Tuesday, October 29, 2013

ai weiwei | art gallery of ontario

This past September I attended the hipster playground of Nuite Blanche. Each year I go back and forth on whether or not I should go (usually depends on the weather). This year it was a warm evening so I thought, what the heck, let's see some art! To my surprise, there was an incredible bike installation at City Hall which was made up of 3,144 interconnected bikes designed by Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei. After getting an intense taste of what I saw at Nuit Blanche, I knew I had to see his exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)!

From October 17 - 27, there was a special exhibit at the AGO for Ai Weiwei which was a complete hit! My dad and I went to it and spent nearly an hour examining each installation and piece of art he created. Through Ai Weiwei's art, he expresses the value of individual lives and voices of people. His political activism and controversial artworks have led to his arrest and confiscation of his passport years ago. He still hasn't been able to leave the country.

Below you can see my dad and I pretending to be inside the Divina Proportione woodworks. Ai made these without nails or screws, using woodworking techniques!

The Teahouses were completely made from tea grown and harvested in southwest China. You could really smell them! It was tempting to get in real close for an intense sniff.

This was really tricky to figure out. Ai built boxes from huali (precious and highly desirable wood from the Chinese quince tree) and cut out four circular openings into each box. The openings align so that they show every phase of the moon to visitors who walk through the installation. 

Ai gathered every piece of mangled rebar and straightened them from each fallen schoolhouse in China from an earthquake. This is a representation of his anger over the government's desire to more forward as if nothing happened.

When Ai Wei Wei visited the earthquake sites of a collapsed schoolhouses in 2008 in China, he was shaken by the "tofu" construction. He gathered a list of more than 5,000 children that died, and recorded their number, name, gender, date of birth, age, school, class and home address. 

Guess who RT one of my tweets . . . Ai Weiwei!

My brother and father ladies and gentlemen . . . 

After the exhibit, we went for some sushi - perfect ending to an awesome evening! 

xo sara

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xo sara