Ai Weiwei’s son, Ai Lao, visiting the columbarium of Ai Weiwei’s father, Ai Qing.

Ai Weiwei’s son, Ai Lao, visiting the columbarium of Ai Weiwei’s father, Ai Qing.

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Ai Weiwei in his studio in Berlin with “Water Lilies #2” (2022), a reinterpretation of Monet’s masterpiece made from Lego bricks.Credit…Maria Sturm for The New York Times As the Year of the Dragon dawns, the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has released “Zodiac,” a “graphic memoir” of scenes from his career — both real (hanging with Allen Ginsberg , the O.G. of Beat poets, in 1980s Greenwich Village) and imagined (debating Xi Jinping, China’s paramount leader). Each chapter frames the artist’s take on traditional beliefs about the characteristics humans share with the 12 animals of the Chinese lunar calendar. Gianluca Costantini’s intricate line drawings pair with Elettra Stamboulis’s comic-bubble text to help expand Ai’s lifelong campaign for free expression to a new medium for a new generation. Ai spoke with […]

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