Discover how design is central to the practice of artist and activist Ai Weiwei, particularly known for exploring art that challenges the policies of the contemporary Chinese Government.
Over the years, Ai Weiwei’s installations have engaged with the concept of design, from displaying 150 rods of steel rebar, painstakingly straightened by hand, to smashing a 2,000 year-old Han Dynasty Urn on camera in a searing take on cultural values. This exhibition takes the first concerted look at this strand of his practice, focussing on Weiwei’s use of material culture for political ends.
At the heart of the exhibition is an examination of value – how it’s attributed and how it changes over time. Weiwei’s interest in Chinese artefacts is placed in dialogue with works that engage with modern construction and urban expansion in the country. Some of the artist’s most significant pieces will be on show, as well as new commissions for this exhibition and objects never before grouped together.
It’s a major showcase developed in partnership with the artist himself, and which captures the fluidity of his practice across architecture, craftsmanship, film and art – whilst highlighting design as a unifying strand.
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