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Ai Weiwei at the Hirsshorn

Ai Weiwei is a contemporary Chinese artist who uses sculpture, photography and drawing usually to depict political statements and messages. He became popular during the 90s when he first started defacing Chinese artifacts to create his pieces. His art pieces had caused such waves in China that he was actually sent to prison for a short period of time.

During November of last year, I had visited the Ai Weiwei exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum in DC. Each piece spoke strongly individually, but when the pieces were viewed as a unit, flowed cohesively.

chair 1

The stool sculpture is an example of Weiwei defacing Chinese artifacts. The stools originated from kingdoms of Chinese dynasties.

security camera

I believe this security camera sculpture, made out of marble, was used to represent his nervous time period where the Chinese government wanted to track his where abouts, due to the very loud political statements that he was making.


This is probably the most popular: the Cube Light.It is a giant chandelier in the shape of cube fully dressed in crystals. Light shines from within and creates a vibrant orange glowing light. I’m not sure how this speaks towards political debate, but it sure is grandiose in scale, conveying rebellion to more traditional art forms.