April 30, 2014

A Visit With Ai Weiwei In Beijing

As you may know, I was in China last week for business and it was an action-packed and fascinating trip.  On our last day in Beijing, I placed a call to an old friend, Ai Weiwei, who is, of course, one of the most important figures in the Chinese world of contemporary art and architecture.  He worked closely with the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron on the symbolic "Bird’s Nest" National Stadium in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics.  But Ai is also a political activist who speaks openly about the Chinese Government’s stance on democracy and human rights.  This has brought trouble to his life and he is currently prohibited from traveling beyond Beijing.  He is hopeful that restriction will be lifted.  I have posted previously about Ai Weiwei - a blog about his "Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads" and another about his exhibit "According to What?" This improved upon exhibit can now be seen at New York City's Brooklyn Museum and has received high praise from The New York Times.  Ai invited us to visit his studio/home on our way to the airport and it was a great honor to do so.