AI WEIWEI-UNBROKEN@GARDINER MUSEUM-THURS.,FEB.28th-SUN.,JUNE 9th,2019
By A.J.Lam & BK on the SCENE
We were invited on Wednesday for the
Friends and Young Patrons Day Preview
at Gardiner Museum for an exclusive showing of the exhibition before it opened to the public on Thursday, Feb.28th.
As one of the world’s most influential artists and human rights activists, as well as one of China’s biggest critics. Known for amazing art—and ceramics—with iconic works like Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, he upends the cultural traditions and materials of his native China.
This highly-anticipated and timely exhibition explores the breaking of boundaries, both physical and symbolic, and considers how the artist’s ceramic works form a basis for his ongoing exploration of urgent social justice themes, including immigration, freedom of speech, and the repression of dissent.
Ai Weiwei: Unbroken features iconic works, including Sunflower Seeds and Coca Cola Vase, as well as recent works in blue-and-white porcelain that depict the global refugee crisis. The exhibition also marks the international debut of a new large-scale LEGO series representing the Chinese zodiac.
The 2nd and 3rd floors of the Gardiner Museum were at capacity, and the exhibition entry was limited to ensure the safety of the artworks and the enjoyment of the exhibition. There is no timed entry. The organizers have stated that guests could encounter wait times during particularly busy periods.
About the Artist
Ai Weiwei (b. 1957, Beijing) is among the world’s most celebrated contemporary artists and one of China’s most formidable critics. His sculptures, photographs, installations, and public artworks often repurpose traditional Chinese forms and materials to address today’s most pressing social concerns. An outspoken human rights activist, Ai was arrested by Chinese authorities on April 3, 2011 and held incommunicado for eighty-one days. In July 2015 he was granted the return of his passport to travel abroad despite ongoing government surveillance. Throughout, Ai has continued to extend his practice across multiple disciplines, using exhibitions, documentary films, and social media to communicate with a global audience.
Ai Weiwei attended the Beijing Film Academy and the Parsons School of Design in New York. He has received the Chinese Contemporary Art Award (2008); an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Politics and Social Science, University of Ghent, Belgium (2010); the Skowhegan Medal (2011); and the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent from the Human Rights Foundation (2012).
We would like to thank Rachel Weiner, Senior Manager, Marketing-Gardiner Museum for the invitation to this event.