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Ai Weiwei – Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, UK

12 Feb — 19 Jun 2022

…Arranged within the beautiful, Jamie Fobert-designed galleries… this show sparkles with connections and ideas.  4 stars, The Telegraph

This is a political exhibition, but it is also intensely personal. It is a serious exhibition, but it is also playful.

This exhibition may be small, but it still packs a powerful punch… Studio International 

We are delighted to present a new exhibition by Ai Weiwei (born 1957, Beijing, China), one of the world’s most renowned and significant artists. The exhibition explores truth, authenticity and value, as well as globalisation, the coronavirus pandemic and current geopolitical crises.

In the ground floor galleries there is a single installation devised by Ai Weiwei. This is the first time the artist has juxtaposed historic Chinese objects with his own artworks. The antiquities on display were acquired by Ai Weiwei at an auction in Cambridge in 2020. He has identified some as original, including from the Northern Wei (386 – 534CE) dynasty, and others as counterfeits, later copies of original works.

Ai Weiwei’s own works, beautifully crafted in jade, marble and porcelain, explore contemporary issues, draw on his life story and transform familiar artefacts into iconic objects. The exhibition also includes one of the artist’s most famous images, ‘Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn’, made here in LEGO bricks.  On the second floor of Kettle’s Yard, you can watch three of the artist’s documentary films, Coronation (2020), Cockroach (2020) and Human Flow (2017). These remarkable films examine and illuminate the pandemic in Wuhan, China, the student protests in Hong Kong and the global migration crisis. Two Fairytale Chairs (2007) have been placed in the Kettle’s Yard House for visitors to use. To visit the House, you will need to book a free, timed ticket here. In the Research Space on the first floor are books and films about the artist to read and watch.

When visiting the exhibition, pick up a printed guide for information about works on display. Please return the guide when you have finished reading it, or you can buy the guide in the Kettle’s Yard Shop. A fully illustrated new book to accompany the exhibition will be available in April.

FREE, come along

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