An important exhibit by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei recently opened on Alcatraz. Called @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz the exhibit is installed throughout the prison; the artworks address themes of freedom and imprisonment using different media and methods of interacting with the viewers.
Ai Weiwei is an internationally renowned artist known for provocative work that often has political themes. He achieved worldwide fame beyond the art world as part of the design team for the Beijing National Stadium, known popularly as the “Birds Nest”, for the 2008 Summer Olympics. In 2011 he was arrested and held for 81 days for being a prominent and outspoken critic of the Chinese government. As of this writing in October 2014, the Chinese government has retained his passport, keeping him from leaving China.