Asia Scope

Where in the World Is Ai Weiwei?

As China busies itself preparing for tomorrow’s 60th anniversary celebrations, one of its most notorious artists is recovering from brain surgery in a hospital bed in Munich.

Ai Weiwei was reportedly brutalized and detained by Beijing police back in August for his presence at a friend’s trial. It is not known whether the brain hemorrhage is linked to his injuries from that incident.

Notable Ai Weiwei facts:

-He is a conceptual artist, photographer, architectural designer and outspoken activist.

-Ai maintains five blogs and a Twitter account with over 8000 followers. He has said of his intentions: ‘I do my blog because this is the only possible channel through which a person can express a personal opinion in China.’

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-The Beijing native spent the 1980s and early 90s living in the US and attended the prestigious Parsons School of Design in NY.

-He was raised in a labour camp when his father, poet Ai Qing was sentenced to ‘reeducation through labour’ by the government.

-Ai was the art consultant for the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics (although he has publicly voiced criticism for the event).

-Ai has posted scandalous semi-nude photos of himself to protest internet censorship (on his blog, now mysteriously inaccessible). Luckily (?), you can still view them here.