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April 1, 2014 at 3:37 PM

SAM acquires Ai Weiwei work

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei

Seattle Art Museum is now the proud owner of its first work by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei: “Colored Vases,” (2010), a cluster of earthenware vessels covered with industrial paint. You can see it starting April 5 at Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park.

From SAM: “By covering the surfaces with new paint, what is underneath — like history itself — is “no longer visible, but is still there,” the artist has said. The gesture is intentionally jarring, as it suggests the obliteration and defacement of an ancient object, which resonates strongly in view of the legacy of China’s Cultural Revolution and vis-à-vis its rapid modernization today.”

Ai, a frequent critic of the Chinese government and its ban on cultural and technological freedom, has not been able to leave China since his passport was seized in 2011. (He was held for nearly three months but never charged, and he is closely monitored.) His show “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” is touring the U.S., and opens at the Brooklyn Museum on April 18.

Comments | More in Arts news | Topics: Ai Weiwei, art, China

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