Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei is one of today's most important and controversial artists. His recent exhibitions include “Sunflower Seeds” at the Tate Modern, London, a vast assemblage of handcrafted porcelain sunflower seeds; and six fiberglass dioramas depicting his 81-day imprisonment in 2011, shown at a Venice gallery in parallel with the 2013 Venice Biennale. He was a designer of the famous “Bird's Nest” stadium of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

  • Ai Weiwei

    Ai Weiwei

    Beijing Photographs, 1993-2003

    Ai Weiwei, John Tancock, and Stephanie H. Tung

    An autobiography in pictures: photographs taken by Ai Weiwei that capture his emergence as the uniquely provocative artist that he is today.

    Ai Weiwei: Beijing Photographs 1993–2003 is an autobiography in pictures. Ai Weiwei is China's most celebrated contemporary artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. In April 2011, when Ai disappeared into police custody for three months, he quickly became the art world's most famous missing person. Since then, Ai Weiwei's critiques of China's repressive regime have ranged from playful photographs of his raised middle finger in front of Tiananmen Square to searing memorials to the more than 5,000 schoolchildren who died in shoddy government construction in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Against a backdrop of strict censorship, Ai has become a hero on social media to millions of Chinese citizens.

    This book, prohibited from publication in China, offers an intimate look at Ai Weiwei's world in the years after his return from New York and preceding his imprisonment and global superstardom. The photographs capture Ai's emergence as the uniquely provocative artist that he is today. There is no more revealing portrait of Ai Weiwei's life in China than this.

    The book contains more than 600 carefully sequenced images culled from an archive of more than 40,000 photographs taken by Ai: a narrative arc carefully shaped by an artist keenly aware of photography's ability to tell stories. It includes a shattering series of photographs taken between 1993 and 1996 devoted to the final illness and death of Ai's father Ai Qing. The book is a sequel to Ai Weiwei: New York 1983–1993, a privately published book that collected photographs taken by Ai during his years on the New York art scene.

    • Hardcover $75.00 £58.00
  • Ai Weiwei: Spatial Matters

    Ai Weiwei: Spatial Matters

    Art Architecture and Activism

    Ai Weiwei, Anthony Pins, and An Xiao Mina

    A richly illustrated exploration of Ai Weiwei's installation and architecture projects, focusing on the artist's use of space.

    Outspoken, provocative, and prolific, the artist Ai Weiwei is an international phenomenon. In recent years, he has produced an astonishingly varied body of work while continuing his role as activist, provocateur, and conscience of a nation. Ai Weiwei is under “city arrest” in Beijing after an 81-day imprisonment; he is accused of tax evasion, but many suspect he is being punished for his political activism, including his exposure of shoddy school building practices that led to the deaths of thousands of children in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. In 2009, he was badly beaten by the police during his earthquake investigations.

    Ai Weiwei's work reflects his multiple artistic identities as conceptual artist, architect, filmmaker, designer, curator, writer, and publisher. This monumental volume, developed in association with the artist, draws on the full breadth of Ai Weiwei's architectural, installation, and activist work, with a focus on his use of space. It documents a huge range of international projects with drawings, plans, and photographs of finished work. It also includes excerpts from Ai Weiwei's famous blog (shut down by Chinese authorities in 2009), in which he offers pithy and scathing commentary on the world around him. Essays by leading critics and art historians and interviews with the artist, drawing out his central concerns, accompany the 450 beautifully reproduced color illustrations of his work.

    • Paperback $62.95 £49.00
  • Ai Weiwei's Blog

    Ai Weiwei's Blog

    Writings, Interviews, and Digital Rants, 2006-2009

    Ai Weiwei and Lee Ambrozy

    Manifestos and immodest proposals from China's most famous artist and activist, culled from his popular blog, shut down by Chinese authorities in 2009.

    In 2006, even though he could barely type, China's most famous artist started blogging. For more than three years, Ai Weiwei turned out a steady stream of scathing social commentary, criticism of government policy, thoughts on art and architecture, and autobiographical writings. He wrote about the Sichuan earthquake (and posted a list of the schoolchildren who died because of the government's “tofu-dregs engineering”), reminisced about Andy Warhol and the East Village art scene, described the irony of being investigated for “fraud” by the Ministry of Public Security, made a modest proposal for tax collection. Then, on June 1, 2009, Chinese authorities shut down the blog. This book offers a collection of Ai's notorious online writings translated into English—the most complete, public documentation of the original Chinese blog available in any language.

    The New York Times called Ai “a figure of Warholian celebrity.” He is a leading figure on the international art scene, a regular in museums and biennials, but in China he is a manifold and controversial presence: artist, architect, curator, social critic, justice-seeker. He was a consultant on the design of the famous “Bird's Nest” stadium but called for an Olympic boycott; he received a Chinese Contemporary Art “lifetime achievement award” in 2008 but was beaten by the police in connection with his “citizen investigation” of earthquake casualties in 2009. Ai Weiwei's Blog documents Ai's passion, his genius, his hubris, his righteous anger, and his vision for China.

    • Paperback $39.95 £30.00