(Chinese, b. 1957)
Box: 100 x 100 x 100 cm (39 3/8 x 39 3/8 x 39 3/8 in.)
Private Collection 2.2017
© Ai Weiwei Studio
In 1980s and 1990s, the market was flooded with Ming and Qing dynasty furniture, whose incredible craftsmanship inspired Ai Weiwei to create furniture based on traditional design principles.
Ai Weiwei is known in the West for designing Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium for the 2008 Olympics, his social media presence, and his political activism. His artworks spring from his deep interest in the use of traditional Chinese materials, his awareness of the contemporary world, and his sense of humor.
Traditional joinery methods were used to create this box from huali, or fragrant rosewood (Dalbergia odorifera), without use of nails or screws. Through the hexagonal and irregular openings, interior compartments and shelves can be glimpsed. While it resembles a giant Rubik’s Cube, Ai’s Treasure Box also references the politics of concealing and revealing.
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