ART Society

‘An artist must be an activist’ – Ai Weiwei @aiww

Ai Weiwei.
 Image courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio.

Ai Weiwei is a Chinese contemporary artist and activist. His father’s original surname was written Jiang. Ai collaborated with architects Herzog & de Meuron as consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Ai Weiwei has been called an art world superstar, a hero, and a martyr. His work has been displayed in the world’s most prestigious modern art museums and some of his sculptures and photographs sell for millions of dollars apiece. He is considered one of the most well-known contemporary Chinese artists.

In this Interview it gives you a perspective into AI’s idea of Artistry and Activism

In a series of Interview questions curated by the Guardian Magazine AI gives a precise answer to one of the questions asked by one Jude Kelly ..

Jude Kelly (Theatre director)

If artists aren’t active in the political space, do you think that they are essentially supporting the status quo?


Ai Weiwei – An artist must also be an activist – aesthetically, morally, or philosophically. That doesn’t mean they have to demonstrate in street protests, but rather deal with these issues through a so-called artistic language. Without that kind of consciousness – to be blind to human struggle – one cannot even be called an artist.

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