The oft-controversial Ai Weiwei is the latest artist to be immortalized by TASCHEN, teaming up with the publisher for his first-ever comprehensive monograph. Compiled in close collaboration with Ai and with direct access to his own archives, the lengthy piece explores the artist’s particular brand of expression and activism over more than 700 pages and includes many previously unseen images as well as a bevy of exclusive interviews conducted especially for the project. Wrapped in a 110 cm x 100 cm Habotai silk scarf based on the work Straight – itself inspired by the Sichuan earthquake of 2008 – the volume also features essays from long-time friend and former Swiss ambassador to China, Uli Sigg; Roger M. Buergel, who curated the 2007 Documenta and hosted Ai’s Fairytale; Carlos Rojas, William A. Callahan, and James J. Lally – all experts on Chinese culture and politics. While the ultra-limited $12,500 USD Art Edition – complete with a Chinese marble display stand – has already sold out, the “standard” $1,500 USD edition of the monograph is now available to pre-order and is due out later this month.
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