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Artists as Writers

Artist Biography

(Self-portrait by Ai Weiwei for Time)

AI, Weiwei (1957 - )

Areas of expertise
Architect, conceptual artist, sculptor, photographer, cultural critic, publisher, installation artist, landscape architect


Born in 1957, Beijing, Ai Weiwei’s work has been marked by a pursuit of honesty. Though he is famed for his tongue in cheek criticisms, his satires of traditional culture and his unending social responsibility, he began first and foremost as an artist.

Ai Weiwei began his training at Beijing Film Academy and later continued at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. He was instrumental in the founding of the Overseas Chinese Artists Foundation as well as laying the groundwork for experimental artists in the East Village where he published three books about the future generation of artists. His work has been displayed all over the world in Australia, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea and the United States and recently has been commissioned by the Tate Modern.

Later his name would become famous with projects such as the ‘Bird’s Nest,’ the Olympic Stadium for the 2008 Beijing Summer Games, a project he quickly distanced himself from following completion. His role as an activist deepened, with his infamous probe of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake student deaths and the following closing of his blog. Ai continues to reside in China.

Above biography © The Bui Gallery Limited 2008 & Getty ULAN

Gallery representation
Galerie Urs Meile Beijing-Lucerne

Online Resources