Ai Weiwei unveiled a sculpture series just outside of Toronto's City Hall. His work, "Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads," opens just ahead of the Art Gallery of Ontario's highly anticipated exhibit Ai Weiwei: According to What? opening on August 17.

The large-scale work is said to be Ai Weiwei's first major public sculpture. The series, organized by AGO and Tokyo's Mori Art Museum, is a reimagining of the 12 animals that make up the traditional Chinese zodiac. You are probably wondering if there is a social message emphasized through the outspoken political artist's work. Well, it turns out there is.

"They are works that Ai Weiwei made in response to a series of works that were done in the late 1700s and taken away to Europe during the Opium Wars in the mid-19th century. He, in a sense, has repatriated them by remaking them and having us think about the relationship of contemporary China to Chinese history, and how it has been eroded by its relations with other countries," said AGO director Matthew Teitelbaum.

Below is a news report that gives a better view of the work.

[via CBC]

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