Exhibitions: Ai Weiwei: According to What?

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: One of the Souls of Buto

The bau of Buto were other-than-human powers believed to reside in that ancient and sacred northern Egyptian city; they were usually associa...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Bowl with Beveled Internal Rim

    These finely crafted objects demonstrate Egyptian mastery of stoneworking in the Early Dynastic Period. An artisan fitted the two parts of t...

     
    Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.

    close

    DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_001_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_002_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_003_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_004_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_005_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_006_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_007_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_008_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_009_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_010_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_011_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_012_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_013_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_014_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_015_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_016_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_017_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_018_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_019_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_020_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_021_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_022_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_023_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_024_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_025_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_026_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_027_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_028_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_029_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_030_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_031_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_033_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_034_PS9.jpg DIG_E_2014_Ai_Weiwei_According_to_What_032_PS9.jpg

    Ai Weiwei: According to What?

    Press Releases ?
    • January 1, 2014: Ai Weiwei: According to What?—the first North American survey of the work of the provocative Chinese conceptual artist, sculptor, photographer, filmmaker, and activist—will be presented at the Brooklyn Museum from April 18 to August 10, 2014. This will be the first large-scale museum exhibition of Ai’s work in New York and the final presentation on the exhibition’s tour. The Brooklyn Museum will include several major works not seen in previous venues.

      Included among the new material is S.A.C.R.E.D., making its first appearance in North America since it debuted to critical acclaim during the Venice Biennale in 2013. Ai created this monumental work in response to his 81-day imprisonment by Chinese authorities in 2011. Each of the six iron boxes that make up the piece contains lifelike fiberglass dioramas of detailed scenes painstakingly reproduced from memory. The work documents and reveals the most painful and intimate moments of Ai’s imprisonment, from periods of interrogation to such daily activities as eating, sleeping, showering, and using the toilet.

      The Brooklyn presentation will also feature a stunning site-specific installation of bicycles. This installation is part of a series of works by Ai using bicycles that is related to his childhood experience and to the bicycle’s relevance to the lives of most Chinese people.

      Also making its debut is an installation of photographs and the personal belongings of Ye Haiyan, a women’s rights activist who has been systematically targeted by authorities for her advocacy on behalf of female Chinese sex workers and evicted from her home numerous times. The exhibition will also premiere Stay Home!—Ai’s documentary about Liu Ximei, who contracted AIDS as a child after being given an HIV-contaminated blood transfusion at a Chinese hospital.

      The work of Ai Weiwei examines the interrelations between art, society, and individual experience while exploring universal topics such as culture, history, politics, and tradition. His practice is interdisciplinary and transcends artistic genres, providing insights into the cultural, historical, and social contexts from which it emerged. Many of Ai’s creations address issues of cultural identity, tradition, and craftsmanship, while others engage with more overtly political and social issues. According to What? will feature several large-scale installations, sculpture, photography, and video.

      Also included in the exhibition will be several works created as a direct response to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Straight (2008–12) consists of tons of twisted steel rebar—meticulously straightened as if nothing had happened—taken from shoddily constructed buildings, particularly schools, that collapsed during the quake. Snake Ceiling (2009), an installation comprised of hundreds of backpacks in varying sizes and colors to represent children of various ages, refers to the more than five thousand students who perished.

      Examples from the artist’s repurposed furniture series, in which he reassembles pieces of antique furniture to eliminate the furniture’s original function and give it new meaning, are representative of Ai’s strong interest in structure and craftsmanship. Among these is China Log (2005), which uses wood from demolished temples of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). This sculpture was assembled using traditional Chinese joinery techniques. When viewed in cross section, it reveals the shape of a map of China.

      The exhibition also features Ai’s famous Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (1995–2009), a series of three photographs showing the artist dropping and smashing an antique vase, as well as Colored Vases (2007–10), a grouping of Han Dynasty (206 B.C.E.–220 C.E.) vases that Ai has dipped in brightly colored paints.

      Ai Weiwei (Chinese, b. Beijing, 1957) is known for such major projects as Fairytale, for which he brought 1,001 Chinese citizens to Kassel, Germany, for Documenta 12 in 2007; his collaboration with architects Herzog and de Meuron on the Beijing National Stadium design for the 2008 Olympic Games; and his installation of one hundred million hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2010. His political activism has gained worldwide attention through his use of the Internet and social media as active platforms for his commentary and as art forms in their own right.

      Ai Weiwei was a member of China’s first group of avant-garde artists. He moved to the United States in 1981, living in various parts of the country before moving in 1983 to New York, where he resided for a brief time in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He returned to Beijing in 1993. While in New York, he was influenced by the artists Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, and Jasper Johns. The exhibition’s subtitle, According to What?, is derived from the name of a 1964 Johns painting that in turn recalls Duchamp’s last painting.

      The exhibition will be installed in 13,000 square feet of gallery space, including the fourth- and fifth-floor special exhibitions galleries in the Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, and the brick arcade that separates the Lobby from the Rubin Pavilion on the first floor.

      Ai Weiwei: According to What?
      is organized by the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. It is curated by Mami Kataoka, Mori Art Museum Chief Curator, and the Brooklyn presentation is organized by Sharon Matt Atkins, Managing Curator of Exhibitions, Brooklyn Museum.

      This exhibition in Brooklyn has been made possible by Lisson Gallery, Mary Boone Gallery, the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Galerie Urs Meile, and the Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Exhibition Fund. Additional support is provided by the American Chai Trust for education and public programs.

      A full-color catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Co-published by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Mori Museum, and Prestel, it includes essays by Mami Kataoka and art historian Charles Merewether, and a recent interview with the artist conducted by email by Kerry Brougher, Chief Curator, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

      Press Area of Website View Original

    advanced 107,147 records currently online.

    Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

    Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."


    Recently Tagged Exhibitions

    Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/www/default/views/opencollection/_tags_list.php on line 15

    Recent Comments

    "Hi Aimee, I think you mean Oreet Ashery? More information can be found in her profile on the Feminist Art Base: http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/feminist_art_base/gallery/oreet_ashery.php?i=266"
    By shelley

    "Hi, I am trying to find the name of the artist who took and is in the photograph that follows- http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/exhibitions/664/Global_Feminisms_Remix/image/216/Global_Feminisms_Remix._%7C08032007_-_03032008%7C._Installation_view. I believe the artist takes pictures of herself dressed as a man but then exposes her femaleness, as in the photo of her dressed as an Ascetic Jew exposing her breast. Can you help me find her information? Thanks in advance- Aimee Record"
    By Aimee Record

    "For more information on Louis Schanker and the New York Art Scene of the mid 1900's go to http://www.LouisSchanker.info "
    By Lou Siegel

    Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.


    The Brooklyn Museum Archives maintains a collection of historical press releases. Many of these have been scanned and made available on our Web site. The releases range from brief announcements to extensive articles; images of the original releases have been included for your reference. Please note that all the original typographical elements, including occasional errors, have been retained. Releases may also contain errors as a result of the scanning process. We welcome your feedback about corrections.
    For select exhibitions, we have made available some or all of the informative text panels written by the curator or organizer. Called "didactics," these panels are presented to the public during the exhibition's run, and we reproduce them here for your reference and archival interest. Please note that any illustrations on the original didactics have not been retained, and that the text may contain errors as a result of the scanning process. We welcome your feedback about corrections.
    For select exhibitions, we have made available some or all of the objects from the Brooklyn Museum collection that were in the installation. These objects are listed here for your reference and archival interest, but the list may be incomplete and does not contain objects owned by other institutions or lenders.
    This section utilizes the New York Times API in order to display related materials in New York Times publications.