Kettle’s Yard is pleased to announce a new solo exhibition by internationally renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (b. 1957, Beijing) in which new and existing work will be shown alongside historic Chinese objects. The exhibition will explore notions of truth, authenticity and value, as well as globalisation, the coronavirus pandemic and the current geopolitical crisis. Ai Weiwei will reflect upon the liberty in the West, in contrast to China and other authoritarian regimes, to question truth and authority, express doubt and seek transparency in political matters. However, in relation to art appreciation, the Chinese have a long tradition of a more fluid and less fixed view in relation to authenticity than is the case in the West, often valuing the act of copying.
The exhibition in the galleries is a single installation with 13 artworks by Ai Weiwei exhibited alongside 14 antiquities which the artist bought at an auction in Cambridge in 2020. This will be the first time the artist has juxtaposed historic Chinese objects with his own works. Some of the auction pieces acquired by the artist are thought to date from the Northern Wei (386 – 534 CE) and Tang (618 – 907 CE) dynasties, while others have been identified as counterfeits, later copies of original works. A number of recent films made by the artist will also be screened on each day of the exhibition’s run – Coronation (2020), Cockroach (2020) and Human Flow (2017) – while two Fairytale Chairs (2007) will be placed in the Kettle’s Yard House for visitors to use.
FREE, come along
With special thanks to Ai Weiwei Studio and Lisson Gallery for their assistance and support for the exhibition and publication.