Ai Weiwei is one of the world’s most influential living artists and human rights activists, known for smashing conventions—and pottery—with iconic works like Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (1995) that upend the cultural traditions and materials of his native China. While his work includes sculpture, installation, photography, film, performance, and architecture, ceramics occupies a singular place in his practice.
Drawn from the museum’s outstanding collection of later-period Chinese jade objects, this exhibition will focus on carved jade representations of mountain landscapes and forms from nature. For both sculptor and viewer, landscape imagery illustrates an understanding of the inseparability of oneself from the surrounding world, where the journey through the mountains is symbolic to the path to an immortal realm.
Many of these garments exemplify a fashion trend of the 1800s: cuffs and hems embellished with embroidered bands, which in turn were often edged with strips of brocaded ribbon. (July 14, 2018 - June 30, 2019)