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Ai Weiwei At The Royal Academy, London

by Jack Guy

Dec 30, 2015

© Alfred Weidinger | Flickr

Top Trends

The work of Chinese activist and artist Ai Weiwei exhibited in Britain for the first time this year.

 

Ai lays claim to the title of the world’s most famous living artist, thanks to his art as much as his record of criticizing the Chinese government. The Royal Academy of Art brought a huge number of Ai’s sculptures to London.

 

The exhibition featured some of Ai’s most famous works, including metal bars salvaged from the school which collapsed on top of 5,000 children during an earthquake in 2008. Ai famously wrote about the incident on his blog, which was banned by authorities, and the work provides just one instance in which his art has been used to place pressure on the Chinese government.

 

Ai’s work led to his illegal imprisonment for 81 days, which also served to increase his global notoriety. The exhibition allows the visitor to appreciate how Ai managed to turn art into a form of protest, heading off criticism from many people who claim not to understand the point of contemporary art and its seeming lack of meaning.

 

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