Presented by Waller Creek Conservancy and The Contemporary Austin
The free outdoor, art installation Forever Bicycles (2014), by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, is now open daily at the Waller Delta (74 Trinity, adjacent to the Boathouse).
Conceptual artist Ai Weiwei is considered one of the most important and influential artists working today and one of the leading cultural figures of his generation. This sculpture takes as its subject the Forever brand bicycle, once ubiquitous on the streets of Beijing. A means of not only transportation but also social mobility and a coveted luxury item when the artist was growing up in China, in contemporary times the Forever bicycle has given way to aspirations of car ownership. Given this context, the installation here imparts poignant commentary through 1,200 of these nostalgic objects assembled into a gorgeous, dizzying sculpture, whose wheels are now frozen in perpetual cycle.
Plus, Ai Weiwei’s Iron Tree Trunk (2015) is now on view at The Contemporary Austin’s Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria.
Share your photos! #AiWeiwei #ForeverBicycles #IronTreeTrunk #WallerCreek #TheContemporaryAustin
Attendees are encouraged to walk, bike, take public transportation, or rideshare. Paid parking is available two blocks away at the Convention Center Garage on 2nd Street with access from Brazos or San Jacinto. No parking is available on Trinity south of Cesar Chavez.
FOR YOUR SAFETY
Climbing on the sculpture is extremely dangerous.
Touching or climbing the sculpture is strictly prohibited. Area under surveillance.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Ai Weiwei (b. 1957) is an artist who resides and works in both Berlin and Beijing. His father, the poet Ai Qing, was denounced by China’s Communist Party in 1958 and his family was sent to labor camps, first near the North Korean border and then eventually in Xinjiang province. They returned to Beijing in 1976 after the end of the Cultural Revolution. Ai studied animation at the Beijing Film Academy, then studied art in New York in the early eighties. Upon returning to China a decade later, Ai advocated for experimental artists by publishing underground books and curating avant-garde exhibitions. He has worked in many media, including sculpture, installation, photography, architecture and film. He is an outspoken advocate of human rights and freedom of speech. He is the recipient of the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent in 2012 and the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award in 2015.
Photo by Dana Efthim