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Ai Weiwei. 40th Ed.

30Edition: Multilingual (English, French, German)Availability: In Stock
Renowned for his politics as much as for his art based on social intervention, a new approach to the readymade, and Chinese traditional crafts, Ai Weiwei’s fame extends beyond the art world. This monograph explores 30 years of work, from his exile in 80s New York to the art as social campaign that led to his detention.
Hardcover6.1 x 8.5 in.2.43 lb512 pages
“A comprehensive excursion, complete with abundant illustrations and material, through the life and work of this star artist, who like no one since Joseph Beuys has succeeded in intertwining scupltural, media and political thinking. A seminal work!”

“A landmark monograph for sure.”

Paris Match

“The first comprehensive monograph on the life and work of Ai Weiwei.”

Ai Weiwei. 40th Ed.

Ai Weiwei. 40th Ed.


Life of Ai

The definitive monograph on Ai Weiwei

As his personal circumstances move in constant flux, Ai Weiwei remains a cultural magnet. Renowned for his political activism and social media activity almost as much as for his social interventions, contemporary approach to the readymade, and knowledge of Chinese traditional crafts, Ai’s fame extends throughout and beyond the art world.

Drawn from TASCHEN’s limited Collector’s Edition, this monograph explores each of Ai’s career phases up until his release from Chinese custody. It features extensive visual material to trace Ai’s development from his early New York days right through to his recent practice. Focus moments include his international breakthrough in the early 2000s, his porcelain Sunflower Seeds at the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern, his response to the Sichuan earthquake of 2008, and his police detention in 2011. With behind-the-scenes studio pictures, production shots, and numerous statements derived from exclusive interviews with Ai, we gain privileged access to the artist’s process, influences, and importance.

The book includes texts from Uli Sigg, Ai’s longtime friend and former Swiss ambassador to China and Roger M. Buergel, who curated the 2007 documenta and hosted the artist’s Fairytale piece.
The artist

Born in Beijing in 1957, Ai Weiwei is renowned for making strong aesthetic statements that resonate across today’s geopolitical world. From architecture to sculpture and installations, social media to documentaries, he uses a wide range of media for new ways of artistically examining society and its values. He is the recipient of the 2015 Ambassador of Conscience Award from Amnesty International and the 2012 Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent from the Human Rights Foundation. Ai’s first feature-length documentary Human Flow premiered at the 74th Venice Film Festival in competition. He currently lives and works in Cambridge, Berlin, and Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal.

The editor

Hans Werner Holzwarth is a book designer and editor specializing in contemporary art and photography. His TASCHEN publications include the Collector’s Editions Jeff Koons, Christopher Wool, Albert Oehlen, Beatriz Milhazes, Ai Weiwei, Georg Baselitz, Julian Schnabel, and the David Hockney SUMO A Bigger Book, as well as monographs such as the XXL-sized Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Ai Weiwei. 40th Ed.
Hardcover15.6 x 21.7 cm1.10 kg512 pages

ISBN 978-3-8365-8195-0

Edition: Multilingual (English, French, German)
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8 Ratings


Zoltan,November 15, 2021
A really good book on the artist Ai Weiwei. Very comprehensive.


Francois,October 31, 2021
Excellent couverture de l'ensemble des oeuvres de l'artiste, avec de fantastiques illustrations.

Small sized biography

Cesar,October 27, 2021
Great biography of Ai Weiwei's life and work

Wonderful book

David,October 27, 2021
Absolutely wonderful book that combines the beautiful imagery of Weiwei’s work, while also providing insight into the life of the artist.


Francois,October 31, 2021
Excellent couverture de l'ensemble des oeuvres de l'artiste, avec de fantastiques illustrations.

Chouette livre

Arnaud,October 29, 2021
Tres bon livre pour connaître l’histoire de Ai Weiwei.