The visionary art pioneer, Ai Weiwei, has had a life that can truly be said to be as successful, tumultuous, and as radical as his art. Through his ceaselessly inventive and often acerbic political work he is without doubt today's most recognized living artist. Indeed, ArtReview ranked Ai Weiwei the most powerful man in the art world in 2011. The son of the celebrated poet Ai Qing, Weiwei was born in Beijing in 1957 and spent his early… Read more
About the artwork
Ai Weiwei's astonishing artist book Becoming captures a significant moment for both the artist and his country of birth, China. Norman Foster's monumental new airport has logistically and symbolically provided a gateway to the rest of the world—an incredible achievement considering China's long period of isolation following its civil war in 1949. The photographs were taken by Weiwei during his regular visits to the site between 2005 and 2008 and provide a photographic journey of the construction of the new Beijing airport terminal. Including 147 facsimile photographs by Ai Weiwei, the cotton-covered book includes interviews with the artist and the architect as well as two locks of 99.9 silver. The book is in a format similar to that of a traditional Chinese photo album and each photo's frame contains the technical specifications of its content numbered and dated in engraved lettering on the passe-partout. The work also includes a photographic original signed by Weiwei.