Author(s): Tim Marlow
Despite being one of the most significant cultural figures to have emerged from China in recent decades, Ai Weiwei hon ra is so controversial within his native country that until recently his name was removed from Chinese editions of art books. Eloquently fusing art and activism with a dark and rebellious wit, he has galvanised a generation of artists with his strong convictions and his willingness to risk personal liberties in pursuit of freedom of speech. Published to accompany his first major UK exhibition, this handsome book's texts include a new interview with Ai, an insightful exploration of his position within the Chinese and international contemporary art worlds, an incisive account of his architectural practice, and a chronology containing reflections from key figures who have worked with him. Sumptuous illustrations demonstrate the virtuosity of the traditional Chinese craftsmanship that Ai employs to produce his works and reveal the unflinching determination that lies behind his art.