Ai Weiwei, (born 1957, Beijing) is a Chinese artist, curator, architectural designer, social commentator, and activist.
Ai Weiwei was the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium, which was a joint venture among architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron of Herzog & de Meuron, project architect Stefan Marbach, CADG (chief architect Li Xinggang), and Ai Weiwei.
He was particularly focused at exposing an alleged corruption scandal in the construction of Sichuan schools that collapsed during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
His work was included in the 48th Venice Biennale 1999, Italy; the First Guangzhou Triennial 2002, China; "Zones of Contact: 2006 Biennale of Sydney"; and Documenta 12, where his monumental outdoor sculpture titled "Template" collapsed after a storm. In December 2009, Ai Weiwei has opened an exhibition of his work at the Comme des garcons store in Hong Kong.
From March until September 2010 he exhibited in "Barely Something" at the Museum DKM in Duisburg, Germany, an exhibition curated by Roger M. Buergel, the director of Documenta 12. Ai Weiwei is represented by Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne.
Ai was the artistic consultant for design, collaborating with the Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron, for the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics, also known as the "Bird's Nest."
Although ignored by the Chinese media, he has voiced his anti-Olympics views. He later distanced himself from the project, saying, "I've already forgotten about it. I turn down all the demands to have photographs with it," saying it is part of a "pretend smile" of bad taste.
In August 2007 he also accused those choreographing the Olympic opening ceremony, including Steven Spielberg and Zhang Yimou, of failing to live up to their responsibility as artists. Ai said "It's disgusting. I don't like anyone who shamelessly abuses their profession, who makes no moral judgment." In February 2008, Spielberg withdrew from his role as advisor to the 2008 Summer Olympics. When asked why he participated in the designing of the Bird's Nest, Ai replied "I did it because I love design."
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