Ai Weiwei, a Chinese contemporary artist, born in Beijing, China is active in sculpture, installation, architecture, photography, film but also in social, political and cultural criticism. He collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics.
Inspiration in metal
Ai Weiwei created a massive metal bird wing. He wanted to represent freedom but the installation is immobilized like a trapped animal inside one of America’s most notorious prisons – Alcatraz. It can be only seen from above. Visitors are placed as an authority but they still don’t have full access to the installation.
It weights more than five tons and the whole sculpture is earthbound. The wings are made from reflective solar cookers and kettles used in Tibet. His artwork is kind of a word play, merging together the material quality – metal and concept of freedom.
Inspiration in bicycles
Cycling is one of the most common forms of transportation in China. However, Ai Weiwei removed their primary function and made the static. There isn’t anymore freedom associated with cycling and bicycles are piled together forming a labyrinth that keeps them immobile and useless. The visitor can stand below the installation and observe details from new angle and gain a new perspective on the bicycles.
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Silvia M.//SMC Editor
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Credits and pictures : wikipedia.com, inhabitat.com, aiweiwei.com, googleimages