Your stories and the meaning of life
December 15, 2017
Sustainable Performance Phase – Discussion
December 15, 2017

ARC 134 Introduction to History of Architecture
Known for his daring and thought-provoking works, Ai WeiWei is one of the most
famous and celebrated Chinese contemporary artist nowadays. Over the past twenty years, Ai
WeiWei has become the leading voice of the international art scene presenting China. He was
considered as China?s treasured artist. His works revolve around political activism. With
applications of meticulous artistic research, his creations are symbolisms of modernism,
freedom, and expression. His works do not only express aesthetic functions, but also move
people and inspire reformation. In China, Ai WeiWei is the symbol of resistance against
censorship. Much of his works are personal narratives that evoke freedom, sense of
belongingness, and ambivalent relationship which he believes are necessary towards the
formation of a strong dissident nation and country.
As the audience, we should care about Ai WeiWei?s work. His works are not simply
iconic assemblages, but masterpieces that evoke political statement and societal
consciousness relevant to the general public. These works are embodiment of his struggles,
experiences, and learning from years of being exposed to tensions of freedom and
confinement. In a deep sense, the works of Ai WeiWei are important because it shows his
love and the ambiguous relationship he has for his native country, China. This shows a
person?s patriotism and loyalty. The audience will learn that it takes an equally strong sense
of rebellion, sadness, loneliness, and difficulties to have love and concern for one?s country.
In the case of Ai WeiWei, he personally experienced the hardships and difficulties of China,
may it be in political grievances, economic instability, social injustices, and many more.
From these experiences, he was accustomed to pain. Rather than becoming weak and fragile,
he used the opportunity to become a better person and a better artist.1 As his work influenced

?Palazzo Strozzi,? Art Agenda, 2016,
(Accessed December 7, 2016).
Commented [A1]: What is this essay about? Ai Weiwei?s
work or his exhibition at the Palazzo STrozzi?
Commented [A2]: spelling
Commented [A3]: Who says this? This is a claim that
needs to be supported by citations.
Commented [A4]: See above.
Commented [A5]: Examples? Citations?
Commented [A6]: Examples and citations.
Commented [A7]: Because?..?
Commented [A8]: If this is the reason we should care
about his work, it is a vague and unpersuasive reason.
Commented [A9]: Such as?.?
and reached a lot of places, its quality exhibition and cultural showmanship became an
important facet of various disciplines in the society, one of which is architecture.
In his incoming exhibition in Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy, Ai WeiWei will be
taking the centerfold to show a mass of audience a quality work that expresses ownership,
showmanship, tradition, and modernity. Ai WeiWei hopes to emulate a more creative and
critical insight towards the expression and appreciation of art. Based on his works, he claims
that the general public needs to see and experience it personally so that they will become
more aware of what it really means to create and express art. According to Ai WeiWei, in this
world where inconsistencies are more common than consistencies, any individual has to
make the adjustments in order to fit to the right cut of the society. One has to leave an
impression or a mark that uniquely demonstrates the value of his life, its worth, and its
In his press release last September, Ai WeiWei claimed that his exhibition will
be thorough retrospective vestiges of the past. This is to let the audience become more aware
and experience the artistic feels of the modern cultural capital of the country, especially in its
relation to forefront artistic developments of this contemporary era.3
Ai WeiWei is the very first artist who was invited by Palazzo Strozzi to exhibit his
works inside this grand architectural building. According to the curator of the exhibition,
Arturo Galansino, this exhibition will further enable Palazzo Strozzi to become a more wellknown
cultural spot by which tourists and visitors can go or visit freely whenever they decide
to tour to Italy. The plan is to exhibit ?Reframe Installation,? an arresting feature which will
focus on showing various art work installations, sculptures, photography, and videos that
were all made by Ai WeiWei. It will be retrospective in a sense that the exhibition will cover

?Ai WeiWei Libero,? Palazzo Strozzi, 2016, (Accessed December 7, 2016).
?Ai Weiwei ‘Libero’ Retrospective Opens In Florence,? Culture Trip, 2016, (Accessed
December 7, 2016).
Commented [A10]: Word choice
Commented [A11]: Citation.
Commented [A12]: Citation.
Commented [A13]: What is ?an arresting feature?? Is this
the name of the exhibiton or are you talking about an
approach to installation?
the entirety of Ai WeiWei?s career ever since he started in the early 1980s.4 Based on the
promotions of Sigma Corporation, one of the leading sponsors of the said event, the works of
Ai WeiWei, as it will directly influence the architectural palace, will provide the audience a
resounding experience which will enable them to see for themselves the plight of relevant
issues affecting the contemporary world.
5 This, according to Sigma Corporation, will become
an independent commemoration for Palazzo Strozzi to become the center-stage of cultural
representation in Italy. Moreover, this will also encourage other avant-garde artists, such as
Ai WeiWei, to consider exhibiting their works in this building so that it will be fully
acknowledged as an architecture studio.6
The ?Libero? of Ai WeiWei will use effective means possible to guarantee that the
whole Palazzo Strozzi will function and serve as a memorable place for demonstration and
exhibition of a lifetime work of art. Ai WeiWei mentioned that Palazzo Strozzi is an ideal
location because it has an artistic architectural design and a very peculiar interior taste. This
will further enhance the beautiful aesthetical experience which the visitors and spectators will
feel once they go to the exhibit. Ai WeiWei believes that this combined collaboration
between art and architecture is always of major importance. The location or the venue itself is
the most crucial element for any exhibition. Just like Palazzo Strozzi, any venue should
possess artistic quality that actively modulates and amplifies the beauty of its exhibited art
works, expressive creations, and masterpieces.
7 From the installations to the assembly of art
creations, such as paintings, sculptures, photographs, and to the confinements of the interior

?Ai Weiwei ‘Libero’ Retrospective Opens In Florence,? Culture Trip, 2016, (Accessed
December 7, 2016).
?Press Release: Ai WeiWei Libero,? Sigma Corporation, 2016, (Accessed December 7,
?Press Release: Ai WeiWei Libero,? Sigma Corporation, 2016, (Accessed December 7,
?Ai Weiwei’s first retrospective in Italy opens at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence,? Lisson Gallery,
2016, (Accessed December 7, 2016).
Commented [A14]: Really? How is it going to do that?
and exterior design, Ai WeiWei will be handling it along with some professional help. This is
an engagement which he considers as creation of ?Renaissance Palace.? This is mostly
achievable because it will be held in Palazzo Strozzi.

?Ai Weiwei’s first retrospective in Italy opens at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence,? Lisson Gallery,
2016, (Accessed December 7, 2016).
Commented [A15]: You haven?t discussed a single work
in the exhibition, let alone the work that Ai Weiwei has
installed on the fa?ade of the building. The writing is vague
and the argumentation is circular. There is no critical
analysis of your sources. In short, this essay has no point of
view and therefore, no argument. As a result it has no
structure and just reads like a re-hashing of several press
?Ai Weiwei’s first retrospective in Italy opens at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence.? Lisson Gallery.
2016. (Accessed
December 7, 2016).
?Ai WeiWei Libero.? Palazzo Strozzi. 2016. (Accessed December 7,
?Ai Weiwei ‘Libero’ Retrospective Opens In Florence.? Culture Trip. 2016.
(Accessed December 7, 2016).
?Palazzo Strozzi.? Art Agenda. 2016.
(Accessed December 7, 2016).
?Press Release: Ai WeiWei Libero.? Sigma Corporation. 2016.
(Accessed December 7, 2016).


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