Public Invited to View "Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads" Sculpture Exhibit
Each towering 10 feet and overlooking the Fountain of Freedom pool outside Robertson Hall, 12 bronze monumental sculptures, each representing a sign of the Chinese zodiac, are now on public display until August 1, 2013. The sculptures are the work of renowned contemporary Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei.
Ai Weiwei is one of China’s most prolific and controversial artists. His work in recent years has included collaboration on the design of the Beijing Olympic Stadium, or “Bird’s Nest,” for the 2008 Olympic Games; Sunflower Seeds, an exhibition at London’s Tate Modern featuring 100 million hand-painted porcelain seeds; and innovative uses of social media to advance artistic objectives, free speech and human rights.
The exhibit, “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads,” contains 12 bronze monumental sculptures, each approximately 10 feet high. Each sculpture represents a sign of the Chinese zodiac (snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, pig, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit and dragon). In creating the work, Mr. Ai drew inspiration from sculptures that once adorned the fountain clock at Yuanming Yuan, an imperial retreat outside Beijing. Designed by Italian artist Giuseppe Castiglione in the mid-18th century, the original works were looted in 1860 when France and Britain invaded China. Of the 12 figures, only seven are known to have survived. Five have been repatriated to China, but ownership of the remaining two remains contested.
To celebrate and explore Mr. Ai’s art and his dedication to human rights, the Wilson School hopes to host him for a day of student and community events, including a 4:30 p.m. public talk in Richardson Auditorium, on October 10, 2012.
For more information about the artist and the exhibit, please visit http://www.zodiacheads.com/.
Watch the video of the installation below: