His early work employs traditional furniture, ancient pottery, and daily objects in ways that question cultural values.
Below, an antique pot from the Ming dynasty is emblazoned with a corporate logo which comments on the commercialization of traditional culture.
The two photographs below, with the ironic titles "Study of Perspective: Tiannamen", and "White House", respectively, question and criticize political authority.
He has been under surveillance by Chinese authorities and not allowed to leave the country. Below, a surveillance camera in marble is presented as an art piece, as evidence of his plight and as a comment on the broader impact of the government on personal freedoms.
A line of backpacks snakes around the gallery's ceiling as part of his ongoing investigation into the aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. In the earthquake, a school collapsed killing hundreds of children. The Chinese government tried to cover up the impact of the earthquake to detract attention from the shoddy construction of the public school.
Cube Light, a chandelier suspended from the ceiling, is Ai Weiwei's interpretation of Sergei Eisenstein’s 1928 film October, in which a chandelier was shaking during the storming of the Winter Palace, representing the instability of a government on the brink of collapse, continuing his criticism of political authority.