Ai Weiwei on Porcelain

With the support of Akbank, Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum is hosting Ai Weiwei’s first exhibition in Turkey. The exhibition, which was planned to run between the dates 12 September 2017 and 28 January 2018, has been extended until 15 April 2018. The exhibition showcases an extensive selection from the artist’s oeuvre alongside new works. Focusing on Ai Weiwei’s wide-ranging production in the medium of porcelain, the exhibition presents a narrative informed by the artist’s life story and his approach to both the tradition of craftsmanship and art history.

Within the scope of the exhibition, each stage of Ai Weiwei’s prolific journey in porcelain will be presented with his iconic works. Transferring his contemporary message through the language of traditional Chinese craft, Ai Weiwei’s art practice provides the viewer with a perspective on the paradoxes of our time. 

The exhibition offers a comprehensive view of Ai Weiwei’s art practice through a structure built through recurrent themes in his works. Dealing with the concepts of authenticity, the transformation of the value systems throughout different eras and cultural history, Ai Weiwei’s works call the viewers’ understanding of cultural, artistic and historical values into question.  

Through his interrogation of the concept of authenticity in the replicas he produces, Ai Weiwei’s works undermine the difference between the copy and the original. Accordingly, he adapts the logic of the Chinese and Greek pottery decoration and Egyptian wall painting to reflect on history and provide us with a comprehensive view of the contemporary world.  With its wide-range and extensive selection of works in the medium of porcelain—the earliest work dates back four decades and the exhibition contains over 100 art works—this exhibition at the Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum stands out as one of the most unique explorations into this singular artist’s practice.

Guided tours of the exhibition 'Ai Weiwei on Porcelain' will be organized on dates below at 11.00 and 14.00. 

15, 29 October 2017 

12, 26 November 2017 

10, 24 December 2017 

7, 21 January 2018 

*The tours are free of charge and the visitor numbers are limited to 25 people. Reservation is not required.  **Guided tours are conducted in Turkish.

Ai Weiwei
Bicycle Basket with Flowers in Porcelain, 2014
Porcelain
Ai Weiwei Studio

Ai Weiwei
Blossom, 2014
Detail Porcelain
Ai Weiwei Studio

Ai Weiwei
Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, 2016
LEGO bricks
Ai Weiwei Studio

Ai Weiwei
Free Speech Puzzle, 2017
Porcelain
Ai Weiwei Studio

Ai Weiwei
Hanging Man in Porcelain (Gold), 2009
Porcelain
Ai Weiwei Studio

Ai Weiwei
Illumination, 2009
Digital Photograph
Ai Weiwei Studio

Ai Weiwei
Porcelain Rebar, 2014
Porcelain
Ai Weiwei Studio

Ai Weiwei
Remains, 2014
Porcelain
Ai Weiwei Studio

Ai Weiwei
Study of Perspective, 1995-2011
Tiananmen Square, 1995
Black-and-white photograph
Ai Weiwei Studio

Ai Weiwei
The Animal That Looks Like a Llama but is Really an Alpaca, 2015
Wallpaper
Ai Weiwei Studio

Ai Weiwei
Ruyi, 2012
Porcelain
Ai Weiwei Studio

Ai Weiwei
He Xie, 2012
Detail Porcelain
Ai Weiwei Studio

Ai Weiwei
Sunflower Seeds, 2010
Detail Porcelain
Ai Weiwei Studio

Ai Weiwei
Blue and White Porcelain Plate (War), 2017
Porcelain
Ai Weiwei Studio