Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ai Wei Wei at The Hirshhorn, Pt III

 The sculptures above are 10 feet tall bronze depictions of each animal in the Chinese zodiac year, entitled "Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads."  They represent the signs of the Chinese zodiac:  snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, pig, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit and dragon.  The heads traditionally would only have been viewed by emperors but Ai Wei Wei is making them available to all.
Below, the crabs are finely wrought porcelain.  They commemorate a dinner that Ai Wei Wei put on with a menu of river crabs when the authorities demolished his studio.  The name in Chinese is similar to the word for "harmony," which is used when people are censored.

 Ai Wei Wei was involved in the building of the famous Bird's Nest Stadium for the Olympics in Beijing, but he publicly protested at the displacement and false presentations of Chinese society.  He called the Olympics "propaganda."

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