Ai Weiwei, ‘Installation view of Ai Weiwei: According to What? at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., 2012.’, Brooklyn Museum

From left to right:

Beijing’s 2008 Olympic Stadium, 2005‒8. Inkjet prints, dimensions variable according to installation

Divina Proportione, 2006. Huali wood, 66 9/16 in. (169 cm).

F-Size, 2011. Huali wood, 51 3/16 in. (130 cm).

Ai Weiwei: According to What? Brooklyn Museum, 2014

About Ai Weiwei

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.

Chinese, b. 1957, Beijing, China, based in Beijing, China