Ai Weiwei: Without Fear or Favor


A few months ago, I wrote about the impending theatrical release of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,  a documentary about an artist and activist who has a truly distinctive (and loud) voice. Weiwei isn’t just an artist, he is a symbol of what it means to seek out and embrace freedom in every possible way. Often misunderstood and scrutinized by the powers that be, his struggle to be heard is one of immense courage and determination. Alison Klayman’s groundbreaking film digs into his plight and gives a reason to believe in the impossible.

Never Sorry never went into wide release, so I am thrilled that it is coming out on DVD today. To celebrate its release, I though I’d share another documentary I found on youtube via the BBC. With meticulous detail, Without Fear or Favor tracks the events of Weiwei’s life that shaped his perspective as an artist in multiple mediums (pottery, photography, sculpture, architecture, etc). His attention to the constructs and manifestations of liberty are better understood when his father’s banishment during the Cultural Revolution and his life in New York are taken into account.

Several of Weiwi’s works are shown along with interpretations on how and why he created them. Each piece is a stunning representation of WeiWei’s point of view that includes everything from fusing the past with the present, revolution, individuality, and liberty. In particular, the documentary takes a closer look at how and why the sunflower seed exhibit was created for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. This amazing installation took the world by storm and I can personally vouch for its power, (see Seeds to Ponder).

Watch intently or have it going in the background. Either way Weiwei will speak to your muse.

Still not convinced? Check out the trailer for Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry and soak up the inspiration :

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is available now on

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Stay inspired and be free.

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c.b.w. 2012


8 thoughts on “Ai Weiwei: Without Fear or Favor

    • I think that’s one of the things I like about him so much – his work literally asks you to wonder why he made it. 🙂 More interesting still, its important to him that we walk away with our own meaning and understanding.


    • Fascinating is precisely the right word. I finally got to see Never Sorry and it was incredible. Such an interesting man with a perspective that is truly individual. I just started reading his blog posts (recently translated and printed in book form) and he’s proven to be a master with the written word as well. 🙂

      That video is hilarious! 🙂


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