Monday, June 27, 2011

Ai Weiwei: Middle Finger, Tiananmen Square.

Thanks at least in part to global pressure, not only from ambassadors and human rights activists, but from leaders in the art world and people like New York City's Mayor Bloomberg, Chinese authorities agreed to release the artist Ai Weiwei. But why would the Chinese arrest their most famous artist? Take a look at Ai Weiwei's work and its a pretty easy guess. Ai Weiwei uses contemporary art as a vehicle to express singularly bold social criticism.

Middle Finger Tiananmen Square, photo: Ai Weiwei

One piece that put Ai Weiwei on the wrong side of Chinese authorities was his installation, Remembering, at the Haus der Kundst museum in Munich. The piece commemorated the tragic deaths of school children during the Sichuan, China earthquake of 2008. 

 Remembering, Installation, Ai Weiwei 2009

It is widely believed that the reason so many school children were killed was because the schools that collapsed on top of them during the earthquake were poorly constructed due to corruption. Ai Weiwei visited Sichuan after the earthquake where he observed debris littered with children's school things. That inspired him to create a message using 9,000 colorful children's backpacks to spell out, "She lived happily for seven years in this world", a quote from the mother of one of the lost children.

Remembering, Installation, Ai Weiwei 2009

Like memories developing over time the message, placed on an outdoor wall behind trees was slowly revealed as the season changed and the trees lost their leaves.

Remembering, Installation, Ai Weiwei 2009

Another Quick Look at Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry TEASER from Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry on Vimeo.

No comments:

Post a Comment