The close intertwining of political engagement and artistic work are the focus of a large exhibition of works by the world-famous Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. From 18 May to 1 September 2019, room-filling installations and works from the past ten years can be seen at the two Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen buildings, K20 and K21.
The show focuses on key themes that have characterised his work since the 1980s: the refugee crisis and the field of tension between individuality and the state. In the large exhibition halls of the K20 building, two key works, „Straight“ and „Sunflower Seeds“, will be shown together in their full form for the first time ever at an exhibition. The “Sunflower Seeds” installation alone covers an area of almost 800 square metres. It consists of 100 million handmade and individually painted porcelain sunflower seeds. The K21 building is to show the monumental work „Life Cycle“ for the first time in Europe. The fragile, almost transparent sculpture made of bamboo and sisal twine, depicting a variety of figures in an inflatable boat, measures over 17 metres.