2 June 2011 Last updated at 03:38 ET
Detained Chinese artist and activist
Ai Weiwei has been made an honorary member of Britain’s Royal Academy of Art
along with Danish painter Per Kirkeby.
Ai, a staunch critic of the Chinese government, was arrested in April trying
to board a flight for Hong Kong.
The academy said he was being honoured as “one of the most significant
cultural figures of his generation”.
Each year, the 80 full academicians – who all practise in Britain – can vote
in honorary international members.
China alleges that Ai has evaded taxes and destroyed evidence while his
supporters say charges are motivated by his activism.
In October, the artist unveiled a carpet of 100 million porcelain sunflower
seeds at London’s Tate Modern, which he said questioned the role of an
individual in society.
In 2009, the same gallery hosted a retrospective of the work of fellow
honorary academician Kirkeby, one of Denmark’s most prominent contemporary
He gained international recognition in the early 1980s for his monolithic
brick sculptures and is best known for his vigorous brushwork.
Ai Weiwei was born on May 18th, 1957 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ai_Wei_Wei
May 18th, 1957
5 + 18 +1+9+5+7 = 45 = his life lesson = what he is here to learn = Ouch. That’s gotta hurt.