Using traditional woodwork techniques, Ai reconfigures pieces of furniture in ways that render them inoperative. This visually playful work questions the way in which modernization has made China’s past inaccessible and whether, in seeking to perpetuate tradition by adapting inherited forms, one instead distorts it irrevocably.
Acquired directly from the artist in 2007 by its current owner, a private collector in Hong Kong.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China," December 9, 2013–April 6, 2014.