Art & Politics a Potent Mix
Wang Zhiyuan’s Thrown to the Wind, a three-storey tower of plastic containers that spirals towards the roof of the gallery in Chippendale, dwarfed guests as they gathered to hear Judge praise the show last Thursday, which features the work of 40 artists from the collection of Judith Neilson, wife of the billionaire fund manager Kerr Neilson… Chinese consulate officials also wandered around, no doubt impressed by Ai Weiwei’s 500-kilogram pile of individually painted porcelain sunflower seeds. The artist, who was beaten by Chinese police last year and later had surgery for a cerebral haemorrhage, is not afraid of politics.
“Art is connected to our lives,” he said. “Our lives are political, so it becomes political.”…The show also includes exiled My Identity, by the Tibetan artist Gonkar Gyatso, four photos of him in Tibetan, Chinese, Indian and English settings. The third photo features the Dalai Lama, which led to its ban in the Middle Kingdom.
…Customs officials were not too happy about China’s rubbish being imported into the country for Zhiyuian’s sculpture either, (Gallery Manager Paris Neilson) added. They relented once they were told it was for art and, more importantly, that each container had been thoroughly scrubbed.