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Indianapolis Museum of Art Presents Ai Weiwei: According to What? Exhibit

Indianapolis Museum of Art Presents Ai Weiwei: According to What? Exhibit in the Allen Whitehill Clowes Special Exhibition Gallery from Early April to Mid July. The exhibit will showcase over 20 years of Ai Weiwei's work that explores such universal topics as culture, history, politics and tradition.

“The IMA is thrilled to bring to Indianapolis the artwork of the most controversial and important living artist in China,” said Sarah Urist Green, curator of contemporary art. “Many people have heard of Ai Weiwei, but few in the United States have had the opportunity to see his remarkably diverse, poignant and poetic body of work.”

Known as one China’s most prolific and provocative artists, Ai Weiwei invites us to explore the interrelation between art, society and individual experience. As we walk through the exhibit we are moved by Weiwei's photos. There are 100 photographs in the series; some where taken when Ai Weiwei lived in New York in the 1980's. Others reveal the devastation of the 2008 earthquake in China.

Along with photography and videos, you'll also discover the new work created for Ai Weiwei: According to What? - a sculpture made from steel rebar that was salvaged from schools that collapsed during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. The piece points to the inferior construction that caused many schools to collapse, while other Chinese government buildings remained unscathed.

Ai Weiwei’s focus on human rights and social change eventually led to his detainment by Chinese authorities in 2011 for nearly three months. The Chinese government later supplied charges of tax evasion against Ai Weiwei, which he vehemently denies. Since his detainment, Ai Weiwei has been kept under constant surveillance by the government—a circumstance that has lead him to create a series of new works including a marble surveillance camera that will be part of this exhibition.

Throughout the exhibit there will be special programs, films, and activities, which you can explore by visiting the Indianapolis Museum of Art. After exploring the Ai Weiwei collection be sure to view the works of African, American, Asian, European and contemporary art, as well as a newly established collection of design arts.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art features over 54,000 works of art that span 5,000 years of history from across the world’s continents, and the beautiful Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, and Oldfields–Lilly House & Gardens. So, there's always something creative and engaging to experience at the IMA!

By Melody Schubert

Getting There:

Located at 4000 Michigan Road, the IMA and Lilly House are open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The IMA is closed Mondays and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s days.

To learn more on this and other exhibits, programs, and upcoming events at the Indianapolis Museum of Art visit or call 317-923-1331.