Chinese artist Ai Weiwei sparked even more curiosity among Brazilians after the show Root have been exhibited at Oca do Parque do Ibirapuera, in São Paulo, in the last quarter of last year, extending until January of this year. The individual, which is curated by Marcello Dantas, now occupies the Oscar Niemeyer Museum (MON) in Curitiba. In addition to receiving Source, the city also hosts the artist's first commercial and individual exhibition in Latin America, at Galeria SIM/Simões de Assis.
At the museum, the exhibition opened on May 1 and should run until August 4. In it, the great works that were at Ibirapuera also draw the attention of the public in the South, such as the large boat that reflects on the refugee crisis (Law of the journey) and the large sculpture with bicycles (Forever/Bicycles), the latter on the outside of the MON.
The union between the galleries SIM and Simões de Assis, father and sons, for the artist's eponymous individual show the importance of the artist's first time in a gallery in Latin America. In the exhibition, which runs from May 14 to June 29, Ai Weiwei presents some older works, such as bamboo and porcelain sculptures produced in 2009, but he also takes pieces that he produced during the Root, but which do not appear in the institutional exhibition: “The invitation for Ai Weiwei to come to Brazil was also an invitation for an interpretation and for the realization of new works“, says the text of the galleries.
Known for the controversial content of his works, which bring well-marked social and political content, Weiwei is not afraid to combine his work as an artist with what he also performs as an activist. The leather works featured in both exhibitions, for example, have quotes in English from authors who worked or work with these themes.
Having produced some of the works on display during a period he spent in Brazil organizing the show, the artist came into contact with regional handicrafts, such as ex-votos made in Juazeiro do Norte. He asked artisans to create dolls in shapes that refer to his work, such as figas, Chinese zodiac and refugees.
Check out Maria Hirszman's text about Root, published in ARTE!Brasileiros 45. Click here.