Konzeptkünstler, Bildhauer und Kurator. Ai Weiwei (chinesisch, 28.08.1957) wird in Peking geboren. 1978 schreibt er sich an der Pekinger Filmakademie ein und gehört 1979 zu den Gründungsmitgliedern der Künstlergruppe Stars Group, die eine chinesische Kunst nach staatlicher Leitlinie ablehnt. Die erste inoffizielle Ausstellung der Gruppe, die an einem Zaun neben der Pekinger Nationalgalerie stattfindet, erregt internationale Aufmerksamkeit. Von 1981 bis 1993 lebt Ai Weiwei in den USA, vor allem in New York. Während dieser Zeit beschäftigt er sich insbesondere mit Performance und Konzeptkunst und absolviert ein Studium an der Parsons School of Design. Beeinflusst von der Kunst Andy Warhols, Jasper Johns und Marcel Duchamps beginnt er, mit Objéts trouvés und Ready-mades zu arbeiten. Für sein Werk Safe Sex (1986) verwendet er einen zugeknöpften Regenmantel und ein Kondom, das er an der anatomisch korrekten Stelle daran befestigt. In den 1990er Jahren, nach seiner Rückkehr nach Peking, sammelt Ai Weiwei alte chinesische Keramik sowie Teile von Möbeln und Gebäuden, um sie in seinen Werken in neue Zusammenhänge zu stellen. Im Frühjahr 2011 wird er wegen Verdachts auf Steuerhinterziehung verhaftet, wobei der wahre Grund vermutlich seine freimütige Kritik an der Kommunistischen Partei ist. Der Vorfall ruft eine weltweite Welle des Protests hervor, bei der auch viele prominente Persönlichkeiten seine Freilassung fordern. Am 22. Juni 2011 wird der Künstler gegen Kaution und unter hohen Auflagen freigegeben. Im selben Jahr wird Ai Weiwei vom Time Magazine in die Liste der 100 einflussreichsten Menschen der Welt aufgenommen. Seine Kunst wird weltweit an einer Vielzahl von Orten ausgestellt. 1999 nimmt er an der 48. Biennale von Venedig und 2007 an der documenta 12 teil. Ai Weiwei lebt und arbeitet im Kunstbezirk Dashanzi n Peking.

Chronik

1957
Born in Beijing, China
1958 – 1978
Resided in Xinjiang, China
1978
Enrolled in Beijing Film Academy
1982
Enrolled in Parsons School of Design
1981 – 1993
Lived in the United States, mostly in New York City
1993
Returned to China
1994
Founded the China Art Archives and Warehouse, Art Director. Beijing, China
2008
Collaborated on design for Bird’s Nest, Beijing National Stadium for 2008 Summer Olympics
2008
Chinese Contemporary Art Award
2010
The Prism of Reason, Kassel Citizen Award, Kassel, Germany
2010
Honorary Doctorate Degree, Faculty of Politics and Social Science, University of Gent, Belgium
2011
Time Magazine’s List of 100 Most Influential Figures of 2011
2011
Wall Street Journal Innovators of the Year Award
2011
Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation Award for Courage
2012
Pavilion for the London Olympics, collaboration with Herzog and de Meuron, Serpentine Gallery, London, England
2012
Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent
Lives and works in Beijing, China

