Year of the Rat
Curator: Cui Cancan
10.28 - 12.10, 2020
Tang Contemporary Art is proud to announce the opening of “Year of the Rat,” the solo exhibition for Ai Weiwei. Curated by Cui Cancan, the exhibition will be on view at Tang Contemporary Art Bangkok from 28 October - 10 December 2020, opening to the pubic on 29 October.
2020 is the Year of the Rat in the Chinese lunar calendar and the gengzi year in this sexagenary cycle. The rat is the first of the twelve zodiac animals.
Historically, gengzi years are far from ordinary. 1840 saw the First Opium War; the ensuing conflicts and changes served as a prelude for further transformation. In 1900, the Boxers burned churches and massacred missionaries and ordinary Christians, and Empress Cixi declared war on the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Austria. By August, the armies of the Eight Nation Alliance had taken Beijing. In 1960, sixty years ago, China was in the midst of a great famine. In that year, the “Rightist” poet Ai Qing was sent down to the Eighth Division of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps in Shihezi, and Ai Weiwei lived there with his father for sixteen years.
2020 is another gengzi year. On Chinese New Year’s Eve, Wuhan announced the closure of the city because of a new coronavirus. Several months later, tens of millions of people around the world had contracted Covid-19. In the expanse of human civilization, 60 years is not a long time, but the vast majority of people will only see one such Year of the Rat in their lifetimes.
The Year of the Rat and the gengzi year give Ai Weiwei’s exhibition particular meaning. The ambiguity and suggestions associated with the Year of the Rat move in cycles. In one hundred years, there will be a new experience of time, space, context, and history.
b.1957 Beijing, China
Ai Weiwei is renowned for making strong aesthetic statements that resonate with timely phenomena across today’s geopolitical world. From architecture to installations, social media to documentaries, Ai uses a wide range of mediums as expressions of new ways for his audiences to examine society and its values. Recent exhibitions include: Ai Weiwei: Resetting Memories at MARCO in Monterrey, Ai Weiwei: Bare Life at the Mildred Lane Kemper Museum in St. Louis, Ai Weiwei at the K20/K21 in Dusseldorf, and Good Fences Make Good Neighbors with the Public Art Fund in New York City.
Ai was born in Beijing in 1957 and currently resides and works in Berlin. Ai is the recipient of the 2015 Ambassador of Conscience Award from Amnesty International and the 2012 Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent from the Human Rights Foundation.
Cui Cancan is an independent curator in China, he has won Chinese Contemporary Art Award Critic Award, Yi Shu Award for Critical Writing etc., curated main exhibitions like Hei Qiao Night Way (2013), Xiang Cun Xi jian Chui (2013), FUCKOFF II (2013), Unlived by What is Seen (2014), Between the 5th and 6th Ring Road in Beijing (2015), The Decameron (2016), Curated solo exhibitions like Ai Weiwei, Xia Xiaowan, Shen Shaomin, Wang Qingsong, He Yunchang, Xiao Yu, Qin Ga, Xie Nanxing, Shi Jinsong, Li Zhanyang, Xu Zhongmin, Ma Ke, Xia xing, Zhao Zhao, Li Qing, Chen Yufan, Chen Yujun, Li Binyuan, Feng Lin, Zhang Yue, Zong Ning, Jiang Bo etc.