A-wei A-wei with Art’s Borders

Published in The University of Warwick student newspaper, The Boar, in April 2013

The exciting modern ‘No Borders’ exhibition is an artistic intervention at the Bristol Museum. It critiques and challenges globalization, which many have said is a positive global phenomenon. Walking into this exhibition I was hit by predominately negative portrayals of globalization and the nature of borders from different cultural perspectives. Due to the many different mediums used – film, photography, paintings, sketches and even venetian blinds – it stimulated my senses, pushing me out of my comfort zone.

The great highlight was to finally have the opportunity to see artwork by the internationally acclaimed Ai Weiwei. Indeed, this is the first time his piece A Ton of Tea has appeared in the UK. Needless to say, he is one of the most famous current examples of an artist intertwining art and politics, and has made a big impact in the media both within art circles and in wider human rights debates. His life has even ‘become’ art due to Howard Brenton’s film about Weiwei’s arrest, which was premiered last week. This resurgence of Weiwei in the news (and within other art mediums) makes this exhibition all the more stimulating and pertinent. With Ai Weiwei, the boundaries between politics and art are definitely broken down.  Continue reading