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Ai Weiwei Exhibition “Absent” with 21 works and 1000 bicycles

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In the past we have already written about this famous controvert, contemporary, conceptual artist & activist from China, Ai Weiwei (two blog posts, China censors Ai Weiwei, and Ai Weiwei does Barcelona in a pool full of milk). We are happy to announce Ai Weiwei exhibition opening in Taipei’s Fine Arts Museum on Saturday, October 29, 2011, featuring a new masterpiece, called Forever Bicycles.

Outspoken Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, currently confined to Beijing, is opening an art exhibit in Taiwan that focuses on the political significance of his inability to attend. The “Ai Weiwei Absent” solo exhibition, curated by Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) displays a total of 21 (sets) works by the artist from 1983 to the present. These include 100 photographic works from the 1983-1993 New York East Village Period and 1993-2001 Beijing East Village Period and Ai’s most recent work, created specifically for TFAM, “Forever Bicycles.”

This installation piece is made up of more than 1,000 bicycles and will be shown in a display area that is 10m high. Its layered labyrinthine space creates what appears to be a moving abstract shape that symbolizes the way in which the social environment in China is changing. This is also the most bicycles Ai Weiwei has ever used in a single work and is certain to become a focus of attention during the exhibition.

Also on display will be “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads,” huge bronze animal heads infused with historical dispute and sentiment. These large shapes are imbued with such a sense of both texture and volume that they have an immediate impact on the viewer and are certain to generate much discussion in the art community.

The whole exhibition is titled “Absent” and Ai says his personal absence from the museum will give the exhibit special meaning. As he says for the topic and for the exhibit, the absence “is a part of my art, my portfolio and my cultural state.”

The exhibition runs from October 29, 2011 to January 29, 2012.

The British magazine Art Review recently named Ai Weiwei as the most powerful artist of 2011.

Photo credit: Pichi Chuang/Reuters


  1. What a great post! Love the way you explain every detail… Thanks for sharing!

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  1. By Ai Weiwei and his 3,144 Bicycles Installation in Toronto - LA76 Blog October 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm

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