"If artists betray the social conscience and the basic principles of being human, where does art stand then?" Ai Weiwei—artist, architect, curator, publisher, poet, and urbanist—extended the notion of art and is one of the world's most significant creative and cultural figures. In this series of interviews, conducted over several years with the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, he discusses the many dimensions of his artistic life, ranging over subjects including ceramics, blogging, nature, philosophy, and the myriad influences that have fed into his work. He also talks candidly about his father, his childhood spent in exile, and his criticism of the Chinese state. Together, these extraordinary discussions give a unique insight into the outstanding complexity of Ai Weiwei's thought and work, and are an essential reminder of the need for personal, political, and artistic freedom.
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Ai Weiwei is a Chinese artist, designer, architect, curator, blogger, and publisher. Hans Ulrich Obrist is a curator and critic. Since 2006 he has been co-director of exhibitions and programmes and director of international projects at the Serpentine Gallery, London.Review:
"Ai Weiwei is the kind of visionary any nation should be proud to count among its creative class. He has drawn the world's attention to the vibrancy of contemporary Chinese culture. . . For the world, Ai continues to represent the promise of China." —Time Magazine, 100 Most Influential People in the World 2011
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