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Ai Weiwei’s Stacked Furniture Art Upcycles Old Wooden Stool

By: Laura McQuarrie - Published: May 31, 2013 • References: deutscher-pavillon.org and designboom
‘Bang’ is a stacked furniture art installation created by Ai Weiwei for the Venice Art Biennale 2013. Weiwei’s installation makes a commentary on the artistic and cultural state of China; every household has “at least one stool which serves a range of purposes and that is passed down through each generation,” according to the artist.

Although there are 886 three-legged wooden stools stacked high for the exhibit, this represents a decline in traditional craftsmanship after the cultural revolution. As wood began to be replaced with easily mass-produced materials like metal and plastic, handmade stools were similarly replaced by machine-made ones.

It is staggering to think that all of these stools were meticulously cut, carved and painted by hand. A single old wooden stool may not be anything to stop and think twice about, but this installation sure is.

Photo Credits: designboom, deutscher-pavillon.org