fbpx Ai Weiwei, CIRCA 2020 | CIRCA 20:20

Ai Weiwei, CIRCA 2020

1-31 October, CIRCA 2020

The Cultural Institute of Radical Contemporary Arts (CIRCA) presents CIRCA 2020, a new work by Ai Weiwei, which will break a new record on 31 October at 20:20 for the longest ever single piece of content to be shown on Piccadilly Lights in Piccadilly Circus, Europe’s largest screen. Pausing the adverts for just over one hour, the film combines 30 parts from his month-long residency on Piccadilly Lights commissioned by CIRCA, an innovative new digital arts platform which commissions some of the the world’s leading artists to create new work in response to the world, circa 2020.

Ai Weiwei said:

CIRCA 2020 at Piccadilly Circus in London is an opportunity for me to produce a public, visual presentation related to my past. The clips form a 60-minute long program, an episodic, visual narrative consisting of images, videos, sound, and poetry relating to my art and social and political activism.


Ai Weiwei (born 1957) is a Chinese contemporary artist, documentarian, and activist. Ai grew up in the far northwest of China, where he lived under harsh conditions due to his father’s exile. As an activist, he has been openly critical of the Chinese Government’s stance on democracy and human rights. He investigated government corruption and cover-ups, in particular the Sichuan schools corruption scandal following the collapse of “tofu-dreg schools” in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. In 2011, Ai Weiwei was arrested at Beijing Capital International Airport on 3 April, for “economic crimes”. He was detained for 81 days without charge. Ai Weiwei emerged as a vital instigator in Chinese cultural development, an architect of Chinese modernism, and one of the nation’s most vocal political commentators.

Ai Weiwei encapsulates political conviction and his personal poetry in his many sculptures, photographs, and public works. In doing this, he makes use of Chinese art forms to display Chinese political and social issues.