Ausstellungen

2012 – 2013
Ai Weiwei, Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark (solo)
Fragments, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, DC (solo)
Ai Weiwei: According to What?, Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (solo)
2012
Ai Weiwei: Perspectives, Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC (solo)
Ai Weiwei, Museum de Pont, Tilburg, The Netherlands (solo)
Serpentine Pavilion 2012, with Herzog de Meuron, London, England
Art + Press, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
Public: Collective Identity: Occupied Space, Contact Festival, Toronto, Canada
Sunflower Seeds, Mary Boone Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
2011
Contemporary Clay: Group Exhibition, RH Gallery, New York, USA
Camulodunum, Inaugural exhibition at Firstsite, Colchester, England
I promise to love you, Caldic Collection, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads, Pulitzer Fountain, Grand Army Plaza at Central Park, New York, USA (solo)
Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads, Somerset House, London, England (solo)
Ai Weiwei - Interlacing, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland (solo)
Shanshui - Poetry Without Sound? Landscape in Chinese Contemporary Art (with Ai Weiwei, Qiu Shihua et al., curated by Ai Weiwei, Peter Fischer & Uli Sigg), Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland
The last freedom – From the pioneers of Land-Art of the 1960s to nature in cyberspace, Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, Germany
Ai Weiwei - Sunflower Seeds, Kunsthalle Marcel Duchamp, Cully, Switzerland (solo)
2010
Ai Weiwei, Haines Gallery, San Francisco, USA
Ai Weiwei. Barely something, Museum DKM, Galerie DKM, Duisburg, Germany
The Unilever Series: Ai Weiwei - Tate Modern, London, England (solo)
A Few Works From Ai Weiwei, ALEXANDER OCHS GALLERIES BERLIN | BEIJING, Berlin, Germany (solo)
Acconci Studio + Ai Weiwei, Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong, China
AI Weiwei: Dropping the Urn, Arcadia University Art Gallery, Glenside, USA (solo)
Radical conceptual. Positionen aus der Sammlung des MMK, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
AAA Talk: Vito Acconci + Ai Weiwei: Artist in Conversation, Agnès b. Cinema, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Beg Borrow and Steal, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA
2009
Is there going to be a title?, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (solo)
Ai Weiwei: According to What?, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Ai Weiwei: New York Photographs 1983-1993, Three Shadows Photography Art Center, Beijing, China (solo)
Art Summer Hellerau, Festspielhaus Hellerau/Dresden, Germany
The China Project. Queensland Art Gallery, Australia
So Sorry, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (solo)
Photography Art Center, Beijing, China (solo)
Ai Weiwei. Friedman Benda, New York, USA (solo)
Ai Weiwei: Four Movements, Phillips de Pury & Company, London, England (solo)
The Big World. Recent Art from China, Hall and Yates Gallery, Chicago, USA
Garbage, group exhibition with Anatoly Shuravlev and Ai Weiwei, AFTERGALLERY, projectroom, Moscow, Russia
2008
OUT THERE: Architecture Beyond Building, Biennale Architecture, 11th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice, Italy
Half-Life of a Dream, Contemporary Chinese Art from the Logan Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA
Super Fengshui: UCCA Site Commissions, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
Beijing Map Games. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham, England
abc art berlin contemporary, Postbahnhof, Berlin, Germany
Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection, The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum, Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, USA
Map Games: Dynamics of Change, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA
Reconstruction # 3. The Artists Playground, Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire, England
The City exp(l)osed, Institut Francais d'Architecture & du Patrimoine, Paris, France
Under Construction, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Cambelltown Arts Center, Sydney, Australia (solo)
Mary Boone Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Go China! Ai Weiwei, Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands (solo)
Delirious Beijing, PKM Gallery, Beijing, China
Community of Tastes - The Inaugural Exhibition Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
RED Aside: Chinese Contemporary Art of the Sigg Collection, Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona, Spain
The Real Thing, Contemporary Art from China, Institut Valencia d'Art Modern (IVAM), Valencia, Spain
2007
EI – Entity Identity – Beijing Series. Western Concepts – Chinese Drafts, Stedelijk Museum s' Hertogenbosch, MB 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
Fortunate Objects: Selections from the Ella Fontanals Cisneros Collection, CIFO – Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, USA
Inspired by China – Contemporary Furnituremakers Explore Chinese Traditions, Museum of Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, USA
Branded and on Display, Ulrich Museum of Art, Kansas State University, Wichita, USA
China Now, Cobra Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Get It Louder, SOHO Shangdu, Beijing, China
Something New Pussycat, Klara Wallner Galerie, Berlin, Germany
Energies: Synergy, Foundation DE 11 LIJNEN, Oudenburg, Belgium
Chinese Video: Chord Chances in the Megalopolis, Morono Kiang Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
Mahjong - Chinesische Gegenwartskunst aus der Sammlung Sigg, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria
documenta 12, Kassel, Germany
Contemporary Art Exhibitions of Kogo Art Space, Kogo Art Space, Hangzhou, China
Metamorphosis: The Generation of Transformation in Chinese Contemporary Art, Tampere Art Museum, Tampere, Finland
Thermocline of Art. New Asian Waves, ZKM - Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe, Germany
Art from China – Collection Uli Sigg, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
China Welcomes you... Desires, Struggles, New Identities, Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria
The Year of the Golden Pig – Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork University College, Cork, Ireland
Money, Beijing Today Gallery, Beijing, China
Forged Realities, UniversalStudios, Beijing, China
The Real Thing: Contemporary Art from China, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, England
We are the Future, 2nd Moskow Biennial of Contemporary Art, Art Centre Winzavod, Moskow, Russia
Branded and on Display, Kannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Champaign, USA
A Continuous Dialogue, Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Italy
Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland (solo)
Traveling Landscapes, AedesLand, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2006
Fragments, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing, China (solo)
Antique Modernity – Breaking Traditions, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York, USA
2006 Beaufort Outside, Museum of Modern Art, Oostende, Belgium
China zwischen Vergangenheit und Zukunft / Between Past and Future – New Photography and Video from China, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
Regeneration. Contemporary Chinese Art from China and the US, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, USA
China Power Station I, Serpentine Gallery, London, England
Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, USA
Herzog & de Meuron. No 250. Eine Ausstellung, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany
Busan Biennial 2006, Busan Museum of Modern Art, Busan, Korea
Misleading Trails, Samek Art Gallery, Bucknell University, Lewisburg; Schick Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs; Boyden Gallery, St. Mary's College of Maryland, St. Mary's City, USA
Cityscapes 'Beijing Welcomes You'. Ein Stadtmodell von Lu Hao sowie Fotografien von Ai Weiwei, Kunsthaus Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
A Continuous Dialogue, Galleria Continua, Beijing, China
Inspired by China – Contemporary Furnituremakers Expolre Chinese Traditions, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, USA
China Contemporary. Architecture, Art and Visual Culture, Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Black and Blue, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, USA
Art in Motion – Chinese Contemporary Art meets BMW Art Cars, Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai, Shanghai, China
This Is Not For You – Sculptural Discourses, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Austria
Detours. Tactical Approaches to Urbanization in China, Eric Arthur Gallery, Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
CHINA NOW. Faszination einer Weltveränderung, Sammlung Essl, Kunst der Gegenwart, Klosterneuburg / Vienna, Austria
Mahjong – Chinesische Gegenwartskunst aus der Sammlung Sigg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
MoCA Envisage / Entry Gate: Chinese Aesthetics of Heterogeneity, Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai, Shanghai, China
The 5th Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland, Australia
Zones of Contact, 15th Biennial of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Territorial. Ai Weiwei und Serge Spitzer, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Altered, Stitched and Gathered, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York, USA
2005
The 2nd Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
Misleading Trails, Fine Arts Gallery, Vanderbilt University, Nashville; Charlotte and Philip Hanes Art Gallery, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem; University of North Texas Art Gallery, Denton; Altgeld Gallery, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, USA
Regeneration. Contemporary Chinese Art from China and the US, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, USA
Convergence at E116'/N40', Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing, China
Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England
A Strange Heaven – Contemporary Chinese Photography, Tennis Palace Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland
Mahjong: Chinesische Gegenwartskunst aus der Sammlung Sigg, Kunstmuseum Bern, Berne, Switzerland
1st Monpellier Biennial of Chinese Contemporary Art, Montpellier, France
Cina. Prospettive d'Arte Contemporanea / China: As Seen by Contemporary Chinese Artists, Provincia di Milano, Spazio Oberdan, Milan, Italy
Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China", Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA
Herzog & de Meuron. An Exhibition, Tate Modern, London, England
Regeneration. Contemporary Chinese Art from China and the US, University Art Gallery, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, USA
No 250. An Exhibition. Beauty and Waste in the Architecture of Herzog & de Meuron, Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2004
Silknet – Emerging Chinese Artists, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland
Persona3, China Art Archives & Warehouse, Beijing, China
Le Printemps de Chine, CRAC ALSAC, Altkirch, France
Regeneration, Contemporary Chinese Art from China and the US, David Winton Bell Gallery, List Art Center Brown University, Providence, USA
Regeneration. Contemporary Chinese Art from China and the US, John Paul Slusser Gallery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
On the Edge – Contemporary Chinese Photography & Video, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York, USA
Robert Miller Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (solo)
Caermerklooster - Provinciaal Centrum voor Kunst en Cultur, Gent, Belgium (solo)
Chinese Object: Dreams & Obsessions, Salvatore Ferragamo Gallery, New York, USA
Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, Museum of Contemporary Art Printemps Chicago and The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, Chicago; ICP International Center of Photography, New York, USA
Modern Style in East Asia, Beijing Tokyo Art Projects, Beijing, China
Herzog & de Meuron. No 250. Eine Ausstellung, Schaulager, Basel, Switzerland
2003
Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland (solo)
New Zone: Chinese Art, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland
A Strange Heaven: Contemporary Chinese Photography, Galerie Rudolfinum, Praha, Czech Republic
Junction, Chinese Contemporary Architecture of Art, Lianyang Architecture Art Museum, Shanghai, China
Cement: Marginal Space in Contemporary Art, Chamber Fine Arts, New York, USA
2002
Art from a Changing World, Ludwig Forum for International Art, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Hoevikodden, Norway
1st Guangzhou Triennale 2002, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
China - Tradition und Moderne, Museum Ludwig Galerie Oberhausen, Oberhausen, Germany
2001
TAKE PART II, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland
TU MU, Young Chinese Architecture, Aedes Galerie, Berlin, Germany
TAKE PART I, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland
2000
Fuck off, EastLink Gallery, Shanghai, China
Portraits, Figures, Couples and Groups, BizArt, Shanghai, China
Our Chinese Friends, ACC Galerie and Galerie der Bauhaus-Universität (in collaboration with Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne), Weimar, Germany
1999
Innovations Part I, CAAW, Beijing, China
Exposition China 1999, San Francisco Limn Gallery, San Francisco, USA
Innovations Part I, China Art Archives & Warehouse, Beijing, China
d'Apertutto, La Biennale di Venezia, 48. Esposizione Internationale d'Arte, Venice, Italy
Modern China Art Foundation Collection, Caermersklooster - Provinciaal Centrum voor Kunst en Cultuur, Gent, Belgium
Concepts, Colors and Passions, China Art Archives & Warehouse, Beijing, China
1998
Double Kitsch: Painters from China, Max Protetch, New York, USA
1997
A Point of Contact, Korean, Chinese, Japanese Contemporary Art, Daegu Art & Culture Hall, Taegu, Korea
1996
Begegnung mit China, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany
1995
Configura 2 - Dialog der Kulturen, Angermuseum, Galerie am Fischmarkt, Erfurt, Germany
Change-Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Goteborg Museum, Goteborg, Sweden
1993
Chinese Contemporary Art – The Stars 15 Years, Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1989
The Star: Ten Years, Hanart Gallery, Hong Kong
The Stars: Ten Years, Hanart Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
1988
Old Shoes: Safe Sex, Art Waves Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
1987
The Star at Harvard: Chinese Dissident Art, Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
1986
China's New Expression, Municipal Gallery, New York, USA
Avant-Garde Chinese Art, Albany University Art Museum, New York, USA
1982
Asian Foundation, San Francisco, USA (solo)
1980
2nd Star Exhibition, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
1979
1st Star Exhibition, outside the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

