Ai Weiwei 艾未未

In September 2015, the Royal Academy of Arts will present a landmark exhibition of the Honorary Royal Academician, Ai Weiwei. Although Ai is one of China’s leading contemporary artists, his work has not been seen extensively in Britain and the Royal Academy will present the first major institutional survey of his artistic output. The exhibition will include significant works from 1993 onwards, the date that marks Ai Weiwei’s return to China following more than a decade living in New York. Ai Weiwei will create new, site-specific installations and interventions throughout the Royal Academy’s spaces.

On his return to China in 1993, Ai began to work in a direction that was both embedded in Chinese culture and reflected the exposure he had had to Western art during his twelve-year sojourn in the US. Citing Duchamp as ‘the most, if not the only, influential figure’ in his art practice, Ai continues to engage with creative tensions between complex art histories, conceiving works with multiple readings in the process. To this end he employs traditional materials and interventions with historic objects throughout his work from Neolithic vases (5000-3000 BCE) to Qing dynasty (1644-1911) architectural components and furniture. By creating new objects from old, Ai challenges conventions of value and authenticity in modern-day China.

Ai works in a variety of different contexts, scales and media. He transforms materials to convey his ideas, whether in wood, porcelain, marble or jade, testing the skills of the craftsmen working to his brief in the process. Some pieces take months to create and pass through lengthy periods of experimentation, pushing the boundaries of the formal qualities of a material. Sculptures such as Surveillance Camera, 2010 and Video Camera, 2010, both masterpieces in craftsmanship, monumentalise the technology used to monitor, simultaneously rendering it useless and absurd. A new artwork, Remains, 2015, will also be included in the exhibition.



艾未未的藝術創作採用各種不同的媒介,尺度大小不一,關注的語境也不盡相同。他通過不同材料之間的轉換來表達自己的觀念,無論是木材、陶瓷、大理石還是玉石,利用工匠們的技藝來完成他的意圖,很多作品需要幾個月的時間才能完工,要經過很長時間的實驗和打磨來呈現材質的最佳狀態。雕塑作品《監控攝像頭(Surveillance Camera, 2010)》和《攝像機(Video Camera, 2010)》都展示了高超的製作工藝,而其立意卻是表達將科技用於監控的無用和荒謬。


Tips 小貼士

展覽場地:Royal Academy of Arts 皇家美術學會

展覽時間:19.9.2015 – 13.12.2015



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