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Ai Weiwei. Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio.

Ai Weiwei: Unbroken

Thu Feb 28 to Jun 09, All Day

Ai Weiwei is one of the world’s most influential living artists and human rights activists, as well as one of China’s most formidable critics. Known for smashing conventions—and ceramics—with iconic works like Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, Ai upends the cultural traditions and materials of his native China.

This highly-anticipated and timely exhibition explores the breaking of boundaries, both physical and symbolic, and considers how the artist’s ceramic works form a basis for his ongoing exploration of urgent social justice themes, including immigration, freedom of speech, and the repression of dissent.

Ai Weiwei: Unbroken features iconic works, including Sunflower Seeds and Han Dynasty Urn with Coca Cola Logo, as well as recent works in blue-and-white porcelain that depict the global refugee crisis. The exhibition also marks the international debut of a new large-scale LEGO series representing the Chinese zodiac.

Ai Weiwei, Zodiac, LEGO, Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio

About the Artist

Ai Weiwei (b. 1957, Beijing) is among the world’s most celebrated contemporary artists and one of China’s most formidable critics. His sculptures, photographs, installations, and public artworks often repurpose traditional Chinese forms and materials to address today’s most pressing social concerns. An outspoken human rights activist, Ai was arrested by Chinese authorities on April 3, 2011 and held incommunicado for eighty-one days. In July 2015 he was granted the return of his passport to travel abroad despite ongoing government surveillance. Throughout, Ai has continued to extend his practice across multiple disciplines, using exhibitions, documentary films, and social media to communicate with a global audience.

Ai Weiwei attended the Beijing Film Academy and the Parsons School of Design in New York. He has received the Chinese Contemporary Art Award (2008); an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Politics and Social Science, University of Ghent, Belgium (2010); the Skowhegan Medal (2011); and the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent from the Human Rights Foundation (2012).

Presenting Sponsor

La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso

Exhibition Partners

Phil Lind & Ellen Roland

The Rooney Family Foundation

Hal Jackman Foundation

Kim Spencer McPhee Barristers PC


Image: Ai Weiwei, Zodiac, 2018, LEGO bricks, 12 individual works, 45 x 45 inches each (115 x 115 cm each), Image courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio.