Chinese artist, activist, architect, curator, and filmmaker, Ai Weiwei has dipped his toe into many fields throughout his tumultuous career. Now, to mark the Lunar New Year, he's finally turning his hand to merch.

The exiled artist has teamed up with lifestyle brand Rome Pays Off  on a limited run of items on the Ntwrk shopping app. Each piece in the collection is imprinted with Ai’s signature “Ox,” to commemorate the year of the ox.

Ai has often used the Chinese Zodiac to offer a critique of Chinese nationalism. In 2015, his installation “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” which sold for a staggering $5.4 million, commented on the way the government has manipulated history. The original heads are now scattered around the world and for many Chinese, symbolize the “century of humiliation” that China endured at the hands of Western and Japanese invaders starting in the late Qing dynasty.

In a recent interview, Ai explained that  he had long been interested in the animal heads and became especially aware of their political overtones in 2009, when the Chinese government stoked a nationalist uproar over an attempt by Christie’s to auction off two pieces, a rabbit and a rat. They had been part of the estate of Yves Saint Laurent.

In 2018, he rendered the 12 zodiacs in LEGO. He told Art Daily that he was inspired to do the series because he is a collector, and because animals are relatable to children and people outside of the art world.

Styles on Ntwrk are available, until they sell out. In honor of the lunar new year, Rome Pays Off and the artist have served up such items as a zodiac ox T-shirt for $75, zodiac ox sweatpants for $125 and a zodiac ox candle for $110.

The artist is also launching a line of scarves through a tie-up with the art book publisher Taschen. Three different scarves — a haircut, a citizens Investigation and a cats and dogs one — will be offered. There will also be two tote bags bowing on Ntwrk on Monday at 8 p.m. EST. There were 2,500 units of each item produced and each is numbered with a screen-printed signature. Frames are not included with individual purchases, but they are recommended.

What To Read Next

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Gregg Berhalter Is the World Cup's Biggest Sneakerhead

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    4 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Pair of Gloves This Season

  • Nike Dunks

    14 of the Best Nike Dunks for Under $300

  • levi's x undercover

    Levi's x Undercover Is Noise, Not Clothes

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    No One Has Time for Barstool Sports Founder's $2,400 Watches

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Fact-Checking Twitter's Absurd Balenciaga Conspiracy Theory

*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.