These are shots done during a visit to the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Making Sense in London’s Design Museum. All pictures were done with my Leica M262 and a WWII area Summitar 50mmF2.
Ai, as he is referred to through the exhibition, is a well known global artist, advocate for freedom of speech whose constant conflict with his home country makes the background of his work.
The change from hand craft to mass production, the speed of changes in China over the last 30 years, the rush to modernisation are all themes that are exploited in his work.
A lot of the work exposed are challenging the perspective between the actual way they were made and what hey represent. The construction site protective helmet is made of glass, the cushion of which it rests is in marble not foam.
The iron reinforcing concrete made of marble, the Iphone of cut-out jade.
Some pieces refers to recent events that happened in China, the rod to the collapse of badly build buildings, the snakes made of schoolbags to lives lost in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
Some pieces like the glass, wood or metal seems to be realised in a very detailed and technical manner. Some others are closer to ready made like the broken porcelain tea pots and ceramics below.
And one of the big pieces is an arrangements of Palaeolithic tools picked up on markets ( likely a single big market).
Below , the same shot with the Summitar wide open, showing the effect of selective focus.
If my memory serves me well, three selections of pictures are completing the exhibition, some of earlier works in Ai Wei Wei first atelier, some of the construction of the Nest for Beijing Olympics (Ai participated before withdrawing from the project), them a series about transforming landscape in Beijing Hutongs.
Nice show, but a bit short, worth visiting nonetheless.