Ai Weiwei

Yokohama Triennale 2017 - Islands, Constellations & Galapagos (group show)
Various venues, Yokohama
4 August - 5 November 2017

While the world today is expanding beyond traditional frameworks, and various kinds of networks are growing, it is being shaken to its foundations by challenges such as conflict, refugees and immigration, and the emergence of protectionism, xenophobia, and populism. At the same time, the world is awash in data far exceeding the processing capacity of human beings, and in an increasingly complex and sophisticated environment where communication tools such as social media are developing rapidly, people appear to be banding together into small, disparate groups of “island universe” and communities. Also, there is increasingly assertive activity by a wide range of small-scale organizations that challenge the dictates of superpowers and centralized political systems.

Against this backdrop of widespread disruption of conventional social frameworks and values, Yokohama Triennale 2017 embarks on a multi-faceted examination, through art, of the themes of connectivity and isolation, under the title “Islands, Constellations & Galapagos.” We will contemplate the world in which conflicting concepts and phenomena are intricately intertwined and constantly in flux, the nature of identity and diversity, and how the courage, imagination and creativity of human beings can be used to derive a new vision and ground design for the future when our future remains uncertain. At the main venues ‒ Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse No. 1, and Yokohama Port Opening Memorial Hall ‒ works in diverse media by approximately 40 artists or groups from Japan and the world will be exhibited. It will resemble an aggregation of small solo exhibitions by a smaller-than-usual number of carefully selected artists, with many of them showing multiple works. This is intended to give the viewers a deeper understanding of individual artists’ creative worlds, and at the same time, to embody the image of these worlds gradually connecting like stars or islands forming constellations and archipelagoes.

Participants include artists who consistently address issues with their own unique methods, and carry out activities that transcend existing frameworks and concepts, as well as collaborations among artists and projects that address pressing social issues from an artistic point of view. The themes dealt in their works are broad: some refer to the individual and society, the self and other, and states and national borders, and others question different historical views, human activities, and civilizations as well as specifically Japanese issues of isolation. Encountering with works on various themes will enable viewers to develop their thinking about the cycles of history, the continental world and the island world, and alternative ways of dealing with various issues.

In the planning and conceptualizing stages, the Triennale has deepened the concept from various angles through a Conception Meeting that includes experts from different fields. Also, we are organizing the “Yokohama Round,” a series of dialogues also featuring experts from various fields, as a platform for discussions and sharing/co-existence in exploring ideas through both visual examination and dialogue. In addition, we will collaborate with the local educational institutions such as the Yokohama Graduate School of Architecture (Y-GSA) of Yokohama National University and highlight historical sites in the city, seeking to approach the historical background of the opening of the port and the nation as a whole from multifaceted and locally grounded perspectives.

Yokohama Triennale 2017


Ai Weiwei

Zum Anbeißen: Früchte in der Kunst - Aus der Sammlung Rainer Wild (group show)
Museum der Brotkultur, Ulm
8 February - 20 May 2018

Ai Weiwei

Why are you creative? (group show)
Museum für Kommunikation, Berlin
2 February – 8 April 2018

Ai Weiwei

The New York Times - Art Leaders Network (conference)
25-26 April 2018

A Summit for Innovators and Experts

This April 25-26 in Berlin, The New York Times brings together a select group of the world’s most distinguished art experts and influencers - from dealers and gallery owners to museum directors and curators to auction executives and collectors.

The economics and dynamics of the art market are changing faster than ever before; driven by new buying habits, an increasingly global clientele, and ever-higher pricing led by shifts in supply and demand. Devised specifically with art and cultural leaders at its core, the Art Leaders Network program will define and assess the most pressing challenges and opportunities in the industry today.

Through provocative interviews and riveting discussions, senior New York Times journalists will explore myriad topics, from the impact of economic events on the arts to the outlook for galleries in the age of the mega dealer, as well as the future of museums to the undiminished fascination with contemporary art.

This invitation-only gathering will take place in Berlin, a city whose story of renaissance and reinvention mirrors the essence of this groundbreaking event.

The New York Times - Art Leaders Network

Ai Weiwei, Rineke Dijkstra, Thomas Struth et al.

Stage of Being (group show)
Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar
9 December 2017 - 13 May 2018

Who are we? Where do we come from? What are we doing here? Where are we going?

We live in a world of progress: we know more and are capable of more, we live longer than ever before; maybe one day we will even achieve immortality. At the same time, we humans struggle with feelings of emptiness, loneliness and fear. Once, religion and ideology provided guidance and assuaged our doubts. Nowadays, we rely on self-help books, doctors, philosophers and coaches – but above all, on ourselves.

Artists in particular dare to face down the fundamental questions of existence. In fact: the very essence of art might be found in diffusing that existential, human fear. Art can hold up a mirror to mankind. This mirror is sometimes quite direct, raw and confrontational. And sometimes indirect, enshrouded in layers of meaning.

Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar

Ai Weiwei

Dangerous Art (group show)
Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa
11 November 2017 - 27 May 2018

Political changes in the Western world drove many democratic countries to a constant "state of emergency", which lead to an erosion of citizens' and institutions' rights. The new cluster of exhibitions revolves around artists' response to limitations placed on civil freedom, in Israel and worldwide. The various exhibitions relate to social issues such as the right of protest, women rights, rights of the LGBTQIA community, and the rights of refugees. Many artist use artistic activism as a strategy, and raise the question whether contemporary art has the power to function as an arena of political protest. This in contrast to the common view, according to which the revolutionary spirit is over and every form of criticism domed to undergo castrating censorship.

Today's art world, in Israel and worldwide, evinces an increased interest in the intersection of art and social activism. Known as artivism, this new form of expression aspires to blend art and activism in equal degree. Contemporary art criticism emphasizes the power of art to function as an arena for political protest. Artistic activism, a new phenomenon that has become a staple of our time, is different from the type of critical art that dominated modernist discourse in the 20th century.

Since the beginning of Modernism, artists have endeavored to tackle taboos in radical and groundbreaking ways. Avant-garde art set its sights on "the system": the form of government, the social structure, the distribution of capital, and issues of policing and control. High hopes were hung on the movement's potential to instigate revolution. The current cluster of exhibitions aspires to illustrate subversive artistic practices in a post-revolutionary time, devoid of any possibility for artistic-political protest. In our days, when every form of criticism is immediately negated and appropriated by capitalism, has art lost its power to critique? Or does art, more than ever, find itself in a position to challenge and threaten the political order?

Mostly, the works displayed in this cluster of exhibitions were meant not only to represent the struggle of the oppressed, but also to create a space for activist intervention. The works relate to social spaces in which neoliberalism takes great pride in extending the rights granted to various communities, such as women's rights, LGBTQIA rights, refugee rights, or the rights to protest and self-defense. However, the tolerance attributed to the spirit of liberalism is often of a cynical nature, used as a fig leaf to cover up the exacerbation of social inequality and denial of human rights. The artists featured in this cluster of exhibitions seek to liberate themselves of the ideological stronghold of the political hegemony and expose the unjust antagonism and violence it propagates. In this way, contemporary artists are able to take an active part in redefining the contemporary political discourse.

Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa

Ai Weiwei

ISelf Collection: The Upset Bucket (group show)
Whitechapel Gallery, London
5 December 2017 - 1 April 2018

This display of works by 28 major artists examines how we project our identity through our appearances and consumer choices, ultimately shaping our sense of self in relation to society.

Whitechapel Gallery, London

Ai Weiwei

Inoculation (solo show)
Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires
25 November 2017 - 25 February 2018

Ai Weiwei, Surveillance Camera with Plinth, 2015 © Ai Weiwei Studio
Ai Weiwei, Surveillance Camera with Plinth, 2015 © Ai Weiwei Studio

Ai Weiwei, activist and one of the most outstanding artists, today inaugurates in Proa Foundation an anthological exhibition with the most representative of his works. A tour of pieces that evoke political persecution - constant in his life and work; allegations of violations of human rights; migrations and refugees, among other issues that motivate the historical review and contemporary debate.

Objects, Installations, works in paper, Wallpapers, videos, and its cinematographic production, next to an active program of parallel activities, will construct the universe Ai Weiwei, one of the most representative of the present time.

Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires

Ai Weiwei

Age of Terror: Art Since 9/11 (group show)
Imperial War Museum, London
26 October 2017 - 28 May 2018

Ai Weiwei, Surveillance Camera with Marble Stand, 2015. Courtesy the artist and Imperial War Museum, London
Ai Weiwei, Surveillance Camera with Marble Stand, 2015. Courtesy the artist and Imperial War Museum, London

See the UK’s first major exhibition of artists’ responses to war and conflict since the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001. Age of Terror: Art Since 9/11 will feature more than 40 British and international artists, including Ai Weiwei, Grayson Perry, Gerhard Richter, Jenny Holzer, Mona Hatoum, Alfredo Jaar, Coco Fusco and Jake & Dinos Chapman.

The complex issues surrounding the global response to 9/11, the nature of modern warfare and the continuing state of emergency in which we find ourselves have become compelling subject matter for contemporary artists.

Artists’ unique ways of communicating through their art provide different levels of understanding. The stories they tell, whether first or second-hand, come from alternative viewpoints not always reflected in the mainstream media, often challenge our perceptions.

Through 50 works of art including film, sculpture, painting, installations, photography and prints, many of which will be exhibited publicly in the UK for the first time, this exhibition highlights the crucial role of artists in representing contemporary conflict.

The exhibition will be presented through four key themes: artists’ direct or immediate responses to the events of 9/11; issues of state surveillance and security; our complex relationship with firearms, bombs and drones and the destruction caused by conflict on landscape, architecture and people.

Imperial War Museum, London

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei (solo show)
Various locations, The Contemporary Austin, Austin
3 June 2017 - ongoing

Ai Weiwei, installation view, 2017. Courtesy the artist and the Contemporary Austin.
Ai Weiwei, installation view, 2017. Courtesy the artist and the Contemporary Austin.

