"The world’s most famous unknown artist" – so John Lennon called his wife. However, Yoko Ono is a figure no less important to contemporary art than Lennon was to pop music. She was born in Japan in 1933, and in the early 1950s moved to the United States, where she became one of the founders of conceptual art and performance. A participant in the Fluxus movement, she made a series of classic experimental films, engaged in avant-garde music and created one of the first performance works that involved the participation of the viewer. When she married Lennon, she gave up her artistic career, but the couple invented a new form of political activism that built on Fluxus happenings. Ono made a triumphant return to art at the end of the 1980s, and has never abandoned her political activism, which for her is also a tribute to Lennon’s memory.
Ai Weiwei (b. 1957) is an artist, architect and political activist who is highly critical of the Chinese government. In 2008, he undertook his own investigation into the Sichuan earthquake and published in his blog the names (not included in official statistics) of the children who died in poorly built schools, as well as information about corruption in the construction business. The Chinese authorities responded by confiscating his passport, holding him without charge, and accusing him of “economic crimes.” However, he has continued to make his powerful works, such as an installation of millions of handcrafted porcelain sunflower seeds and reinterpretations of Chinese cultural icons, and is the recipient of many awards and honors.