Friday, May 13, 2011


Portraits were done of all that came to the opening.

Ai Weiwei
Lisson Gallery
13th of May - 16th of July

Last night was the private opening of the retrospective (the last six years) of Ai Weiwei's work. Even though Ai Weiwei is still missing the gallery decided (rightly) to go ahead with the opening. 

Lisson Gallery made a real "Happening" out of the event. I thought they handled and organized it better than any opening I have ever been to before. If you did not go, the truth is you missed out. We kept saying to each other;

"A Historical opening"

The spaces in Lisson Gallery's two buildings were utilized well. With space for Art Contemplation, Portrait shoots, documentary watching, taking over the street for a one minute silence, newspaper cutouts to read and posters to be brought home.

These posters also covered the courtyard entrance with Ai Weiwei's quotes like;

"Words can be deleted but the facts won't be deleted with them"

"Liberty is about our rights to question everything"

"Say what you say plainly, and then take responsibility for it"

Coloured vases 2010

Coloured Vases, 2009

Marble doors 2006

In the courtyard

Documentary about Ai Weiwei. 

Large poster outside on of the Galleries

Everybody ventured out to join in on the "One minute silence" The only sound you heard was cameras clicking. It was a great feel of bounding among the people.

After the one minute silence these two guys did an impromptu performance.

A great publicity stunt... why does this not happen more often?

coffin 2005

Untitled, 2010

Moon Chest, 2008

Surveillance Camera, 2006

Must he be returned back to the art world quickly.

Meanwhile he is and will always be a great symbol for Artists to stay together for 
Freedom of speech!

With Love


  1. Thank you for this great post and publishing this great cause. The world should NOT be silent about this illegal deportation and likely torture of this impressive artist Ai WeiWei who raised his voice for the unheard!!!


    Love, Bettina

  2. I've been following this story on NPR.
    Great post! I agree with you in feeling that it was the absolutely the right thing to do go on with the opening.
    May he be released soon.


  4. Hello Kristin:
    Wonderful, absolutely wonderful! What a superb exhibition and how very touching to hold the one minute's silence. That that should be necessary in the Art World of today is so very, very sad.

    We are so sorry about the fate of comments left and received during the recent Blogger fiasco. What a performance!

    Have a very enjoyable weekend.

  5. Havent heard of Ai Weiwei before...i dont think i get what happened with him? was he deported? just went missing from one day to the other?
    Anyway, hope it gets solved!!!
    Impressive exhibition, sounds like it was a fully charged one...
    Everytime i see your posts i cant help thinking how much easy it is in other countries for artists to make a living.
    Here in argentina its kind of hard, so many of us end up teaching or having an alternative job. For me, im gratefull i can live out of comercial photography! i always can add my personal view, and gives me the time to focus on my personal work aswell.... stll, i would love the goverment or foundations to sponsor more artists here... but guess we are stucked here in the 3rd world! still has some positive views, we have to make the best out of little, and that teaches you how to use ur imagination and lack of resources in the most effective way....
    bla...i wish i live in europe! :)

  6. This would have been an amazing opening to attend. Ai weiwei is in our thoughts and we all hope this story has a happy ending.

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  7. What a great cause to be part of! I too hope the story has a happy ending. Thank you for bringing more awareness to this.

  8. Hey Helena! I think it is hard for artists everywhere, only a few really makes an ok living. But, for sure easier in London and New York, but then the costs of living is huge. I have heard great happenings going on in Sao Paolo these days. Might be a good idea to get into a gallery there. The Brasilians seems to be spending money at the moment?
    Love Buenos Aires by the way, great city!

  9. Such a great post darling and it looks like one amazing opening. Kisses and see you later:)

  10. Lets mount a massive outcry calling for the release of Ai Weiwei!

    Sign the AVAAZ petition:

    and forward the message bellow to anyone who cares about the freedom of art and artists everywhere. 130.000 people have already signed; join them in solidarity to Ai Weiwei!

    Dear friends,

    World-famous and beloved Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been "disappeared" by China's state security forces. Every trace of Ai's life and art has been erased from the Chinese internet, and his only hope may be a global outcry for his release.

    Fearful of the pro-democracy protests sweeping the world, the government has cracked down on hundreds of free thinking Chinese artists, intellectuals, students and citizens. But across the world, artists and art-lovers have begun to speak out in solidarity with Ai.

    Chinese elites are major buyers of contemporary art, and are now planning a huge art fair in Beijing. If international galleries and artists stay away from China until Ai is freed, they'll send shockwaves through the regime. Let's build a massive global wave of support for top gallerists and artists to stop exhibiting in China until Ai Weiwei is released. We’ll deliver it at the upcoming Venice Biennale exhibition and other shows:

    Dozens of galleries and artists from over 15 countries are now gearing up for the Beijing Art Expo and other shows. We’ll present our petition to all the prominent galleries and artists, and log their responses on our website, mobilizing the art world to take a strong stand on behalf of Ai and all the free-thinking citizens who have been jailed.

    China sometimes seems immune to international pressure, but art-activism could work. When sports stars stayed away from South Africa they got the attention of the brutal apartheid regime, hastening Nelson Mandela’s release. Together with international artists and dealers we may now be able to achieve the same effect.

    Ai Weiwei's crime has been to speak out against corruption and injustice in China. He resigned on principle from the team designing the 'Birds Nest' Olympic stadium, criticized corruption behind poorly built schools that killed children in the Sichuan earthquake, and expressed hope the democratic revolutions in the Middle East might lead to change in China. Now noone knows where he is being held or why. Let's call on artists and galleries to come together to free Ai Weiwei:

    Ai Weiwei's parents spent 16 years in a prison labour camp for their principles. At that time China was isolated from the world, but now times have changed. Our voices count -- let's use them now for Ai and China's free-thinking artists, and the new China they're striving to create.

    With hope,

    Alex, Ricken, Maria Paz, Morgan and the whole Avaaz team


    BBC -- Chinese Artist Held for Economic Crimes

    NYTimes -- China Takes Dissident Artist Into Custody

    The Guardian -- Cultural Revolutionary

    CNN -- A Dangerous mix of art and politics

    The Atlantic -- The Art of Bubbles: How Southeby's Predicts the World Economy