Chinese artist Ai Weiwei joins Art Gallery of Ontario visitors for rare live video chat

On 08/08/2013 by Site Default

One of the world’s most provocative contemporary artists, Ai Weiwei, will join Art Gallery of Ontario visitors for a live video chat with the AGO’s director and CEO, Matthew Teitelbaum, during the Gallery’s popular First Thursdays art party on Sept. 5, 2013. The event’s programming will delve into the imagination and experience of Ai, who is under constant surveillance at his home in Beijing and has been unable to leave China since the government confiscated his passport in 2011. “This live chat is an incredible and rare opportunity to hear Ai Weiwei directly share his insights into his art, activism and passion for China and its changing landscape,” said Matthew Teitelbaum. “As we open this major exhibition, Weiwei’s physical absence is deeply felt, but technology allows him to defy borders so we can welcome him personally to Toronto.” Tickets for AGO First Thursdays are available at and a special ticket is required to experience the live video chat. Quantities are limited and are expected to sell out quickly. The live chat with Ai is one of many initiatives planned for the upcoming AGO exhibition, Ai Weiwei: According to What? Chronicling Ai’s work from the mid-1990s to the present, the exhibition blends art history, activism and traditional Chinese materials and symbols to create a compelling vision of the artist’s everyday reality and his ongoing fight for freedom of expression in the face of Chinese government censorship. Featuring more than 40 large scale works of art including sculptures, photographs and video and audio installations, Ai Weiwei: According to What? is on display from Aug. 17 to Oct. 27, 2013 and the AGO is the only Canadian stop on a North American tour…


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