Ai Wei Wei’s Zodiac Heads

by Emily BroughPosted on

Currently on display at Grand Army Plaza near Central Park in New York City, is “Zodiac Heads”, a public sculpture by imprisoned Chinese artist Wei Wei. Standing in the Pulitizer Fountain, each of the 12 animals of the chinese zodiac is playfully reinterpreted in four foot bronze sculptures. The installation is inspired by an 18th century fountain clock in Bejiing which was looted during a western invasion. To this day, only seven of the 12 original sculptures have been recovered and with this installation, Ai Wei Wei is looking to focus “attention to questions of looting and repatriation, while extending his ongoing exploration of the “fake” and copy in relation to the original”. The NYC display kicks off a world tour and will be on display until July 15th. It is also currently on display at the Sommerset House in London

As an outspoken culture critic Ai Wei Wei was mysteriously detained on April 3 by the Chinese government for “economic crimes”. Himself and associates of his studio, Fake, have been repeatedly harassed by the Chinese government. He was detained for a full 43 days before anyone was allowed to make contact or visit him. More information about Ai Wei Wei’s detainment and the efforts to free him can be found at http://www.freeaiweiwei.org/.Emily Brough

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