Ai Weiwei

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"The activism and the art are one, Ai has said; and almost all the art in this show speaks to the conditions of Chinese life."

"Ai's gift is for the humanisation of conceptual art."

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Marble Stroller, 2014

Ai's work is similar to Susan Collis in that each piece revolves around the subversion of a traditionally Chinese crafts, objects or materials, either historically significant (tieli wood from the Qing dynasty, white marble or porcelain) or culturally (the silver bicycle) and transforming their meaning through amplification of size, deconstruction, reconstruction or applying ancient practices in the recreation of modern forms. Ai uses the same motif of elevating an everyday object through craft and material to one of intense significance and value, in particular his works with marble:

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Surveillance Camera (2010)

 

Sources: Ai Weiwei Exhibition at RA, visited today on 23.9.15

Guardian review of Ai Weiwei by Laura Cumming, published 20.9.15

© Molly Jaqueline Lea Turner, all rights reserved