Ai Weiwei: A Living Sculpture

27 April - 30 June 2012 The Box

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is delighted to present a miniature installation by renowned Chinese conceptual artist, film-maker and activist, Ai Weiwei, in The Box, the gallery’s micro project space, from 27 April to 30 June 2012. Following the scale of his Sunflower Seeds project at Tate Modern, it was Weiwei’s fascination with the micro as well as the macro that led to his interest in The Box, and his presentation of a ‘living’ sculpture at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London.


Weiwei presents a cactus whose pot is built to house his hand-made ‘River Crab’ protagonist made in his workshop in Jingdezhen. River Crab, in Chinese, is a homonym for harmony as well as a popular euphemism for censorship in China. Set behind glass inside a white cube of only 40 by 40 by 40 centimetres, and floating inside a contained black space, is Weiwei’s darkly comic ‘arrangement’ a resilient metaphor and a quiet yet potent protest?


Ai Weiwei is one of the world's most prominent contemporary cultural figures and a vital force for social change. Last year, Weiwei was voted the most influential person in the art world in Art Review’s Power 100. Recent solo exhibitions include those at Jeu de Paume, Paris; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Somerset House, London; Pulitzer Fountain, Grand Army Plaza at Central Park, New York; Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Lucerne, and The Unilever Series, Tate Modern, London. In June 2012, Weiwei will create the 2012 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in collaboration with Herzog & de Meuron, an occasion for which it is hoped that the artist may be able to travel from China to London.