자신의 정치적 작품에 반성하는 전시회 연 중국 예술가 VIDEO: 20 Years of Ai Weiwei’s Politically Charged Work on Display in New Exhibition


20 Years of Ai Weiwei’s Politically Charged Work on Display in New Exhibition

By Jessica Stewart on November 17, 2019

 

Renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei reflects on his work over the last two decades with his new exhibition titled Bare Life. For visitors, it’s an incredible opportunity to see the socially conscious and politically charged art that the artist, who is also a political prisoner and exile, has consistently created throughout his career. Within the walls of the Kemper Art Museum, many of his greatest installations are laid out thematically in a manner that causes new reflection on this work.


Ai Weiwei Bare Life Exhibit at the Kemper Art Museum


 

자신의 정치적 작품에 반성하는 전시회 연 중국 예술가


     중국의 저명한 예술가 아이 웨이웨이는 베어라이프라는 제목의 새 전시회를 통해 지난 20년 동안 그의 작품에 대해 반성하고 있다. 


방문객들에게, 그것은 또한 정치범이자 망명자인 예술가가 그의 경력 동안 일관되게 만들어 온 사회적 의식과 정치적 책임을 띤 예술을 볼 수 있는 믿을 수 없는 기회다. 켐퍼 미술관의 벽 안에, 그의 많은 위대한 설치물들이 이 작품에 대한 새로운 반성을 유발하는 방식으로 주제적으로 배치되어 있다.




예술가가 디자인한 전시배치는 작품을 두 개의 테마로 구분한다. 


첫 번째는 중국과 관련된 인권침해의 영향과 세계 난민사태를 다룬다. 두 번째는 아이 웨이웨이의 복잡한 관계를 다룬다. 그는 시청자들에게 시민으로서의 우리의 권리의 현재 상태와 우리가 그러한 권리를 박탈당했을 때 삶이 어떤지를 조사하도록 강요한다.


아이 웨이웨이의 신학교형 포에버 바이사이클스(Semical Forever Bicycles) 설치가 대각선 아치형으로 한 갤러리에 걸쳐 펼쳐져 있다. 720개의 스테인리스 스틸 자전거는 인간의 취약성을 말해주는 동시에 많은 사람들이 자전거로 여행을 하는 중국의 이동성에 대해서도 언급하고 있다. 몇 개의 벽은 예술가가 디자인한 벽지로 덮여 있는데, 고전적인 아이 웨이웨이 패션으로 소비자용 제품을 가져다가 강력한 게시판으로 변형시킨다. 여기서 그의 디자인은 분쟁과 전쟁으로부터 항구적인 난민 수용소에 이르기까지, 난민 여행의 어려움을 말해준다.


황기철 콘페이퍼 에디터 큐레이터

Ki Chul Hwang, conpaper editor, curator


edited by kcontents


The exhibition layout, which was designed by the artist, breaks the work into two thematic sections. The first deals with the effects of human rights violations in relation to China and the global refugee crisis. The second tackles Ai Weiwei’s complex relationship with China’s more recent history. He forces viewers to examine the current state of our rights as citizens and what life is like when we are deprived of those rights.






As a centerpiece, Ai Weiwei’s seminal Forever Bicycles installation stretches across one gallery in a diagonal arch. The 720 stainless steel bikes speak to human vulnerability while also touching on the idea of mobility in China, where many travel by bicycle. Several walls are also covered in artist-designed wallpaper that, in classic Ai Weiwei fashion, takes a consumerist product and transforms it into a powerful messageboard. Here, his designs speak to the hardships of a refugee’s journey, from escaping conflict and war to enduring refugee camps.


With more than 35 works on display, Bare Life is essential viewing for any contemporary art lover and anyone who is inspired by Ai Weiwei’s quest to spotlight these difficult issues.


“We live in tumultuous times. Not a day goes by without reports of conflict, famine, and environmental destruction driving people from their homelands, of refugees and their struggles, of borders and walls intended to keep us apart from each other, of democracies in crisis, and more. Under these conditions we ask ourselves daily what creative practices mean today,” writes Carmon Colangelo, Ralph J. Nagel Dean and E. Desmond Lee Professor for Collaboration in the Arts at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. “The artist’s aesthetic response to the troubles of our time is a motivation for all those working to advance the social relevance of art.”




With his work, Ai Weiwei continues to push forward the discourse on important topics that affect people around the globe. For him, it’s a natural choice, as he shares that “we must understand that individual efforts and activism are never just about ourselves: we are units of existence for everyone.”


Ai Weiwei: Bare Life is on view at the Kemper Art Museum at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis until January 5, 2020.


Bare Life puts over 35 works by Ai Weiwei on display in a look at 20 years of politically charged art.








Kemper Art Museum: Website | Facebook | Instagram

All images via Joshua White. My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Kemper Art Museum

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