Ai Weiwei Opens First Solo Show in China

Ai Weiwei’s “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” (2010) Photo: Phillips

Ai Weiwei opened his first solo exhibition in China last month. The eponymously titled exhibition “Ai Weiwei” opened at Galeria Continua at the Tang Contemporary Art Center in 798, the art district in Beijing. Forbidden from leaving China since 2011, Ai has been living and working out of his Beijing compound, and only exhibiting internationally, with considerable success. This show marks a turning point in his career in China as it is not political, but rather embodies a respect for the Chinese tradition with the reinterpretation of ancient themes in a contemporary context.

The exhibition has been well received by the Chinese media, the New York Times reports. It had been approved by the authorities, but was re-scheduled to prevent it from coinciding with the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 on June 4. Ai Weiwei has two further exhibitions opening in Beijing this month providing Chinese fans a rare chance to see his work at Magician Space and Chambers Fine Art. He also has a show opening at London’s Royal Academy on September 19 providing more of a his fans a chance to see his ever expanding oeuvre.

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