“How is it possible that such technical refinement and craftsmanship were able to develop and unfold in China under imperial tyranny? For me the Haus der Kunst, which was commissioned by Hitler for exhibitions of German art, provides the contextual and formal framework in which to examine this question.” Ai Weiwei.
…”Remembering” is designed for the Haus der Kunst’s façade consisting of 9,000 backpacks made specifically for this purpose. With this installation Ai Weiwei recalls the earthquake in Sichuan since many backpacks of the buried children were found under the collapsed schools. The backpacks on the façade are in one of five colors and arranged to spell out the sentence “She lived happily for seven years in this world” in Chinese characters. These words stem from the mother of one of the earthquake victims commemorating her daughter. The pixel-like effect of the large image stretches across the entire façade. It is 100 meters long and ten meters high, and attached to the columns in front of the building with a steel structure.
Also created especially for the exhibition is the woolen carpet “Soft Ground”, which will cover a surface of 380 square meters in the largest exhibition space. The pattern of “Soft Ground” is a faithful reproduction of the 969 stone floor tiles on which the carpet lies. In order to reconstruct the floor tiles exactly – including the traces left by 70 years of exhibition activity – each tile was first photographed and its position recorded. Handmade in a weaving mill in Hebei province, “Soft Ground” serves as a kind of buffer protecting the floor and also creating an acoustic effect.
See also past CDT posts on Ai Weiwei.