Artist in Dissidence

Season 2
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graphic illustration of Ai Weiwei

An artist steps in front of a camera and drops a priceless 2000-year-old vase onto the floor, smashing it into a million pieces. This is Ai Weiwei, and the resulting photographs are one of his most well-known works of art. Many were inspired; others were enraged. And around the world it got people talking. In this episode, we explore Ai Weiwei’s controversial career, and how he uses art to rally against political and social injustice.

You can see Ai Weiwei's latest installation, Trace, at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden through January 1, 2018. The exhibition features 176 portraits of people around the world whom the artist considers activists, prisoners of conscience, or advocates of free speech made out of LEGO bricks. Don't live in the D.C. area? Don't sweat it! Check out this video from the Washington Post that tours the exhibition, and visit Ai Weiwei's website to learn more about the artist and his work.

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