Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei (Chinese: 艾 未 未; Pinyin: Wi Wèiwèi, born August 28, 1957) is a contemporary Chinese artist and activist. As a political activist, he has criticized and opposed the Chinese government’s stance on democracy and human rights. Ai Weiwei is one of the critics of the Chinese government in the field of human rights. He uses Chinese art formats to depict Chinese political and social issues.


He was born on August 28, 1957 in Beijing. His father, Ai Qing, was a famous poet who was Mao Zedong’s cultural adviser, but in 1958, with the start of the anti-intellectual movement in China, he and his family were exiled to a labor camp in Heilongjiang.

Ai Weiwei enrolled in the Beijing Film School in 1978 to study film, but dropped out two years later.

He moved to the United States in 1981 and moved to New York City in 1983; He spent his life gardening and caring for children, but studied Western art and discovered artists such as Alan Ginsberg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and Marcel Duchamp.

Influenced by Duchamp, he created one of his first famous works in 1985. In 1989, the first review of his work was held in Hong Kong.

Ai Weiwei returned to China in 1993 when his father was ill. A year later, he met his future wife, Lu Qing, and she appeared in one of his most famous photographs in Tiananmen Square.

Over the years, he created photography, arrangement and performance art and became world famous.

From October 2010 to April 2011, a work by him entitled “Sunflower Seeds” was exhibited at the Tate Modern Museum in London.

Ai Weiwei was arrested at Beijing Capital International Airport on April 3, 2011, before flying to Hong Kong, and was detained until midnight on Wednesday, June 22, 2011, when he was released due to international pressure from the Chinese government.

He was banned from leaving the country after his release on charges of tax evasion. Chinese officials have asked him to pay a 15 million yen ($ 2.3 million) tax in 15 days. Critics of the Chinese government say the politically motivated accusation is intended to limit him.

Ai Weiwei’s passport was confiscated in 2011 when he was arrested, but he finally got his passport back on July 22, 2015, and can travel to London to exhibit his work.

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