Born on August 28, 1957 in Beijing, China, Ai Weiwei is without any doubts one of the most celebrated contemporary artist and political activist of our days. His provocative blend of Chinese tradition and craftsmanship within fully contemporary practice serves his strong criticism of human rights violations and condemnations of governmental corruption. His own life since childhood has been marked by his struggles and fights against Chinese Government. His father, a renewed poet, was declared “class enemy” and sent to labour camp with his family.
“The human struggle and the freedom of speech. Those values are not given by anybody. It always comes through fighting and struggle. Because somebody has to defend it. And also, if just one person defends it, it benefits everybody.”
He was secretly detained without any official charges being filed for 81 days from April 3 to June 22, 2011 by Chinese government and his passport was held for 4 years afterwards. Since being allowed to leave China in 2015, he has been living in Berlin, Germany, where he has produced monumental installations and artworks that advocate for refugee rights and make awareness on the global crisis of displacement. The power in his art is its ability to make explicit non-violent form of dissent.