Ai Weiwei was born on August 28, 1957 in Beijigngand has become a leading contemporary artist, experimenting with sculpture, photography, documentary video and architecture. He is also an avid user of social media. His work reflects a criticism of the many contradictions found in modern China today, by providing numerous historical and cultural references. His remarkable works, blending both western and eastern influences, are voluntarily iconoclastic, disruptive and political committed.
“ER Xi, Air de jeux”
From January 16th to February 20th, Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche presents the first major exhibition that Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has developed for a French institution. The monumental works of the exhibition éEr Xi, Air de jeux” bring poetry and mythology to the department store and in the display windows located on rue de Sèvres.
The Song of White is comprised of twenty-two imaginary creatures that make up a majestic chimera. This installation represents Ai Weiwei’s interpretation of some of the fantastical beings and spirits found in Shanhai jin or Classic of Mountains and Seas, a Chinese mythological text whose origins go back some 2000 years. This text identifies and describes antique Chinese divinities and deities. The creatures have hybrid forms that combine the parts of different human and animal species. The Song of White gives them life with immense sculptures of hybrid beings.
Lu, fish looks like an ox. It has a snakes’s tail and wings, the feathers of which lie below its flanks. It makes a noise like that of the brindled ox. Its name is the winged-land-fish.
Yu, [Bird] which looks like a rat but it has bird wings. It makes a noise like a ram.
Heluo, fish with one head and ten bodies. They make a noise like a dog barking.
Yanwei, god with a human head and a snake’s body which is long as a cartshaft. This god has a left head and a right head. This god’s name is Length Coil.
Chuti, animal with a left hand and a right head. Its name is the pawprint-kick.
Tianwu, the deity is called Sky Cry. This god is the Lord of Waters. He has eight heads with human faces, eight feet, and eight tails.
Chuniao, a green bird with a yellow body, scarlet feet, and sex heads. Its name is the sixheadrook bird.
Taifeng, the god of luck, Great Meet. In appearance, he is human and has a tiger’s tail. He sets in motion the creative airs of the sky and the earth.
le Kui, animal looks like an ox with a bright blue body, but it has no horns and only one foot. This animal makes a sound like thunder. Its name is Awestruck.
Niao shen long shou shen, deities which have the appearance of a bird’s body and a dragon’s head.
Dragon in Four Pieces. Seen in the west as an evil creature, the dragon in China is a symbol of immortality, perseverance, power and success. It was the emblem of Emperors in all Chinese dynasties, the holders of divine and imperial powers. Ai Weiwei’s dragon is made with a woven bamboo structure covered in silk tissue. At once imposing and light, Ai Weiwei’s Dragon in Four Pieces is a messenger of energy, reassurance and hope.
Ai Weiwei “Er Xi” (Air de jeux)
Original creations for Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, Paris, France.