Visit Haus der Kunst
Ai Weiwei (*1957) is regarded as the most important contemporary chinese artist. His project 'Fairytale', a crowd-puller at the 2007 documenta in Kassel, brought Ai international fame, for 'Fairytale' he had 1001 chinese flown in. It was the largest project that has ever been created for the documenta. For his artworks Ai initially appropriates objects – such as thousand-year-old chinese antiquities or spiritual artefacts – in order to then transform them. He thereby rids them of their original meaning and places them into new contexts.
Ai's works pointedly pose the question of how old and new can coexist, what the new qualities of tradition might look like and how China behaves with regard to itself. To Ai Weiwei the Haus der Kunst represents an important place for reflection because of its complex and difficult past: Ai strongly criticises China's political leadership and demands an end to censorship analysing the conditions in which authoritarian regimes and cultural dictatorships exist. Ai Weiwei occupies almost the entire building, including its façade, with own artefacts and performative installations that refer to the past, present and future of China.