The main work, over six thousand simple Chinese stools, filled the floor of the main hall of Martin-Gropius-Bau. The stools, many made and used already during the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1912) dynasties, carry the marks of sometimes hundreds yours of life.
I’m thinking: the Chinese people, individuals, were and are sitting on the stools, in the morning, during the day, evenings and over the night. They are at home. They sit on the street side. They are in a factory making toys for export. But we, the well-doing citizen of the world – in China, in Europe, where ever – do not see them. We are walking over them. We are ignoring them. We do not care. The mass of antique stools reflect today’s world.
This is a capture of the tv screen showing Ai Weiwei’s video “Dumbass”. See the video here. It shows, how surreal 81 day long capture in 2011 due to “economic crimes” was. Worth to see!
This is the head of the tiger from “Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads”, gold plated bronze work. The zodiac heads were originally designed by two European Jesuits serving in the court of the Qing dynasty during 18th century, and was sited in the European-style gardens of the Old Summer Palace (Yuanming Yuan). See video about this work.
“Study of Perspective” stopped seeing the well-known landmarks in a new light. Also Helsinki Cathedral and the ferry to Sweden got their pictures. The sign on the wall described the 40 or so photographs:
On 2008 a massive earthquake hit Sichuan, 70,000 people were dead and left close to 5 million people homeless. Over 7000 schools were destroyed due to poor quality. Children were buried under the collapsed buildings. Ai Weiwei and his team collected 200 tons of steel rebar from the disaster area and created several works of art of that material, including marble replicates of the twisted rebars. See the video.
The exhibition catalogue of “Evidence” is here, giving more insight about the works.