Ai Weiwei in Milan

Iconoclast, provocateur and politically engaged, the Chinese artist presents some of his latest sculptures and installations at the Massimo De Carlo gallery in Milan.

Ai WeiWei, The Animal That Looks Like a Llama but is Really an Alpaca, 2015. Courtesy Massimo De Carlo, Milan/London/Hong Kong
Massimo De Carlo presents a solo exhibition by Ai Weiwei in its Milan gallery in Palazzo Belgioioso. The iconic Chinese artist, renowned for his radical work that challenges the political and the contemporary, will present on this occasion a series of sculptures and installations in the historically relevant context of the gallery’s space. Upon entering the first room, the visitor is confronted with a large-scale sculpture, Garbage Container. The sleek yet daunting object, crafted in huali wood, resembles a wardrobe but in fact offers a tragic commentary on the life of impoverished children in China.


In the second room, the artist challenges Chinese history and heritage through his pivotal and iconoclastic works Colored Vases and the iconic triptych Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn. The political message becomes fierce and affirmative in the series of renowned black and white images Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, produced here in LEGO bricks, where the artist is immortalized destroying an antique Han pot whilst staring stoically at the viewer. In Free Speech Puzzle, Ai Weiwei uses an ancient craft technique, specifically the Qing dynasty imperial style of hand painting porcelain to create a geomorphic map decorated with the slogan ‘Free Speech’. In the smaller and more intimate room of the gallery is the most delicate yet strenuous and persistent trace of Ai Weiwei’s protest against the authorities.

Img.8 Ai Weiwei, exhibition view, Massimo De Carlo, Milano, 2017
Img.8 Ai Weiwei, exhibition view, Massimo De Carlo, Milano, 2017

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