ai wei wei

I have just finished a great little book: Ai Weiwei Speaks with Hans Ulrich Obrist

I want to write about it, but there is a milieu of things I could say about Ai weiwei. 
Mostly in regards to how the Chinese government have treated this 'dissident' earlier this year. But I will focus on this book as a window into the artist's mind. 

This little snippet of weiwei is fascinating. His personality is huge, the way he sees life is fluid and unique and he speaks with stark honesty. Especially in regards to China. 

weiwei's sunflower seeds was showing in the turbine hall of the Tate Modern when I started working there earlier this year. It is breathtaking. And the film that accompanies the installation is a beautiful story of how and why this piece came about. In fact, I almost liked it more than the tiny hand painted seeds themselves. 

I think the thing that makes weiwei so incredible is the way in which he sees the world. Art is an attitude, a way of thinking, or a way of life. His insights into the impact of the Chinese cultural revolution, his fathers experiences, his relationship with books and architecture and blogging are completely fascinating. 

"On the one hand I take art very seriously, but the production has never been so serious, and most of it is an ironic act. But anyhow, you need traces, you need people to be able to locate you, you have a responsibility to say what you have to say and to be wherever you should be. You're part of the misery and you can't make it more or less. You're still part of the whole fascinating condition here."

"And I have one regret: I feel sorry that I can't write well. That's the skill that I value the most. I think that, if I could write well, I'd give up my art for writing. For me, it is the most beautiful and effective way to illustrate my thinking"

Definitely worth a read. 

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