Artist and Human Rights Activist
Ai Weiwei (Chinese: 艾未未; pinyin: Ài Wèiwèi, English pronunciation ; born 28 August 1957 in Beijing) is a Chinese contemporary artist and activist. His father’s (Ai Qing) original surname was written Jiang (蔣). Ai collaborated with architects Herzog & de Meuron as consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics. As an activist, he has been openly critical of the Chinese Government’s stance on democracy and human rights. He investigated government corruption and cover-ups, in particular the Sichuan schools corruption scandal following the collapse of “tofu-dreg schools” in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. In 2011, following his arrest at Beijing Capital International Airport on 3 April, he was held for 81 days without charge; officials alluded to allegations of “economic crimes”.Since being allowed to leave China in 2015, he has lived in Berlin, Germany, with his family, working and traveling internationally.