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Ai Weiwei: According to What? Hardcover – October 9, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Ai Weiwei is China’s most internationally famous artist because of his design work on the “bird’s nest” stadium built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, his political activism, and his arrests, detention, and beating at the hands of Chinese officials. Published in conjunction with the first North American exhibition of his work, which will travel across the U.S. this year and most of the next, this superb volume of commentary and colorplates presents an enlightening and moving overview of Ai’s diverse, strongly conceptual, and socially conscious body of work. Ai’s sensibility is rooted in his subsistence childhood, the result of his father, a famous poet, being denounced as anti-Communist and the family exiled to northwestern China. Ai lived in the U.S. from 1981 to 1993, then returned to Beijing and built his now-iconic studio. His photographs, video, performance art, architecture, and sculptural installations using materials ranging from antique furniture to mass-manufactured porcelain sunflower seeds are collaborative, communal, and profoundly resonant in their concerns, posing urgent questions about the meaning of one life among many, and our responsibilities to others. This striking and important volume reflects the bright beacon of Ai’sglobally influential and inspiring courage, compassion, intelligence, creativity, and ongoing political struggle for freedom of expression and respect for life. --Donna Seaman

Review

"This superb volume of commentary and colorplates presents an enlightening and moving overview of Ai's diverse, strongly conceptual, and socially conscious body of work." --Booklist

"[A] fine introduction to [Ai's] intelligent, humane body of work. …This catalog is an excellent first step toward exploring all that Ai Weiwei has accomplished so far." --Library Journal

"Ranging from photography and video to sculpture and architecture, it's a primer on the recent output of one of the world's most important artists." - Art Info

"This very important publication is a must read." --Choice
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Prestel USA (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3791352407
  • ISBN-13: 978-3791352404
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #863,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dashanzi on January 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the hardback catalogue for the Ai Weiwei retrospective at the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C., If you can't see the exhibition in person (the show closes February 24, 2013), be sure and pick up this book. Ai Weiwei is the most famous contemporary artist in China, and also one of the world's most well-known political activists. He was detained illegally by the Communist dictatorship in Beijing for 81 days last year. Simply, he had a black hood placed over his head at the Beijing airport and subsequently "disappeared" into one of China's infamous and illegal "black jails." He was mentally tortured, 24 hours a day, but probably not killed because of his international acclaim. His father, Ai Qing, was one of China's most famous poets. Weiwei was subsequently charged with tax evasion - a trumped up charge. When he was released from illegal detention, he was forbidden to speak with the foreign press, use Twitter and other foreign social media platforms. Needless to say, he paid no intention to these threatening orders. As such, the CCP continues to hold his passport and he was unable to travel to Washington to be involved directly in this retrospective - his first in the United States. To learn more about Weiwei's art and activism, a perfect compliment to this catalogue is the film AI WEIWEI - NEVER SORRY, now available on dvd.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By live theater fan on January 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
AI Weiwei:According to what? this is a great overview of his work, and history would love more photos but for th price it's great
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a good one for an overview of Wei'Wei's artwork. some of the interviews are very helpful especially in giving history behind Wei-Wei' s thinking. To those accustomed to reading artist's interviews and remarks , it will read well. It does get a bit repetitive but it is an insightful lens onto this unusual and gifted man's ideas.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ai Weiwei is one of the artistic geniuses of the times. The book includes excellent visuals of his wide ranging works..
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