I love the art of AI Weiwei.
This piece, “Forever” Bicycles, 2003 seems to me to celebrate the hundreds of bicycles that everyone uses (though less now) in China and all over the parts of the world where gas prices are beyond most people. I loved Ai WeiWei’s work before I moved to China; before he became the ‘next’ dissident to capture the short Western Attention span, and before he was arrested. WeiWei’s concern for the materialization of Chinese Culture is thoughtful and does not blame so much as seek to understand and to incite CARE.
While I fear for his safety – I know he does not. His fear is for the people – what will happen when consumerism and love of money are no longer enough to dull emotional pain of dislocation, disempowerment and de-culturalization. This is also my fear for China, and for the United States, and for all countries.
My art changed in China. I should say first, my art changes when I change location – I pick up new palettes, objects, fabric that are particular to the place. For example, when I moved to Florida, I began to use green:
Buffy’s Forest, detail
My China Palette seems to use red and brown with the face changing to reflect the people I see.