After emerging four months ago from a prolonged detention by the Chinese government for alleged economic crimes, Ai Weiwei is back with a new installation made from 1000 bicycles. The piece is called Forever Bicycles and part of the Ai Weiwei Absent, exhibition at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan. The artist himself, however, will not be present as he is prohibited from leaving Beijing.
In a pamphlet for the show, Ai writes that his absence "is a part of my art, my portfolio and my cultural state." (...) Taipei Fine Arts Museum officials said Ai gave instructions about mounting the exhibition through daily email exchanges. "He believes he can achieve interactions with Taiwanese audiences through his work without his physical presence," museum official Weng Chih-tsung said. The holding of the exhibition in Taiwan has a political significance of its own. Unlike the Communist mainland, the island of 23 million people is a freewheeling democracy with few restrictions on expression.Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949. China continues to insist that the island is part of its territory. - msnbc.com
Posted on 3.11.11