ai Weiwei
Participants: Cui Cancan and Ai Weiwei
Date: April 11, 2015
Location: Caochangdi, Beijing
Cui Cancan: When did you first see this building?
Ai Weiwei: I first became interested in ancient architecture in about 1997. The first time I went to Jinhua, I saw some old buildings that were decidedly different from those in northern China. The light filtering through the skylights into the rooms was very special. The rooms were actually rather dark, because the exterior walls were solid, with very few external windows. However, it was entirely open inside the walls, so that anything—birds, the rain—could get in. The methods are very similar to those used in making furniture. The house has no foundation; it simply rests on the earth, which is also very unusual. It feels as if it was gently placed there. It also has weight, and after being battered by the wind and the rain, it began to change shape and become more pliable ...