Ai Weiwei was born in 1957 and is known for his critical social or performance based artworks. He is also a philosopher and activist. Ai Weiwei uses a lot of mediums to tell his ideas. Among others films, architecture, internet, photography, objects and performances.
Ai Weiwei is a critical artist and he shares his ideas through means of blogging on the internet ignoring the People’s Rupublic of China’s censorship. The artist is calling for freedom of press and speech by using internet as a form of political art.
Ai Weiwei was leading designer for the Bird’s Nest Stadium, but he didn’t like his Bird’s Nest and the use of art and architecture for propagande purposes. However Ai will be for now associated to the Bird’s Nest, an architecutreel feat of the New Communist Party, forever.
In 2010 Ai Weiwei exhibited Sunflower Seeds in Tate Modern. Sunflower Seeds is made up of millions of small artworks. Each seed apparently identical, is actually unique and hand-crafted in porcelain.
The 100 million seeds form a scary empty landscape. Porcelain and low paid labour are synonymous with China. Ai Weiwei invites us to look more closely at the Chinese factory of the world.
Sunflower seeds also carry association with the Cultural Revolution. A period without personal freedom Mao could be seen as the new Asian Sun God and the mass people as sunflowers turning towards Mao. In the period of the Cultural revolution the people acted as a slave for Mao and his ideas, while in the civilised Chinese Peoples Republic of today the mass is working like slaves for the civilised Western consumer.
Watch Ai Weiwei’s sunflower seeds at Tate London
Watch BBC：Ai Weiwei, Without Fear or Favor