In anticipation of the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Trace at the Skirball, immerse yourself in Ai Weiwei’s art and activism through engaging programs and resources you can experience from home.

On February 21, join the Skirball for the YouTube premiere of a rare speaking engagement with the celebrated contemporary artist as he discusses his vast body of work in the context of social justice. Plus, through online experiences and on-demand screenings of his recent documentary films, delve deeper into Ai’s work and preview the exhibition. Presenting three of the installation’s original six floor panels, Ai Weiwei: Trace at the Skirball features more than eighty LEGO® portraits that depict activists, prisoners of conscience, and advocates of free speech from around the world. 

To complement this monumental display, Ai has created a striking 360-degree wallpaper installation entitled The Animal That Looks Like a Llama but Is Really an Alpaca. At first glance, the pattern looks merely decorative, but upon further inspection, you’ll discover hidden iconography like handcuffs and surveillance cameras. Look closely to find the alpacas — a mascot for freedom of expression in Chinese internet culture.

Online Offerings

  • A Conversation with Ai Weiwei | Premiering Feb 21 on YouTube
  • Bearing Witness: Documentary Films by Ai Weiwei | Now streaming
  • Trace mobile guide | Available now
  • Trace virtual gallery tour | Coming soon

Watch “A Conversation with Ai Weiwei” on Sunday, February 21, at 11am (PST). To receive the link to the YouTube premiere, reserve your space now.

Discover more of the Skirball’s online offerings at

To learn about the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Trace, opening to visitors spring 2021 (public health orders permitting), visit