Exhibition Ai Weiwei: Making Sense

5 Unmissable Highlights from #MakingSense

From Ai Weiwei’s largest ever Lego work to a Marble Takeout Box – here’s five unmissable highlights from #MakingSense.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Water Lilies #1

This recreation of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies is Ai’s largest ever Lego work. He has subverted the image by adding in the door to the underground dugout in Xinjiang province where he and his father, Ai Qing, lived in exile in the 1960s.

Untitled (Porcelain Balls)

When Ai first encountered these balls, he had no idea what they were. It turned out that they are cannonballs made during the Song dynasty (960 – 1279 CE). There are more than 200,000 on display, making it hard to comprehend that they were hand-made.

Marble Takeout Box

Our desire for convenience has given rise to hyper-disposable objects. A Styrofoam takeaway box is a throwaway item, but carved in marble Ai transforms it into a monument to the daily lived experience of millions of workers.

Study of Perspective

Ai has been giving the finger to sites of power around the world since 1995. For this exhibition, twelve photographs from the series have been turned into pigment prints, which Ai sees as the more graphic language of design.

Provisional Landscapes

In the 2000s, Chinese cities were being heavily redeveloped. Ai photographed the hundreds of empty spaces left behind. The images capture the constant state of change and criticise the way the government was seizing land for construction.

the exhibition

Ai Weiwei: Making Sense

Discover some of the artist’s most important works displayed alongside collections of objects that have never been seen and new commissions made for the exhibition.

related events

BSL Tour of Ai Weiwei: Making Sense

Join guide Edward Richards for a special tour of the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Making Sense, delivered in British Sign Language.

On Collecting: Sense and Sensibility

Join us for a conversation that dives into the act of collecting, prompted by the ‘fields’ in the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Making Sense. We will explore collections as sites for making sense, and modes of collecting seemingly ordinary things.

Audio Described Tour of Ai Weiwei: Making Sense

Join guides Andrew Mashigo and Lynn Cox for a special tour of the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Making Sense, for blind and and visually impaired visitors.

Design History: Ai Weiwei and Chinese Material Culture

This one-hour online lecture, featuring exclusive curator interviews, will focus on the story of porcelain mass production in China.

Photography credits:
1. © Ela Bialkowska/OKNO studio
2. © Image courtesy Ai Weiwei Studio
3. © Image courtesy Ai Weiwei Studio
4. Ed Reeve
5. Ed Reeve