Over four years in preparation, this selection of photographs taken while Ai Weiwei was living in New York between 1983 and 1993 provides invaluable insights into the formative years of China’s most celebrated and controversial contemporary artist. While Three Shadows Photography Centre in Beijing was under construction in 2006, Ai Weiwei authorized Rong Rong and his curatorial team to digitize and organize the more than 10,000 photographs that had been mostly never been seen. In close consultation with the artist, two hundred and twenty six images were selected in preparation for an exhibition at Three Shadows Photography Centre in 2009. This exhibition led to the publication of the present volume.
Essays by John Tancock (Prelude: Ai Weiwei in New York), Stephanie H. Tung (A Way of Seeing: Notes on Ai Weiwei’s New York Photographs) and interviews with Ai Weiwei by Stephanie H. Tung with Alison Klayman provide essential background information.
A limited collector’s edition of 38 plus 12 artist’s proofs, each including 12 original photographs signed by the artist, is housed in a cloth-covered box. The photographs selected are all self-portraits, revealing many different aspects of his personality and offering clues into the development of his artistic practice and thinking. The book is also published in a regular edition, without the box and original photographs.
Edition of 3000
313 pages, Beijing 2010
Hard Cover wrapped in cloth
Foreword by Dr. John Tancock
$85 + shipping