Limited and numbered edition of 100 copies, each signed by the artist
Each presented with a specially designed sculpture by the artist, a marble book stand (18,2 x 76,3 x 52,2 cm / 7,1 x 30 x 20,5 in., 105 kg)
The marble originates from Fangshan District, located at the southwest region of Beijing. In the past, these were imperial quarries that provided marble for Ming and Qing emperors, and were used in temples and palaces
The volume is wrapped in a silk scarf (110 x 100 cm / 43,3 x 40 in., Habotai silk), which reproduces a detail of Ai Weiwei's work Straight, a reference to the Sichuan earthquake of 2008
Full page cut out chapter openers designed by the artist
Many previously unseen images, from photos taken during Ai’s time in New York to production shots of large installations in the workshop and pictures from his studio
Essays from Uli Sigg, Ai's long-time friend and former Swiss ambassador to China; Roger M. Buergel, who curated the 2007 Documenta and hosted the artist’s Fairytale piece; and experts on Chinese culture and politics, Carlos Rojas, William A. Callahan, and James J. Lally
Numerous statements derived from exclusive interviews with Ai Weiwei, conducted especially for this publication
Today Ai Weiwei enjoys a reputation far beyond the art world. While his vast social or performance-based interventions and appropriated object-based artworks have secured his place as one of the world’s leading conceptual artists, Ai is equally known as a social media phenomenon, a political activist, and an outspoken champion of free expression in his native China, where he earnt an 81-day police detention in 2011.
This book, signed by the artist, is the first comprehensive monograph on Ai Weiwei’s life and work. Compiled in close collaboration with Ai and with direct access to his own archives, it explores the artist's particular brand of expression and activism over more than 700 pages of images and text.