“Freedom is a pretty strange thing. Once you’ve experienced it, it remains in your heart, and no one can take it away. Then, as an individual, you can be more powerful than a whole country.”

Ai Weiwei's work has championed individualism from the start. He created the 1985 Hanging Man while he was living in New York City and showed it at his first gallery show at Ethan Cohen Gallery titled Old Shoes Safe Sex.