“…Ai Weiwei, China’s leading art provocateur. He grew up in a labor camp during the heyday of the Cultural Revolution, but has since witnessed his country’s rise to the pinnacle of capitalist greed. He moved to New York in 1981, in the days when gallerists wouldn’t offer a Chinese artist a cup of tea. But once he moved back to Beijing in 1993, his career soared to international acclaim. “
“Still, it is his work on the Beijing Olympic stadium that will be most prominent…He was asked to collaborate on the gigantic stadium, not by the Chinese Government, which he says would never have issued such an invitation, but by the Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron.
Despite his antipathy towards the Olympics, Ai is delighted by the creation. “Yes, I am very proud of the product. It’s very good. It was such a collective effort: the designers, the workers, the builders. Everyone made it possible. And at this moment it is much loved by the Chinese people.”
However, he wishes to dismiss one myth: it is not meant to look like a bird’s nest. “If we had wanted to make a bird’s nest we would have made it look more like a bird’s nest,” he laughs.”