Entitled Er Xi which means child’s play, the exhibition dives into the realm of fantasy with the artist finding inspiration from Shan Hai Jing, a collection of epic tales that go back to Chinese antiquity. Ai Weiwei chose around two dozen of the feathered and mischievous characters from the tales to be represented in the work. “Introducing the fantastic within a retail space stirkes the imagination of customers, visitors, passersby. We all lead other lives in this parallel world of fears, fantasies and dreams,” says the artist.
Ai Weiwei has chosen to bring these mythical creatures to life through the art of kite making. By utilising bamboo and silk, he was able to take advantage of the malleability of the bamboo and juxtapose this with the lightness and fluidity of the silk.
Ten storefront windows feature the work of the artist as a prelude to further pieces inside the department store. While the storefront works are mostly two-dimensional, in the atrium, works are hung from the ceiling and can be seen in three-dimensional forms.