A mini-forest of trees as an installation. Ai Weiwei has envisioned recreating trees from parts of cut up branches and logs. 8 trees overhang the courtyard of the Royal Academy in London. Taking up of the space needed to expose the first massive installation viewers will encounter when stepping on the RA concrete pavement.
Feelings about the installation
While entering the mini-forest created by Ai Weiwei, we know we have to look for the intentional flaws. Because this artist’s trees cannot just be trees. There’s got to be a purpose for these trees to exist. From carefully inspecting the aspect of the branches once entering the center, we perceive bolts and nails. And so, on each branch of each tree.
Installations create a bizarre feeling among the viewers.
Installations create a bizarre feeling among the viewers. Whether we understand what we’re seeing or we find ourselves shocked or pleased; we cannot help but stare at the closest viewer next to us. To find an accomplice to subtly exchange a smile or raise an eyebrow. I left the installation feeling half satisfied. Ai Weiwei’s art is full of meanings and I think I might not have grasped all the ideas. The description next to the piece is clear but there’s such an infatuation around the Chinese artist that I cannot help but look for more explanations and interpretations.
About the Art piece
The parts of these trees were originally dead in mountain in Southern China. They were brought down and meant to be sold in the city of Jingdezhen as decorative pieces.
Ai Weiwei, in his Beijing studio collected those dead bits and ‘rebuilt’ the trees. His primary purpose was to assemble the parts together and imagine what the trees originally looked like. A process which took months to achieve.
This gathering of trees, which we can now be inspected and questioned at the RA, has a underlying political message. The natural versus artificial aspect of the installation has been connected to the state-sponsored policy aimed at protecting and promoting China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. An ethnically divers population has been brought in the country in order to form one China. The jigsaw composition of the tree branches blended to the wide solid trunks represent the odd diversity the political intervention acted on the landscape of the country’s population.
The jigsaw composition of the tree branches blended to the wide solid trunks represent the odd diversity the political intervention acted on the landscape of the country’s population.