Ai Weiwei: ‘Even in detention I could still find joyful moments’ – Financial Times
2 November 2020
Ai Weiwei, 63, is a dissident Chinese artist and an influential activist. His work is openly critical of the Chinese government; in 2011, he was arrested in Beijing and detained for 81 days. He now lives in Cambridge, England.
What was your childhood or earliest ambition?
I don’t think we understand our childhood until very late. If there was any treasure in my childhood, it was poverty and discrimination. Those were very valuable for me. Because you know the depths of real darkness and deep human conditions, so you start to appreciate the value of today.
Private school or state school? University or straight into work?
No school. Where I grew up, during the Cultural Revolution, there was no school. So I grew up like a wild boy. Like a wild boar. Your nose leading your path. Now I think that’s very important to me. I treasure that time.
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