Art: Exhibition Ai Weiwei Tilburg, The Netherlands
Ai Weiwei in Museum De Pont
Like Jeff Koons, Ai Weiwei makes use of existing objects ‘readymade’: using craftsman to manufacture work. These craftsmen have made the traditional wood joints, which jointed the weathered pieces of wood from the camphor trees are made in the work “Trees” Ai Weiwei 2009 and also they worked on the great art piece of porcelain called “Rocks” in 2010.
On traditions Ai Weiwei acts in the footsteps of Marcel Duchamp and Jeff Koons and is influenced by Dadaïsme. (Duchamp 1887 to 1968 was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century in many ways). Ai Weiwei even more rigorous than Duchamp, because of his genuine use of art. In his series of photographs dating from 1995 “Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn” he drops an ancient vase fall to pieces. With this simple and irreversible act he makes it clear how we interact with our values and cultural traditions today. “Until I Duchamp discovered I had no idea that art could be “a way of life, it was my salvation and it made an immediate end to my struggle. I understood that art could be a sign, and that a gesture can have any form that the artist wants. That can be a painting but also something completely different. “
Ai Weiwei (Beijing, August 28, 1957) is a Chinese conceptual artist, political activist and philosopher an architect, designer and also active in other arts such as photography and film. Ai lives and works in the art district “798Art Zone“, Dashanzi, Chaoyang (district). He wrote three books in which he is the new generation of artists in China interviewed. In 1995 he exhibited for the first time in Sweden (Gothenburg). In 2000 he had his first exhibition in Lucerne. In 2003 he founded an architectural firm, called FAKE. In 2006 he designed a house in Upstate New York, which won major prizes. Ai worked in 2008 as artistic consultant along with the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron in designing the National Stadium in Beijing for the Olympics. The design was created in 2000 and the stadium was quickly nicknamed the “Birdsnest”. He makes extensive use of the Internet (a blog daily read by ten thousand people) and Twitter to communicate. Ai Weiwei connects the traditional Chinese culture with his personal imagery.
Story by: Gabriëlle Voogt