Ai WeiWei "According to What?"
Ai Weiwei is one of contemporary China's most exciting creators, with a range of activities including everything from art and architecture to design, publishing, and curating. In the last few years, Ai's international reputation has grown dramatically through a series of highly acclaimed projects, including his contribution to Documenta 12 in 2007, and a collaboration with architects Herzog & de Meuron on the "Bird's Nest" Olympic Stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"Ai Weiwei: According to What?" is one of the largest solo shows for the artist ever held, featuring 26 works made since the 1990s, including 6 created specifically for this exhibition. The diverse works – ranging from sculptures and photographs to video and site specific installations – are organized into three sections: "Fundamental Forms and Volumes," "Structure and Craftsmanship" and "Reforming and Inheriting Tradition." In addition, Ai’s architectural projects since 1999, his publication projects and the photograph works he took while he was living in New York are presented in a special "archival" room. Ai’s practice is interdisciplinary and transcends artistic genres in a classic sense, but when viewed in its entirety it gives us unique insights into the cultural, historical, and societal contexts from which it emerged. This in turn prompts questions in the viewer: What exists? And more importantly, according to what does it exist? From what context did we emerge, and to where are we headed now?
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From 2009-07-25 To 2009-11-08
September 22nd (Tue) and November 3rd (Tue) open until 22:00
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Mori Art Museum’s first solo exhibition of contemporary Chinese art.
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Ai Weiwei reviewed by METROPOLIS:
If this exhibition is in fact by, as claimed by the Mori Art Museum on its literature, "the most evocative creator in contemporary China", then Chinese artists may as well give up now.
It's hard to fathom how anyone could consider the work on show at the Mori as even vaguely "evocative", and the gallery's claim would be laughable did it not have the reputation it does in the Japanese art community, which therefore renders such claims both ignorant and irresponsible.
This is dull, derivative, unimaginative stuff and, following on from the appallingly presented Kaleidoscopic Eye exhibition before it, seriously brings into question what the current curator could possibly be thinking.
China is in fact home to a wealth of talented, imaginative and evocative artists, any one of whom would have created a show infinitely more engaging than this exhibition. What we are left with is just a perfect example of marketing over substance.
Although the subtitle was 「現代中国で最も刺激的なクリエイターの挑戦」(the challenge of contemporary china's most stimulating artist), the exhibition was very tame and very polished.
He's established with a capital E.
Reviewing is closed.