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Edited by Larry Warsh

This collection of quotes demonstrates the elegant simplicity of Ai Weiwei's thoughts on key aspects of his art, politics, and life. A master at communicating powerful ideas in astonishingly few words, Ai Weiwei is known for his innovative use of social media to disseminate his views. The short quotations presented here have been carefully selected from articles, tweets, and interviews given by this acclaimed Chinese artist and activist. The book is organized into six categories: freedom of expression; art and activism; government, power, and moral choices; the digital world; history, the historical moment, and the future; and personal reflections.

Together, these quotes span some of the most revealing moments of Ai Weiwei's eventful career―from his risky investigation into student deaths in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake to his arbitrary arrest in 2011―providing a window into the mind of one of the world's most electrifying and courageous contemporary artists.

Select quotations from the book:
"Liberty is about our rights to question everything."
"The art always wins. Anything can happen to me, but the art will stay."
"Only with the Internet can a peasant I have never met hear my voice and I can learn what's on his mind. A fairy tale has come true."
"If a nation cannot face its past, it has no future."
"The world is a sphere, there is no East or West."
"I've never planned any part of my career―except being an artist. And I was pushed into that corner because I thought being an artist was the only way to have a little freedom."
"Expressing oneself is like a drug. I'm so addicted to it."

  • Princeton University Press, 2012
  • Hardcover, 152 pages
  • 4 x 5 inches

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