Ai Weiwei recreating the conditions of his detention in China as part of an art project.

One Recluse

In June 2008, Yang Jia carried a knife, a hammer, a gas mask, pepper spray, gloves and Molotov coctails to the Zhabei Public Security Branch Bureau and killed six police officers, injuring another police officer and a guard. He was arrested on the scene, and was subsequently charged with intentional homicide. In the following six months, while Yang Jia was detained and trials were held, his mother has mysteriously disappeared.

One Recluse is a documentary that traces the reasons and motivations behind the tragedy and investigates into a trial process filled with shady cover-ups and questionable decisions. The film provides a glimpse into the realities of a government-controlled judicial system and it’s impact on the citizens’ lives.

Ordos 100

Ordos 100 is a construction project curated by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei. In January 2008, the 100 architects from 27 countries gathered in Ordos for a site visit. They were chosen to participate and design 100 000 square meter villas to be built in a new community in Inner Mongolia of China.

Ai Weiwei in conversation

Ai Weiwei – Katie Hill Interview
Tate Modern

For larger image, start the film and click on the symbol in the lower right corner of the video frame.

Kina berättar

Meeting with Ai Qing – famous Chinese poet (1910-1996); Ai Weiwei’s father.
Sequence from KINA BERÄTTAR (China Tells)
Documentary by Lars Helander
© Sveriges Television 1988, 2012
Language: Chinese, Swedish
Subtitles: Swedish

For larger image, start the film and click on the symbol in the lower right corner of the video frame.

A reading of the names of schoolchildren who died in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Ai Weiwei and human rights activists investigated and criticized how officials handled information about the victims. It was suspected that corruption led to substandard building construction. The list of names of the students was first posted on Ai Weiwei¹s blog, but was repeatedly deleted in an act of internet censorship by the government.

Listen to the reading of names here:


Blogpost May 03 2011
Love the Future: Take to the Streets
A protester brought a “Grass Mud Horse” (a Chinese Internet meme widely used as symbolic defiance of the widespread Internet censorship in China) to the protest. “Grass Mud Horse” appeared many times in Ai Weiwei’s art creations.


Read the many diversified articles about Ai Weiwei at Designbooms webpage.

Haus der Kunst
On the occasion Ai Weiwei
Art, Dissidence and Resistance
Panel Discussion
Haus Der Kunst, Munich, July 27, 2011

Journalist Anna Maria Höglund meets Ai Weiwei at his residence in Beijing.
During the half-hour interview Ai Weiwei talks about how he manages to be
both an artist and an activist, the catastrophic Sichuan earthquake in 2008
and how the image of modern Chinese society is a scam.

The filmed conversation between Tessa Praun and Ulrich Wilmes,
Bio Rio, February 21, 2012


Four years after designing the spectacular Bird’s Nest Olympic stadium in Beijing, the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron and the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei are to reunite for a London 2012 project.

Ai Weiwei’s 10 years in East Village.

Person of the Year, Runner up. For 81 days last spring and summer, Ai Weiwei was China’s most famous missing person.

The New Yorker

The branches are bare outside Ai Weiwei’s house this time of year, which leaves the police cameras bulging from the lampposts like overripe coconuts.

Art Radar Asia

“Ai Weiwei absent”, organised by the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM), wrapped up on 29 January 2012 after a three-month-long run. It was the artist’s first solo exhibition in the Chinese-speaking world and contained works dating from 1983 to 2011.

”Say what you say plainly, and then take responsibility for it.”
”Creativity is the power to reject the past, to change the status quo, and to seek new potential.”

Ai Weiwei detained. Here is his TED film

Ai Weiwei with Milk Interviews
”Choices after waking up: To be true or to lie? To take action or be brainwashed? To be free or be jailed?”

Ai Weiwei: Sunflower seeds

Ai Weiwei: Disturbing The Peace

Last year, Ai Weiwei dissapeared for 81 days.
Here is a timeline of the events from the organization Free Ai Weiwei.

