China’s literal translation of its name means ‘Middle country’ signalling a old belief that it is the center of the world. It is not a stretch of the imagination to envisage a future where this is a reality, and China becomes the center of the world. Its economy is the strongest in the world making it the most powerful country in the year 2012, its a place I have always wanted to visit. Primarily because of its culture and history and I also believe that it is important to not forget these aspects of China. Even if its current government occasionally oppress its people and the total population is unknown its still a place of interest. Tea was first discovered and popularized in china and exported in the year 1903 and Paper was invented by the eunuch Ts’ai Lun. According to the official history of the Han dynasty (3rd century A.D.), Ts’ai Lun was given an aristocratic title after he presented Emperor Ho Ti with samples of paper. In 751 A.D., Chinese papermakers were captured by the Arabs at Samarkand, and by 794 A.D. several state-owned paper mills operated in Baghdad. The Arabs were manufacturing paper in Spain around 1150. It was not until 1590 that the first English paper mill was founded, at Dartford.
My work is always dealing with real or fake, authenticity and value and how value relates to current political and social understandings and misunderstandings
So this artist has been given the honor of becoming a member of the Royal Academy, I can not think of anyone more worthy.
Ai has been active in questioning what we humans value materially and politically he has created artworks that really give you an experience. The objects he has sculpted and brought into being educate and confront you visually even poetically exploring major issues involving materiality. For example how we distinguish what is valuable, what type of spaces are valuable and how do we interact with them are what i believe he is really concerned about. On top of being a really good artist he finds time for activism through blogging he was going to protest the horrible fact that chinese officials saved money on building proper schools and when an earthquake struck a lot of children died. He could not forget especially after helping china to build a national emblem in the birds nest stadium. Ai has been beaten to with an inch of his life and is now been detained unlawfully his rights ignored by his government. This artist is an example of a great human being as well so i fully believe that he deserves to be a member of the academy.