Sunday, October 27, 2013

Moon Chest

My favourite piece at the Ai Wei Wei exhibit at the AGO was the Moon Chest. Beautifully crafted, the columns of quince wood perfectly aligned to wander between and gaze into and through. And by wandering, you create a new dimension. Shadows and light playing to create the phases of the moon... it was kinetic sculpture, my body in conscious orbit.

In another installation, I wandered past blocks of houses and wondered what they were made of, the medium looked so familiar... Upon closer inspection... tea. The whole idea of tea houses, and playing with the customs and ideas of tea. In fact, this was Pu-erh tea, one of the most expensive grades of Chinese tea. By locking it into this form, undrinkable. When it is undrinkable, is it still tea, or does it become something else?

There was also the snake, hanging from the ceiling. The very first time I saw this, I thought it was a playful image, something to delight a child. Looking closer, it becomes 800 backpacks strung together, representing 800 of the children who lost their lives in the Szechuan quake. The documentary, Never Sorry, chronicles in detail Ai's social activism and efforts to have the Chinese government acknowledge the children's names and identities.

Challenging perspective. Provoking revelations.

I always want to design a frame that's open to everyone.I don't see art as a secret code.
- October 26, Ai Wei Wei on Twitter

Ai Wei Wei website
Ai Wei Wei Twitter

1 comment:

The Clever Pup said...

I found the show a bit of a waste of time. Maybe I need to open my mind. I do like the zodiac heads and Nathan Philip's.