Virtual Event: Ai Weiwei

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In conversation with Theaster Gates
Co-hosted by the University Club of Chicago, Writers Bloc, and the Skirball Cultural Center
Additional moderator support will be provided by Dr. Louise Bernard, founding Director of the Obama Presidential Center Museum
Promotional Partners: Crow Museum of Asian Art, UTD Center for Asian Studies, and PEN America Dallas / Fort Worth
In his widely anticipated memoir 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows, Ai Weiwei—“one of the most important artists working in the world today” (Financial Times)—tells an epic tale of China through the story of his own extraordinary life and the legacy of his father, the nation’s most celebrated poet.
Once an intimate of Mao Zedong, and the nation’s most celebrated poet, Ai Weiwei’s father, Ai Qing, was branded a rightist during the Cultural Revolution, and he and his family were banished to a desolate place known as “Little Siberia,” where Ai Qing was sentenced to hard labor cleaning public toilets. Ai Weiwei recounts his childhood in exile, and his difficult decision to leave his family to study art in America, where he befriended Allen Ginsberg and was inspired by Andy Warhol. With candor and wit, he details his return to China and his rise from artistic unknown to art world superstar and international human rights activist—and how his work has been shaped by living under a totalitarian regime.
Ai Weiwei’s sculptures and installations have been viewed by millions around the globe. His political activism has long made him a target of the Chinese authorities, which culminated in months of secret detention without charge in 2011. Here, for the first time, Ai Weiwei explores the origins of his exceptional creativity and passionate political beliefs through his life story and that of his father, whose creativity was stifled.
Virtual ticket + 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows
Public: $42
DMA Member/Educator/Student: $40
Please note that books will begin shipping on November 2, the day of the title’s release. Additional copies of 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows are available for purchase here.