AI WEIWEI (B. 1957)
signed and dated 'Wei '08' (on the reverse)
7812 x 3934 x 2in. (199.5 x 101 x 5cm.)
Executed in 2008
Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

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Lot Essay

Garlands of delicate pastel flowers festoon Ai Weiwei’s Flowers, 2008. Blossoms of pale pink, lavender, and coral bloom from lithe stems, each dotted with spritely green leaves. Formally, Flowers draws from traditional Chinese arts, in which porcelain has held a long and prominent role. Since the Song dynasty, (960-1279) flowers have been amongst the most popular decorative themes and each bloom had its own symbolic meaning, representing, among other things, honour, longevity, and marital bliss. Known for his politically charged art, Ai’s work often challenges the status quo. While Flowers may employ a national iconography, the work also references China’s Hundred Flowers Campaign, a brief period during which the Chinese Communist Party allowed for free expression that was almost immediately followed by a brutal crackdown against those who voices critical opinions. It is with elegant simplicity that Ai offers the viewer a multifaceted commentary on Chinese history.

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