Friday, October 25, 2013

"Straight"

This piece by Ai Weiwei consists of 38 tons of steel rebar that was recovered from schools that had collapsed during the horrific earthquake in Sichan Province in China in 2008. More than 90,000 people were killed including a huge number of children who were in school at the time. The mangled rebar was straightened with great effort and assembled as Ai's response to the refusal of the government to acknowledge the victims. This piece was accompanied by an incredible film showing the fallen schools and towns and the labour put into straightening the rebar.
On the wall behind the piece are the names and birth dates of more than 5,000 of the children who were killed in the quake. Weiwei was horrified by the shoddy construction that had caused the schools to collapse and the governments inaction, so he formed a Citizens' Investigation group that has been going out into the province and collecting names of the dead from the families that survived. This work continues.

15 comments:

LĂșcia said...

Very interesting work about that sad episode.
Looking forward to seeing part 2. ;-)

Sharon said...

Some powerful statements here in this work.

Lowell said...

That was an immense tragedy. Unfortunately, I doubt that Mr. Wei's group will have a lot of success with the Chinese bureaucracy.

This exhibit looks rather like waves washing in to shore and then receding. Very dramatic.

TexWisGirl said...

oh, wow. really, wow....

William Kendall said...

Very powerful.

ArtandArchitecture-SF.com said...

I can't state to you enough how jealous I am. I had read about his efforts to do this installation, and his horror and reaction to the government, and I am so grateful to you for bringing it to us.

EG CameraGirl said...

Powerful art this is! It brings back memories of the tragedy. So sad.

cieldequimper said...

Sad and striking.

Kay L. Davies said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. It must have been sad to see, and sad to write about.
We visited China a year after this disaster, and no one was allowed to talk about it. Our guide was a very intelligent young man who spoke idiomatic English and let us know, without actually coming right out and saying it, that the Chinese government was still very strict about what its citizens could say.
Bravo for this artist, bringing the world's attention to the deaths of all these innocent children.
K

Randy said...

Interesting piece.

Laura. M said...

A fitting tribute to the victims!!!

Barbara Farr said...

What an incredible piece.

Jack said...

Spectacular, RedPat. This is a good illustration of an earlier comment I made about Wei Wei. Some I love and admire. Others, not at all. This is definitely on the positive side of the ledger.

nanacathydotcom said...

A moving piece of art and blog post

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Goodness me Pat, what a very strong piece of work, very appropriate to represent the tragic happening in China.