Tag Archives: Vancouver Biennale

Ai Weiwei

Contemporary artist Ai Weiwei is having another moment right now – or maybe he’s emblematic of our time.  If you’ve been following The Art Caravan for awhile, you know that I think he’s a fantastic artist.  In an October 2014 post , I wrote This is one of the best exhibitions I have ever seen.  Seven years later, I don’t disagree.  Here’s a brief summary (with images and video) from For-Site Foundation, about Large, the installations I (fortunately) experienced at Alcatraz.

Pace Prints has a Weiwei exhibition running until May 29, 2021.  In conjunction with the show, they are releasing a silkscreen print edition of Year of the Ox, which references his 2018 Zodiac  and 2010 Zodiac Heads series.

Year of the Ox, 2021, Ai Weiwei, artsy.net image

Year of the Ox, 2021, Ai Weiwei, paceprints.com

Year of the Ox, 2021, Ai Weiwei, paceprints.com

Beginning May 15, and running to August 1, Skirball Cultural Center presents Ai Weiwei:  Trace.  Part of their programming includes this conversation with Skirball curator Yael Lipschutz.  It’s worth a listen to hear Weiwei’s political perspectives.  I found the discussion of his artistic process fascinating.  It’s a thought provoking interview.

Artnet news announced the November 2021 publication of an Ai Weiwei memoir 1000 Days of Joys and Sorrows.  In this very brief video, Weiwei explains the genesis of this book.  He ends with these bold words:  What is the cost for freedom?  If art cannot engage with life it has no future. No surprise that his father was a poet;  Selected Poems  by Ai Qing will be published in English and released the same day as 1000 Days of Joys and Sorrows.

The Art Caravan won’t, unfortunately,  be traveling to NYC or Los Angeles anytime soon. sigh  In the meantime, here’s another brief flashback to an Ai Weiwei installation I saw in Vancouver in 2015.

The F Grass, Ai Weiwei, Vancouver Biennale, image by T. Vatrt

The F Grass, Ai Weiwei, Vancouver Biennale, image by T. Vatrt




It was a beautiful day in Vancouver, and I was out walking by Coal Harbour.  When I read those words I thought, “Hmm….could it be?  I may have found the Ai Weiwei installation!”  A while ago I had heard, and then subsequently forgotten, that there was public artwork by Weiwei in the city.  The DO NOT CROSS  RISK OF INJURY definitely piqued my imagination and curiosity.

Sure enough, there it was.


Ai Weiwei The F Grass, Vancouver     photo by T. Vatrt

Because of its low profile, one has to be intentional, or in my case, lucky to find it…..or live in the neighbourhood.


Ai Weiwei installation, Vancouver     photo by T. Vatrt

F Grass is part of the Vancouver Biennale Open Air Museum.  Here’s a link to participate in the What the F? movement against the kind of censorship Ai Weiwei has experienced.


Definitely risky business.


Ai Weiwei The F Grass     photo by T. Vatrt