Ai Weiwei’s biggest Lego paintings has been unveiled by means of the Design Museum

Forward of its first design-focused exhibition — which opens subsequent month — the Design Museum these days unveils a big new paintings by means of world-renowned artist Ai Weiwei.

Water Lilies No. 1, 2022, by means of Ai Weiwei. lego bricks Picture © Ela Bialkowska / OKNO studio. © Symbol courtesy of the artist and Galleria Continua

Created fully out of Lego, the paintings is a sport of one of the well-known artwork by means of French Impressionist Claude Monet. It’s the biggest Lego paintings ever made by means of Ai Weiwei. titled water lilies #1, The paintings is over 15 meters lengthy and runs the duration of 1 wall within the Design Museum exhibition.

It’s produced from roughly 650,000 LEGO bricks, in 22 colors.

This enormous new paintings can be proven in public for the primary time on the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Thoughts making Opens Friday, April seventh. It’s his greatest UK display in 8 years. Water lilies #1 Recreates a well-known Monet portray, water lilies (1914 – 26), an enormous triptych these days in Choice of the Museum of Trendy Artwork, New York.

Within the authentic portray, Monet depicted one of the crucial lily ponds within the gardens of his house in Giverny, close to Paris. It’s a picture that has turn into global well-known for its depiction of the quiet great thing about nature. On the other hand, the pond and gardens had been a synthetic construction, designed and created by means of Monet himself on the flip of the twentieth centuryy a century. He has partially diverted the process the neighboring Ipet River as a way to create this idyllic panorama.

Element from Water Lilies #1, 2022, by means of Ai Weiwei. lego bricks Picture © Ela Bialkowska / OKNO studio. © Symbol courtesy of the artist and Galleria Continua

By way of recreating this well-known scene, Ai Weiwei demanding situations our concepts of truth and attractiveness. Created out of Lego bricks, the brand new symbol strips Monet of Monet’s brush strokes in prefer of an impersonal language of business portions and color. Those pixel-like blocks seek advice from recent virtual applied sciences which might be central to trendy lifestyles, and a nod to how artwork is regularly subtle within the recent global. Additional difficult for audience, indexed at the proper aspect of Ai’s reproduction is a depressing portal, which is the door to the underground bunker in Xinjiang province the place Ai and his father, Ai Qing, lived in enforced exile within the Sixties. Their hellish wasteland house pierces a watery paradise.

Ai Weiwei has been the usage of Lego bricks in his paintings since 2014, when he used them to supply portraits of political prisoners. however Water lilies #1 It’s his greatest innovation ever on this medium.

Element from Water Lilies #1, 2022, by means of Ai Weiwei. lego bricks Picture © Ela Bialkowska / OKNO studio. © Symbol courtesy of the artist and Galleria Continua
Detail from Water Lilies #1, 2022, by Ai Weiwei.  lego bricks
Element from Water Lilies #1, 2022, by means of Ai Weiwei. lego bricks Picture © Ela Bialkowska / OKNO studio. © Symbol courtesy of the artist and Galleria Continua

Water lilies #1 It’ll be observed along every other main new Lego paintings by means of Ai Weiwei, which may be making its world debut on the Design Museum. First introduced in January, Untitled (The Lego Coincidence) It is a part of a sequence of 5 huge “fields” the place loads of 1000’s of items can be positioned at the exhibition flooring. On this space, guests will see 1000’s of Lego blocks all donated to the artist by means of participants of the general public from all over the world, in keeping with Lego in short refusing to promote him their merchandise in 2014. Those donated bricks are being offered on the Design Museum for the primary time As an absolutely shaped murals.

Our global is advanced and collapsing against an unpredictable long run. It will be significant that folks discover a language devoted to expressing their revel in in those tough cases. Customized expression arises from spotting historical past and recollections whilst growing new language and narrative. With out the private narrative, the inventive narrative loses its high quality. In Water Lilies #1, Monet’s Impressionist portray, paying homage to the Zinnias of the East, accommodates the tangible stories of my father and I right into a virtual and pieced language. The play brick as the fabric, with its qualities of solidity and the potential of deconstruction, displays the options of language in our abruptly evolving age through which human awareness is continuously divided.

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei: Thoughts making It’ll be the artist’s first exhibition that specialize in design and structure. She sees AI as the usage of design and historical past of manufacture as a lens in which to have a look at what we price.

Different highlights of the exhibition come with dozens of items and artistic endeavors from throughout Ai Weiwei’s occupation that discover the tensions between previous and provide, hand and gadget, valuable and nugatory, building and destruction, similar to a Han Dynasty jar emblazoned with the Coca-Cola emblem that embodies those clashes.

Various examples of “customary” Ai items can be proven, the place he turns one thing helpful into one thing needless however treasured. Those come with a troublesome employee’s hat molded in glass that directly turns into robust and brittle, and a carving of an iPhone reduce from the pinnacle of a jade awl.

Ai Weiwei’s large-scale works can be put in outdoor the exhibition gallery, within the museum’s free-to-enter areas in addition to outdoor the development.

Most of the works on this exhibition depict the devastation of city building in China during the last 20 years. With Water Lilies #1 Ai Weiwei provides us an alternate imaginative and prescient – lawn paradise. At the one hand he personalised it by means of placing the door of his adolescence wasteland house, alternatively he depersonalized it by means of the usage of an commercial language of modular Lego blocks. It is a massive, advanced and robust paintings and we’re proud to be the primary museum to show it.”

Justin McGuirk, Senior Curator and Curator on the Museum of Design Ai Weiwei: Thoughts making

Ai Weiwei: Making Sense on the Design Museum is working from April 7 to July 30, 2023. Tickets are to be had for pre-booking now.




Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the founder and editor of FAD Mag. Founder and co-publisher of Artwork of Dialog mag and founding father of the platform worldoffad