Tag Archives: Ai Weiwei

Copenhagen: Places

Giraffes at Tivoli

Giraffes at Tivoli

This is my last Copenhagen post for this visit. We explored two new spots this time and some old haunts as well. The Arken Museum for Modern Art and Frederiksborg Castle have been on our list for awhile. We had beautiful sunny days on both occasions so the walk around the lake and on the beach in both instances were breathtaking.

A visit to Copenhagen never seems to be complete unless we stroll around Tivoli’s beautiful gardens. The night we were there we hit the dance floor and took a spin along with the Big Band that was playing. They were fantastic! Afterwards we stayed to watch the fireworks and stayed cozy under the heaters, while sitting on sheepskin rugs and drinking hot chocolate. It was a perfect evening.

Oh Copenhagen, as always, I can’t wait to return!

 

Arken Museum, Homage to the Hunters from Mande, Abdoulaye Donate

Arken Museum, Homage to the Hunters from Mande, Abdoulaye Donate

Arken Museum, Lady with Anemone, Gerda Wegener

Arken Museum, Lady with Anemone, Gerda Wegener

Arken Museum, Circle of Animals, Ai WeiWei

Arken Museum, Circle of Animals, Ai WeiWei

Arken Museum, National Career Lamp, Olafur Eliasson

Arken Museum, National Career Lamp, Olafur Eliasson

A stroll on the beach outside of the Arken Museum

A stroll on the beach outside of the Arken Museum

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Frederiksborg Castle

Frederiksborg Castle, Fountain

Frederiksborg Castle, Fountain

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Frederiksborg Castle, Ballroom

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Frederiksborg Castle, Zodiac Globe

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Frederiksborg Castle, Door entryway

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Eating candy and watching the sunset

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Watching the sailboats in the Sound

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A full moon

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Lights at the Tivoli Candy Store

Ai Weiwei

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Last Saturday, we went to see Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy. We got there about thirty minutes before the doors were due to open, affording us time to look at and sit amongst his Tree sculptures that now fill the Royal Academy’s courtyard. The piece offers a calm and somewhat uncomplicated introduction to his work. One that is in stark contrast to many of the pieces currently housed inside the Royal Academy’s walls.

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The doors opened at 10:00am. We collected our tickets and headed straight into the show. Each room offered a specific insight into Ai’s life and work – celebrating his use of found materials; his creative originality in blending the old with the new; and putting front and centre his will to challenge the establishment that has for so long sought to suppress his views.

Walking out and mulling what we had observed over lunch, it was evident that Ai’s work had profoundly affected the both of us. Each piece was a statement and a question. Through wood, iron, porcelain, marble, and many other materials Ai made us question our place in the world.

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In particular we were both struck by his piece ‘Straight’. Constructed from reclaimed rebar from the damaged school buildings, following the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, the piece is a powerful symbol. Weighing in at 150 tonnes it is a poignant reminder of the strength and solidarity of the Sichuan people following the massacre. It is a also testament to Ai’s own endeavours to seek answers for the parents and families of the children killed due to the poor construction of the school buildings.

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This was the tip of the iceberg. Not one piece in the exhibition is superficial – to be taken at face value. Each room implores you to engage with Ai’s story. And it is a deeply meaningful one; fraught with the scars of persecution.

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{Guest post by Mr. Michie // Photos by Mrs. Michie}