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CallOfTheWild_2015_2016

AI WEIWEI IN CHINA Call of the Wild Magazine | 2015–16 Everything is art. Everything is politics. The art always wins. Anything can happen to me, but the art will stay. –Ai Weiwei, from Weiwei-isms Ai Weiwei is internationally known for works of art that blur the distinction between art and activism. He has been called the most dangerous man in China. He will use any medium or genre to deliver his message—sculpture, photography, performance, tweets and blogs. For his activism—which includes mocking the Chinese government on his blog and collecting the names of the more than 5,000 children who, because their schools were shoddily constructed, died in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake— Ai has been harassed and jailed by the Chinese government. He is currently under house arrest at his home and studio in a village in suburban Beijing. He cannot travel without official permission, which is not forthcoming. But he has not been silenced. He still believes that good contemporary art is developed through struggle and through having a strong and defensible philosophical base. Ai is the son of acclaimed poet Ai Quing, who was denounced as a dissident during the Cultural Revolution; the entire family was sent to a labor camp in remote western China. These early experiences (Ai recalls spending five years cleaning toilets) put him on a course of social activism and made him want to champion the freedom of speech and expression. 25


CallOfTheWild_2015_2016
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