Alphawood Foundation presents world-famous artist and dissident Ai Weiwei in conversation with Melissa Chiu, Director of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. A Conversation with Ai Weiwei is being presented in conjunction with the exhibition opening of the Artist’s monumental work, Trace, which explores themes of incarceration of citizens by governments around the world, and will be presented in Chicago by Alphawood. The work is inspired by Ai Weiwei’s own imprisonment in China.
For nearly three decades, Ai Weiwei has redefined the roles of artist and activist. His conscience-driven body of work ventures far beyond the art world into the realm of modern politics, addressing the movement of refugees, government conflicts, incarceration, and perceived injustice. Despite, or because of, his unorthodox approach to art-making and his expanding social and media savvy, he is arguably among the most well-known living artists in the world. In the past year alone, he has opened more than ten international exhibitions and was recently named one of Wall Street Journal Magazine’s 2016 Innovators of the Year.