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A Manifesto by Ai WeiweiThe artist’s 10 rules for life and creativity

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Ai Weiwei
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Design by Ivy Li

Ai Weiwei is one of the most important artists and activists working today. His work, which addresses political oppression and the power dwelling within a human being has communicated messages of freedom and empowerment to millions of people worldwide. Here, the extraordinary artist shares his 10 rules for art and living.

Ai Weiwei has been called “the most important artist working today” (Financial Times) and “an eloquent and unsilenceable voice of freedom” (New York Times). His sculptures and installations have been viewed by millions around the globe. His political activism around human rights, censorship and corruption has long made him a target of the Chinese authorities, which culminated in months of secret detention without charge in 2011. In 2021, he published his memoir, 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows, which is the story of his life, the life of his father, the poet Ai Qing, and of China over the last 100 years. He was born in 1957.

Manifesto is a series on WePresent which invites activists and creatives with something to say to write 10 rules to live by, in order to help spread their message. The artwork on this page was created by Ivy Yixue Li.