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Ai Weiwei

Chinese, b. 1957

96,248 followers
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Ai Weiwei

Chinese, b. 1957

96,248
Followers
Biography

A cultural figure of international renown, Ai Weiwei is an activist, architect, curator, filmmaker, and China’s most famous artist. Open in his criticism of the Chinese government, Ai was famously detained for months in 2011, then released to house arrest. “I don’t see myself as a dissident artist,” he says. “I see them as a dissident government!” Some of Ai’s best known works are installations, often tending towards the conceptual and sparking dialogue between the contemporary world and traditional Chinese modes of thought and production. For Sunflower Seeds (2010) at the Tate Modern, he scattered 100 million porcelain “seeds” handpainted by 1,600 Chinese artisans—a commentary on mass consumption and the loss of individuality. His infamous Coca Cola Vase (1994) is a Han Dynasty urn emblazoned with the ubiquitous soft-drink logo. Ai also served as artistic consultant on the design of the “Bird’s Nest” stadium for Beijing’s 2008 Olympics, and has curated pavilions and museum exhibitions around the globe.

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
£18m, Phillips, 2015
User
Solo show at a major institution
Tate Modern, and 9 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 14 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 8 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 5 more
Biography

A cultural figure of international renown, Ai Weiwei is an activist, architect, curator, filmmaker, and China’s most famous artist. Open in his criticism of the Chinese government, Ai was famously detained for months in 2011, then released to house arrest. “I don’t see myself as a dissident artist,” he says. “I see them as a dissident government!” Some of Ai’s best known works are installations, often tending towards the conceptual and sparking dialogue between the contemporary world and traditional Chinese modes of thought and production. For Sunflower Seeds (2010) at the Tate Modern, he scattered 100 million porcelain “seeds” handpainted by 1,600 Chinese artisans—a commentary on mass consumption and the loss of individuality. His infamous Coca Cola Vase (1994) is a Han Dynasty urn emblazoned with the ubiquitous soft-drink logo. Ai also served as artistic consultant on the design of the “Bird’s Nest” stadium for Beijing’s 2008 Olympics, and has curated pavilions and museum exhibitions around the globe.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Auction
High auction record
£18m, Phillips, 2015
User
Solo show at a major institution
Tate Modern, and 9 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 14 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 8 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 5 more
Shows Featuring Ai Weiwei
Articles Featuring Ai Weiwei
How Mega-Collectors Don and Mera Rubell Keep Finding New Artists to Support
Nov 11th, 2019
How Mega-Collectors Don and Mera Rubell Keep Finding New Artists to Support
Ai Weiwei Reminds Us That Freedom Is a Struggle in Major Museum Show
Sep 30th, 2019
Ai Weiwei Reminds Us That Freedom Is a Struggle in Major Museum Show
Unpacking the Symbolism of Pigs in Chinese Art
Feb 5th, 2019
Unpacking the Symbolism of Pigs in Chinese Art
The 20 Most Influential Artists of 2017
Dec 15th, 2017
The 20 Most Influential Artists of 2017
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