Join Ai Weiwei, the world-famous artist and activist, for a conversation about his widely anticipated memoir 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows.
This ambitious yet intimate book tells a century-long tale of China through the story of his own tumultuous life and that of his father, Ai Qing, the nation’s most celebrated poet.
From his family’s banishment during the Cultural Revolution to the difficult decision to leave them to study art in America, and his subsequent rise from artistic unknown to art world superstar and international human rights activist, Ai discusses an extraordinary life lived under extraordinary circumstances. He also reflects on the myriad forces that have shaped modern China and the urgent need to protect freedom of expression.
Ai Weiwei’s sculptures and installations have been viewed by millions around the globe, and his architectural achievements include helping to design the iconic Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing. His political activism has long made him a target of the Chinese authorities, which culminated in months of secret detention without charge in 2011.
Presented in partnership with Southbank Centre.