Ai Weiwei


January 27, 2016By Heidi EllisonArchive
ParisUpdate-Expo-Ai Weiwei-Bon Marché
“Tianwu” by Ai Weiwei. © Gabriel de la Chapelle.jpg.

Ai Weiwei, the superstar Chinese artist and courageous activist, left China and moved to Berlin following the return last year of his passport, taken from him when he was jailed by the Chinese authorities for three months in 2011. His newfound freedom of movement seems to have lightened his spirit, judging by an exhibition called “Er Xi” (“Child’s Play”) at Paris’s oldest department store, Le Bon Marché. In most of the artist’s conceptual work, beauty takes a backseat to a political message, so the splendor of these enchanting figures floating like clouds in the the store’s atrium come as a surprise. Made of bamboo and white silk using kite-making techniques, these creatures and chimeras represent two dozen characters from the ancient collection of children’s tales, Shan Hai Jing (The Classic of Mountains and Seas). The exhibition continues in the store’s display windows and gallery. Through Feb. 20.


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