‘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