65 Ai Weiwei Quotes from the Chinese Contemporary Artist

Ai Weiwei is a famous artist known for his social activism and critique of the Chinese government through various artistic mediums including architecture Conceptual art and photography.

His family faced exile due to his father’s opposition to the revolution.

Ai studied at the Beijing Film Academy and later moved to the U.S. briefly attending Parsons School of Design.

Ai Weiwei Quotes

He returned to China in 1993 contributing to the experimental artist community in Beijing.

His most famous works include “Han-Dynasty Urn with Coca-Cola Logo” which blends Chinese history with modern symbols and “Remembering” a tribute to the victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

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Ai faced government censorship and was detained in 2011 on tax evasion charges believed to be politically motivated.

Despite restrictions Ai continues to advocate for democracy and free expression.

His achievements include several awards solo exhibitions worldwide and participation in prestigious art shows. He resides and works in Beijing.

I have listed below some of the top quotes Ai Weiwei.

Top 10 Ai Weiwei Quotes


Freedom of speech implies the world isn’t defined. It is meaningful when people are allowed to see the world their way. ~ Ai Weiwei.


I think my stance and my way of life is my most important art. ~ Ai Weiwei.


Creativity is the power to act. ~ Ai Weiwei.


Life is much more interesting when you make a little bit of effort. ~ Ai Weiwei.


When you constrain freedom, freedom will take flight and land on a windowsill. ~ Ai Weiwei.


If there is no freedom of expression, then the beauty of life is lost. Participation in a society is not an artistic choice, it’s a human need. ~ Ai Weiwei.


Liberty is about the right to question everything. ~ Ai Weiwei.


There are no outdoor sports as graceful as throwing stones at a dictatorship. ~ Ai Weiwei.


Without freedom of speech, there is no modern world, just a barbaric one. ~ Ai Weiwei.


We are living in a very complex society. It puts me in a complex frame of thinking. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Famous Ai Weiwei Quotes


Technology is a liberation. I think the information age probably is the best thing to happen to the human race in human evolution. Now you have the equal opportunity to equip yourself through information and knowledge and express yourself as an independent mind. ~ Ai Weiwei.


An artwork unable to make people feel uncomfortable or to feel different is not one worth creating. This is the difference between the artist and the fool. ~ Ai Weiwei.

When human beings are scared and feel everything is exposed to the government, we will censor ourselves from free thinking. That’s dangerous for human development. ~ Ai Weiwei.


The world is a sphere, there is no East or West. ~ Ai Weiwei.

When you have strict censorship of the internet, young students cannot receive a full education. Their view of the world is imbalanced. There can be no true discussion of the issues. ~ Ai Weiwei.

I think optimism is whether you are still exhilarated by life, whether you are curious, whether you still believe there is possibility. ~ Ai Weiwei.


No outdoor sports can be more elegant than throwing stones at autocracy; no melees can be more exciting than those in cyberspace. ~ Ai Weiwei.

My definition of art has always been the same. It is about freedom of expression, a new way of communication. It is never about exhibiting in museums or about hanging it on the wall. ~ Ai Weiwei.

The American experience influenced my understanding of individuality, basic human rights, freedom of expression and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. ~ Ai Weiwei.


If a nation cannot face its past, it has no future. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Everyone wants an iPhone, but it would be impossible to design an iPhone in China because it’s not a product; it’s an understanding of human nature. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Best Ai Weiwei Quotes


If there is no free speech, every single life has lived in vain. ~ Ai Weiwei.

As a human being, member of society, you must clearly state your mind. It’s a responsibility. It is the way you identify yourself otherwise you don’t know who you are and why you are here. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Maybe being powerful means to be fragile. ~ Ai Weiwei.


The world is not changing if you don’t shoulder the burden of responsibility. ~ Ai Weiwei.

In a society that restricts individual freedoms and violates human rights, anything that calls itself creative or independent is a pretence. It is impossible for a totalitarian society to create anything with passion and imagination. ~ Ai Weiwei.


The practice of photography is no longer a means for recording reality. Instead, it has become reality itself. ~ Ai Weiwei.

I have to find a place for my own. I have to search for my own happiness. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Once you’ve tasted freedom, it stays in your heart and no one can take it. Then, you can be more powerful than a whole country. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Popular Ai Weiwei Quotes


Without freedom of speech there is no modern world, just a barbaric one. ~ Ai Weiwei.

I think it’s a responsibility for any artist to protect freedom of expression and to use any way to extend this power. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Say what you say plainly, and then take responsibility for it. ~ Ai Weiwei.

The Internet changes the structure of society all the time – this massiveness made of individuals. ~ Ai Weiwei.


If artists cannot speak up for human dignity or rights, then who else will do it? ~ Ai Weiwei.

Being an artist is more of a mindset, a way of seeing things; it is no longer so much about producing something. ~ Ai Weiwei.

I am everywhere and I am nowhere. That’s the beauty of the Internet Age. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Powerful Ai Weiwei Quotes

If you don’t act, the danger becomes stronger. ~ Ai Weiwei.


Creativity is the power to reject the past, to change the status quo, and to seek new potential. Simply put, aside from using one’s imagination – perhaps more importantly – creativity is the power to act. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Warhol influenced me because of his writing. If I had never read his writings and interviews, I would never have understood his work. ~ Ai Weiwei.


To express yourself needs a reason, but expressing yourself is the reason. ~ Ai Weiwei.

It doesn’t matter where I am – China will stay in me. I don’t know how far I can still walk on this road and what is the limit. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Your own acts tell the world who you are and what kind of society you think it should be. ~ Ai Weiwei.

I don’t want the next generation to fight the same fight as I did. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Art is always about overcoming obstacles between the inner condition and the skill for expression. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Thought-Provoking Ai Weiwei Quotes

The Internet is uncontrollable. And if the Internet is uncontrollable, freedom will win. It’s as simple as that. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Self-censorship is insulting to the self. Timidity is a hopeless way forward. ~ Ai Weiwei.

I wouldn’t say I’ve become more radical: I was born radical. ~ Ai Weiwei.


Everyone of us is a potential convict. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Life is never guaranteed to be safe, so we better use it while we are still in good condition. ~ Ai Weiwei.

The natural desire to save a cat is what it means to be a citizen. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Whenever there is injustice, there is tension. But in China it is very hard to release your anger unless you burn yourself or you jump from a bridge. In a society where there is no freedom of the press, it is difficult for victims to be noticed. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Expressing oneself is like a drug. I’m so addicted to it. ~ Ai Weiwei.

A small act is worth a million thoughts. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Ai Weiwei Quotes About Art

I think art certainly is the vehicle for us to develop any new ideas, to be creative, to extend our imagination, to change the current conditions. ~ Ai Weiwei.

The art always wins. Anything can happen to me, but the art will stay. ~ Ai Weiwei.


I think art is a very important weapon to achieve human freedom. ~ Ai Weiwei.

The purpose of art is the fight for freedom. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Everything is art. Everything is politics. ~ Ai Weiwei.

If my art has nothing to do with people’s pain and sorrow, what is ‘art’ for? ~ Ai Weiwei.

Life is art. Art is life. I never separate it. ~ Ai Weiwei.

Creativity is part of human nature. It can only be untaught. ~ Ai Weiwei.

So these were the 65 top quotes about Ai Weiwei.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Percy Lavon Julian quotes and Samuel Morse quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar