10 August 2012

Back in 2010, Ai Weiwei was probably most widely known in the UK for his Sunflower Seeds installation at Tate Modern. Fast forward to 2011, and he is in the news for his 81 day detention without trial by the Chinese government, who also demolished his Shanghai studio. 

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is a documentary by New Yorker Alison Klayman. She was granted exclusive access to the artist and activist from 2008 up until his 2011 detention. It provides an overview of his work and life but also the impact that he has had on the politics of China. His Chinese fans call him "Ai God" online, which the documentary points out is a very dangerous description in China.

The relationship between Weiwei and the Chinese authorites has never been easy. He was beaten so badly by them that he required surgery after investigating the deaths of thousands in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in a piece of work. This did not silence him, as Klayman shows, it only made him shout louder and louder. 

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is as unnerving as it is interesting. See the story of Ai Weiwei yourself at FACT from today. You can book tickets online, in person at the Box Office, or by calling 0871 902 5737.