By Susmita Baral |
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has a new installation in San Gimignano, Italy which is made of 760 bicycles.
Considered to be one of China’s most controversial artists, Weiwei’s work is always filled with protesting political messages. His latest bicycle installation, called Stacked, has hundreds of bicycles piled on top of one another starting from the floor and almost reaching the gallery ceiling. The bicycles, which are attached to each other, comprise a vast majority of the stage of the gallery.
The bicycle is the principle means of transport in the country. It is an iconic machine that is necessary to move workers across the cities and towns. The most famous brand is Yong Jiu Pai, “Forever”. It is used by millions of Chinese daily. The bicycle consists of chains and sprockets and is mass produced. So the installation “depicts the matrix of the labour force–the people.”
The work is not just a comment on over-consumption, it is also offering a perspective on mobility, and mass production and the repetitiveness of human labour in the work force.
The show focuses on the artist in all his complexity. He expresses his art in all different forms but the main theme is always the right of individuals to freedom of expression and speech.
He has great respect for the ancient Chinese traditions and crafts. China, porcelain, is exported around the world. He uses delicate blue blobs of it, in Oil Spills, to make a comment on consumerism.