Ai Weiwei documents the human flow of the refugee crisis in his new film
Originally published October 13, 2017
"Everything is art. Everything is politics." That's a quote from one of the biggest contemporary artists working today, the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, and it sums him up so perfectly.
His art often criticizes the political and social forces affecting freedom of speech, freedom of expression and the value of human life. Some of his most famous works have targeted the Chinese government like a huge, large-scale piece he created with thousands of children's backpacks, representing the thousands of students killed after poorly constructed schoolhouses collapsed around the country during an earthquake — a tragedy the Chinese government initially chose not to investigate.
For his art and activism, Ai Weiwei has been beaten and jailed, and for a long time, he was not allowed to leave China. But soon after getting his passport back, he used his freedom to travel the world and explore another issue: the global refugee crisis. He places a critical eye on the role each one of us plays, whether we realize it or not. It's been an inspiration for his art and his new documentary, Human Flow.
Today, Weiwei joins Tom Power to discuss his documentary, public art and his love of Instagram.
— Produced by Jean Kim