Why Weiwei? Chinese Artist Lets a Thousand Compatriots Loose on Kassel – Spiegel

Spiegel Online reports on the newest art exhibit by Ai Weiwei:

0,1020,892872,00It’s hard to make a splash in the art world these days. Bodily fluids, pornographic images, giant blocks of lard — it’s all been done already.

But Chinese artist Ai WeiWei has found a way to get himself noticed at this year’s Documenta, the prestigious art show which takes place every five years in Kassel. He’s bringing 1,001 of his compatriots to the provincial German city to take part in an installation called “Fairytale.”

The 1,001 live “exhibits” began arriving in Kassel on Tuesday evening. The participants, who will live in a dormitory for the duration of the show, come from all social classes and include teachers, farmers, students, police officers, engineers and pensioners. [Full text and a slideshow]

Asia Times also examines the contemporary Chinese art scene in “China’s contemporary art goes global”:

As China’s economy continues to boom, and interest in the country’s nascent art scene builds momentum, so a growing number of international profit and non-profit organizations are looking for ways to establish a presence in the Chinese art market. Overseas collectors are eyeing China hungrily, and increasing numbers of knowledgeable Chinese art lovers are looking to augment their collections with pieces from beyond the mainland.

Helping to facilitate the flow of international and Chinese art will be the new Shanghai Art Fair (SAF), also called “ShContemporary 2007”. The SAF is being organized by the Geneva gallerist and collector, Pierre Huber, together with Lorenzo Rudolf, former director of Art Basel, and Bolognafiere, an Italian fair organizer which already has offices in Shanghai. It will involve about 120 international galleries from around the world. [Full text]


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