1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: Two lives, one nation and a century of art under tyranny in China (Paperback)
  • 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: Two lives, one nation and a century of art under tyranny in China (Paperback)
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1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: Two lives, one nation and a century of art under tyranny in China (Paperback)

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£10.99
Paperback 400 Pages
Published: 15/09/2022
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Waterstones Says

From his childhood under a totalitarian regime to his establishment as an icon of contemporary art and political activism, Ai Weiwei’s intimate and powerful memoir unravels the experiences that have fuelled both his creative career and his passionate advocacy of human rights and freedom of expression.

In his widely anticipated memoir, Ai Weiwei - one of the world's most famous artists and activists - tells a century-long epic tale of China through the story of his own extraordinary life and the legacy of his father, Ai Qing, the nation's most celebrated poet.

Hailed as 'the most important artist working today' by the Financial Times and as 'an eloquent and unsilenceable voice of freedom' by the New York Times, Ai Weiwei has written a sweeping memoir that presents a remarkable history of China over the last 100 years while illuminating his artistic process.

Once an intimate of Mao Zedong, Ai Weiwei's father was branded a rightist during the Cultural Revolution, and he and his family were banished to a desolate place known as 'Little Siberia', where Ai Qing was sentenced to hard labour cleaning public toilets. Ai Weiwei recounts his childhood in exile, and his difficult decision to leave his family to study art in America, where he befriended Allen Ginsberg and was inspired by Andy Warhol. With candour and wit, he details his return to China and his rise from artistic unknown to art world superstar and international human rights activist - and how his work has been shaped by living under a totalitarian regime.

Ai Weiwei's sculptures and installations have been viewed by millions around the globe, and his architectural achievements include helping to design the iconic Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing. His political activism has long made him a target of the Chinese authorities, which culminated in months of secret detention without charge in 2011. Here, for the first time, Ai Weiwei explores the origins of his exceptional creativity and passionate political beliefs through his own life story and that of his father, whose own creativity was stifled.

At once ambitious and intimate, 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows offers a deep understanding of the myriad forces that have shaped modern China, and serves as a timely reminder of the urgent need to protect freedom of expression.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781784701499
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 340 g
Dimensions: 196 x 128 x 34 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Intimate, unflinching ... an instant classic ... a glorious testament to the power of free expression - Evan Osnos, author of Age of Ambition

This is the rarest sort of memoir, rising above the arc of history to grasp at the limits of the soul - Edward Snowden

Above all a story of inherited resilience, strength of character and self-determination - Guardian

An impassioned testament to the enduring powers of art - Michiko Kakutani, author of Ex Libris

Ai Weiwei is one of the world's greatest living artists. He is a master of multiple media. His work is always thought-provoking, unpredictable and immensely personal - Elton John

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“Excellent reading”

I enjoyed reading the book. It’s full of history, it describes the life under communism in great detail.

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 28

“A truly wonderful and thoroughly unpretentious read”

Through both his life story and that of his famous poet father, Ai Weiwei presents a very personal set of reflections on social, cultural, and political changes in China since the 1920s. Taking us on a journey through... More

Paperback edition
2 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 12

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