Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei has been on house arrest, forbidden to leave China since 2011. For a while, he was also confined to his home city of Beijing before authorities finally allowed him to leave the nation's capital and travel within China, provided that he gets permission from the state. With Ai Weiwei forced to spend so much of his time in one place, it makes sense that much of his newer works have been inspired by his current surroundings. For his third solo exhibition with Lisson Gallery, the artist has created copies of some highly personal items and also mundane objects that he sees in Beijing on the daily.
The exhibition at the London gallery will feature Ai Weiwei's monumental installation of stacked bicycles as part of an ongoing series Forever, one which actually gets its name from the "Forever" brand of bikes that are mass-produced in Shanghai and used to pervade Beijing's busy streets. Other items include a sinister-looking gas mask which has been carved out of marble; it's no doubt a commentary on Beijing's air pollution. Other items include a glass recreation of the ready-made window cranks of Chinese taxis, a marble version of his father's armchair, replica handcuffs, and more.
Ai Weiwei's show at Lisson Gallery opens May 23 and will be on view until July 12. Though we've got photos of his bikes and gas masks, you'll have to see the show or stick around for a look at his recreations of more personal items.
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