MIT Press Launches Ai Weiwei’s Autobiography in Photographs | MIT News


MIT Press recently celebrated the launch of “Ai Weiwei: Photographs of Beijing, 1993 – 2003” with a sold-out public program at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The event featured a conversation between the internationally acclaimed artist and Christina Yu Yu, holder of the museum’s Matsutaro Shoriki Chair of Asian Art.

“Ai Weiwei: Beijing Photographs, 1993 – 2003” is a pictorial autobiography that offers unprecedented insight into one of China’s most prolific and provocative contemporary artists. With over 600 photographs, the publication offers an intimate look into the world of Ai Weiwei in the years after his return from New York and before his imprisonment and worldwide stardom.

During the animated program, Ai and Yu Yu explored a series of photographs from the new publication together. Their conversation focused on the illness and death of the artist’s father; Ai’s iconic “Study of Perspective” series, which features the artist’s middle finger raised to significant landmarks around the world; and the recent destruction of Ai’s Zuo You studio in Beijing by Chinese authorities. The program also included a discussion of the artist’s recent project, “Human Flow”, an epic film about human migration.

The event continued with a private reception and book signing with friends from MIT Press and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

While in Boston, Ai also spoken with Marco Werman on PRI’s “The World” and with Jared Bowen on WGBH’s “Open Studio” about the book.

“Ai Weiwei: Beijing Photographs, 1993 – 2003” will be available in hardcover in January. This publication was made possible in part by the Muriel Cooper Publications Fund.


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