Ai, Weiwei

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Ai, Weiwei Gender: M
Jiang Weiwei
born on 18 May 1957
Place Beijing, China, 39n55, 116e24
Timezone AWST h8e (is standard time)
Data source
Date in question
Rodden Rating XX
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 26°57' s_mo.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif

Weiwei Ai (2008)
photo: Andy Miah, license cc-by-sa-2.0


Chinese contemporary artist and political activist, the son of poet Ai Qing whose original surname was written Jiang (蔣). Ai collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics. As a political activist, he has been highly and openly critical of the Chinese Government's stance on democracy and human rights. He has investigated government corruption and cover-ups, in particular the Sichuan schools corruption scandal following the collapse of so-called "tofu-dreg schools" in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. In 2011, following his arrest at Beijing Capital International Airport on 3 April, he was held for 81 days without any official charges being filed; officials alluded to their allegations of "economic crimes". He was released on 22 June 2011.

Ai's father was denounced during the Anti-Rightist Movement. In 1958, the family was sent to a labour camp in Beidahuang, Heilongjiang, when Ai was one year old. They were subsequently exiled to Shihezi, Xinjiang in 1961, where they lived for 16 years. Upon Mao Zedong's death and the end of the Cultural Revolution, the family returned to Beijing in 1976.

In 1978, Ai enrolled in the Beijing Film Academy and studied animation. In 1978, he was one of the founders of the early avant garde art group the "Stars", together with Ma Desheng, Wang Keping, Huang Rui, Li Shuang, Ah Cheng and Qu Leilei. The group disbanded in 1983.

From 1981 to 1993, he lived in the United States; studying in Philadelphia, San Francisco and New York City. He made a living out of drawing street portraits and working odd jobs. Ai befriended beat poet Allen Ginsberg while living in New York, following a chance meeting at a poetry reading where Ginsberg read out several poems about China. Ginsberg had travelled to China and met with Ai's father, the noted poet Ai Qing, and consequently Ginsberg and Ai became friends.

In 1993, Ai returned to China after his father became ill. He helped establish the experimental artists' Beijing East Village and co-published a series of three books about this new generation of artists.

In 1999, Ai moved to Caochangdi, in the northeast of Beijing, and built a studio house – his first architectural project. Due to his interest in architecture, he founded the architecture studio FAKE Design, in 2003.

Ai is married to artist Lu Qing, and has a son from an extramarital relationship.

Link to Wikipedia biography



  • Social : Institutionalized - prison, hospital 3 April 2011 (Detention)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Deinstitutionalized - prison, hospital 22 June 2011 (Released from detention)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield cites him on Twitter quoting his birth certificate: "去年查到我的出生证,1957年5月18日。哈,稀里糊涂了半个多世纪。RT @miaomeowmiaomeo: 光州,30年。1980年5月18日。" (posted 17/18 May 2010) [Last year I found a birth certificate, 18 May 1957. Huh, confused for more than half a century. RT @miaomeowmiaomeo: Gwangju, for 30 years. 18 May 1980].

He has tweeted that the date of 28 August 1957 used on Wikipedia is recorded on his passport: "护照记录 RT @imiser: @aiww @ccShijing 婶子,Ai Weiwei (born 18 May 1957) wikipedia 咋又是明天啊 ?" [1].


  • Family : Childhood : Family noted
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (One)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (One son)
  • Vocation : Art : Commercial artist
  • Vocation : Art : Fine art artist
  • Vocation : Art : Photography
  • Vocation : Building Trades : Architect/ Planner
  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ political