The Art and Political Imprisonment of Ai Weiwei: Background information when reading 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows

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1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows

A Memoir

by Ai Weiwei

1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows by Ai Weiwei X
1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows by Ai Weiwei
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  • Published:
    Nov 2021, 400 pages

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Jennifer Hon Khalaf
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About this Book

The Art and Political Imprisonment of Ai Weiwei

This article relates to 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows

Poster featuring a photo of Ai Weiwei and the words Free WeiweiAi Weiwei is an influential creator, whose career has given rise to a great variety of works in many mediums. Accordingly, describing him merely as an artist does not do him justice, as he wears many hats, being a visual artist, architect, documentarian and writer. Ultimately, all of his work is underpinned with a strong thread of political activism, focusing primarily on the right of free expression in the Chinese cultural context.

Ai Weiwei started off as a conceptual modern artist, moving to the U.S. in 1981 and studying briefly at Parsons School of Design in New York City, where he was heavily influenced by Dadaism. He returned to China in 1993, where he continued developing his artistic style. Though some of his works were meant to inspire shock and outrage, such as a photograph of his raised middle finger in Tiananmen Square, he also gained mainstream approval, winning the competition to build the Bird's Nest stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics in collaboration with Swiss ...

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