An artist, a poet, a documentarian, a photographer, an architect, a sculptor. But, Ai Weiwei is as famend for his activism as his putting visible artwork. He has been unafraid of open criticism of the Chinese language authorities and their to-be-desired stance on human rights and democracy, regardless of being held in 2011 for 81 days with out cost. He is an important determine within the investigation of Chinese language cultural growth and a proponent of transferring China right into a extra moral future.
One in every of China’s most infamous dissidents, he has had a chaotic life, to say the least. When he was only a 12 months previous, Weiwei’s household had been compelled into an exiled labour camp the place his father’s function was to wash the shared bathrooms. Such early experiences of oppression and maltreatment formed the person into the novel that he’s and has been for many years.
Nonetheless, such a strenuous childhood not solely turned Weiwei’s ideas inward concerning the unfair remedy he and his household had been going by means of, nevertheless it additionally contributed to a want to delve into tales of the fantastical, the place he might escape his persecution.
In a written piece during which Weiwei solutions questions from his son, he explains, “My boyhood befell underneath some actually robust situations, and that meant that my happiest childhood tales had been my fantasies. When real-life cramps an individual, the creativeness blossoms. My imaginings of a world completely different from mine sprang from snippets of language that I heard from my father. They weren’t tales themselves, however they expanded my inside world; they let me know there might be one other world—as if parallel to this one—the place ache and despair didn’t rule, the place one thing else was doable.”
Evidently, tales and the written language play a major function within the artist’s life. Final 12 months, his long-awaited memoir 1000 12 months of Joys and Sorrows was revealed to a lot essential acclaim. The ebook examines the methods which have contributed to the post-industrial China that we all know in the present day, in addition to how such authoritarianism led to the cruel realities of creating artwork.
Final 12 months, Ai Weiwei shared sixteen books that he considers his most memorable and important reads. Unsurprisingly maybe, Weiwei’s listing weighs in closely on poetry, politics are philosophy. There are European and Chinese language writers in good measure, new books and people which can be millennia previous. On one among his picks, A Temporary Historical past of Time by Stephen Hawking, Weiwei stated, “It is likely one of the most essential interpretations and helps us perceive the connection between mankind and the universe. What we do can’t be dissociated from this interpretation, because it supplies us with the most important image of what the universe is like.” Maybe the identical might be stated of all nice books basically.
So right here they’re.
The books that encourage Ai Weiwei
- Existentialism Is a Humanism – Jean-Paul Sartre (1946)
- The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx (1848)
- The Ebook of Songs: The Historic Chinese language Traditional of Poetry (c. eleventh – seventh Centuries BC)
- Salt Vendor: The Writings of Marcel Duchamp (1973)
- The Traditional of Mountains and Seas (c. 4th Century BC)
- Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism – Vladimir Lenin (1917)
- Gypsy Romance – Federico Garcia Lorca (1928)
- Life on the Mississippi – Mark Twain (1883)
- The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B & Again Once more) – Andy Warhol (1975)
- Everlasting File – Edward Snowden (2019)
- Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman (1855)
- The Trial – Franz Kafka (1925)
- Tao Te Ching – Laozi (c. 4th Century BC)
- Philosophical Investigations – Ludwig Wittgenstein (1953)
- A Temporary Historical past of Time – Stephen Hawking (1988)
- Heavenly Questions – Qu Yuan (c. 475 – 221 BC)