It's almost as if a caravan is wending its way thorugh town
A clamor of voices mingling with the tinkle of camel bells
The markets bustling as before
An incessant flow of carts and horses
But no-the splendid palace
Has lapsed into ruin
Of a thousand years of joys and sorrows
Not a trace can be found
You who are living, live the best life you can
Don't count on the earth to preserve memory
Ai Qing, 1980
About 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows
Once a close associate of Mao Zedong and the nation's most celebrated poet, Ai Weiwei's father, Ai Qing, was branded a rightist during the Cultural Revolution, and he and his family were banished to a desolate place known as "Little Siberia." Ai Weiwei recounts his childhood in exile, and his difficult decision to leave his family to study art in America, where he befriended Allen Ginsberg and was inspired by Andy Warhol and the artworks of Marcel Duchamp. He details his return to China and his rise to become an art world superstar and international human rights activist. Ai Weiwei's sculptures and installations have been viewed by millions around the globe, but his political activism has long made him a target of the Chinese authorities, which culminated in months of secret detention without charge in 2011. At once ambitious and intimate, 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows serves as a timely reminder of the urgent need to protect freedom of expression.
Calling all readers! Looking to build community and challenge yourself to discover new, exciting tales? If so, then look no further! Come meet new friends, read new books, and enjoy lively conversation at your neighborhood library.
1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows Book Club Meeting- Understanding and Appreciating the Art of Ai Weiwei
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Get a FREE book and be a part of our 1000 Years Book Club!
Kirkpatrick Foundation has generously provided 1000 copies of the book for readers in Oklahoma County.
Copies are available at all Metropolitan Library locations, as well as Oklahoma Contemporary and are available for pick up now.
These books are free and yours to keep! Looking for your copy? Contact us at the links on the bottom of this page and staff will help you.
Kirkpatrick Foundation, founded by John and Eleanor Kirkpatrick, is a private foundation located in Oklahoma City. Since 1955, the foundation has funded a wide range of endeavors, primarily in the arts, culture, education, animal wellbeing, environmental conservation, and historic preservation.
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, formed at the Fairgrounds in 1989 as City Arts Center by Christian Keesee and Kirkpatrick Foundation Director Marilyn Myers, is a nonprofit organization committed to providing the community with quality, accessible and affordable arts programming and education. Through corporate funding and private donations, Oklahoma Contemporary is able to educate Oklahomans through adult classes and workshops, art camps and classes for local youth, art exhibitions, lectures and additional educational programming. Oklahoma Contemporary was the recipient of the first grant ever awarded by the Kirkpatrick Family Fund and plays a key role in the development of Oklahoma City’s visual arts landscape.