Ai Weiwei (1957 – )
Ai Weiwei is a versatile artist and Chinese political activist, born in Beijing in 1957. Following his family’s exile by the Chinese Communist Party, he left China in 1981 to move to New York, where he began his artistic education. During his time in New York, he experimented with various art forms, drawing inspiration from artists like Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol. Upon his return to China in 1993, he became known for his political and artistic activism. In 2005, he started a blog through which he expressed his dissent against the Chinese government. However, in 2011, he was incarcerated for tax evasion, triggering global protests. His release took place in 2015. During his detention, he created the work “S.A.C.R.E.D.,” representing his prison experience. For his dedication to human rights, Ai Weiwei was awarded the Ambassador of Conscience Award by Amnesty International. He continues to explore his Chinese culture and tradition through various art forms, collaborating with brands like Illy on design projects.