Ai Weiwei: Beijing Photographs

FRI, OCT 26, 2018

Join us for a conversation between celebrated artist Ai Weiwei and Christina Yu Yu, Matsutaro Shoriki Chair, Art of Asia, as we celebrate the highly anticipated publication of Ai Weiwei: Beijing Photographs 1993–2003 by MIT Press.

Ai Weiwei: Beijing Photographs 1993–2003 is an autobiography in pictures. Ai Weiwei is China’s most celebrated contemporary artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. This book offers an intimate look at Ai Weiwei’s world in the years after his return from New York and preceding his imprisonment and global superstardom. The photographs capture Ai’s emergence as the uniquely provocative artist that he is today. There is no more revealing portrait of Ai Weiwei’s life in China than this. The book contains more than 600 carefully sequenced images culled from an archive of more than 40,000 photographs taken by Ai: a narrative arc carefully shaped by an artist keenly aware of photography’s ability to tell stories.

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+ BIO: Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei is a Chinese contemporary artist and activist. His father's original surname was written Jiang. Ai collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Born in 1957, he currently resides and works in Beijing.

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+ BIO: Christina Yu Yu

Yu Yu was born and raised in China and attended Wellesley College for her undergraduate studies. She earned her master’s degree from Boston University and completed her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, with a dissertation focused on paintings from China’s Yuan dynasty. Yu Yu is fluent in Chinese, Japanese and English, and her scholarship on Chinese art has appeared in numerous publications.

Yu Yu was selected for the MFA position following an international search. Named director of the USC Pacific Asia Museum in 2014, she led the institution’s transition following a merger with the University of Southern California. In addition to providing a new vision for exhibitions, acquisitions and programs, she spearheaded USC PAM’s first complete inventory and survey of its collection and developed a master plan for a large-scale renovation to transform the museum building from an early 20th-century private residence into a 21st-century public space. Under her tenure, Phase 1, a seismic retrofit, of the master plan, was completed late last year. Yu Yu also led USC PAM’s efforts to advance public programs and broaden local outreach, working to build a bridge between the Pasadena community and students and faculty at USC.

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Museum of Fine Arts, Boston