Andy Warhol x Ai Wei Wei

"If anything can change the world, it is art."

One of my personal goals of this year is to explore and travel, at least once a month. And when I meant travel, I don't mean becoming a jet-setter who travels from cities to cities and come across with jet lags. I suppose it is no harm dreaming of exploring the world, especially when we are constantly exposed to photographs from the other side. But we ended up overlooking the beauty of our surroundings. So for April, I made trip down to National Gallery of Victoria for this much-discussed exhibition of the season -- Andy Warhol x Ai Wei Wei. 

Once, I have read a review of Ai Wei Wei's exhibition in London. It highlights his creative approaches in addressing (or more appropriately, criticising) issues by offering a reinterpretation of daily life objects by changing its material properties, appearances and rearrangement from its previously unsuspecting presence. So, when NGV announced the opening date of this exhibition, I was more thrilled at looking at Ai Wei Wei's artwork than Andy Warhol's. 

Undoubtedly, I was thoroughly inspired by Ai Wei Wei's artwork, possibly because I felt more relatable to his artwork that criticises the political bodies, the references to Chinese culture and Western influences. Yet among the pictures of his artwork that I've shown above, my favourite (and most emotionally inspiring) artwork was 'Names of the Student Earthquake Victims Found by the Citizens' Investigation', which I ended up not having a picture of it. It was heart-wrenching watching a short clip of its background story. Although I am not personally related to anyone on the list, the arrangement of this students' name lists has such a strong resemblance to my primary school teacher's attendance list, which triggers that odd feeling of familiarity as if I know these children who are only aged around 7-12. 

Although this exhibition has officially ended in Melbourne, I would highly recommend you to visit an Ai Wei Wei's exhibition if it pop ups near your city or in your country because it has been the most inspiring exhibition visit by far that really opens up fresh perspective on his take of criticism through various mediums.

Love, Sharon.


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