You are here:

Ai Weiwei and the search for humanity

Bicycles, letterboxes, shoes, violins, thousands of sunflower seeds, and a treadmill – objects from the four decades of artistic work by Ai Weiwei. They all represent topics that are close to the heart of the untiring activist and critic of authoritarian systems. They can be seen in the form of numerous installations in the new exhibition "Ai Weiwei. In Search of Humanity" at the Albertina modern

The museum in the Künstlerhaus dedicates its most comprehensive retrospective ever to the Chinese conceptual artist in spring 2022. Numerous ready-mades, wall works, sculptures, photographs, and films give an overview of his oeuvre. Ai Weiwei is considered to be one of the most important artists of our time, who always focuses his gaze wherever he sees freedom of opinion and human rights in danger.

Ai Weiwei, who was born in Beijing in 1957, first came into contact with protest movements as a young man in New York's East Village. His first works were characterized by these experiences. When he returned to China to visit his dying father, he experienced the immediate aftermath of the massacre on Tiananmen Square.

Over the years, his outstretched middle finger, which he holds up at well-known buildings, became his trademark. His anger is never directed at people, but calls power relationships into question. Many of his photographs are part of the exhibition. As are countless pictures composed of Lego bricks. 

Deep emotions

And then there are exhibition pieces that leave nobody cold. Including the cell in which Ai Weiwei was imprisoned for 81 days and constantly surrounded by cameras and guards. He later reconstructed it from memory. A seemingly endless list on several wall panels bears the names of those children who lost their life during the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. Thousands died when their schools, which showed signs of structural deficiencies, collapsed on top of them.

The exhibition also deals with current issues. Ai Weiwei, who now lives in exile in Portugal, uses his works to draw attention to the refugee catastrophe in the Mediterranean or the outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan. His drive appears to be unbroken. 

Ai Weiwei. In Search of Humanity

March 16 – September 4, 2022

Albertina modern

Karlsplatz 5
1010 Vienna
  • Vienna City Card

    • Your benefit with the Vienna City Card: -14%

      Additional information on the offer: Standard ticket price: 14,90€ / Discount: -2€

  • Opening times

    • Mo, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Tu, 10:00 - 18:00
    • We, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Th, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Fr, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Sa, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Su, 10:00 - 18:00
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • (135 cm wide)
        platform lift, automatic swing door
    • Elevator available
      • Door 110 cm wide
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Special offers for people with disabilities

      A wheelchair will be provided for the duration of the visit to the exhibition (4 wheelchairs on the ground floor, 1 wheelchair available in the basement)

    • Comments

      Lift to all exhibitions

Recommend article

Please complete all the mandatory fields marked with an *.

The data and email addresses you provide will not be saved or used for other purposes.

To *

Subject: Recommendation from

Rate this article
Rate this article

Feedback to the editorial team

Please complete all the mandatory fields marked with an *.

Salutation *

Fancy more?