The East Asia Center of the University of Washington, in conjunction with the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, is proud to present a series of five rare films by acclaimed artist Ai Weiwei. Known for his work designing the Birds Nest stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and lately his political activism, Ai Weiwei is China’s best known artist, working in media such as architectural design, film, photography, and performance. These five films are rare, and are being shown for only the second time in the United States.
Fairytale documents Ai Weiwei’s project of the same name for Europe’s most innovative art event, documenta 12, in Kassel, Germany in 2007. Ai Weiwei invited 1001 Chinese citizens of different ages and from various backgrounds to live in an abandoned factory for a massive-scale performance art project. This 152-minute film documents the whole process, from the preparations for the project to the challenges the participants had to face before actually traveling to Germany, as well as the artist’s ideas behind the work. 152 min.