Maybe, Maybe Notby Daniela Engelberg | 14.07.17
For the first time in Israel, China’s renowned artist and activist Ai Weiwei is exhibiting his well known monumental structures and dramatic installations at the Israel Museum—turning history into art that is strikingly visible and memorable.
The exhibition Maybe, Maybe Not addresses contemporary issues by exploring commonalities between civilizations and the perception of the individual in parallel with his or her collective culture. Among others, Sunflower Seeds features millions of seeds sculpted from porcelain and painted by hand. This work conveys the mass production that is often associated to Chinese manufacturing at the same time, each seed represents the individuality of the artisan that created it.
Throughout his work, the artist investigates government corruption, and as a political activist, he developed a critical eye toward structures of power. In 2011, Ai Weiwei was imprisoned without a trial by Chinese authorities—regardless, he refuses to remain silent. Ai asks us to consider what we value, why we value it and brings awareness to basic principles such as freedom of expression and human rights.