Recently we went to Ai Wei Wei’s exhibit, “Maybe, Maybe Not” at the Israel Museum. Other than hearing vague, related tales of Chinese repression, we knew very little about this artist– it turns out, this political artist. The most arresting part of his exhibit were the huge, gigantic, bigger-than-life trees that he assembled from parts of actual trees, pasted and bolted together.
Facing a wall constructed of thousands of slips of paper, documenting donations (in Chinese) by people who supported his political cause, was a spacious replica of a ceramic tiled floor. That is, it looked like a tile floor– but it turned out to be — a rug. When we were asked to remove our shoes before exploring its subtle tile-y hues and textures, however, we demurred.
What luck. Instead, we came across a tiny exhibit that touched me personally. In a recent piece I wrote about novelty teapots, I learned that original Chinese ones were one-cuppers — drunk directly from curved spouts. And Ai Wel Wei was evidently as fascinated as I. He exhibited a handful of –what in Heaven’s name are these?– antique broken teapot spouts!
I love it when things come together like that!
Made my day.