Ai Weiwei was born during the Cultural Revolution in China of 1950s, he inherited a lot of his

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Ai Weiwei was born during the Cultural Revolution in China of 1950s, he inherited a lot of his political knowledge from his father who was a poet called Ai Quig. Ai Quig was then later exiled with his family to re-education camps on the out reaches of a desert in 1958 for questioning government authority. After the Cultural Revolution, Chinese citizens were allowed to travel outside their borders again in 1970s. As a young man, the place that Ai Weiwei dreamed about going to was New York. He went to New York and was exposed to its western influences, its liberty and freedom of expression (Springford, 2011).Using photography Weiwei recorded and documented everything that inspired him. Weiwei visited galleries and art museums that exposed…show more content…
It involved taking 1001 Chinese people on a trip to Kassel, to give them a holiday experience. Each person was given a bed with sheets and blankets, an antique chair to sit on near the bed and a black and white suitcase to carry their luggage in. For many it was their first time to travel out of China, for others it was their first time to travel. With this project Weiwei uses his theory on “experiences create social change”. Everyone of Weiwei’s quests had a part to play in his installation, by becoming exposed to the world around them and to experience a more physical sense of freedom. At the end of the trip each person got their portrait taken in black and white, which was then placed together to form a giant mass of photographic wall paper. Weiwei even recreated their beds that they slept in as an installation. With this artwork Weiwei makes a comment on his memories as a traveller to New York when he was allowed to leave the country for the first time. He became exposed to influences and cultures that were far from Chinese culture. Figure 1: Ai Weiwei, Fairytale Template: Part of installation (wood, steel, fabric, plastic, and bamboo), 2007, 200 x 781 x 545 cm, Kassel (Philipson, 2012). In 2008 an earth quake erupted with in the Chinese province of Sichuan. The Chinese government neglected to build more stable school buildings in that area which

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