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Ai Weiwei  | He has investigated government corruption and cover-ups, in particular the Sichuan schools corruption scandal following the collapse of so-called "tofu-dreg schools" in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. In 2011, following his arrest at Beijing Capital International Airport on 3 April, he was held for 81 days without any official charges being filed; officials alluded to their allegations of "economic crimes" || Reuters. David Gray

Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei answers a question during an interview at his studio in Beijing September REUTERS/David Gray

Ai Wei Wei...Self Portrait for Time   detained for 81 days in Beijing

Person of the Year Runner-Up: Ai Weiwei - Person of the Year 2011

Self-Portrait for TIME article "Ai Weiwei: The Dissident"

"World Map", by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, constructed from 2000 layers of cloth cut into components. The work is designed to be extremely labour intensive to install, hinting at China's status as a source of cheap workers for the fabric industry.

World Map, constructed from 2000 layers of cloth cut into components. Ai Weiwei, designed the extremely labour intensive to install, hinting at China's status as a source of cheap workers for the fabric industry.

Ai Weiwei skateboard decks

Ai Weiwei skateboard decks: ‘As Graceful as Throwing Stones at a Dictatorship’

Ai Weiwei, "Descending Light", 2007, glass crystal, lights, and metal; 400 x 663 x 461 cm.

Ai Weiwei Descending Light, 2007 Glass crystal, lights, and metal 400 x 663 x 461 cm Photo courtesy of Mary Boone Gallery, New York © Ai Weiwei

Portrait of Ai Weiwei. Image courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio.

Portrait of Ai Weiwei. Image courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio.

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