Exhibitions

Ai WeiWei, Royal Academy of Arts

The best thing about being a blogger is getting to experience things I wouldn’t think to go and do myself. Once again I was invited down to the Royal Academy to see their latest exhibition, Ai WeiWei.

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*Disclaimer: I attended this event for free in exchange for blogging about the event. The below opinions are still my own and not influenced by this in any way.

Ai WeiWei is a Chinese contemporary artist who is best known for his politically motivated art. Of course me being me, I had no idea who he was so it was really interesting to hear about the things he has endured in his life for his art from one of the resident RA experts.

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As has happened previously at RA events the galleries were open to paying customers as well as those of us there for the event what was different about this particular exhibition was that it was super busy. The show is spread across several rooms and each was as busy as the last which really goes to show the power of his message.

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Even the wallpaper in the rooms is a political statement with the Twitter logo reflecting Ai WeiWei’s own face inside a circle of handcuffs and surveillance cameras. I use social media every day and can’t imagine life without it let alone risking imprisonment by doing so.

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My favourite piece was a toss-up between He Xie, 3,000 porcelain crabs piled up in the corner of one of the rooms with one of them trying desperately to make its escape (and placed in its exact position by Ai WeiWei himself).

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And Bicycle Chandelier, a magnificent chandelier made from old bicycle frames and dripping with crystals.

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The Ai WeiWei exhibition is running until the 13th December and the £17.60 entry cost includes a free audio guide given its popularity I’d recommend that you book ahead so that you don’t get turned away and left disappointed. Photography is allowed and in fact encouraged at the specific request of Ai WeiWei himself.

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