Join us for the presentation and book signing of Ai Weiwei’s memoir “1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows”.  The book retraces his journey from growing up in a totalitarian regime to becoming a renowned artist and activist on the global stage.

Ai Weiwei is doing us the honour of coming to TheMerode for a conversation about his memoir with Pierre-Simon Gutman, editor in chief of the magazine L’Avant Scène Cinéma.

During this event, Ai Weiwei will reflect on the most significant experiences of his life and that of his father, the poet Ai Qing. In his book, he shares the history of China over the last century, his creative process, and pays tribute to his father. As The New York Times described him, Ai Weiwei is “an eloquent and seemingly unsilenceable voice of freedom.”

We invite you to join us as we delve into the intimate and expansive memoir of one of today’s most famous artists.

After the conversation, don’t miss on the opportunity to get your copy of “1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows” signed by Ai Weiwei.

Ai Weiwei (Chinese, b.1957) is a Conceptual artist, sculptor, and curator, originally from Beijing, China. He is a member of the artist group Stars, which refuses to create Chinese Art that followed government guidelines.

His provocative blend of Chinese history and contemporary art practice serves as a form of activism for human rights, cultural commentary, and critique of global power imbalances. Unfortunately, his political views have made him a target of the Chinese government. In 2011, he was detained for 81 days by the Chinese government but was eventually released without being formally charged.

In 2011, Ai was also listed as one of the top 100 of most influential people in the world by Time Magazine. He participated in the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999, and in documenta XII in 2007. Ai lives and works in the Art District of Dashanz in Beijing. The artist’s works are held in the collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others.

Pierre Simon Gutman is deputy editor-in-chief of L’Avant-scène cinéma and professor of film history and directing at ESRA (Ecole Supérieure de Réalisation Audiovisuelle) Paris and Brussels. After studying literature and cinema at the Sorbonne, he defended a thesis on the American filmmaker Michael Cimino (“The creation of an American community in Michael Cimino’s cinema”) and taught cinema at the university (Paris VII, Nancy 2). He has collaborated and published numerous articles for Les Fiches du cinéma, Trois Couleurs, Eclipses and L’Annuel du cinéma. For seven years, he was a selector for the Cannes Film Festival’s Critics’ Week for short and feature films and has directed several short films himself. He is a regular speaker in cinemas and festivals.


  • 18:00 > Welcome
  • 18:30 – 19:30 > Conference and book signing

A special thanks to the Millenium Festival for this unique opportunity.



TheMerode, is a private social members club, where comfort, glamour and intimacy coexist through and for our members. They are at the heart of everything we do and we strive to make them feel home. That’s why all our events are exclusively organized for our members and their guests.


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