Visual artist and political activist Ai Weiwei is hosting a retrospective at the distinguished Royal Academy of the Arts in London now through to mid December. Arguably one of the most important living artists working today, Weiwei’s work poses questions upon fundamental human rights, the freedom of speech, censorship and conventional values and their integrity in society.
The artist is renowned for working in a range of scales, mediums, and contexts, his retrospective the ultimate representation of that. He has created site specific installations using a range of materials both found and repurposed or made from scratch at his community studio space in Beijing. He has engaged in music, drawing, print making, sculpture, clothing design, film, landscaping, architectural design and well, just about any creative medium you can think of. The breadth and quality of his work is truly astounding.
My first experience of his work in person is the photograph below, part of the "Study of Perspective - Tiananmen Square" , shown at the Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, this year.
The video featured below provides great insight into the artists’ working life and the space he has created to work in, just outside Beijing, Coachangdi. I’ll be visiting London in a few weeks time and hope to check out the work, maybe do a few sketches to add to this post, but most of all, experience the range of emotions he has curated through his practice.