Ai Weiwei

Chinese activist and artist Ai Weiwei is a figure of international cultural importance. Aged 21, he was a member of Les Étoiles, a group of avant-garde artists, who rejected Chinese Socialist Realism and advocated artistic individualization and experimentation. In 1981 he moved to New York, where he was influenced by the conceptual works of Marcel Duchamp and started to incorporate daily life objects in his work. He returned to China in the 1990s and became very politically active against the government.

He is very outspoken in his criticism of the Chinese government, which resulted in him being detained for months in 2011, without an official charge. He sees protecting the right of expression as the central part of an artist’s activity and adds, “In China many essential rights are lacking, and I wanted to remind people of this.” Ai Weiwei is best known with his conceptual work and colossal installations, sparking a dialogue between the tradition and contemporary, or voicing a political agenda. His Sunflower Seeds (2010) for the Tate Modern consists of 100 million porcelain “seeds”, hand painted by 1,600 Chinese artisans, drawing attention to the mass consumption and the loss of individuality.

In another conceptual work, he painted a Han Dynasty urn with the Coca Cola logo, creating the Coca Cola Vase (1994). One of his most influential works is his sculptural installation Straight at the 2013 Venice Art Biennale, where him and workers in his studio bent 150 tons of steel rebar straight. The work told the story of the children who died in a collapsed school during the Sichuan Earthquake in 2008 and drew attention to the government corruption that resulted in this tragedy by allowing the “tofu” buildings. All 150 tons of the steel bars were recovered from the collapsed schools where children have died. Explaining his reason for being vocal about oppressed people around the world, Ai Weiwei once said, “If my art has nothing to do with people's pain and sorrow, what is 'art' for?

After regaining his passport in 2015, Weiwei moved to Germany and continued his conceptual works drawing attention to the sorrows of the refugees of the world. He also shoots documentaries, most of which document how his colossal installations are made. Although he makes works mainly for museum and gallery installations, his auction value has leaped in 2015 from about right below $ 3 million to around $10 million.

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Sep 17, 2015 0
Ai Weiwei (b. 1957)
Ai Weiwei (b. 1957)
Ai Weiwei (b. 1957) Serpentine Gallery Pavilion screenprint, 2012, ...
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Dec 13, 2012 1
Ai Weiwei's Shanghai Studio (diptych)
Ai Weiwei's Shanghai Studio (diptych)
Ai Weiwei's Shanghai Studio (diptych) 2011 chromogenic print sheet:...
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Jun 28, 2016 2
Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei
signed, dated 2014 and numbered 5 on the bottom of the golden vase ...
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Oct 19, 2013 3
AI WEIWEI (B. 1957)
AI WEIWEI (B. 1957)
AI WEIWEI (B. 1957) Coloured Vases (i) signed and dated 'Ai Wei Wei...
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May 27, 2016 4
Elliott Arkin, ‘Ai Weiwei Statue (“#1/1,000,000,000”)', 2012
Elliott Arkin, ‘Ai Weiwei Statue (&#...
Cast marble on oak base with plastic and lights~~~USA, 2012~~~Ellio...
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Jun 09, 2016 5
Ai Weiwei Art Edition, 2014
Ai Weiwei Art Edition, 2014
Chinese marble (Fangshan District), Habotai silk scarf and cloth-bo...
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May 14, 2014 6
Ai Weiwei (b. 1957)
Ai Weiwei (b. 1957)
Ai Weiwei (b. 1957) Dust to Dust signed 'Weiwei' (on the lid of the...
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Jun 09, 2016 7
Ai Weiwei Blue 5, 2015
Ai Weiwei Blue 5, 2015
Industrial paint in blue, on Munken Polar paper dust-jacket, with t...
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Nov 19, 2016 8
Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei
SOFA IN BLACK SOFA IN BLACK SOFA IN BLACK SOFA IN BLACK marble 34 b...
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Nov 19, 2016 9
Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei
TABLE WITH TWO LEGS ON THE WALL TABLE WITH TWO LEGS ON THE WALL TAB...
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Oct 08, 2014 10
Ai Weiwei (born 1957), Tent, ‘Sunflower Seeds', 2013
Ai Weiwei (born 1957), Tent, ‘Sunflo...
Portable tent~~~Germany, 2013~~~Ai Weiwei (born 1957) - Chinese con...
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Jun 28, 2016 11
Ai Weiwei Stool, 2012
Ai Weiwei Stool, 2012
Hand-sculpted, painted, and fired porcelain made using tradition me...
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Oct 03, 2016 12
Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei
TABLE WITH TWO LEGS ON THE WALL Qing dynasty wood table
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Oct 03, 2016 13
Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei
STOOL Qing Dynasty wooden stool
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Sep 20, 2016 14
Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei
FAIRYTALE - 1001 CHAIRS titled in Chinese on the underside and numb...
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Oct 02, 2016 15
Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei
DROPPING A HAN DYNASTY URN (SET OF THREE) signed and numbered
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Jun 28, 2016 16
Ai Weiwei Fairytale - 1001 Chairs, 2007
Ai Weiwei Fairytale - 1001 Chairs, 2007
wooden chairs, Qing Dynasty 120 x 57 x 44 cm (47 1/4 x 22 1/2 x 17 ...
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Sep 29, 2016 17
Ai Weiwei, From ‘Fairytale – 1001 Chairs’, 2 Objects, 2007
Ai Weiwei, From ‘Fairytale – 1001 Chairs’,...
2 wooden chairs from Qing Dynasty Ai Weiwei (b. 1957) – Chinese con...
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Jun 28, 2016 18
Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei
tieli wood from dismantled Qing dynasty temples 80 by 160 by 160 cm...
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Mar 27, 2015 19
Ai Weiwei, Crayfishes, Tent, Multiple, 2013
Ai Weiwei, Crayfishes, Tent, Multiple, 2013
Portable tent~~~Germany, 2013~~~Ai Weiwei (born 1957) - Chinese con...
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Aug 23, 2016 20
Oliver Mark: "Ai Weiwei, 7 Artist and 1 Nude.". Signed with black indian ink Oliver Mark. Exhibition poster. Visible size 83 x 58 cm.
Oliver Mark: "Ai Weiwei, 7 Artist and 1 Nu...
"Ai Weiwei, 7 Artist and 1 Nude.". Signed with black indian ink Oli...
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Oct 19, 2013 22
AI WEIWEI (B. 1957)
AI WEIWEI (B. 1957)
AI WEIWEI (B. 1957) Marble Chair marble 46 x 22 x 17¼in. (116.8 x 5...
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Oct 19, 2013 23
AI WEIWEI (B. 1957)
AI WEIWEI (B. 1957)
AI WEIWEI (B. 1957) Dress enamelled porcelain 23½ x 17½ (59.6 x 44....
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