The outspoken agitator you know as Ai Weiwei — who, last we checked, is still not allowed to leave the country — might be weary and beat down (or just mugging for the camera), judging by these pictures by Jamie Hawkesworth, who recently visited the artist in his Beijing studio, commissioned by the magazine AnOther.
As Rob Alderson writes on It’s Nice That:
What I particularly love about the series is that while some speak of the dissident artist’s plight in fairly direct terms (the policemen posted outside, the artist slumped unhappily towards the camera) other shots offer a far more tangential take on Ai Weiwei’s situation, inviting us to see – or maybe invent – metaphorical detail as and when. This beautiful series is easily in the top bracket for the ubiquitous studio visit style photoshoots, combining Jamie’s creative talent with the extraordinary situation of his famous subject.
We’re not the biggest champions of Ai Weiwei’s work, but the artist is indeed a valuable lodestone, and it’s for the greater good that he attracts such outstanding fellow artists.
The “Ai Weiwei as caged bird” metaphor can’t be clearer in this following shot, among others over at the It’s Nice That website:
Jamie Hawkesworth’s stunning studio visit shots of Ai Weiwei for AnOther are superb (It’s Nice That, h/t Alicia via Hypebeast)