Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei - Galerie Max Hetzler Selected Works

Chinese conceptual artist Ai Weiwei (b. 1957) explores the multifaceted nuances and complexities of our contemporary society. Known for observing and commenting on political and social changes in his home country as well as in the Western world, his artistic practice revolves around emotive themes such as human rights, freedom of speech, economic exploitation and environmental damages. His works often move beyond the art world into the realm of social activism. As a fine connoisseur of Chinese art and antiques, Ai often reflects on the perception of Chinese culture and the alienation of ancient objects in his work. In his sculptures and installations, he favours the use of traditional materials such as porcelain, jade, marble or precious wood. He is also celebrated for his films, photographs and works in Lego, as much 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

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