Background• He was born on May 18th, 1957• His father was a poet – He was denounced in 1958 during the anti rightist movement – Once denounced he was sent to a labour camp with his wife• Once they came back to Beijing Ai Weiwei attended the Beijing Film Academy• He lived in the US from 1981- 1993 – There he studied at Parsons School of Design and at the Art Students League of New York• In 1993, he moved back to China to take care of his ill father
• Once back in China he • “Sunflower Seeds” was one helped to establish the of his pieces that contained artists’ Beijing East Village. one hundred million• In 1998 he cocurated the porcelain "seeds,”they were exhibit “Fuck Off” hand painted by 1,600 – A controversial exhibit that Chinese artisans was an attempt at brining – These seeds were scattered international contemporary over a room at the Tate art to the city Modern Turbine Hall in London• He has also had numerous other exhibits – This exhibit was meant to be interacted with. Ai Weiwei• He also was the artistic wanted people to roll and lay consultant for the Beijing in the seeds Olympic stadium
So Sorry• In October 2009 Ai exhibited So Sorry• This exhibit refers to the apologizes that were given recently by numerous governments, industries, & financial corporations to make up for the tragedies and wrongdoings.• In this show Ai put his piece titles Remembering – This piece was made out of 9000 children’s backpacks. – The backpacks spelled out “She lived happily for seven years in this world” in Chinese characters – “The idea to use backpacks came from my visit to Sichuan after the earthquake in May 2008. During the earthquake many schools collapsed. Thousands of young students lost their lives, and you could see bags and study material everywhere. Then you realize individual life, media, and the lives of the students are serving very different purposes. The lives of the students disappeared within the state propaganda, and very soon everybody will forget everything.” – Weiwei believed that the government was corrupt and skimmed money from the building of these schools that weakened the fountains of the schools that collapsed during the earthquake. These earthquakes killed 80,000 people and many thousands of children.
• In 2008 Ai looked more into the earthquake deaths with another artist. They wanted to put a list together of all the students who were killed. In April 2009, the list was at 5,385 names. Ai put these names on his blog as well as numerous articles about the investigation. However Chinese authorities shut it down in May 2009.• Ai was beaten in August 2009 for trying to testify for another man involved in the investigation.• He had brain surgery that September for bleeding that was linked to the beating• In November 2010, Ai was placed under house arrest by the Chinese police. He agreed to this to prevent them from demolishing his newly built studio.• He was also among many who were not permitted to leave the country to attend the Noble Peace Prize that was being given to a fellow dissident.• On January 11, 2011 his studio was destroyed by authorities• He was arrested on April 3, 2011 and released on June 24, 2011 who said it was because of tax evasions.• In October 2011 ArtReview magazine named Ai number one on their annual Power 100 list. China did not agree with this and put out a statement. "China has many artists who have sufficient ability. We feel that a selection that is based purely on a political bias and perspective has violated the objectives of the magazine".