The Ai-Wei Wei exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum was thought-provoking and raised many issues about Chinese policies towards its own people. Many photographs of the artist revealed his early years living in New York
and his father’s background as a poet and artist. AWW is still very much from the genre of crude and glaringly graphic artists who emerged after the fall of the Gang of Four–use of nudity and human existence ( did I really need to see video clips of his barfing?) leave you nowhere to avoid his messages.
At the same time the use of everyday materials is clever and resourceful and often beautiful. For example, a traditional piece of furniture is cut to create a new appreciation of the craftsmanship and design of a familiar object (photo 3).
Photos, from top:
1. Common kitchen stools
2. Backpacks sewn together representing those from student killed in schoolhouse in Szechuan. Apparently there was no accounting of construction methods or whether rebars were installed in original building.
3. Traditional Chinese furniture put in a different dimension and respective.