Fair, Creative, and Bold: Ai WeiWei
Many people have the guts to stand up to a local bully, but very few people, if any have the courage to stand up against entire governments. There are people in the history of human existence that are willing to give their lives for a cause, and Ai WeiWei has been added to that list of courageous individuals within the past decade. Ai WeiWei is an artist with a very distinctive social conscious. His works have a reputation of combining various forms of materials to create art masterpieces that represent some type of political, social, or cultural happening in society.
One of his recent projects was inspired by the deaths of students at a school in Sichaun, China. A deadly earthquake that shook their school to the ground with them inside killed the students. When Ai WeiWei heard that these deaths could have been prevented he joined a team of investigators to learn more about the school’s architecture and building structure. Ai WeiWei learned that the school was engineered very poorly because of government corruption. Not only did the government fail to build a school with the ability to withstand the earthquake that took thousands of lives, but the government also failed to identify student victims.
This enraged Ai WeiWei! He and other supporters organized a team of people to identify the student victims of the earthquake. Ai WeiWei and his team managed to identify over 5,000 of the students. Following the identification of the victims Ai WeiWei created several pieces of art that received worldwide attention.
Amongst those art pieces included a piece the artist named “Remembering”. Remembering was created with more than 9,000 book bags, and spelled out a message from a victims mother, which read, “She lived happily for seven years in this world”. The piece was over 100 meters long and was displayed on the side of Germany’s art museum, Haus der Kunst.
As a result of his desire to get the truth out to the world about the corruption in his home country China, Ai WeiWei’s life has been threatened on several occasions. One of those occasions happened with a run in with police. Chinese police beat Ai WeiWei to the point that internal bleeding was recognized by doctors after the incident. Despite his enemies, Ai WeiWei remains a soldier for righteousness. He is also a candidate for TIME Magazine’s person of the year.