As you would expect, it was political, very.
It was also and a very, no massively wide range of mixed media.
It was a good show, though the AGO annoyed me in two ways. First, they kept saying that Ai Wei Wei constructed the pieces, that he did the joinery work, that he put the bicycles together. Ai Wei Wei is many things, but he does not, can not and does not have to to do all of the detailed work on all of the pieces he produces. The sunflower seeds for example were made by a huge number of people.
This doesn't detract from his work, but the way it was written up not only gives a false impression but fails to describe his process, which often involves hiring many people to engage in disappearing traditional art forms.
The thing about his work is that much of it references Chinese culture, or language or plays on words, which many/most viewers are not going to be able to understand, so providing some background information is useful. Telling me what to think is, however, deeply obnoxious. Who WROTE those things????
I stopped reading the second half of all the notes. Should have taken a picture to give you an example. Dreadful.
OK, on to my day....
Walking up the AGO, I looked down at the new building for the College of Art with the CN tower in the background.....
The facade of the AGO itself......
Inside the AGO....
And the first piece of his work....this snake made of knapsacks. He has many many pieces of work about an earthquake that happened in China in which all (?) the schools in a town collapsed and thousands of children died. The buildings collapsed because they were incredibly badly built, largely as a result of corruption. Also the gov't was unwilling to say who died nor how many died. Ai Wei Wei has also worked hard to find out the names of all who have died and one of the pieces in the show was a voice intoning the names of the dead children, that they could find out about. There was a gigantic list that covered an entire wall.
Houses made of compressed tea. Smelled amazing, and I am sure the multiple meanings of this are extensive. Smelled amazing. Did I already say that?
Stools as mentioned above.
This is made from wood rescued fro Qin dynesty temples, a lot of the work here was from this wood.
This was made from gigantic cabinets and is the phases of the moon. Very cool.
Made from rebar taken from the area of the quake, manually straightened and made into an installation
On the walk home I got thirsty and stepped into a Korean place where I had a carbonated milk and yogurt drink. Much better than it sounds, it was mostly carbonated water, sugar, a bit of milk and 'yogurt flavour'. Hmmmmm.
Walking home I passed through the University, frosh week was in full swing
Saw this guy doing graffiti