For this week’s cover story, TIME magazine looked to Chinese artist Ai Weiwei to create the artwork seen above. Ai Weiwei used Chinese paper cutting techniques to create this red-and-white image that seems to pop out to represent China’s influence around the world. TIME Managing Editor Rick Stengel called the image a work of “artistic supremacy,” adding that for Ai Weiwei the image is an “acknowledgment of the country’s centrality in the world while at the same time challenging China’s leaders to make the future a freer and more democratic one.”
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