Ai Weiwei

New York 1983–1993
Photographic Documents of an Exciting Era
Release Date: 
October 2011
Credits: 
Published by Distanz
Format: 
28 x 28 cm
Features: 
336 Pages, 227 b/w images, softcover
Language: 
German / English / Chinese
ISBN: 
978-3-942405-50-8
Catalog Price: 
Shop Price: $42.00
 

About This Book

The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (b. Beijing 1957; lives and works in Beijing) spent the years from 1983 to 1993 in New York. During this time, he took more than 10,000 black-and-white photographs of life in the American metropolis; when he returned to China, the pictures, mostly negatives, were in his luggage. After leaving them untouched for years, Ai made a selection of 226 photographs that were developed and shown at the Three Shadows Art Centre, Beijing, in 2010. These pictures are now on display at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, the first time they are shown in Germany; they are also presented in this illustrated book.
 

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More About This Book

The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (b. Beijing 1957; lives and works in Beijing) spent the years from 1983 to 1993 in New York. During this time, he took more than 10,000 black-and-white photographs of life in the American metropolis; when he returned to China, the pictures, mostly negatives, were in his luggage. After leaving them untouched for years, Ai made a selection of 226 photographs that were developed and shown at the Three Shadows Art Centre, Beijing, in 2010. These pictures are now on display at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, the first time they are shown in Germany; they are also presented in this illustrated book.
For the young Ai Weiwei—today China’s most famous contemporary artist—his long stay in the United States was a period that shaped his style and set the stage for his future career as an artist. He lived in a tiny apartment in New York’s East Village and was an active member of the neighborhood’s arts scene. In the 1980s, New York also promised Chinese artists freedom from the repressions they faced in their native country. Ai’s camera captured scenes of life in New York: riots in Tompkins Square Park, transvestites at the Wigstock festival, homeless people in the Bowery. Other pictures are portraits of Chinese and American artists and friends. These photographs are unique documents of an artistically and politically exciting time as seen through the eyes of an artist from China.
With essays by John Tancock and Stephanie H. Tung, curator, Three Shadows Art Centre, Beijing, as well as a conversation between Ai Weiwei and Stephanie H. Tung.