Ai Weiwei is an artist, architectural designer, curator, and social activist. He is perhaps the best-known and most successful contemporary artist in China and has exhibited in museums and galleries around the world.
Ai Weiwei received the Chinese Contemporary Art Award for Lifetime Contribution in 2008. Despite his success as an artist at home, however, Ai Weiwei has frequently found himself at odds with the Chinese government in his stance on free speech and human rights. He often leverages his work and acclaim to make explicit his opinions as one of China’s most outspoken cultural critics.