Ai Weiwei Accepts Berlin Lecturer Post
Ai Weiwei the dissident Chinese artist and government critic will leave China and move to Berlin. The iconic contemporary art personality has accepted the job of visiting lecturer,at the prestigious Berlin University of the Arts. He will take up the post as soon as his dispute with the government is resolved. Ai was recently released from three months in detention but still has legal problems in China with the taxman. His design firm now plans to challenge an outstanding tax bill and fines incurred of more than 12m yuan (£1.2m). His design company, Beijing Fake Cultural DevelopmentOfficials have warned that Ai would continue to be investigated for at least a year and could not leave Beijing without permission. The University president Martin Rennert said " We all hope Ai would be able to take up his post in the near future".
His strong following of supporters have told the press that he is being targeted for his political activism. He is also considered a strong and vocal international critic of the Communist Party, which had a crackdown on activism following the Beijing Olympics. The government officials said that he had been released because of his "good attitude in confessing his crimes" and because of health issues. Weiwei was released 22 June after being held at a secret detention centre for 80 days without contact to his family or lawyers.The terms of his bail prevent him from speaking out publicly and there has been sporadic information trickling out since his release.
Ai missed a number of important exhibition openings while he was incarcerated including, the opening of his Chinese zodiac sculpture exhibitions in New York and London and a one man show at the Lisson Gallery also in London
Ai Weiwei was born in 1957 in Beijing, China, where he lives and works. Solo exhibitions include Stiftung DKM, Duisburg (2010); Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland (2010); Arcadia University Gallery, Glenside (2010); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2009); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2009); Three Shadows Photography Art Center, Beijing (2009); Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Cambelltown Arts Center, Sydney (2008); Groninger Museum, Groningen (2008). Group exhibitions include the São Paulo Biennial (2010); Biennale Architecture, Venice (2008); Documenta 12, Kassel (2007) and Tate Liverpool (2007).
Widely considered to be one of the most significant cultural figures of his generation in China and internationally, Ai Weiwei successfully occupies multiple roles as a conceptual artist, architect, curator, designer, film-maker, publisher and activist. Using a variety of formal languages with both traditional and innovative methods of production, Ai links the past with the present and explores the geopolitical, economic and cultural realities affecting the world with humour and compassion.
Ai Weiwei's Unilever series commission 'Sunflower Seeds' is currently on display in Tate Modern's Turbine Hall until 2 May 2011. A major public installation 'Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads' will open in Ai Weiwei's Unilever series commission 'Sunflower Seeds' is currently on display in Tate Modern's Turbine Hall until 2 May 2011.
A major public installation 'Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads' will open in New York on 2 May and at Somerset House in London on 12 May. Other numerous international projects planned for this year are the exhibitions of Ai’s photographic works at the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland and of architectural projects at Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria.