“Fan-Tan” is Ai Weiwei’s first large-scale exhibition in France. The show makes a parallel between the artist’s work and objects from the museum’s collection, which both focus on “the observation of the everyday”. The exhibition features artworks from the 80’s which have rarely been shown to the public, alongside with later works such as Study of Perspective (1995-2011), Circle of Animal (2012), Colored House (2015), Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (2015) and a monumental installation created especially for the exhibition which consists of two cubes both 1 meter high. The artist already created artworks of the same size and shape made out of different types of material like crystal, wood, and tea. This time he chose to use Marseille soap, a traditional local technique which is also an internationally known product.
Ai Weiwei (born in 1957 in Beijing), works with a large range of medium from architecture to installation and from photography to video. In the 80’s he spent more than a decade in New York where he discovered Marchel Duchamp, whose work influenced his practice enormously. As Judith Benhamou-Huet, the curator of the exhibition, explains “He is an all-around artist: he is, on the one hand, a creator of forms – he is an heir of the surrealist artists and Marcel Duchamp – but he is also committed to exploring new areas, such as social media, where he is very active.”
The exhibition is on view at the Mecum in Marseille until 12 November.