Ai Weiwei ‘Bang’ Installation at the Venice Art Biennale 2013
Ai Weiwei’s large scale installations have been the topic of much discussion of late, with the artist’s participation at the 2013 Venice Art Biennale. Bang is an economically-minded piece that incorporates 886 three-legged wooden stools, levitating in a rhythmic wave in an otherwise stark, white room. The cultural significance of the installation is, by no surprise, rooted in Weiwei’s home country, where it is usual for a family to own at least one of these stools, which is handed down through the generations. In the wake of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, this tradition has become less common and the craftsmanship that is an inherent part of the culture has largely gone by the wayside. Weiwei often seeks to revive these rapidly diminishing aspects of traditional Chinese culture in his work, as seen in the past with acclaimed works such as Sunflower Seeds (2010). Bang is part of the artist’s Disposition exhibition at the Biennale, which also includes the politically-charged installation, S.A.C.R.E.D.