We see the environment completely disappearing, being destroyed by humans’ effort … and that will create a much bigger disaster or famine. Or war, there’s a possible political struggle between China and the West as China asserts greater control over Hong Kong and threatens control over Taiwan…. We have to rethink about humans and legitimacy in the environment. Do we really deserve this planet, or are we just being so short-sighted and racist? And very, very just self-demanding, selfishness.
~ Chinese artist Ai Weiwei on his latest sculpture La Commedia Umana: Memento Mori / The Human Comedy: Remember You Must Die, Venice, Italy, August 26, 2022.
One of the largest works ever created in Murano glass, the hanging sculpture is composed of over 2,000 pieces of blown and cast glass, weighing around four tons with a width of 6.4 meters (21 feet) and towering overhead at 8.4 meters (27.6 feet) high. The series of hand-crafted black glass bones and isolated organs first became a striking monument to the lives lost over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with the war between Russia and Ukraine, the monument also encompasses those who die from all kinds of human conflict. If we want to leave behind more than the bones of our broken bodies, we must work together to address the dangers that threaten our survival as a species.
Learn more at Berengo Studio.
AI WEIWEI, born in 1957 in Beijing, China, is a global citizen, artist, and thinker. He attended Beijing Film Academy and later, on moving to New York (1983-1993), continued his studies at the Parsons School of Design. His art works have been exhibited worldwide. Among his numerous awards and honors, he holds the lifetime achievement award from the Chinese Contemporary Art Awards (2008) and was made Honorary Academician at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2011). He now lives and works in Portugal.