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- Artikel-Nr.: SW10599
Double sided, hand painted porcelain
5.5 x 4.0 x 0.8 cm, edition of 60
"In Free Speech Pendant, Ai Weiwei continues to explore the use of porcelain, a material that is traditionally regarded as the highest art form in China. In the 1990s, Ai Weiwei began collecting Chinese antiques and furniture and integrating them into his artistic practice as a means of addressing historical and cultural values in the context of art. Free Speech Pendant is Ai’s reinterpretation of the traditional pendants carried by Chinese individuals as a marker of social status. This type of ornamentation originally began as early as the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) as pendants intended to attract desirable qualities such as luck, wealth, rank and longevity. These charms eventually became a more direct reflection of the social hierarchy with their materials indicating their wearer’s position—a wealthy, high-ranking individual might have their pendant made in jade or porcelain while a working-class person’s ornament would be fashioned from a more common substance like wood. The writing or markings on traditional pieces would commonly refer to the owner’s family or clan, but in Free Speech Pendant Ai has replaced this with text reading “Free Speech”, a simple but powerful call to action."
Vancouver Art Gallery
Double-sided hand painted porcelain brooch/pendant/sculpture. Accompanied by COA hand signed by Ai Weiwei