In a statement quoted in the New York Times, the writings will be "an extraordinary cultural history of China over the past 100 years, told through the prism of both his own life story and that of his father, Ai Qing."

The memoir will tell details of his time spent in exile as a child, a result of his painter and poet father being sentenced to hard labour in the Gobi Desert by the Mao regime. The artists development, including his move to New York in the 1980s, will also be detailed.

Ai Weiwei Image via New City Film Ai Weiwei
Image via New City Film

One of the most talked about details of the artist's life - his 81 days imprisoned by the Chinese government in 2011 and his later house arrest will be addressed in the book.

In a statement, Weiwei said: "I write about my father, his generation, and my own experience, our struggle for individual freedom and self-expression in this old society."

"The history of totalitarianism is one characterized by the state's continuous attempts to destroy individual memories."

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