Tuesday 18 September 2012

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei is one of the most provocative artists living. I adore his work because of its vitality and committment to critical world issues. His artwork sets up controversial conversations between the past and the present, the like of which has been almost unheard of in China’s art history.

Whether it is repurposing Han ceramics or Ming furniture or reviving ancient bronze traditions, Ai is a maverick interventionist. His sculpture, video, installations and writings reveal that he is an artist of conscience and humanity.

Last week he wrote a review of London’s Hayward Gallery exhibition Art of Change: New Directions from China. Ai makes trenchant comments about that exhibition which deserve our attention:

How can you have a show of “contemporary Chinese art” that doesn’t address a single one of the country’s most pressing contemporary issues?....

Anything that calls itself a cultural exchange is artificial when it lacks any critical content.

Here is Ai’s review.

Here are research links about Ai and his artwork









Ai Weiwei with Sunflower Seeds 2010
Photograph taken at the time of Ai’s installation of 100 million lifesize sunflower seeds made from porcelain, at the Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London.

Photo by Tate Photography.
Courtesy of the artist.

Coca Cola Vase 1997
Vase from Neolithic Age (5000 – 3000 BCE) and paint
Courtesy Tsai Collection, New York