AI Weiwei, Pillar through round table
Since 2000, Ai Weiwei has sourced materials from the sites of demolished historical buildings, reusing timber pillars, beams and doors to create monumental works such as Pillar through round table. This work is part of an ongoing series employing traditional Chinese furniture, architectural elements and building techniques – materials and skills fast disappearing due to China’s rapid economic and urban development. In these pieces, Ai investigates the point at which a mere piece of furniture becomes an object of artistic expression. Ai’s sculptures in this vein are strange, impractical forms, yet their seamless construction acknowledges the great craftsmanship of ancient China.