Ai WeiWei. According to What?
+ CD Rom
Kataoka Mami, Charles Merewether, Matsubara Hironori
The Mori Art Museum presents “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” from Saturday, 25 July to Sunday, 8 November 2009. Ai Weiwei is a Chinese artist whose activities cover a wide range of genres, from art and architecture to design and publishing. His international reputation was cemented by a series of highly acclaimed projects over the last few years, including Fairytale, his contribution to Documenta 12 in 2007 for which he brought 1,001 Chinese people to Europe, as well as his collaboration with architects Herzog & de Meuron on the “Bird’s Nest” Olympic Stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Up until now, Ai’s work has been focused on the connections between art, culture, and society, and on the role of the individual within society. In recent years, he has moved away from the architectural projects that had been a major part of his practice since 1999 and adopted looser parameters that allow him to explore more freely such timeless themes as culture, history, politics and tradition.
This exhibition will show 26 works made since 1990s including six new works, making it one of the largest solo shows for the artist ever held. The subtitle, “According to What?” comes from a painting by Jasper Johns, the artist whose work was the catalyst for Ai’s entry into the contemporary art world. It hints at one of the exhibition’s goals: to explore the connections between Ai’s work and its artistic, cultural and historical backgrounds. The exhibits are varied, ranging from sculptures to photographs, video and site specific installations. They are organized into three sections: “Fundamental Forms and Volumes,” “Structure and Craftsmanship” and “Reforming and Inheriting Tradition.” In this way, the fundamental approach and motivations that unite Ai’s myriad creative activities are brought into relief.