Lonely Planet Writer

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei launches first-ever solo show in his home country

Beijing's 798 Art District.
Beijing’s 798 Art District. Image by drnan tu / CC BY-SA 2.0

Chinese artist and political activitist Ai Weiwei has opened his first-ever solo exhibition in China. The exhibition opened at the Galleria Continua and Tang Contemporary Art in Beijing’s 798 Art District over the weekend. Devoid of Ai’s usual political overtones, the show consists of a Ming dynasty-era ancestral hall that was disassembled and then rebuilt within the two exhibition spaces. Everyday objects, such as broken teapots and traditional lanterns, surround the hall and live streams show the alternate exhibition space in each with the aim of creating a new ‘social context’ for the ancient hall. Since 2011, Ai has been barred from leaving China due to his outspoken political views. This is the first time the artist has been allowed to exhibit in China or able to attend the opening of one of his own solo shows. Read more: nytimes.com