Sunday, 29 November 2015

28 Nov : Trees

Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy

This huge installation in the courtyard of Burlington House, funded by an innovative Kickstarter campaign, is composed of trunks and boughs bolted together to remake idealized trees. In the context of the exhibition inside which features steel rods removed from the wreckage of schools crushed in a catastrophic earthquake, remnants of the artist's studio after it had been bulldozed by the authorities and reconstructions of a prison cell, these trees felt like a bold statement of hope. If you look at the photo you will see a young couple in the centre who are watching their tiny daughter and I found it unbearably moving to see her running through the trees, Ai Weiwei's vision of her future in China.

MissM had encouraged me to go to this exhibition but I was reluctant because I was sure it was over-hyped. How wrong I was. The courage of the artist in exposing corruption and censorship in China makes it a humbling experience to walk through the galleries and I would urge anyone who lives within reach of the Royal Academy to visit before it closes.


  1. I agree, people should see this exhibition. I took my husband who didn't know a thing about it. he loved it. As an engineer he completely loved all the building references. I felt challenged to act politically, but not sure how. Not sure I should write this but I'm happy to see that whilst sticking to the plants theme, you're stretching the boundaries somewhat. I miss your old blog with people and things in it.

    1. Thank you for this lovely comment. I was just about to comment on your own, much better, review of this exhibition. I was so moved by the content of the exhibition and the way it demonstrated the integrity of the artist and I am glad that you felt affected in a similar way.

      This blog is quieter because MasterM and MissM are no longer at home and I am no longer at work so I am supposed to be dedicating my life to the garden. Luckily, because I am a shockingly idle gardener, I escape sometimes.

  2. I'm certain it is very moving.


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