The MIT Press recently celebrated the launch of “Ai Weiwei: Beijing Photographs, 1993 – 2003” with a sold-out public program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The event featured a conversation between the internationally renowned artist and Christina Yu Yu, the museum’s Matsutaro Shoriki Chair of the Art of Asia.
“Ai Weiwei: Beijing Photographs, 1993 – 2003” is an autobiography in pictures that provides unprecedented insight into one of China’s most prolific and provocative contemporary artists. Featuring over 600 photographs, the publication 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.
During the lively program, Ai and Yu Yu together explored a series of photographs from the new publication. Their conversation touched upon 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 from 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 on human migration.
The event continued with a private reception and book signing attended by friends of the MIT Press and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
While in Boston, Ai also spoke 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. The publication was made possible in part by the Muriel Cooper Publication Fund.