The Contemporary Austin and Waller Creek Conservancy announce an upcoming two-part outdoor exhibition of large-scale installations by Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei, to go on view to the public beginning June 3, 2017, as part of The Contemporary Austin’s partnership with Waller Creek Conservancy and its Museum Without Walls program. The project is made possible by the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation and represents the second collaboration between The Contemporary Austin and Waller Creek Conservancy.

The works include the striking installation Forever Bicycles, 2014, installed by The Contemporary Austin at the Waller Delta (74 Trinity Street, Austin, Texas), and Iron Tree Trunk, 2015, on view at The Contemporary Austin’s Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria (3809 West 35th Street, Austin, Texas). The public opening for both works by Ai Weiwei will be celebrated with free family-friendly art activities and refreshments on Saturday, June 3 from 10 a.m. to noon at the sculpture Forever Bicycles at the Waller Delta. Both works will remain on view as long-term loans.

The Contemporary Austin, Austin

Ai Weiwei

21st Biennale of Sydney (group show)
Various locations, Sydney
16 March - 11 June 2018

“The curatorial premise of the 21st Biennale of Sydney is an exhibition that will explore multiple viewpoints in search of a state of equilibrium. With a holistic view, the Biennale will also seek in-depth engagement with individuals and communities while exploring a range of perspectives and meanings of abstractions.

“The exhibition will be a journey; a walk through microcosms of the world today based on the stratum of history, human knowledge, emotions, desires and beliefs, as well as the mysteries of natural phenomena and the whole of the universe.”

21st Biennale of Sydney

Ai Weiwei

Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads (solo show)
Bayfront Gardens, The Ringling, Sarasota, FL
9 June 2017 - 1 June 2018

Ai Weiwei, Zodiac Heads, Installation view in New York, 2011
Ai Weiwei, Zodiac Heads, Installation view in New York, 2011

The Ringling is pleased to announce the presentation of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s 12 monumental bronze sculptures, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads.  A sculptor, photographer, installation artist, architect, and social activist, Ai is one of the most renowned artists working today.

Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads was inspired by the fabled fountain-clock of the Yuanming Yuan, an 18th-century imperial retreat just outside Beijing. Designed in the 18th century by two European Jesuits at the behest of the Manchu Emperor Qianlong, the fountain-clock featured the animals of the Chinese zodiac, each spouting water at two hour intervals. In 1860, the Yuanming Yuan was ransacked by French and British troops, and the heads were pillaged.

Seven out of the 12 animal heads in Ai’s piece are based on the original fountain works that have been discovered—rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, horse, monkey, and boar. The remaining five are the artist’s reimagining of the currently missing artifacts—dragon, snake, goat, rooster, and dog. The dual title of the work addresses the artist’s desire that the piece be relatable on many different levels and to people who may not know the original sculpture’s history.

In re-interpreting these objects on an oversized scale, Ai Weiwei focuses attention on questions of looting and repatriation, while extending his ongoing exploration of the 'fake' and the copy in relation to the original. He states that each piece is “a copy of an original, but not an exact copy—something that has its own sensitive layer of languages, which are different, and that bears the mark of our time.”

The 12 bronze Zodiac Heads stand on bronze columns. Each animal head measures approximately 4 feet high and 3 feet wide. The animal heads on their columns reach between 9.8 and 12 feet high, with each one weighing approximately 800 lbs. This group of works, (including a smaller copy in gold) has been exhibited worldwide since the official launch of the Zodiac Heads in 2011, making it one of the most viewed sculpture projects in the history of contemporary art.

The Ringling, Sarasota

Ai Weiwei

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors (solo show)
Public Art Fund, Various locations, New York
12 October 2017 - 11 February 2018

Ai Weiwei Arch, 2017. Photo: Jason Wyche. Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio/ Frahm & Frahm and Public Art Fund, New York
Ai Weiwei Arch, 2017. Photo: Jason Wyche. Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio/ Frahm & Frahm and Public Art Fund, New York

This October, as a highlight of its 40th anniversary in 2017, Public Art Fund presents Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, a timely new exhibition across multiple boroughs by world-renowned artist Ai Weiwei. Inspired by the international migration crisis and tense sociopolitical battles surrounding the issue in the United States and worldwide, the artist has conceived of this ambitious, multi-site project as a way of transforming the metal wire security fence into a powerful artistic symbol. By installing fences in varying, site-specific forms at locations across the city – including sites like the New York City Economic Development Corporation-managed Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art on Astor Place, JCDecaux bus shelters in Brooklyn in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation, Doris C. Freedman Plaza at Central Park and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens both in partnership with NYC Parks, and numerous others throughout the city – Ai will create striking installations that draw attention to the role of the fence as both a physical manifestation and metaphorical expression of division. In this way, he will explore one of society’s most urgent issues, namely the psychic and physical barriers that divide us, which is at the heart of debates about immigration and refugees today.

Public Art Fund, New York