Chinese conceptual artist Ai Weiwei explores the multitude and complexity of the challenges within our contemporary society. Known for observing and commenting political and social changes of his home country but also the Western world, his artistic practice revolves around sensitive themes such as human rights, freedom of speech, economic exploitation or environmental damages and often takes a step beyond the art world. As a fine connoisseur of Chinese art and antiques, Ai's work often reflects on the perception of Chinese culture and the alienation of ancient objects. In his sculptures and installations, he favours the use of traditional materials such as porcelain, jade, marble or precious wood while being also well known for his films and photographs as well as his architectural and curatorial work.
"Ai Weiwei transforms his life into art, turning the things he encounters and the events he experiences into artistic statements. Yet this personal aspect is often coupled with references to specifically Chinese material and […] traditions. Regardless of whether he deconstructs these traditions or reshapes them, thus imbuing them with new qualities, their original meanings remain present in his works. By identifying and interpreting these references, one may hope to contribute to a better understanding of the multifaceted and highly complex dimensions of his art."
Uta Rahman-Steinert Ambivalent Deconstruction. Ai Weiwei's approach to tradition in Ai Weiwei. Evidence, Prestel, 2014
Image: Surveillance Camera and Plinth, 2015 , marble , 52 x 52 x 120 cm
Selected Institutional Exhibitions
Zum Anbeißen: Früchte in der Kunst - Aus der Sammlung Rainer Wild (group show)
Museum der Brotkultur, Ulm
8 February - 20 May 2018
Why are you creative? (group show)
Museum für Kommunikation, Berlin
2 February – 8 April 2018
Ai Weiwei, Rineke Dijkstra, Thomas Struth et al.
Stage of Being (group show)
Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar
9 December 2017 - 13 May 2018
We live in a world of progress: we know more and are capable of more, we live longer than ever before; maybe one day we will even achieve immortality. At the same time, we humans struggle with feelings of emptiness, ...
ISelf Collection: The Upset Bucket (group show)
Whitechapel Gallery, London
5 December 2017 - 1 April 2018
Whitechapel Gallery, London
The New York Times - Art Leaders Network (conference)
25-26 April 2018
This April 25-26 in Berlin, The New York Times brings together a select group of the world’s most distinguished art experts and influencers - from dealers and gallery owners to museum directors and curators to auction executives and collectors.
Dangerous Art (group show)
Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa
11 November 2017 - 27 May 2018
Inoculation (solo show)
Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires
25 November 2017 - 25 February 2018
Age of Terror: Art Since 9/11 (group show)
Imperial War Museum, London
26 October 2017 - 28 May 2018
Ai Weiwei (solo show)
Various locations, The Contemporary Austin, Austin
3 June 2017 - ongoing
21st Biennale of Sydney (group show)
Various locations, Sydney
16 March - 11 June 2018
Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads (solo show)
Bayfront Gardens, The Ringling, Sarasota, FL
9 June 2017 - 1 June 2018
Circle of ...