Ai Weiwei: Dropping the Urn

Arcadia Exhibitions


Ai Weiwei: Dropping the Urn was the first museum exhibition of internationally acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei to be presented in the United States outside of New York City. Included were examples of Weiwei's use of Neolithic and Han Dynasty vessels that he marked with hand-painted inscriptions of the Coca-Cola logo, dipped into vats of industrial paint, or smashed on the ground in performances for the camera. It also included a new work made from a ton of "sunflower seeds" crafted from porcelain. The exhibition was scheduled to coincide with the spring 2010 conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts in Philadelphia, and was conceived to contribute a critical polemic to the discourse about clay in the region. The catalog includes essays by writer and curator Philip Tinari and art historian Dario Gamboni, examining Weiwei's strategies within the legacy of iconoclasm; an essay situating Weiwei's work within the tradition of Chinese ceramics by Stacey Pierson; and a text by Victoria and Albert Museum curator Glenn Adamson.