Works by the Chinese artist and dissident can be seen at Foundry Vineyards (eight pieces) and Whitman College (a 6-ton sculpture).
A 6-ton sculpture by the Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei, and an exhibition of eight more of his sculptural works, are coming to Walla Walla this fall.
At the Foundry Vineyards in Walla Walla, eight sculptural pieces titled “Rebar and Case” will be on display from Sept. 3 to Oct. 31. The pieces are made of steel rebar salvaged from buildings that collapsed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, and are meant to call attention to the shoddy construction at Chinese schools, where 5,000 children died during the quake.
Foundry Vineyards will also exhibit the name list of victims of the earthquake, and will play a film documenting a citizens’ investigation of the tragedy.
Also in September, Whitman College will begin showing the artist’s 6-ton sculpture, “Refraction,” made of Tibetan solar-reflective panels shaped to simulate the wing of a bird. It’s meant to be a commentary on freedom — an apt subject for the political activist who has sometimes been jailed in his own country for using art to draw attention to injustices in China.
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The sculpture will be on view from September until August 2016, on the lawn behind the college’s Fouts Center for Visual Arts.
“Refraction” has appeared previously as part of an exhibition on Alcatraz Island. It is coming to Whitman through the work of the Anderson Foundation for the Arts, formed by Whitman alumnus Mark Anderson, who proposed a show at the Foundry Vineyards during a recent visit with Ai in China.
Ai told Anderson he wanted “Refraction” to be installed in a more public venue — hence the display at Whitman.