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Art: Exhibition Ai Weiwei Tilburg, The Netherlands

Ai Weiwei in Museum De Pont
In the museum De Pont in Tilburg is from the 3th of March the exhibition by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei to see, one of Beijing’s most influential artists. The museum shows works from the years 2003-2011 and includes, besides a large number of sculptures, almost his complete works of video art and his famous “Sunflower Seeds” is displayed. Sunflower Seeds is the work by which he became famous in 2010. When it was first seen in the large turbine hall of Tate Modern in London. Also on display is the installation “Forever” a much discussed work, contains 42 bicycle that are together welded in a carousel. Lose they could not function, because they miss pedals and handlebars. The name of the sculptural installation is the brand of the bike that everyone in China until recently used as mass way of transportation. This work is a commentary on the social situation in China. Ai Weiwei sees art not only as a way of forcing changes, but also as an opportunity to ask questions.
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei

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. 

Ai Weiwe 'Forever'
Ai Weiwe ‘Forever’

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 'Trees'
Ai Weiwei ‘Trees’

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.

Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei 'Vase'
Ai Weiwei ‘Vase’
Ai Weiwei 'Pijlers' Groninger Museum 2006
Ai Weiwei ‘Pijlers’ Groninger Museum 2006
Ai Weiwei Beijing National stadium
Ai Weiwei Beijing National stadium

Story by: Gabriëlle Voogt
Source: NOS.nl


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