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Ai Weiwei's Suspended Bamboo and Silk Beasts Highlight Ancient Chinese Mythology Inside a Paris Department Store

January 27, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

…family and childhood. His father, the Chinese poet Ai Qing, passed on stories to Ai of his time spent living and studying art in Paris in the 30s. Thinking about his father’s history within the city, Ai also contemplated his own background with the art of kite making, enlisting 12 kite makers from the Shandong Province in China to build the sculptures from similar materials he used to make his first kite at the age of ten. In addition to these hanging sculptures, Ai also installed work in the department store’s front windows and throughout the store, including a 65-foot…

 

 



Art

Bathroom Fixtures at Alcatraz Transformed into Porcelain Floral Bouquets by Ai Weiwei

November 6, 2014

Johnny Waldman

Ai Weiwei, Blossom (2014). All photos by Jan Sturman The Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei currently has an exhibition on Alcatraz, the notorious island used as a military fortress and federal penitentiary. Amongst a large body of work created specifically for Alcatraz is “Blossom,” which has been installed in several hospital ward cells and medical offices. And as its name suggests, intricately detailed encrustations of ceramic flowers are blossoming out of sinks, toilets and tubs that were once used by hospitalized prisoners. The curator offers two possibilities in interpreting Ai’s porcelain blossoms: a symbolic offering of comfort to the…

 

 



Art

A Dystopian Sci-Fi Movie Filmed Completely under the Radar in China ... Starring Ai Weiwei [Updated]

April 2, 2014

Christopher Jobson

Just announced today, The Sand Storm is a short film directed by New York filmmaker Jason Wishnow that was shot completely under the radar in China, starring none other than dissident artist Ai Weiwei in his acting debut. How such an audacious and risky endeavor came into being is pretty mind-blowing given the heavy amount of surveillance surrounding the artist. The movie takes place in a dystopian future where Ai Weiwei plays the role of a smuggler in a world without water. The existence of The Sand Storm was kept heavily under wraps while shooting in Beijing. Ai Weiwei has…

 

 



Art

Ai Weiwei's Forever Bicycles Reconfigured Using 3,144 Bikes in Toronto

October 8, 2013

Christopher Jobson

…depth and volume the piece almost appears blurred. Via Scotiabank Nuit Blanche: World-renowned Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei will exhibit a new edition of his Forever Bicycles sculpture in Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square. 3,144 interconnected bicycles will form a three-dimensional structure creating an incredible visual effect. Yong Jiu, literally translated as “forever,” is the foremost bicycle brand in China; Ai re-interprets such everyday found objects in an abstract and symbolic way. The sheer quantity of bikes and the diverse perceptions of viewing points create a colossal labyrinth-like, visually moving space, which represents the changing social environment in China and…

 

 



Art Design

Sou Fujimoto's Giant Serpentine Pavilion Converted into a Storm of LED Lightning by UVA

July 31, 2013

Christopher Jobson

For the last thirteen years Serpentine Gallery has invited a guest architect to design a temporary structure on the London gallery’s front lawn. In what is billed as “the most ambitious architectural program of its kind worldwide,” designs have come from such visionaries as Ai Weiwei in 2012 and Frank Gehry in 2008. This year, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto (who at 41 become the youngest to accept the invitation) constructed a large network of 20mm steel poles and latticed metal that covers an area of 3,800 square feet. While the white pavilion is impressive in its own right, the gallery…

 

 



Art

Xu Bing Arrives at Mass MoCA With His 12-Ton Birds Made of Construction Equipment

July 10, 2013

Christopher Jobson

…at various Chinese construction sites including demolition debris, steel beams, tools, and assorted remnants of migrant laborers. The male Phoenix titled Feng measures 90 feet long, and the female, Huang, is nearly 100 feet in length from beak to its steel tail feathers. Both birds are illuminated from within through a network of lights. Somewhat similar to artists Yao Lu and Ai Weiwei, Xu Bing seems to be commenting on China’s rapid commercial development that is drastically altering the physical and cultural landscape within the country. Phoenix will be on view October 27th. (via junk culture, hyperallergic, my modern met)…