Ai Weiwei in Antwerp

01/31/2018

On January 27th we visited the exhibition "Mirror" by Ai Weiwei at the Museum of Photography in Antwerp, which is still on display until February 18th. Afterwards we had a yummie, Italian lunch together and then took advantage of the sales to go shopping a bit before heading back to Brussels again.

 

There are a LOT of pictures exhibited so better make sure to have sufficient time when you visit.

 

 

The following photos are from his "Selfies" series, showing the artist by himself, with friends and family but also refugees, random people or whoever crossed his way on that particular day.

 

 

 

 

This series is basically self-explanatory so we contented ourselves with finding out where the artist was at the time when the photo was taken.

 

 

Loads of pictures taken in Asia (supposedly China, where the artist is from) at exactly the same spot and with each and every person in exactly the same pose (except when they are holding an umbrella) shows us the diversity and individuality of them even though we might think that "all Asians look alike". Well, they do not.

 

 

Here he is taking it a step further. These brave people allowed Ai Weiwei or one of his assistants to give them (very!) funky haircuts to emphasize their individuality and also their right to it. Some of them actually still look quite stylish and they are all different to not defy the purpose. There were many more than the ones you can see here by the way.

 

 

In general you should not even try to look at all the photos because as you see here, that is a thing of the impossible. It is also not so much the artist's aim that you should see every single picture but this series in fact deals with the current refugee crisis and basically wants to give you an impression of the enormity of the problem, the vast amount of people, forced to flee from their country of origin, scared and lost in the crowd and just a little number in the system. It wants to emphasize that we are all humans after all and should be treated as such. These people all have hopes and dreams and aspirations and certainly didn't not choose to be in the situation in which they are for the time being.

 

 

Afterwards we got up our strength again with a yummie, Italian lunch before roaming the wonderful shops in Antwerp for a couple of hours and then heading back to Brussels together. Thank you all for coming out. I had a blast!

 

 

 

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