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Ai Weiwei

The Freedom Of Irreverence

By Charles Merewether

STUDY OF PERSPECTIVE - TIANANMEN (1995-2003) Black-and-white photograph. Courtesy the artist.

China's opening to the West in the 1990s was fueled by the government's desire for economic expansion and the establishment of a commodity-based culture. That nascent market era has stimulated the growth of contemporary art in China, with artists - no longer fringe renegades and now something akin to entrepreneurs - displaying increasing sophistication and professionalization in how they manage their careers.

The year 2000 was a key turning point for China…

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