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
2050, A Brief History of the Future (group show)
National Taiwan Museum of Art, Taichung
24 March - 3 June 2018
Hope is Strong (group show)
Millennium Gallery, Sheffield
17 February - 10 June 2018
See work by one of the world’s foremost politically ...
Laundromat (solo show)
Garage Gallery, Fire Station, Doha
15 March – 1 June 2018
Ai Weiwei (solo show)
20 June – 12 November 2018
Zum Anbeißen: Früchte in der Kunst - Aus der Sammlung Rainer Wild (group show)
Museum der Brotkultur, Ulm
8 February - 20 May 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, ...
Dangerous Art (group show)
Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa
11 November 2017 - 27 May 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: SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium and Engagement (group show)
Various locations, Sydney
16 March - 11 June 2018
"The 21st Biennale of Sydney title borrows the quantum mechanical term "superposition" to link the notions of equilibrium and engagement. In quantum theory, "superposition" refers to the ability of electrons to occupy multiple states at ...
Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads (solo show)
Bayfront Gardens, The Ringling, Sarasota, FL
9 June 2017 - 1 June 2018
Circle of ...