Öffentliche Sammlungen

Musée national d'art moderne, Paris, France
Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin, Germany
Museum DKM, Duisburg, Germany
Museum of Contemporary Art, Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Tate Modern, London, England
Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany
Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia
Saatchi Collection, London, England

Literatur

2007
China Art Book. Uta Grosenick / Caspar Schübbe (Ed.), 680 pages, approx. 850 images, trilingual: Engl./Ger./Chin., Dumont Buchverlag, Cologne 2007. www.chinaartbook.de
2007
Jocks, H-N. (2007). Ai Weiwei. Das Märchen von 1001 Chinesen. Kunstforum International, August-September, Bd. 187, pp. 428-443.
2007
Tinari, P. (2007). A Kind of True Living. Artforum International, Summer 2007. pp. 453-459
2007
Hopfener, B. (2007). Kunst aus China auf der Art Basel. Steigende Nachfrage. Available: http://www.artnet.de/magazine/news/hopfener/hopfener06-14-07.asp. Last accessed 21 June 2007
2007
Frilanz, J. (2007). I Don’t Love Art. www.artnet.de, 08.06.07
2007
Neidhart, C. (2007). Der Chinesentransporter. Weltwoche, 22.07. pp. 74-76
2007
Tobler, K. (2007). Manche hatten nicht mal einen Namen. SonntagsZeitung, 27.Mai 2007, p. 54
2007
Merewether, C. (2007). Ai Weiwei. The Freedom of Irreverence. Art Asia Pacific, 53. pp. 108-111.
2007
Smith, K. (2007). Ai Weiwei. In: Tate Liverpool, The Real Thing. Contemporary Art from China. Liverpool: Tate Liverpool. pp. 30-42.
2007
Mingels, G. (2007). Ein Nest für das neue China. Das Magazin, 15. pp 24-37.
2007
Yao, P. J. (2007). Ai Weiwei. Contemporary Art & Investment, April 2007, pp 22-23.