Dropping A Han Dynasty Urn // Ai Wei Wei

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Ai Wei Wei as a student in New York, posing as a street portrait artist.

 
 

 
 

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With Allen Ginsberg in New York.

 
 

 
 

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After the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and the discovery of corruption that left thousands of children to die in poorly-built schools, Ai Wei Wei produced a series of works that exposed the “true plight of our spiritual existence”.

This piece, from an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, is composed of metal rods used to reinforce concrete, pulled from collapsed structures. The devastation twisted each bar horribly. Each bend was meticulously undone by one of Ai Wei Wei’s many assistants, thousands of hours dedicated to restoring what had been distorted.
 
 

 
 
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