© Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei’s presentation of thousands of Stone Age axes in this installation questions the value of the ancient object. The artist and social activist liberates these tools from their historical and archaeological context, repositioning them in an artistic framework with this flat, minimalist display. Ai is known for using antiquities in his work to interpret history. He explores the remnants of Chinese heritage and its relation to current geopolitical concerns. Ai was part of the Stars Group during the late 1970s. He left for the United States in the early 1980s and returned in 1993, and has been an important figure in the conceptual art movement in China.