Ai Weiwei Publishes His Answer To Mao’s Little Red Book

Ai Weiwei

The Dissident Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei has published his answer to Mao Tse-Tung’s Little Red Book. Titled Ai Weiwei-isms it is a collection of the artist’s thoughts on a number of contemporary subjects. They are concise, powerful and unforgiving.

The 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 organised 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.

Ai Weiwei is one of China’s most influential and inspiring figures. Artist, architect, curator, and activist, he has been an outspoken critic of the Chinese government’s stance on human rights and democracy. His work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the Guangzhou Triennial, Tate Modern, the Smithsonian, and other venues throughout the world.

Weiwei-isms distills Ai Weiwei’s thinking on the topics of individual rights and freedom of ex- pression, filtered through his responses to a range of events—the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Sichuan earthquake, for instance, or his own eighty-one-day detention by the Chinese authorities. Excerpted from Ai’s own newspa- per articles, Twitter posts, media interviews, and other sources, Weiwei-isms is organized around six themes: freedom of expression; art and activism; government, power, and making moral choices; the digital world; history and the future; and personal reflections. Within each section, quotes have been selected and ordered with an eye toward balance and flow.

Photo: Ai Weiwei’s Free Screensaver

Ai Weiwei

Edited by Larry Warsh

Cloth | 2012 | $12.95 / £8.95 | ISBN: 9780691157665