By Bill Schiller
China’s Ai Weiwei has been called the most “influential” and “important” artist of our time. Yet his daring art and outspoken activism has also earned him the wrath of his government: he has been threatened, beaten and jailed. As the Art Gallery of Ontario prepares to open a major exhibition of his work on Aug. 17, award-winning Toronto Star journalist Bill Schiller offers a penetrating look at the man, his roots and his unflagging commitment to freedom of expression. Ai Weiwei: The Life and Earth-Shattering Times of China’s Most Famous Artist takes you on a journey, Ai Weiwei’s journey, and explains how and why the deaths of thousands of schoolchildren in China’s devastating 2008 earthquake moved the artist to take a courageous stand. Ai cannot come to Toronto. The government will not let him leave the country. But you can learn about Ai Weiwei and his relentless pursuit of a more humane China in this book.

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