Louisiana Talks: Ai Weiwei

Download Aram Bartholl’s Free Ai Weiwei-glasses here.


Submit a nude photo to the online project ‘Ai Wei Fans Nudity’ and show the Chinese government that nudity is not pornography.


He filled Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall with sunflower seeds and campaigned against corruption. Then China’s most provocative artist disappeared. Hari Kunzu describes Ai Weiwei, the dissident artist, in The Guardian.


The more he is harassed by his government, the more Ai Weiwei becomes a symbol of activism in China. But how much longer can he continue to speak out? Tania Branigan speaks with Ai Weiwei in The Guardian.


What is daily life like for China’s most famous dissident artist? Since his nearly three-month detention last spring, Ai Weiwei has been heroized in the West. But in the People’s Republic, he remains curatorially untouchable, legally restricted to Beijing and embroiled in a $2.4 million “tax evasion” dispute. J.J. Camille visits Ai Weiwei at home.

As Ai Weiwei’s profile and the politicisation in his work has grown, it has become harder for him to live and work in China. In 2009 he underwent major surgery following a serious assault by police. William Oliver interviews Ai Weiwei in Dazed on the age of craziness.

The Chinese government slapped artist Ai Weiwei — one of China’s most famous dissidents — with a $2.4 million tax bill. The move was widely seen as punishment for Ai’s relentless criticism of the Communist Party. Since then, in an outpouring of support rarely seen for a government critic, thousands of people have loaned Ai nearly $1 million to help pay the fine. Frank Langfitt reports.

The Epoch Times

“I lost all connection with the outside world and was immersed in a world of darkness. I was scared that my existence would fade silently; no one knew where I was, and no one would ever know. I was just like a small soybean, once fallen to the ground, it rolls into a crack in the corner. Being unable to make any sounds, it will forever be forgotten.” By Veronica Wong and Gisela Sommer report on Ai Weiweis mental torment in captivity.


For months Ai Weiwei, who was detained by Chinese authorities in the spring and released under close surveillance in June, has been limited in his travel and communications with the outside world. But recently he was able to escape, at least digitally, and even to make new work in another country. Malena Ryzik explains how in The New York Times.

“I see what kind of hopes, what kind of worries, what kind of frustrations… and waiting, and anticipating… then the dream, then imagination, then… maybe surprise. This of course reflects a great number of social, political and economic factors, because we often have to ask who we are.” Nataline Colonnello speaks with Ai Weiwei about the Fairytale project at Documenta 12 in Kassel 2007.

In a gritty industrial space in the city’s Chai Wan district, 50 Hong Kong artists are speaking out against Ai’s detention in a non-selling exhibition called “Love the Future.” In Mandarin, it reads as “Ai Wei Lai,” a pun on “Ai Wei Wei” and a code name used by the artist’s online supporters when he first went missing. Kristie Lu Stout reports.

If you’re not one of his 110,000 Twitter followers, you may never have heard of Ai Weiwei. But the architect who designed the Bird’s Nest stadium for the Beijing Olympics in 2008 has become one of China’s most noted political dissidents and online activists. By John D. Sutter for CNN.


Ai Weiwei describes the interconnectedness of his work and his activism, saying, “An individual who makes an effort can make an impact.” This was not Ai Weiwei’s conclusion, but his invitation. Christian L. Frock on Secondary Protest Strategies.

Ai Weiwei: In the moment time I don’t had any other paint

Ai Weiwei’s Shanghai Studio (from Never Sorry)

Wen Tao, Journalist, Missing Since April 3 2011 (from Never Sorry)

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry – Teaser

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is the inside story of a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. Director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China. Her detailed portrait provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures.

-Ai Weiwei in Conversation

-TateShots: Ai Weiwei, one-to-one

-TateShots: Ai Weiwei in NYC

Political Awareness and Birth of Chinese Avant-garde

The Olympics Was a Strange, Surreal Nightmare

Winners and Losers