Primarily known as an outspoken artist and activist but also an architect and curator, Ai Weiwei (1957- ) has his hand on the pulse of contemporary China. In 1978 while attending the Beijing Film Academy, Ai founded The Stars, an artistic circle that would soon catalyze the development of avant-garde art in China. After developing his career in New York (1981~1993) through performance and conceptual art, Ai returned to Beijing and founded China Art Archives and Warehouse in 1994. Ai received international recognition for his collaboration with Herzog & De Meuron in the design of the Bird’s Nest stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Deeply influenced by Duchamp and Dadaism, Ai’s work often involves destruction and reconstruction of ready-made objects. His works evolve around his commentary on Chinese history and culture, which also speaks to the global audience with its underlying universality. His works were shown at renowned institutions and biennales, such as Mori Art Museum (2009), Kassel Documenta (2007), Sydney Biennale, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Shanghai Museum of Modern Art (2006), Tate Modern (2005), and Kunsthalle Bern (2004).Ai has been gathering increasing amount of attention with his new Tate Modern Turbine Hall project (2010), for which he has installed thousands of sunflower seeds made of porcelain. He continues to act as a vocal activist for the sociopolitical issues in current China.