The Chinese cultural arbiter, and conceptual artist, Ai Weiwei goes into the theme of social changes and the myopia of the Chinese culture once again at his new show at Lisson Gallery.
Forever is a monumental installation of bicycles which is composed of ready made objects. Bicycles have been the most popular way of transportation in China in the past decades and now they are currently being replaced by cars. Here comes again the first criticism he makes on the current Chinese consumerism.
Forever is a clear reference to the luxurious brand of bicycles that have been mass-manufactured in Shanghai since 1940, according to the artist, they are an important symbol of his childhood and of the Chinese popular culture and it seems like he doesn’t want to lose them.
Again he goes into the topic of Individuality and collectiveness, which is central in his work and he cannot hold himself back from giving us references of his 81 days secret detention, which due to the great success of his blog it’s still under reflectors.Finally he seems to care about those bicycles because they can be seen as a way to escape from somewhere, like China for example.
Ai Weiwei, Forever, 2013. Stainless steel, 574.6 x 592.2 cm
Ai Weiwei, Forever, 2013. Stainless steel, 3 pairs 6 layers, 313.3 x 180.5 x 282.8 cm
Ai Weiwei, Jade Handcuffs (9 serrates), 2012. 30 x 8.5 x 2 cm
Courtesy of Lisson Gallery
Ai Weiwei, Hanger, 2013. Stainless steel, Set of 6, 48 x 22 x 0.9 cm each
by Fausta Maria Bolettieri
All images courtesy of the Lisson Gallery