This beautifully illustrated volume explores the inextricable link between Ai Weiwei’s art and his politics.
“Everything is art. Everything is politics,” says internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei. His statement informs this comprehensive book that features sculptural installations, photographs, and videos from every aspect of the artist’s fortyyear career and touches on many contemporary social issues. The works featured in the book include Straight, Ai’s gigantic installation made from 150 tons of rebar salvaged from the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which comments on governmental corruption and negligence, and Sunflower Seeds for which the artist filled the enormous Turbine Hall of London's Tate Modern with 100,000,000 porcelain seeds, each made by Chinese craftspeople. Also highlighted are his most recent works addressing the refugee crisis, such as Laundromat and Life Cycle; his provocative ventures into social media; and several early works. Wide-ranging and penetrating, this collection of Ai’s most important work to date illustrates the depth of his conviction that art is most powerful when it raises awareness and incites change.
SUSANNE GAENSHEIMER is Director of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Dusseldorf, Germany.
DORIS KRYSTOF is Curator at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen.
FALK WOLF is Curator at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen.