Ai WeiWei

A political activist, the most famous international contemporary artists from China, in the name of Ai Weiwei. He is highly over-absorption of investigating China’s fierce secrets like the stance on democracy, human rights, corruption, and cover-ups. He is always against to the government without any concern. His style to express his antipathy and how he make used of art to achieve this is so admirable. He has once been imprisoned by the Chinese government without any official charge, it is like an isolating him to avoid him explore more dark secrets.

In his series of work “S.A.C.R.E.D”, it addressed his April 2011 arrest by the Chinese Government and the 81-day period isolation. (Brown, 2015)  It is ‘composed of six parts: S= upper, A= accusers, C= cleansing, R= ritual, E= Entropy, and D= Doubt.’ (Gallery, 2016) There are large hyper-realist models of himself and the soldiers that he made to visualise the actual situation that he experienced during the locked up. I like the idea that he makes them into a reasonable scale, then put it into several dioramas. This encourages the audience to lean over and observe the work, by following the planned order of observation, it literally engaging the whole story to the audience. I must admit that this is such an effective interaction to create narratives in space.

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The co-curator, Adrian Locke commented on Ai Weiwei that  “aside from the technical challenge, it is a very sombre and sobering work when you see it, it has this kind of power and silence about it … it bears a real sense of loss of life.” (Brown, 2015) This is what we so-call communicating with the audience. Adrian Locke aware the power of Ai Weiwei that he assembles messages and meaning in silence via artwork. When I said silence, it doesn’t mean that he did it secretly. ‘Ai Weiwei is probably aware that they’re aware that we’re aware that they’re aware.’ (Brown, 2015) But in order to communicate with the public in a sensible way, he chose Art as the media to help him spread out the messages.

By his arts, he evokes all sort of controversies, he inspired people to stand up for their right, implying the message that revealing the truth is so important even you have to take risks. It’s worth to do it and be yourself, don’t be threatened by strong compacity. ‘This is the first time the artist has directly responded to his incarceration through a work in a public exhibition.'(Brown, 2015)  The courage took him to do all these is great, however, he might do it in a more conservative way. Just like the following example, it shows the deliberately dropping off a Han Dynasty Urn which is a 2000 years old pot, announcing a reference to the wilful destruction of China’s historic buildings and objects during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. I don’t agree on the way he showed his disgrace to China, even though the government is so dominating, he can use another way to fight for human right abuse rather than being aggressive.

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References:

Brown, M. (2015) Ai Weiwei’s RA show to house weighty remnants from Sichuan earthquake, the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/jun/15/ai-weiwei-ra-show-sichuan-earthquake-chinese-artist-steel-rods (Accessed: 5 May 2016).

Gallery, l. (2016) Ai Weiwei: Disposition | Exhibitions | Lisson Gallery, Lissongallery.com. Available at: http://www.lissongallery.com/exhibitions/ai-weiwei-disposition (Accessed: 5 May 2016).

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