Friday, 30 October 2015

Ai WeiWei Exhibition - photo heavy post!

 Yesterday I took a day away from the easel to go and see the Ai WeiWei exhibition at the Royal Academy in London with my son.  First thing you see on entering the courtyard are these trees...made from trees!

Metal reinforcements retrieved from the earthquake of 2008 arranged in a huge ripple and representing the thousands of dead - something we never got to hear about in the West, hence the work.  All the names were listed on the sides of the room,over 5000 of them, pus a very harrowing video of the aftermath of the earthquake.

A huge cube made from reclaimed bits of temple, I'm assuming also from the earthquake.
5000 porcelain crabs...
I wanted to pocket one...
Not just any vase - look at the date of it:
This made me feel a little sick.  It is supposed to represent what China is doing to it's heritage.
As are these.
From above this is supposed to be a map of china.  Made from pieces of temple again.
Hundreds of carved marble 'grass' tufts and a marble pushchair.  I'm not explaining this onem, you'll have to go and see it for yourself.
Carved marble gas mask.
Ai WeiWei was jailed for several weeks for no apparent reason and kept in a windowless cell with two guards watching his every move. He memorised the cell & it's contents and made several huge boxes with these dioramas inside.  You have to look through a tiny 5 inch peephole to see inside.
A couple of them require standing on a box and looking down!
A giant working puzzle box, beautifully inlaid.
A massive chandelier, with the framework being bicycles.

This was a fascinating and thought provoking exhibition.  There is much more to see, but I was busy seeing it rather than taking photos!  If you get the time, take a visit, it is worth it.

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