Lot Details

This photograph comprises two images: on the left is the studio of Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, and on the right is the land where his studio once stood. Ai’s studio, which he designed and built, was demolished in January of 2011 after government authorities deemed it illegal based on building permits and rules. Ironically, the same government officials who had originally proposed the idea of a studio space to Ai were the ones to order its destruction two years later, revealing the political motivation behind the decision.

Ai Weiwei (b. 1957) is a contemporary Chinese artist working actively in many media, including sculpture, installation art, photography, and film. He is also one of China’s most prominent political dissidents. 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. Ai lived and worked in the United States 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, Ai 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. Ai works principally in sculpture and installation art, often involving found objects. Expanding into architecture, he founded the architecture studio FAKE Design in 2003 and was an artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics. Ai was arrested by Chinese authorities in 2011 and held in prison for almost three months without official charge. His arrest attracted worldwide attention and instigated mass protests, including a petition with over 90,000 signatures, organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the International Council of Museums, which called for his release. Ai Weiwei is a past recipient of the Tate Modern's annual Turbine Hall commission (2010-11). In 2012, he was the subject of a major retrospective at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC.

Selected Public Collections:
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
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Tate Modern, London, England
Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China

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  • Private Collection, Germany
  • Pickup Location: Germany
  • Shipping Dimensions: 9.45 x 25.59 in. (24 x 65 cm.)
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