Ai Weiwei (b.1957, Beijing, China) is one of the most celebrated contemporary artists in the East and West, a global citizen who calls for political investigation within his wide practice. Ai Weiwei investigates and questions institutions and regimes at the core of his work. He measures our existence in relation to economic, political, and social forces. While his practice is rooted in Chinese tradition, he executes within contemporary and conceptual creativity.
Ai Weiwei attended the Beijing Film Academy and the Parsons School of Design in New York. He has received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Politics and Social Science, University of Ghent, Belgium (2010), as well as many awards, including the Skowhegan Medal (2011) and the Chinese Contemporary Art Award (2008). His work has appeared in numerous major worldwide exhibitions, including 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2011); the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2011); Asia Society Museum, New York (2011); Tate Modern, London (2010); São Paulo Bienal (2010); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2009); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2009); and Documenta XII (2007).
In 2019, Ai Weiwei won the GQ Magazine Men of the Year 2019 award in the artist category. His largest exhibition to date ‘RAIZ’ is also the highest-ranking show by a single artist in The Art Newspaper visitor figures survey for 2019.