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Ai Weiwei on Unbroken

Ai Weiwei
1 year ago

A short conversation between artist Ai Weiwei and his close friend and collector Larry Walsh. Part of the limited edition Ai Weiwei: Unbroken publication, an interactive folio that aims to document the exhibition while connecting its themes to Canadian voices and experiences.

Larry Warsh: What is unbroken about to you as an artist?

Ai Weiwei: Unbroken means you hold your principles and you have your ideology and your perspective of the world. But you always survive in the stage of broken and unbroken at the same time.

LW: What are the important boundaries you have broken in your work?

AWW: I have always tried to step into unfamiliar territories relating to topic[s] of craftsmanship or materials, and those things constantly bring me into a new field. Like filmmaking, like LEGO works. Like even the old ceramics works were practised in the contemporary way, so every art I move [into] is about getting into a field which I’m not familiar with. And only by doing that I would generate my interest.

LW: Which boundaries do you honour?

AWW: The boundary I would honor is humanity, because we are conditioned as humans and [have] very basic human rights. That’s the only boundary we need to honor… So, we as human beings, we have to be conscious about our own value[s], and from those values we have self-identity. So, to protect those rights, such as human rights and freedom of speech, and we protect those principles.

Larry Walsh is a close friend of Ai Weiwei and a long-time collector of his work. He has been instrumental to the development of Ai Weiwei: Unbroken.

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