Ai Weiwei

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  • Forever, 2003 42 bicycles 2.75 x 35.5 x 25.5 inches Ai has been employing porcelain in his works since the 1990’s, drawn to its unique role in Chinese history as a material used to make everything from mass-produce household wares to handmade aesthetic objects. The artist has worked closely with the porcelain masters of Jingdezhen, the centuries-old porcelain capital of China, to create exquisitely detailed works depicting such varied objects as sunflower seeds, oil spill puddles, and watermelons. In his Dress with Flowers series, these masters reproduced everyday children’s dresses purchased by Ai from a grocery store near their kilns, replicating them with all their patterns, pleats, and folds. The resulting porcelain dresses appear both beautifully delicate and hauntingly lifeless, testing the limits of this traditional material.
  • Dress with Flowers, 2006 Porcelain 2.75 x 35.5 x 25.5 inches Ai has been employing porcelain in his works since the 1990’s, drawn to its unique role in Chinese history as a material used to make everything from mass-produce household wares to handmade aesthetic objects. The artist has worked closely with the porcelain masters of Jingdezhen, the centuries-old porcelain capital of China, to create exquisitely detailed works depicting such varied objects as sunflower seeds, oil spill puddles, and watermelons. In his Dress with Flowers series, these masters reproduced everyday children’s dresses purchased by Ai from a grocery store near their kilns, replicating them with all their patterns, pleats, and folds. The resulting porcelain dresses appear both beautifully delicate and hauntingly lifeless, testing the limits of this traditional material.
  • Ai Weiwei, 'Water Melon', 2007, porselein / porcelain, Courtesy Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne
  • Ai Weiwei, 'The Wave', 2005, porselein / porcelain, Particuliere collectie / Private Collection, courtesy Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne
  • Ai Weiwei, 'Bowl of Pearls', 2006, zoetwaterparels en porselein / fresh water pearls, porcelain, Courtesy Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne
  • Ai Weiwei, 'Pillars', 2006, porselein/ porcelain, Particuliere collectie/ Private Collection, Zwitserland/ Switserland, courtesy Galerie Urs Meile, Beijng-Lucerne
  • Installation view of Ai Weiwei’s Descending Light at Mary Boone Gallery, New York (2007). Glass, crystal, lights and metal. 400x663x461cm Courtesy the artist and Mary Boone Gallery, New York © Ai Weiwei. Photo: Adam Reich
  • A woman stands amongst the debris of the earthquake in Sichuan Provincem South West China as rescue workers look for survivors, May 2008
  • Ai Weiwei Rooted Upon (installation view at Ai Weiwei’s studio, Beijing, 2009) Courtesy the artist © Ai Weiwei
  • The new studio of China's most famous contemporary artist, Ai Weiwei, is located on the outskirts of Shanghai. Construction costs totaled about $1 million and it was completed earlier this year with the blessing of the local government. As Ai told The Guardian's Tania Branigan and Adam Gabbatt: "Two years ago a high official [from Shanghai] came to my studio [he has another workspace in Beijing] to ask me to build a studio in this newly developed cultural district in an agricultural area. I told him I wouldn't do it because I had no faith in government, but he somehow convinced me… Half a dozen artists were invited to build studios there because they wanted a cultural area." Yet, on Oct. 19, Ai, who is known for being critical of Beijing, received a notice from the local government that his studio was slated for demolition this fall, allegedly for violating building codes. "Ai's studio did not go through the application procedures, therefore, it is an illegal building," Chen Jie, director of the local urban construction department, told the state-run Global Times.
  • Ai Weiwei standing in the rubble of his studio in Shanghai on Tuesday. He has come to see his conflict with government officials as performance art.
  • Ai Weiwei

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