Over a month since Ai Weiwei went missing after his arrest in Hong Kong, the artist’s first ever public artwork was unveiled today in a Bloomberg-dubbed “bittersweet” ceremony. The unveiling was bumped from Monday post Osama news. The decapitated Chinese zodiac heads remained wrapped until earlier today, but somehow, the work seemed more appropriate when it was muffled and shrouded in plastic.
The heads are replicas of waterclock fountain sculptures in the court garden of the Qing dynasty Emperor Qianlong that was ransacked by French and British troops in 1860, hence the slaughter and the blood. AW Asia Founder Larry Warsh called Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads a “pro-China, pro-Chinese” work. Chinese officials have a different idea of patriotism, apparently. (Images: Getty and Hyperallergic)