9.45 х 25.59 in. cm.
This photograph, 'Weiwei's Shanghai Studio, 2011', consists of two images that portray Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei's Beijing studio in the first image and the land where it once stood on after its destruction in the other. Weiwei designed and built the studio, with what he believed as support from the governa place to work and teach. However, after deeming the building illegal anment, as d with protest from Weiwei and his supporters, the studio was demolished in January of 2011.
Topping the 2011 ArtReview Power 100 list, contemporary artist Ai Weiwei (b.1957) is known for his breathtaking works in sculpture, installation, photography, film, and architecture that have drawn as much attention as his political activism. Born in Beijing, Weiwei enrolled in the Beijing Film Academy in 1978, that same year he co-founded an avant garde art group, “Stars”, which put on regular group shows throughout China. Weiwei lived and worked in the United States for a period of time in the late 1980s and early 1990s, studying at Parsons School of Design and the Art Students League of New York in New York City. Upon his return to China, Weiwei brought together a group of experimental artists, Beijing East Village, and later co-founded the experimental art gallery and facilitator, China Art Archives and Warehouse in 1997. Weiwei’s work consists mostly of sculpture and installation, using new techniques and found objects that often speak out against the Chinese Government. For example, Weiwei commented on famine and mass consumption in China with ‘Sunflower Seeds’, which consisted of one hundred million, hand-painted, porcelain seeds that was installed at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, London, England, in 2010. Weiwei’s work led him also to architecture and in 2003 he founded the architecture studio FAKE Design. He was an artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics. Ever a controversial figure, Weiwei was arrested earlier this year and held in prison for almost three months without any official charge. His arrest attracted worldwide attention and instigated mass protests, including a petition with over 90,000 signatures calling for his release organized by The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the International Council of Museums.
Ai Weiwie’s work has been displayed prominently throughout the world, with recent solo exhibitions and installations including ‘Ai Weiwei: Dropping the Urn,’ Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK (2011); ‘Ai Weiwei: New York Photographs 1983-1993,’ Asia Society, New York, NY (2011); ‘Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals,’ Somerset House, London, UK, Pulitzer Fountain, Central Park, New York, NY, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (2011); ‘Ai Weiwei: Barely Something,’ Museum DKM, Duisburg, Germany (2010); ‘Ai Weiwei: According to What?’ Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2009); and ‘Under Construction,’ Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Cambelltown Arts Center, Sydney, Australia, and Mary Boone Gallery, New York, NY (2008).
Selected Public Collections:
Goetz Collection, Munich, Germany
Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany
Saatchi Collection, London, England
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Tate, London, England
Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China