Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ai Weiwei at the Chamber Fine Arts


            Ai Weiwei’s recent show presents Rebar Casket and Marble Rebar(2014), Tofu(2012), and so forth. This exhibition recollects the disaster of the 8.0 magnitude earthquake in Sichuan province, China on May 12, 2008. Even though these works are made recently, they bring up a topic of the Sichuan disaster six years ago by asking a question: what changes occurred between 2008 and 2014?
            A series of Rebar Casket and Marble Rebar(2014) is an extraordinary tomb for marble rebar pieces, which are laid on the geometrical caskets. Rebar pieces are created through a full-scale replica. They replicate the steel skeleton from the collapsed Sichuan schools. The forms of rebar show tense moments of a catastrophe vividly. Otherwise, Tofu(2012) is formed as gigantic porcelain with wrinkled texture on the outside.
             His abstract sculpture reflects the political and social issues from Sichuan province. Especially, these works symbolize corruption and shoddy construction behind school collapses in China earthquake. As the Sichuan schools corruption scandal, a series of allegations of corruption against officials in the construction of Sichuan schools, the proverb of  “tofu-dreg schoolhouses” emerged in the Chinese public on the online. Its satirical outspoken criticism against the government shows a change of democratic awareness.
            Ai Weiwei criticizes veiling truths from his country through his artworks that he disclosed the contradictions in his society. His objective presentation toward the reality from the dark side of his country makes viewers read his cynical subjectivity.


  1. There are many grammatical errors in this, especially in the introductory paragraph. This makes it difficult to navigate the review and to really understand what it is you are trying to say about the show. It would be nice if there was clarity in the description of the work, as it is it is quite confusing- I can't tell if you like it, don't like it, are moved by the work.

  2. I agree with Scotlan. Pratt has a writing center, and they can support you in your writing process.

    For me, a series of Rebar casket and marble Rebar was very impressive. As you mentioned, The artist made casket-shaped installations using broken rebars from a collapsed school building in Sichuan, where 8.0 magnitude earthquakes hit in 2008. It is a thought-provoking abstract work, and the messages from the work are very powerful. Beyond the art and beauty, I think his abstract sculptures reflect political and social issues of contemporary society, and watching and accepting his artworks might be one way of grieving and remembering the accident, and learning from it.