Ai Weiwei (Chinese: 艾未未; pinyin: Ài Wèiwèi, English pronunciation ; born 28 August 1957 in Beijing) is a Chinese Contemporary artist and activist. His father's side's original surname is 蔣 Jiang. Ai collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics. As a political activist, he has been highly and openly critical of the Chinese Government's stance on democracy and human rights. He has investigated government corruption and cover-ups, in particular the Sichuan schools corruption scandal following the collapse of so-called "tofu-dreg schools" in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. In 2011, following his arrest at Beijing Capital International Airport on 3 April, he was held for 81 days without any official charges being filed; officials alluded to their allegations of "economic crimes".
Attended the Beijing Film Academy, then the Art Students League and Parsons School of Design in New York City, from 1981. He returned to China in 1993. He was editor and publisher of art magazines Black Paper, White Paper, and Gray Paper in the mid-1990s, and has been active in the fields of architecture, landscape design, and city planning, as well as constructing works that are more accurately described as sculptural installations.