Ai Weiwei’s work at DOCUMENTA 12 directly affected lives of ordinary people. Part of his concept for Fairytale (2007) allowed a condition that encouraged individual experience, participation in art and intercultural exchange. Ai Weiwei selected 1001 Chinese citizens from an open call on his blog to visit Kassel, see the exhibition and explore the town. 1001 chairs from the Qing Dynasty were spread throughout the exhibition spaces of DOCUMENTA to be used by visitors.
Template (2007), a large-scale sculpture with a rich history, was made from doors and windows from Ming and Qing dynasty houses from the Shanxi area, Northern China, where entire old towns have been destroyed to make way for new construction. Shortly after DOCUMENTA12 opened, the sculpture collapsed.
After spending 12 years in the United States, primarily New York City, in 1993 Ai Weiwei returned to Beijing where he has been an independent artist, curator, writer, architect and activist.
Template, 2007; Sculpture made of wooden doors and windows from destroyed Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)houses.
Fairytale, 2007; 1001 Chinese visitors in Kassel, 1001 wooden chairs, Qing Dynasty