Ai Weiwei’s new installation Forever Bicycles was unveiled at Taipei’s Fine Arts Museum last week as part of a new exhibition, Ai Weiwei Absent (ends January 29, 2012).
The exhibition includes 21 iconic works by the dissident Chinese artist alongside the new installation, which is constructed from 1,000 Forever bicycles, the foremost bicycle brand in China. Piled in layers as they are, the installation is a visual commentary on Ai’s perception of the rapid pace of social change in contemporary China; a colossal, abstract and labyrinthine space that appears to move.
Currently confined to Beijing after having been released from detainment in June 2011, the exhibition focuses on the political significance of Ai’s inability to attend. His absense is ‘a part of my art, my portfolio and my cultural state,’ he states in the pamphlet for the exhibition. Ai is still able to interact with his audiences in Taiwan without having a physical presence, a symbolic location for this outspoken artist.