Ai Weiwei: Art, Architecture

Andres Lepik
Since constructing his own studio in 1999, the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has designed or collaborated with other architects on a wide range of architectural projects. These collaborations were the subject of Ai Weiwei: Art/Architecture, a 2011 exhibition at the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria, which this catalogue accompanies. A highlight of this overview is the widely celebrated "Bird's Nest" Beijing National Stadium, a collaboration between Ai and the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron that was constructed for the 2008 Olympic Games. Another feature is a new work based on a project titled "Ordos 10" for which Ai invited 100 young architectural firms worldwide to design single-family houses for Ordos City in Inner Mongolia. An essay in the catalogue examines the role of architecture in relation to Ai's political activities, an issue of particular relevance since his arrest and conditional release in 2011.

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