Largest Ai Weiwei show ever opens in Berlin

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Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s largest show to date has opened in Berlin.

Entitled “Evidence”, the exhibition features works specifically designed for the exhibition and others that have never been shown in Germany.

The artist, who is openly critical of the Chinese government’s record on democracy and human rights, wasn’t allowed to travel to Berlin for the opening. He conceived the show from his Beijing studio, under camera surveillance by the Chinese authorities.

“Ai Weiwei is an artist so he speaks an artistic language, we call it conceptual art. But in a second sense, if you look at some pieces of his art you will find a message, which you have to decode, to decipher. And of course it is very political because he is speaking about what is going on in China, he is speaking about what happened to him personally and he is also speaking about the relations between China and the West,” says the exhibition’s curator, Gereon Sievernich.

Among the installations is a life-size replica of the prison cell where he was held in solitary confinement back in 2011.

No official charges were ever filed against the artist and his detention prompted an international outcry. Germany, where he enjoys a large following, was among the countries that called for his release.

‘Evidence’ by Ai Weiwei is on at the Martin Gropius Bau in the German capital Berlin until July 7.

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