other than food and visiting the fam, the major purpose of our trip back to VA this past weekend was to check out ai weiwei’s exhibit at Hirshhorn Museum.
ai weiwei is a chinese artist, poet, architect, curator, publisher, urbanist, collector, blogger, and political activist.
these names are the names of children died in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. ai weiwei investigated government corruption such as the sichuan schools corruption scandals. all these schools collapsed during the earthquake because these buildings were poorly constructed.
Grapes, constructed out of Qing dynasty wooden stools. the feet pointed outwards to protect a circle of power with build-in defenses.
on the background, ai weiwei destroys a 2000-year old jar. these colored vases is a garish repainting of ancient ceramic shapes in modern neon.
these are river crabs = he xie, in chinese, it is also a pun on the word of he xie =’harmonious’
it has something to do with the chinese government tries to create a harmonious society by censoring.
there were a lot interesting photos at the exhibit. it’s hard to relate with ai weiwei’s work without a good understanding of chinese government and ai weiwei’s background.
i left the exhibit with a heavy feeling and a desire to find out more.
for those who are interested, here is a documentary Ai WeiWei – Never Sorry